Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tempestuous Cardinal

Character art from Courtier, board game soon to be released by AEG. The full character and the press released card image from AEG's website. © AEG 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kind Hearts and Coronets

RT_KindHearts_GNREID.jpg, commission from the Radio Times is always a welcome one and especially when the subject is a favourite. The 1949 Ealing comedy film 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' is one of those films that gets repeated a lot and is especially good viewing on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Louis Mazzini (played by Dennis Price) is distant relative of D'Ascoyne family and he plans to murder his way throughout the family tree to receive what he believes is rightful inheritance. The magical part is that nearly all of the family members he hunts down are superbly played by Alec Guinness, a masterclass in comedic acting.
The brief from the Radio Times was for a radio drama sequel to the original play the film was based on. Here is the supplied information I received:
Kind Hearts And Coronets: Like Father, Like Daughter
Natalie Walter stars as Unity Holland, who is pursuing the Chalfont title, with Alistair McGowan playing all seven members of the Gascoyne family, who are standing in her way, in David Spicer’s sequel to the famous Edwardian comedy written by Roy Horniman.
This new radio sequel to a classic comedy takes place some years after the death of the 10th Earl of Chalfont, a man who systematically murdered his family in order to inherit his title. The 20th Century rolls on and even against a backdrop of international conflict and revolution, an Earldom is still to be fought for - by fair means and foul. There are at least eight claimants to the Chalfont title, all of them ruthless. The Gascoyne family is a big one and its sense of entitlement enormous, its appetite for violence impressive and the family resemblance at times uncanny.
This is an entirely new version of the story, and has something to offer both those who know the original and those who come to it for the first time. Alistair McGowan stars as Lady Edith, Henry Gascoyne, Louis Gascoyne, Adalbert Gascoyne, Ughtred Gascoyne, Marmaduke Gascoyne and Ronald Gascoyne, the judge. Further cast includes Simon Greenall, Jane Whittenshaw, Sally Orrock, David Holt and Steve Hodson. Producer/Frank Stirling for Unique Broadcasting Company.
My first thought was to do something based around a family tree graphic but I put that aside based on the size of the illustration, 38mm wide by 71.5mm deep is a quite a small area to work in but not impossible to convey a lot of information and detail. So I headed down a different route but kept the 'family' theme by showing a section of a wall with family portraits, all of course portrayed by Alistair McGowan*. To add to the murderous side of the story I added in various weapons that might be used to 'bump off' each member. The pencil rough was quickly accepted and the painted final illustration was a lot of fun to work on. Briefed on a Tuesday morning, deadline noon Thursday, printed and in the shops by the following week! I love that the turn around on these jobs is so quick and that the Radio Times is always a delight to work with.
*I decided to do a little homage to the Ealing film and the bottom left portrait is based on one of the eight family members as portrayed by Alec Guinness, it could of course pass for a bald Alistair McGowan :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jonday - ImagineFX George and the Dragon

So fantasy art mag ImagineFX commissioned a walkthrough from me, and the mag hit UK trade stands this last week.  The theme was St George and the Dragon, using Artrage.  Here's the finished piece.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The coolest bad guys ever?

I've started working on a stormtrooper model in 3D for a digital painting I'm planning to do.
There's a very rough step by step on how I attempted to get the screen authentic look of the helmet over on my blog.!/2012/05/these-arent-droids-youre-looking-for.html

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Figure drawing

I've been up all night hitting a deadline. So some figure sketches will have to do you this week.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Judge Death!

Judge Death. Kapow! 2012.

First sketch of the day and a wonderful colouring job by Jean-Paul Bove (who worked at his table) This photo of the print he delivered to the fan does not do the colour job justice but very peased with his work.

Judge Fire to Follow next week plus JP's colour print!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alternating Spiral

This was an alternate version of a T-shirt design I did for Spiral Direct last year. Some 3D in there.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The guns of a Sauron

TyrannyRex_GNREID.jpg, recent commission of the 2000ad character Tyranny Rex, she's one of those love her or loathe her characters for fans of the comic. I drew her (badly) about ten years ago in a strip for the fan mag Zarjaz so it was fun to come back to her.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jonday: Screen if you wanna go faster

So earlier in the year I made this piece of art for leading Spanish old school game Aventuras en la Marca del Este for their GamesMaster screen.  These very wide images made to go on a folding screen can be tricky to do, but Pedro over at Aventuras was a complete joy to work with.

You can read about it here (using Google Translate if like me your Spanish is not up to par):

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Sunday, May 20, 2012


I've been trying out a tutorial on creating realistic starscapes in Photoshop. Much quicker than a dot at a time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Roller Grrrls_Teal Leone. Character sketch.

Here is another Roller Grrrls character sketch. I have included the pencils (drawn in biro) and the finished  inks. No layouts for this episode as the idea was very clear in my head and I could see instantly how the end result would look. There was a subtle change to Teal's right arm in the first panel but very little else is different. So very pleased with this small vignette.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

teeth of doom

The walls of Osaka Castle, shot a couple of years ago. In Osaka.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room.

SherlockCumberbatch2_GNREID.jpg, People do seem rather fond of Sherlock Holmes and of Benedict Cumberbatch playing him, its just as well I enjoy drawing them both isn't it :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jonday- Lion

I was going to share some more of my holiday snaps, but I found this I did just before heading up North.  Quick artrage noodle:

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Character sketches

These are some old character setches from an animation studio I worked at years ago. Monty Python meets Carry on.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wolverine commission

A commission that I'm working on. Like all truly tough guys , Wolverine wouldn't be demonstrative. He wouldn't need to show off, be loud or screaming all the time. Threat should be quiet , but implicit. His presence and utter self-confidence should be enough.
Here's the Inked version.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Roller Grrrls birthday image for LRG!

LRG Birthday Card. Gray version.

Wishing the London Roller Girls a very happy sixth birthday! Derby Love to everyone on the team, NSOs and fans from Roller Grrrls. 


 Colour version.


Character art of Duke Fergan from AEG's up-coming boardgame 'Dominare', to be released this summer. ©AEG2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Overload #1 Cover

Due for release at the upcoming Kapow Comic Con in London on the 19th and 20th May is the first issue of Overload a comic brought to you by Martin Conaghan and The Copydesk. This anthology comic will feature some top talent and I was originally asked to produce art for a strip written by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie featuring UK politicians and the zombie apocalypse but other commitments unfortunately got in the way. However, I did find time to produce the cover which highlights this story and hopefully should be a bit of an attention grabber!

I was pretty much given free rein in what I'd like to do but one idea that kept being mentioned was to feature the former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. So I decided to work up some quick roughs approaching that idea but also some alternatives. Without ruining (or completely ruining) the story the basic premise is that the zombie apocalypse is in full flow and the political leaders of the UK are in a state of disarray especially with the appearance of some well known zombie politicians.

One idea I thought could work well was the use of No.10 Downing Street, a more subtle approach to the story with a zombie police guard standing outside but with obvious signs of the mayhem with blood and gore. Another was to do a pastiche of the recent 'Iron Lady' movie visual with a large portrait shot of zombie Maggie. However it was the 'Maggie Attack' cover that everyone liked and the prospect of drawing ex-political leaders shambling down Westminster was too good to miss.

I get a lot of positive comments from clients about my ability to capture a likeness but 'zombie-ing' up a famous face can bring its own challenges. Take too much away from a face and you can lose that something that sparks recognition. I set myself some rules in that the hair style of the characters should be pretty much left alone and that in most cases eyes, although sunken, should remain largely untouched. For the smaller characters behind Maggie I found that a gentle caricature of certain features helped to combat the rot and decay that I added to their faces.

This was a lot of fun to paint up and I especially enjoyed adding in some extra touches. Westminster set ablaze I was particularly pleased with and I'll give extra credit to anyone who can figure out what the almost completely obscured bus visuals are a reference to.

Overload should be available at a few different comic conventions this year but you will also be able to purchase a copy online soon at The Copydesk website. Still available to buy is the 'issue #0' taster comic that was released last year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

ODEON Avengers sketch 1: Captain America

With Avengers Assembled being released last week, my local Odeon decided to hold a Superhero Fun Day at the cinema last Saturday which i was invited along to and did some sketches for the punters. I took photos of some of them so i will probably post most of them here over the next few weeks (that should stop some last minute panic posts for the next wee while at least).

p.s. If you haven't been to see Avengers yet then go see it NOW - you won't regret it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hybrids_layouts for a chase sequence.

 Hybrids. Written by Haden Blackman for the Madefire digital comic.

These layouts for our portal chase sequence are the first run through of the script and generally problem solve the pacing and composition before pencils. 90% of what you see here makes the final cut. Primarily working on individual panels to a 1.85 or 16:9 ratio for widescreen viewing on the iPad and similar media. Panels or frames 'taller' than the preferred ratio are to allow for pans or zooms. They are grouped together as pages for clarity and script checking. Choices also have to be made regarding creating seperate layers within the panels and indicating motion (not shown here) to provide parallax for the motion comic element.

This digital technique proves to be a very challenging experience and rewards you with new creatives options for telling a story. More reviews next week.



For most of 2009/10 I was working on a boardgame set which looks like it will soon see the light of day - Tempest. With some redesigns last month we did a little extra work on Courtier, with a few new characters and box art. Here is a shot of The Queen, © AEG 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Machete don't text.

Machete_GNREID.jpg, Danny Trejo stars as Machete Cortez in the 2010 Robert Rodriguez film 'Machete'. Its amazing to think that this very fun but obviously violent film started off life through the children's film 'Spy Kids' in which the character 'Uncle' Machete appears.