More Five and Dime Posters

I'm in the process of a potential reorganisation of my website and as such I’m adding these recent posters created for The Five and Dime Picture Show here, rather than on the main page of my site. As always, the guys at Five and Dime give me full freedom on these posters so they're always a pleasure to work on. I often try and use them as opportunities for new directions and these two are prime examples of that thinking. The Office Space poster was an attempt to represent a scene but not be totally bound by the screenshots, but instead view the action from a slightly different perspective. I also created the title text by hand using paint which I then digitised for use on the poster. The Swimmer poster was an attempt to move away from portrait work, something I’m invariably drawn to when conceiving film poster layouts.

I've got 4 more Five and Dime poster to work on so expect more soon


Manga Studio 5

I've been vaguely aware of Manga Studio 5 for some time and thanks to high praise from people like Frenden. (his brushes always appealed to me), I decided to give it a go. After a decade of using Adobe Photoshop (not counting a very brief toe dipping into Corel Painter) I really didn't know what to expect, like many I'd blindly fallen under Adobe's spell of industry dominance, but I was instantly happy with what I found.

It's a fairly simple logic really: the truth is, I only really utilise a small percentage of what Photoshop can do, (it did start out life a photo editing program remember?) so why not use a program build for painting and drawing. So far it's the handling of the brushes you notice straight away - it just seems to keep track of the Wacom pen so much better. I didn't actually think Photoshop did that bad a job until I tried Manga Studio 5!

This is all I've really done in the program so far. Created using Frenden's brush set which you can pick up HERE.


VC10 Commission

Recently completed a digital painting commission of a VC10 aircraft. Never really tackled such subject matter before but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. All done in Photoshot CS5 with my new Intuos Wacom. 


The Room: The Definitive Guide

Well... after months of work, I'm happy to say that I've completed the task of designing and illustrating a book! A lot of late nights (more than I thought possible without affecting one's sanity) and learning so much new information, but we're at 99.9% completion and I'm really pleased with the outcome. 

Expect more info soon about its upcoming release, You can already pre-order it on Amazon.


Cult! Retrospective Exhibition

A collection of my past work from 2010 to 2014 will be on display from Wed the 11th of June until the 4th of August at The Circle Gallery in Sheffield. The show includes original canvas paintings as well as prints of digital work spanning past exhibitions as well as personal pieces.

A massive thanks to Nick for inviting me to be a part of the re-launch of The Circle Gallery space.

Opening reception will be from 5.30 to 8pm on Wed the 11th of June.
Facebook event page HERE


March Live Art @Sketchy

Another great night of live art over at The Forum for the monthly Sketchy event. This time there was a nautical theme so I decided on a weathered sea dog which I rendered out in chalks. All of the art supplies you could use to work on a piece of live art have their pros and cons and I'm still experimenting with the best option. As always, a great chance to chat to other local artists about their craft.


Live Art @Sketchy

First live art event of 2014 and I thought it was about time I dusted off the paintbrushes! I've recently been working on more digital stuff so haven't had time for any acrylic painting. I had a feeling the time spend digitally painting would have a knock on effect to how I paint in acrylic so I was keen to give it a go and put some of the learning into practice. While there's always a pressure for time at these live art event (I painted this in 3 hours) I was pleased with getting full coverage of the board and learning to focus on the major forms rather than fine detail paid off here.


I also managed to sell the piece at the end of the night!

Big thanks to James and The Forum and to the other artist that braved the bad weather. Expect more Sketchy event throughout the year.


Another Painting Video!

I'm still experimenting with the finer points of recording my screen while I work, this time I wanted to make sure I could stitch multiple sessions together to form one video. Mission accomplished. The move to begin recording was spurred by a current job designing the cover of an EP. During the initial meeting we discussed the potential for a video of me creating the cover art to possibly work as a music video....more on that soon.


Speed Painting Video

My first foray into the world of speed painting. It took me a while to get the video settings sorted, mainly the task of speeding up the footage! Managed to figure it out in the end.

I plan on producing more of these, initially of just my sketches but I may record while working on a larger project.


Ariel Painting

With the new digital painting techniques I've been using (described in a previous post), I've wanted to test it out with some different styles. In all honesty this didn't actually start out as a Little Mermaid piece but rather just trying to capture that middle ground between caricature and realism. You throw in a bold choice for hair colour and suddenly hints of a certain Disney Princess start staring back at you so I went with it and you can see the results below. I thought about ways to spin it and add different elements (steampunk Ariel, zombie Ariel, tattooed and hipster Ariel) but in the end I just played it straight - partly because every variation you can think of has already been done...thanks internet!



Post Scott Pilgrim Gaming

As part of the ongoing partnership with The Five and Dime Picture Show, we decided that an evening of retro gaming was in order after the screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - and we wanted everyone to join us! A room was booked, a projector was hired and no sooner had we set up but people were kicking and punching each other on Street Fighter II. In impromptu Mega Bomberman tournament was arranged and I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm of the crowd watching the action.

Special mention to Knife and Folk Gallery and Nikki Stu who set up stalls of amazing artwork for people to purchase, along side Jay P who joined me in a spot of live art over the course of the evening.



Retrograde Launch

Thursday the 21st of November saw the launch night of the Retrograde: Classic Videogame Art Show at The Wick at Both Ends here in Sheffield. After a relatively easy hanging of all the work in the morning – the pieces were being hung on a variety of different walls and surfaces so I’d envisioned it taking a lot longer - we kicked things off in evening with some gaming themed cocktails and retro game music. We’d noticed the Facebook event page was getting a lot of attention and I’d spoken to a few people in the run-up about the gaming theme of the show really resonating with people. Turns out people love all things retro gaming! We managed to pack out the bar and I spent most of the night chatting to people about their gaming memories. Big thanks to the staff at The Wick, the Bowser Blood and Snakes Tuxedo cocktails went down a storm but I imagine kept the bar staff on their toes!

The show runs until Thursday the 5th of December so you’ve still got a few days to check it out.



Scott Pilgrim Poster Stages

I've been digitally painting using my Wacom tablet and various iterations of Photoshop for about 9 years and over that time I've tried various settings for brushes, opacity and fill and tried nearly all of the endless options Photoshop gives you. Recently I've been paring back the amount of different options I tweak while I digitally paint. I'd typically change brushes countless times and work on different elements on separate layers. I've now started to paint exclusively with one brush and on one layer.

For those interested, I'm keeping my flow at 30% and opacity at 70%, probably the biggest change to how I've painted in the past - normally I'm constantly raising and lowering the opacity while working. Now I'm changing the colour I'm painting with as I'm going using the eyedropper tool (holding Alt with the brush tool in use gives you quick access).

Here are some screen grabs I took while working on the recent Scott Pilgrim poster. By no means a tutorial, it show the work at various stages.



Game of Thrones Vintage Ad

After posting a few Game of Thrones related pieces earlier this year I guess I made it quite clear I was a fan of the show. I was then kindly asked by a local Game of Thrones fanzine if I wouldn't mind if they featured said past work in their upcoming online publication. Happy to oblige, they also made mention of mock adverts they intended to feature in the zine, all of which would be related to the show in some way.

Here's my advert for Hounds and Co. Burn and Scar Cream, a great concept by the creator of the zine, James, that I was happy to work on.



Animated Repo Man

After discovering the potential for adding animated elements to my digital work I've been keeping an eye out for possible opportunities to put things in motion. While sketching the concept for my Repo Man poster (created for The Five and Dime Picture Show screening on 15th of November) I knew straight away that I wanted to see that air freshener sway!


Check out the event page for the screening HERE