Liam Neeson Caricature (First Pass)

I do have a few more recent art posts to get through, but I haven’t done much in the last month—partly because I’ve been focusing on developing film projects, a consequence of which being that my drawing activity has gone into one of its lulls.

Like the Chris Chibnall caricature, this also is for a possible limited animation idea… unlike the Chibnall, I don’t think I quite pulled it off, so we’ll file this under “Nice First Try, But TRY AGAIN”…

Neeson

And in case it isn’t clear, and in spite of my funning on the concept—I’m vehemently against “cancel culture”!!

The Cush

Although this dates from last December, I had been meaning to post it. It’s a portrait of Peter Cushing as he appears in one the later Hammer Frankenstein movies. (I’m not even sure which one, offhand—anyone?)

EDIT: It’s from Dracula AD 1972. Thanks, Henry. Why didn’t I know that? I used a photo ref without looking up the source is why!!

Anyhow—was really difficult to get a nice looking scan as I don’t think the piece is entirely successful… the mixing of media—black ink, gray markers, pencil—is a bit awkward, plus some of the black areas were done with a cheap marker and aren’t at all solid (thank you, Gil Kane!). I also tried something a little more abstract in the shadowing and rendering. I think it’s an interesting experiment but doesn’t quite hit the mark.

That said, some people disagree with me and think it works quite well! Oh, it’s FOR SALE, too! Open to offers. It’s on a sheet of A3 card.

The Cush

A Deal With Death Script Page

A Deal With Death is a short film that homages the old Amicus anthology flicks. I posted a character sketch for it some months ago. Anyhow, for various reasons (main one being a key cast member who we didn’t want to lose having some health difficulties), it’s been on hold for a while—hopefully not for much longer.

Here’s a page from the script.

A Deal With Death pg2

Lord Cthulhu!

Well, seeing as how a rather diminutive version of the Great One has appeared in some of my art (such as the previous post!)—I thought I ought to try and do a pic of Cthulhu where he looks a bit more awesome… a bit more like he might just be standing 200 feet high!

So, I’m posting the finished drawing followed by the original sketch… because while the finished piece may be a little more polished, somehow the sketch has more energy, so they’re both kinda interesting, no?

Mixed feelings aside, that is—one person, seeing a preview of this a while ago, said that the big guy was reminding him somewhat of John Pienaar! THANK YOU! I can’t see anything else now. What the hey.

Cthulhu

Cthulhu Sketch

Halloween Comix #1 Cover

Well, in theory, if Halloween Comix ever happens! This is the reprise I mentioned here. I haven’t done any tones or colour yet, but, compare away! I probably will colour it, but I don’t think I shall bother with tones; it was something I was experimenting with fleetingly back in 2016 (a kind of electronic version of the old Duo-Shade paper they no longer make)—and I think it also masked some of the finishing deficiencies, which hopefully are rectified in this new version.

Halloween Comix Cover

Anatomy of a Chris Chibnall Caricature

To those who don’t know, Chris Chibnall is the most recent showrunner for Doctor Who. This fact may not be accurate for much longer. It’s fair to say that he’s been a little controversial; some might say (very poor), but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Anyhow, this drawing was done last December and was for a vaguely Gilliamesque animation project, hence it was done in pieces. The project’s been on hold, BTW, but maybe we’ll have a finished video soon. It’s only a silly bit of fun, though.

So what we have here are the original inks/pencils, sans arms, followed by the full figure in colour—and finally, a detail of the head with the addition of more hair. You see, Chris used his immense fortune to purchase lovely, sparkly new hair piece/weave/plugs that fools approximately nobody…

In the Gilliam vein, I obviously wanted to make him into a real grotesque—maybe slightly to the detriment of his likeness, as he’s fairly bland-looking, really. Still, I think it achieved what I wanted quite well.

Chibbers Original

Chibbers Colour

Chibbers Rug

“Welcome To The Club” Pages 1-2

I am working on the art for some new Club Vamporama pages—an initial run of five, followed by a bunch more. Some of this stuff has been scripted for quite a while, and in fact what would be page five of this sequence was originally started and abandoned back in February 2013! (New version will be all-new, I stress. BTW, the four pages leading up to it, including the two below, are newer scripts anyway.)

Well, hey, Vamporama Films has been busy trying to get a live-action version off the ground! This is currently on hold while the whole approach is reconsidered, so, back to comics for a while! Anyhow, the complete strip may go into the mooted Halloween Comix project, so this is all you’re getting for the foreseeable, I’m afraid…

Incidentally, these are the first two complete pages that use my new font. Let me know what you think, but be gentle!! 🙂

CV Welcome pg1

CV Welcome pg2

Halloween Comix Logo

So using the new font I made, I roughed up a possible logo for my mooted project, Halloween Comix… a very theoretical project, as I’ve procrastinated about it on-and-off for three years now. In fact, I had made a cover image for it—here with tones and here with colour—featuring Jenni & Marie (and friend)—which, although only three years old, I recently did a new version of… because, it ain’t bad but it coulda been better. Anyhow, I’ll post that later. Meanwhile…

Halloween Comix Logo

And a question, re the Marie portrait posted here—colour? Yes? No? I have done some work on a colour version—I don’t consider myself much of a colourist, to be honest, but…

Marie Portrait 2019

I’m calling it 2019 because I wanted to revisit a piece I did back in February 2011. I just liked the concept, but the execution was really quite poor—at the time a few people were positive about it, but one person was quite critical… and basically they were right, whatever their motives. It was very amateurish indeed.

Well… see for yourself here. And compare and contrast with the new version…

Did I get better? Just a little bit? I think everyone is entitled to improve, yes?

Marie Portrait 2019

Two Big Monsters Having A Fight

Some of you out there will have seen W.I.P. pencils and distorted photos of this (amongst others)—but here, for better or worse, is the finished article. It’s a tribute to (or satire of; you decide) big monsters and toxic masculinity… and Richard Corben, of course. Now, me, I’m not one for “violence” per se, but in this case, as The Stath might say: “OI! Come and ‘ave some, you FAKKER!!”

(The lettering is all done by hand in this instance. Oh well.)

(Hobbs & Shaw looks like fun.)

Two Big Monsters pg1

Two Big Monsters pg2

(Bonus Extra: the original—even more rudimentary—thumbnails for this strip can be viewed here and here.)

My Font

As much as my artwork is always an area I feel I need to improve, one thing I do that is much, much worse is my lettering. I’m not the world’s worst letterer… but close. My biggest issue is one of consistency—it’s okay to render characters with a bit of a wonk to them, but a good letterer will produce roughly the same wonk consistently. Me, I go through the whole dictionary of wonking, and it ain’t pretty.

I’ve long thought making a font of my own scribble would solve this problem. So I finally got round to doing it! Actual lettered pages will follow in due course…

CH Font

I’m Back (Again)

It’s true… I struggle to update this blog regularly and I have for the last decade, really. (I have a large archive of “legacy blog” postings, not currently online, which was a mixture of personal and work—going back to the year 2000!) Partly it’s because social media put a real dent in blogs—regrettably, for me, as I have always disliked so-called social media… and only real popular blogs have weathered the storm somewhat unscathed. So it’s a major disincentive to bother with a blog when you know no one bothers looking at it unless you personally prod them into doing so!

And life itself—the complications, the distractions, the tragedies, the endless quest for income and stability… it’s heavy. Who needs to blog about that or prioritise blogging to a silent or non-existent audience instead of focusing on important stuff?!

Well, who knows. I’d like to keep the blog alive regardless, although I also realise that when I emphasise work over personal, as I have done the last few years (hence keeping the archive of more personal or trivial stuff offline lately), that can be even less interesting! To some folks, anyway. We’ve all become our own personal reality TV show channels, sadly. I don’t regard this as progress, to be honest. Just because it’s a new development socially or culturally doesn’t automatically mean it’s an improvement.

Anyhow…

Speaking of the above-mentioned life complications and tragedies, one of them came in early May. I took a week’s holiday in Wales with my colleague, friend and landlord, Mr Steve Green—my first visit to Wales, where I spent most of my childhood Summers, in more than 30 years, astonishingly. And it was mostly a great time, even if my revisit of the campsite/town where I spent so much time as a little kiddie was cut a little short. (I need to go again sometime! I didn’t explore it as I really wanted to.) But on the very last day, five minutes before we were due to head back for home… Steve’s little dog, Oscar, bolted through the front door and squeezed through the front gates of the cottage.

Which led directly to the main road where frequent cars are apt to speed by with little regard for road safety.

One such car hit Oscar and didn’t trouble itself to stop (as required by the law)—and the local vet could do nothing to help him as he’d sustained huge brain damage.

Five minutes before we were heading back for home. Really.

You couldn’t make it up. Sickening. A nice holiday basically ruined.

RIP, Oscar. Only three and a half years old.

Oscar, RIP

Tikki the Westie is fine, anyhow. She has missed Oscar a fair bit, but dogs are a lot less emo than humans overall.

All that being said, I’ve been working on a bunch of things recently and I’ll be posting some of that in the coming days. Not all of it—not sure what I’m doing with it all right now. But expect a lot of new artwork. And for a change, some of it’s actually quite good! 🙂

You see, one thing I’ve been working on is upping my game, artistically. I do consider myself a writer who draws a bit. Sadly, I have secured little or no serious attention for my writing. Very frustrating. So that’s driven me towards trying to improve my visual work, even if I know that writing remains absolutely the strongest aspect of my work.

And so, I’ll be posting some of my recent toiling imminently. Stay tuned, if you’re out there! Anyone? Hello? HELLO?!