Illustration | Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Back in June, I got a message to ask if I'd be interested in doing some design work with

Lightning Strike Comics

, for a charity comic book called The Life and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Obviously, I was absolutely delighted to jump on board as a collaborator, alongside some really incredible artists and writers. I also provided an illustrated portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and arranged the text and logo placement on the front cover of the comic. I shared a

tiny

glance of the design work in

this post

(hopefully I'll show the design work in full here soon!) but today I wanted to share the portrait! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

Because the whole book was based on the very popular stories of Sherlock Holmes, I wanted to keep a slightly "vintage" and slightly "worn out" tone, and because I was illustrating a writer, I decided to bring in some inky, papery textures too. Compositionally, it was suggested that I arrange the illustration to appear in an oval frame, which is how it appeared in the final printed copy of the book.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the portrait turned out, and to have my name in a comic book for the first time... I'm still smiling about that!

Dublin Comic Con 2015

Super-quick, day-job-break-time doodle of a buddy who was there in Cosplay. As soon as I can get a link to Aaron's stuff online, I'll be sure to share it - he's done some pretty incredible costume work.

A massive thank you to all of the incredible writers, artists, cosplayers and friends who I was able to chat with (however briefly!) at

Dublin Comic Con

last weekend. Seeing my name in the credits of a comic book for the first time was a pretty incredible feeling, and I came away feeling ever more inspired and enthusiastic about comics and art and stories! Special thanks in particular to Eoin and the rest at the

Lightning Strike Comics

table for making me feel so welcome!

A hint at one of the pages I got to design. Almost all the textures I used were from papers from around the time the original Holmes stories were written, with a few illustrations and stains scattered throughout. SO much fun to work on!

A huge thank you too, to all those who contributed to

The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes

, and to everyone who picked up a copy! We raised over €1000 to be donated to children's hospitals in Dublin, which makes a book that was great anyway, just that little bit greater! I really was delighted to be a part of it, and hopefully more projects like this will come up in the future.

My haul from the weekend! They're all SO beautiful, and the ones I've read so far have been utterly brilliant! 

Embarrassing enough as it is to admit; this was the first time I've ever been to Dublin Comic Con. I really can't recommend the trip enough; there was so much talent under that roof over the weekend that it could have gone on for a week and I'd still be learning something new at the end of it. The stalls, the cosplays, the panels, the Q & As, there was just so much brilliance to take in that it was nearly overwhelming! Can't wait for the next one! 

The Little Black Book - Character Sketches



Click to enlarge it! 

A few weeks ago, I bought a little black sketchbook. I don't know what I intended to do with it originally, but it quickly became a little book of characters. They're generally quick sketches; usually around five or ten minutes, depending, and they're a lot of fun! Here's a collection of twenty-five of them. Some of them are completely original, some of them are characters I created for other projects, and some of them are inspired by or adapted from books or films or TV shows or art that I've come across.

Some of these characters have backstories, and a lot of them are calling out for colour, so you might see a few of them crop up again soon. I've got a lot of other fun projects in the works too, which I can't wait to share!


It Never Rains but it Pours


Do you ever have those days or weeks or months that you have solid plans in place, and then, for whatever reason, the plans take on entirely new directions? New responsibilities crop up, one thing takes longer than you expect it to, opportunities appear when you didn't expect any. That's what May was like for me, in good ways and bad. I thought I had it all worked out. Then suddenly, I found myself with a fairly intense job, my car had to take a month-long holiday in the garage, and a million other things just sort of filled in the gaps between responsibilities I didn't know I'd have. It never rains, but it pours.



That was the main inspiration for this piece, but there's another reason I felt like rain this week; because it's finally June! And June, in Ireland, is the real beginning of the "I need some sun and all we get here is rain, so I'm getting on a plane as soon as possible and taking a holiday" season. And I am in exactly that mindset. So saying, the grand plans I've been excited to start will have to wait another few weeks, because this Sunday, I will be happily dragging my sleepy self (there's a six o'clock in the morning!?) off to the airport, and from there, I'll be jetting off to the wonderful city of Barcelona. I'll be saying goodbye to sleepy days spent watching rain running down the window, and I'll be saying hello to sunshine and warmth and motorbike racing; A few of my favourite things! It's going to be wonderful to get away for a little while, I'm sure, and when I come back, hopefully I'll be refreshed and ready to tear into those personal projects that I can't wait to get started on!


The first thing I'll do when I come home though, is start pulling together a sketchdump here, to share all the little sketches and tidbits I gather on my trip. Although I won't have internet accessibility worth talking about, I'll still be sketching and drawing while I'm away! I'll also share some character design doodles I've been playing around with (some of which a few of ye might have seen on my Instagram and Twitter feeds). For now, though, I shall did you all adieu! I'll be back here before too long, probably staring out my window at rain again.


PS: Check out my friend's new lifstyle blog: A Little Amy! In her first post, she models one of my tshirts from Society6


Self-Portrait


This is more than a little bit outside my comfort zone: It's really very rare that I post photographs of myself anywhere online. I've been half-wanting and half-afraid to post this for a while now though, and the indecision is starting to seriously frustrate me. Ultimately, because I like to think of this space as a personal account of all the work I do, and because I want to try this project and more self-portrait-ish projects when I have more time, I've decided to go ahead and post it. So, tentatively... here's a (rotoscoped) portrait of myself. Click through to see the original photograph. Consider yourself warned. 





Colourisation



I'm back in college! This is one of the first assignments of the year; to colourise a black and white photograph that has something to do with the 1916 Easter Rising. The photo I chose was taken in 1915, in Cork City. It's of a group of the Irish Volunteers, including my great-grandfather, Sean Scanlan (second from the right in the back row). Click through to see the original photograph and my progress with it.



The picture when I found it was in a pretty bad way; there were fingerprints, tears, scratches, and splattering all over it. So the first step in the process was trying to repair as much of it as I could. After some thought, I decided to crop and straighten it, then used the spot healing tools and adjustment layers to make further repairs.



Next up: masking everything out. Using garishly obvious colours to keep things separate I selected various parts of the image according to what colour I wanted them to be in the final version. So all the green uniforms fell under one mask, all the pale faces fell under another, and so on until everything in the image was some form of violent hue.


Once everything was selected, it was a case of tweaking the colours, and making overall adjustments to the image. Using all the reference I could find from the time and from uniforms and things that have survived, I tweaked it until I was happy.