Blues

Late post this week, I'm afraid! It's been a crazy hectic fortnight overall, between moving to my new little house and travelling to Derry for

ComicCity

, as well as getting back into the swing of college life and keeping on top of freelance-y work. It's been busy, but I'm learning

so

much, and I'm having an absolute ball!

Post-con blues have hit hard this week. I came home from ComicCity in the wee hours of Monday morning, buzzing with a renewed passion for creating things, and a huge appreciation for the people that work so hard to make things happen. This week, I've been feeling an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude, new admiration, and incredible excitement for the future in every sense! I've got lots of books to look forward to reading (check out the photo below!), lots of ideas I can't wait to get down on paper, and lots of experiences to anticipate!

Illustration | Harley Quinn


A pretty vibrant character with a healthy dose of attitude; it's gotta be Harley Quinn. The trailer looks promising, no?



Digital painting is something I've admired from a distance for a long time, but never really felt hugely confident with myself. Nevertheless, it's one of my favourite ways to colour, and it's a skill I really want to develop, so I've decided to embrace the challenge. I've just partnered up on a really fun comic/animation/music video project too (can't wait to share the details here, but you'll have to wait a while!) so I figured I could do with a colour study anyway.


Harley is a character I wish I'd come up with. She's a lot of fun to draw, so I keep coming back to her when I'm trying out different styles and whatnot. I shared a few of those sketches below.

Sketched during down-time at work (I only had a refill pad).

Quick pin-up style, inspired by one of the photos doing the rounds online.

Inspired by Geneviveft on Instagram.


The Battle


Weeks ago, before I headed off to Catalunya, I drew two of my favourite MotoGP riders - Marquez and Rossi - battling for a win. Originally intended to be a doodle/a test/me playing around, I never felt the need to share it. After the events of the Dutch GP at Assen, though, I couldn't help but revisit! That last lap battle between these two guys? Amazing.

I didn't really know what I was going for at any stage, but I had the style I used here in mind.. Here's a breakdown of me playing around escalating into something more.* 

Original drawing with pen on paper. Finished off on the plane.
Messed up the lineart in Photoshop. Added lights and darks with line and tone.
Added colour.
Adjustment layers to add a little oomph. Et voila!


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!


Ballpoint Pen Illustration | Origami





Remember: These illustrations and more is for sale on Society6. Check it out!

The other night, I took a playlist of delightfully questionable taste, a ballpoint pen, a Moleskine sketchbook, and two hours to illustrate this. It felt like I was coming home, and it felt SO good. Ballpoint pen is still my jam. I've missed it oh so much. I missed drawing just for myself, just to get a tiny snippet of my own thoughts out on paper. Click through to read more, and see the rest of this mini collection!


I'm calling this illustration "High Hopes," for a few reasons. It was inspired originally by the legend of a thousand origami cranes. The myth is that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish, or will be granted eternal good fortune, by a crane. I like the idea of it, and the image of the paper crane has stood out to me as a symbol of hope since I first heard that story. Over the past few months I've felt a lot of negativity, but things are starting to turn around and I'm feeling optimistic about the future again. It feels good to be making some positive changes, big and small, and so drawing a crane to express my hopes for the future seemed apt.

This illustration is also becoming a part of my mini origami series, which I haven't shared here before. Here are the others in the collection (remember to click to see them bigger!).




Also: I don't know why these images are showing up darker than they should... will try to fix!

Remember: These illustrations and more is for sale on Society6. Check it out!

Jazz Musician's Apartment


This is something of a long running project, I suppose. I finished it a few weeks ago, just in time for Pen & Pixel 2014 but I started it way back in the first semester. It's ended up being a kinda hybrid drawing, in terms of media. Traditional lineart, digital colouring, and traditional shading.


The assignment was part of my Drawing Principles module, while we were studying one-point perspective. After studying basic perspective in class, we were given a few titles to pick from and were asked to create a lineart-only layout. If any of you have ever seen my Interior Design and Architecture board on Pinterest, you're not going to be surprised that the title I chose was "messy jazz musician's apartment" which I explored with a 1920s, vintage film kinda twist. I used pencil to sketch our the layout originally, then cleaned it up with a brown ballpoint pen.


Fast forward a few months, and press play when the countdown to the end of the year begins. Our last assignment for the module was to choose a project we'd done during the year, and develop it further. It was entirely up to us which assignment we chose to delve into, and it was our choice how far we took it. Since I'd drawn the lineart for this, I really wanted to toss a splash of colour on it. And because I've been wanting to learn how to colour digitally for a long time now, I decided this assignment was as wise a choice as any.


I started with the base colours. In keeping with a vintage film aesthetic, I kept the palette muted and limited to just three or four colours, with a heavy leaning towards browns. Then I tried to shade it digitally and failed miserably. It was a complete and utter disaster and I'm just going to pretend that it never happened. Instead, I went back to traditional media. Bring out the trusty 2B.



Once I was happy with the shading, I scanned it and used adjustment and multiply layers to deepen the darks and bring out the highlights. The pencil gave everything a slightly grainy, gritty feeling, which I liked. When I was happy with all that, I tied everything back together in a neat little package; lineart, colour, and shading. And then finally called it done.




MotoGP Riders - Ballpoint Pen Illustrations



Over the past few years, I've become more and more passionate about motorbikes, riding, and racing. In my mind, MotoGP is the most spectacular motorsport out there. The circuits, the teams, and the riders are all incredible to watch, and every single race has me on the edge of my seat. It's worth watching, I'll tell you that.





Just before I set off for Catalunya to see the 2012 Barcelona GP, I drew two of my favourite riders; Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner. I brought them with me and had them in my hands while I walked down pit lane, looking into all the garages and observing the crews as they worked. It was one of the best trips I've ever been on, without a doubt!



Since then, I've watched every race (including seeing The Doctor winning in Assen last year!) and I've drawn another ten riders, from Marc Márquez when he was riding in Moto2, to defending world champion, Jorge Lorenzo. Each drawing takes a week to draw and colour, so this collection shows twelve full weeks' worth of work. The collection is incredibly important to me, and is ever expanding. Hopefully I'll be adding to it again soon!