Children's Book

I've been working on a kids book wth my pal the last few months. She's done all the writing and I'm doing the drawings. I can't write good. I've collected a couple of early images here I've made of character designs and approaches I've tried. I'm looking forward to launching into it a bit more and posting some new work and share what the story is about soon.


Woody and Lol

Woody and Lol, eh? What stellar performances from Joe Gilgun and Vicky McClure as these two. I can't recall a couple universally accepted as them as 'meant to be'. Any time I see the final scenes of This is England, it still brings a tear. Absolute gems.

Like most of the other paintings I've done recently, this was made in Procreate. With a little bit of Photoshop to soup the levels. I've a gallery of other movie inspired images here. 

Today Back Then - New Website

I've been working pretty hard the last couple of months on creating work for a new site. It's the direction I've been looking for a tighter angle of direction in my work for a long time. It focuses it more and I think it's an area that lends itself to a wide variety of topics I'm interested in. So, I've put up a new site. I'd be happy if you've managed to come to this site, you could pay visit to my new one. I know that it still needs a lot of work, but the important thing is that it's live.

I'll be expanding the areas of focus and kinds of content throughout the year so stay tuned. I have a FB page and will be setting up accounts across other social media platforms soon also.

Here's the image from today to give you a taster.

History Illustrated

So I have a direction I want my work to move in. It combines a triple dose of my passions; illustration, history and education. That's the direction in a nutshell but I have further focuses and ambitions within these areas I plan to press ahead with. Ive already been working on this but not at full tilt because other projects needed closing out. 

I'm excited about the possibilities of the project(s) and feel this is a real good direction for my work to go in. I have multiple angles that I want to use when creating the projects. Planned objectives and outcomes are being put in place. This sounds more business like than I usually would, but thats no bad thing. Strategy! Implementation!

I'm sticking up a few images as previews. No finished work here yet, but that's fine. I only really stick up finished work and sometimes that means too much time between posts, so I want to change that...Now it's about putting more work up, more often. I think writing these posts helps to get down what I'm thinking and helps narrow the focus a bit.

I won't bother with detailing so much what he images are about  but I'm using some traditional media again in creating the work. Here's a little bit of what I've done so far...

Irish Rugby Team

So, it’s finished. I said I wanted to do at least 15 players. Well, I beat that by one! I would like to do the whole squad, past and current players. There's loads of other players I'd like to draw...O'Gara, Jackson, Hayes, Willie John McBride. It's a long list. Time does not allow, I’m afraid. And you know what they say about time...I have other projects to begin working on.  [The last image is a gallery. Give it a click and go through all the mugshots.]

Okay-already, I will be doing some more! Just in time for the Six Nations and a little thing called The World Cup!!!. I love it! I think I’ll have at least each captain from the teams. I’ll also be doing a few sketches of the ladies teams (Can’t be forgetting about the girls now!). Come back for more!

Irish Rugby Team w.i.p [Update]

Here's an update to my Irish Rugby Players series. Distractions and other jobs notwithstanding, I've done the line-work to quite a few by now. I'm itching to getting this stage finished and move onto the painting. It's a task to keep consistent with the line-work weights, but overall I'm happy so far. I don't want to be trapped by seeking perfection.  The colouring stage will be quick enough, I've set myself a template to stick by. One or two more decisions will be made at this stage. Here's where I'm at so far...

How many can you name?

Gordon D'Arcy -I did think about painting a lumberjack shirt on him. He chops men down on the tackle.

Another five or six and I'm calling it a day. I don't care that it's not all the current squad. Well, I do a bit, but time constraints mean I can't do everyone. But some of these guys are my favourite players. I'm not forgetting about the ladies team. I'll be picking a few of those to draw also. And because I see them every week in the Premiership, some of the English lads too.

Irish Rugby Team w.i.p

I've started on a new series of portraits. This one focuses on one of my favourite teams...the Irish rugby team. What a collection of players. My aim is to complete a starting 15 or do a portrait of my favourite players. I'm taking nearly the same approach as I've done with other portraits, tweaking what I do though to get a better end result. The style is the same as other work I've done, but I know myself the changes I've made to the process. I like to keep the drawings post-it note small at the start so I don't get obsessed with detail. That and the fact that I usually try get some of the work done on my 15 minute breaks in work. Here's the sketches I've done so far, I won't bother with the names for now. I'll add the line work when they're all done, then get onto painting them.

Alex: A Clockwork Orange

I learned a bit more about the movie and book while making this. I had liked the original sketch I'd done but could never make it work. This turned out to be a tough one actually, but I've learned I really need to up my painting levels. Despite the theatrical language and costume from the scene the image here shows Alex contemplative and sinister, but quick to rebuke his brother Dim 'for being a bastard with no manners.' 

For more movie images, hit the link.

I think I just like the simplicity of the eyes, but couldn't replicate it faithfully to paint. It could never work on something with a focal point like that! What was I thinking..?

Sketchbook Element branding

For the past few months I've wanted to create a stronger identity for my website and my work. An exercise in branding was called for so I set to work. I wanted something that identifies with how I work, and wanted to keep the 'Sketchbook' feel to my logo. I tinkered away during my free time, sought advice from another designer whose opinion I trust and thought about I wanted the logo to reflect part of my personality. I don't consider a designers designer and I'm fine with that, but that doesn't mean I want any of my work to look shabby. I feel that if my latest piece of work is not an improvement in some fashion from my last, I've let myself down. 

I've put up some of the images I worked on  while creating the logo. From my side, I'm happy with the end result.

I had the idea of combining the periodic table style box with sketchbook of pencil illustrations. Not anything too rigid. It wasn't doing it for me though.

I had the idea of combining the periodic table style box with sketchbook of pencil illustrations. Not anything too rigid. It wasn't doing it for me though.

A more hand-written style was an improvement, combining it with a 'rip'. 

A more hand-written style was an improvement, combining it with a 'rip'. 

This was getting closer. I asked for a bit of advice at this stage. I like the hand-written style, but it wasn't edgy enough. Not quite.

This was getting closer. I asked for a bit of advice at this stage. I like the hand-written style, but it wasn't edgy enough. Not quite.

The end result.

This is the end result. I thickened/tidied up the ink splashes. I also added in a little image from a photo of myself. I've used the dot in my site. I think it re-enforces that I'm a one man band, and that I feel sometimes isolated because of this.