Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Cover art project - Drabblecast #3

I got an e-mail on Friday from the art director of the Drabblecast asking if I'd like to do another piece of cover art for them. I am TOTALLY on board for that !

The episode is another Trifecta episode ( number 23 in fact ), which has three stories by different authors on a common theme. I was initially drawn to doing something based on a story about moths, but then I read the last story - in which giant alien spiders play a central role.

Here's the starting sketch :

Early days - but I'm feeling good about this one !

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dunesteef Cover Art - 'Linger' - Finished ( I think )

... and it's done. At least provisionally. I might tweek the text a little more, but I'm fairly happy with it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dunesteef Cover Art - 'Linger' - More colour

Had some time today to work on the cover art. Mostly I've been adding colour to the 'man' :

I've been trying to overlay a image of a skull over the face of the guy ( it makes sense in the context of the story ) with limited success. I'll carry on working on that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dunesteef Cover Art - 'Linger'

I'm currently producing a piece of audio fiction for the Dunesteef podcast. It only just occured to me that part of that production would be sourcing some cover art for it. I considered asking a friend of mine to have a try at it, but in the end I had a decent idea - so I've decided to do it myself.

First - I vectored out a bit of a cityscape :

 Next - I coloured it :

Then - I outlined a 'man in a hoodie' pic I found online : 

Then I added it into the city scene, and got rid of the outline / colour behind it with a layer mask : 

 Then - some snowfall :

That's it so far. I still have to colour in the man figure, give him a face ( of sorts ), and add in the title / author text and the podcast logo.

Shouldn't take me too long !

Monday, October 22, 2012

TiK contest - Entry #2 - Final composite

Just finished now :

Not bad - though I think entry #1 was actually a better idea for a t-shirt !

Saturday, October 20, 2012

TiK - Contest - KG - colour

I think the outlines are finished now ( or as finished as they're going to get ) and the application of colour has started :

Friday, October 19, 2012

TiK Contest - KG - scales and other details

Been putting in some work on the other entry before hitting the sack this week. It's getting there now :

Only got a couple of days left though !

Monday, October 15, 2012

TiK Contest - Entry 2

I had another idea for The Indoor Kids contest - a much simpler one. I'll still try and finish the Angry Birds image - but I have this one almost done now.

Can you guess the video game it's from ? I'm guessing if you've played it you'll recognize those eyes in a second !

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TiK Contest - Ghidorah - 3 heads

Got the outlines mostly done for the three heads 

TiK Contest - Ghidorah - Wings / 1 & 1/2 heads

Got this done while Lorenzo was having a nap :

TiK Contest - Phase 2 - King Ghidorah - Sketch

Even though I have Pigzilla to be getting on with, I wanted to make a start on the 'Angry Ghidorah' side of things. Here's a slightly cleaned up sketch :

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TiK Contest - Pigzilla - Outline and base colour

Had some time to mess around with the Pigzilla drawing today :

Not bad. It'll be better with some shading.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The Indoor Kids - Project 2 - Stage 1 - Pigzilla

Suddenly I seem to have a lot of creative projects online.I have volunteered to do quite a lot for the Dunesteef guys ( because they're great ) - the biggest of which is producing a audio story for them. That should be challenging and fun. I have also asked to do two more pieces of cover art - and I'll probably end up doing some cover art for my production too. 

But, in typical fashion, The Indoor Kids podcast is running another competition to do a video game themed piece of art suitable for a t-shirt, iPhone case or sticker - and I just can;t resist that ! 

So I'm going to throw together something as quickly as I can for that - and seeing as Angelo is staying with my folks for a couple of days, this is the perfect place to start. 

I did a bit of brainstorming / mind-mapping to begin ( in true teacher fashion ) and I had a few good ideas ( I was tempted to do something based on Frogger, Smash TV, Asteroids and Boulderdash ), but finally settled on doing something based on Angry Birds. 

They suggested doing something which wasn't EXACTLY things from the game - but based on ( so they couldn't get stung for copyright infringement ). 

The idea that hit me was to do a Godzilla battle, with a more pig like Godzilla and a Angry Bird looking Rodan. But THEN, while I was doing research into Rodan, I discovered the great Godzilla enemy Ghidorah, this triple headed dragon thing - and now I'm doing an Angry Bird version of that. 

First stage is to vector out my initial Pigzilla sketch :

So far I have this :

It's a start !

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drawing for Angelo - Scary Coconut Tree

Angelo is currently OBSESSED with the 'scary coconut tree'. What's that ? It's from this interactive touchscreen game at the museum 'Survival'. You play this alien coming to earth who has to choose four different alien species to take with you to your new home - some choices are good for you ( but mess up the environment ) and some are bad for you ( for some reason you can't eat them when they're here ) . The 'Croakernut' tree is a bad one - it's too cold in NZ for it to survive, and it turns blue and dies.

Angelo has been talking about the 'scary coconut tree' for two days solid now. He's genuinely concerned for it - and thinks it's both scary and cute. The 'croakernuts' have faces which are a little creepy. I've told him that the scary coconut tree got taken home and that it's warm again now - and he seemed very happy that that was the case.

Anyway - I thought I'd try and draw a scary coconut tree for him.

From what I could remember I did an initial sketch :

The real Croakernut tree has more and bigger fronds - but I thought that was good enough. I showed Angelo and he was SO excited by it. He kept wanting to see it in the sketch book. When I told him I was making it better on the computer - he instantly wanted to see that too. 

Not quite finished yet - but it's well on the way. I'll print him out a copy or two when it's done - he might like colouring them in. 

The really cool thing was that Angelo was quite keen to draw a scary coconut tree himself. He was a little concerned that he couldn't do one, but he gave it a try in the end which was neat. I'll try and get a scan of that later ( not enough time this morning ! ). 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Monster - 2 - base colour and some shading.

I have a new computer rig. After some teething troubles - I now have my Wacom tablet fully functional, and I have Photoshop CS6 extended running. It's a step up from the CS2 software I was using !

I've had a bit of a play - but most of the new features are lost on me right now.

I've been doing a bit more of that monster drawing. There's the latest stage :

I'm calling it 'Hillary' at the moment. Some of you might get that little joke - but not too many.

More as it happens ! I'm loving the new tech !

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Swimming Sports 2012 - Drawing

Swimming sports was more bearable this year. Having a real job ( time-keeping ) for awhile helped. Still - I was able to sketch away for awhile and produced this :

Not bad. I've been getting down about my drawing recently - too much time spent seeing amazingly great things on DeviantArt and thinking 'I can NEVER be as good as these guys...'. But I'm happy with this. There's hope yet. :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

DCA-#4 - Final

Right - it's done. A couple of small edits here - I erased the dots on the i's ( they weren't looking good on the background ), and I created a bit more space between some of the letters on the Woman's face.

Time to send it in to the editor.

Friday, July 13, 2012

DCA-#4 - Small alterations : logo / gun / background

Some small changes made :

DCA-#4 - Titles / logo / background - initial

Lorenzo slept through the entire night. I can't begin to say how great that is !

Had some time to work on the art. Here's the current state of play :

It's getting there. The logo needs to be colour adjusted into more of a grey tone. I still want to mess around with the people more - the colours could still be better, but we're nearly done. Yay !

Thursday, July 12, 2012

DCA-#4 - 'Man' hair / face vectors

A busy day today. Up to the homestead with the boys. Saw Mum and Dad. Angelo staying for a couple of days - everyone happy ! Lorenzo's chair has been changed to face front now - he was VERY excited about that. Didn't sleep at all on the way back - I think he was watching the lights. Every now and then he made happy sounding exclamations. No tears at all. Very cool.

Not much time to work on the cover art today. I have spent about 40 minutes vectoring out the face and hair lettres for the Man. Well - most of them anyway :

There's a little bit of hair to finish - and then that's it for the base shapes. Next - I need to adjust the colours present ( the flesh tone of the Woman in particular needs attention ). Then the story title and by-line needs to be added. Possible make the background different / more interesting. Add the Dunesteef logo - and we're done !

More tomorrow.


DCA-#4 - 'Man' face sketch

Not much of an update at the moment - I was able to sketch out a plan for the Man's face while the kids were having lunch : 

I'm pleased with how I've got some of the numbers to conform to face-like bits; the ear being a '2', the eye being a '0', the nose being a '1'. I'll vector those in a bit later. Right now I'm off on a trip up the coast to take the boys to visit their grandparents. Should be fun !

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DCA-#4 - 'Man' text mostly done.

The kids are in bed ( though Lorenzo is still awake. He just loudly exclaimed 'BUH-BUH-BUH-BUH-BAAAAH!!' from his crib a moment ago, and I can hear him bashing the side of his crib with something right now - hopefully it's not his head ! ), and I've just wrapped up my work on the cover art for today I think :

Not too bad. I have to do the man's 'face' now - which, like the woman's, will be a series of year dates. I think getting his hair is going to be trickier that the woman was, but we'll see.

The tablet is blinking at me - I think it's almost out of juice. Better get that back on the charger.

DCA-#4 - More man text

Viva has taken the boys to feed the ducks in the botanital gardens. I've done the dishes, and spent some time doing more of the cover art. I'm about to go and tidy the house some - but here's what I got done this morning :

I'm not thrilled with that 'S' in the Alaska of the lower torso / thigh - but that letter is a pain in the backside to draw with the pen tool ! Too damn squiggly. Stupid S. Thinks it's so cool ...

Monday, July 09, 2012

DCA-#4 - Man's foreground arm lettered / hand colour blocked

Busy busy busy day. The 3am start didn't help. Still - after making myself type up some assessment comments for work - I was able to spend some time on the art :

Getting closer. :-)

DCA-#4 - Man lettering started / Hand + leg fixed

One good thing about insomnia is that you can get things done. While the rest of the family are slumbering, I've been messing around with the cover art. I just wish the office was a bit warmer - I don't  risk going upstairs and waking Angelo, who will then accidentally wake Lorenzo. Here's the progress :

The hand and leg both look better, which is good. I'm happier with the lettering here too.

I might try and sleep again now.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

DCA-#4 - Face re-done / hands colored

Done some more. The face isn't perfect - but it's a lot more interesting than it used to be !

The woman figure is mostly done now. Time to start fixing up the man.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

DCA-#4 - Torso vectors / new face plan

After today's museum adventure with Angelo, I didn't have a lot of time to advance the cover art. But I got some done : 

I added in more 'Ellentia' letters into the right leg, mostly to soak up more space. I'm also redoing the face numbers. Somewhat rough right now - but I'm confident they'll be better !

Friday, July 06, 2012

DCA-#4 - More numbers and letters, torso planned

Again, Lorenzo is having a nap. Angelo is outside playing with Viva. So a little more progress.

I'm liking the new plan for the torso letters. THAT'S the way I wanted the whole thing to look ! I might have to redo the 'face' - there's too much empty space there that needs filling up.

I also finally figured out what about the red man is bothering me. It's that foreground leg ! It looks like he's wearing leggings ( or nothing at all ), and that looks weird. The other hand is still bugging me ( the one without fingers ), but I was aware of that before.

Argh - the laptop is almost out of juice. Time for a recharge. I on the other hand have tea for children to start preparing. Woo hoo.  More ( hopefully ) later !

Thursday, July 05, 2012

DCA-#4 - 'Ellentia' hair and '2094' face.

Some progress today : 

It's not quite turning out how I imagined - which is annoying me a little. Ah well. Stay the course.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

DCA-#4 - Woman 'Ellentia' text

Again - Lorenzo having a nap, which has allowed me to do this :

There's some re-sketched other stuff - particularly the letters and numbers in the face and hair, which look better already I think. They're not here because they're FAR too rough right now !

Monday, July 02, 2012

DCA-#4 - Base man colour

Lorenzo has been asleep, so I've been able to do a little more on the cover art.

Got a provisional 'man' outline now, though he still needs some hair.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

DCA-#4 - Base woman colour

Right - vectored in a base shape for the woman in the drawing. Oh - and the gun. 

Next step - the lettering. Or the base shape for the man. Actually - probably that one first.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dunesteef Cover art #4 - Initial layout

So - here's the first steps in the new cover art project. I've forgotten the name of the story right now, but it is about time-travel.

I just merged the first two sketches to create :

Very rough at this stage. Nothing new there though !

More as it happens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New project coming !

Hey all. Just a quick note to say sorry I've not posted anything in a while. Things been super busy at work - no time for drawing.

BUT - I've agreed to do a new piece of art for The Dunesteef podcast. I've got some ideas - and I've started a few sketches already. Watch this space - more as it happens !

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Monster - vectors

I liked how that monster sketch was going, so I've been working on getting the lines done over the last couple of weeks or so. I was visiting my parents with the kids, and both Angelo and Lorenzo went off to feed the chickens with their Nonno - so I was able to finish off the last few lines for the first stage. 

And here it is : 

Not too bad at this stage !

Friday, June 01, 2012

Thing I made - The Pirate Ship Pinata - Finished

Oh yeah - I totally forgot to post some pics here of what the pirate ship pinata finally looked like !

I posted something on Facebook - but some of you won't be on facebook ! Here are some pics of how it turned out :

Not too bad I thought - especially for a first try at a pinata. I DID end up making it far too strong though. Before the party I had to pull out all the cardboard 'skeleton' and then I scored a number of 'structural weaknesses' into the hull with a craft knife. It was a good thing I did too - those kids NEVER would have broken it otherwise !

Here's the ultimate fate of the ship "

All that hard work - smashed ! Heh - well, that's what I built it for.
Afterwards, Angelo had a great time dragging it round playcentre by the rope :

Good times.

And now - A shakespeare joke !

I've not had a lot of time recently to do any drawing / art. My desktop computer being weird certainly hasn't helped - but on top of that there was the variety show, the ERO being in at work, NZQA moderation that we forgot we had to do and the various other things required of being a parent.

Anyway - here's a joke I heard at the Shelia Winn Shakespeare regionals I was at last term.

Shakespeare walks in a pub.
The barman says 'You can't come in here - you're barred !'

Get it ? Barred - Bard ?

I thought it was pretty funny.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monster sketch #2

Another monster sketch. I'm in a bit of a monster phase at the moment. I used to LOVE drawing monsters as a kid. I've not changed much in that regard ! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thing I drew - Logo #1

My neighbour asked if I'd knock up a logo for him - making the processing unit thingy on a cochlea implant look like a stylized kiwi. Here's what I came up with. Not amazing - but not back for a start

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bye Matt.


A friend of mine died a few days ago.

His name was Matt.

I met him while I was at university. I’m not entirely sure how he joined the circle of friends I was in then. It was via someone who wasn’t me. If I’m honest – and I suppose I should be – I have to say I didn’t particularly like him at first. Now – this was ultimately due to me rather than him. He kinda breezed into the group with what seemed like a pretty effortless charm and confidence. The masses flocked to him, and I – who had been, and still am, fairly socially awkward and self-conscious – was jealous.

There – I said it.

But, it was hard not to fall into the gravity well of his personality. He was, as I said, charming. And funny. And intelligent. In great abundance.

We were very different people. Back then especially - but I’ve grown up a little since. It was only as he was leaving the country that I really getting to like him.

Typical, huh ?

But over the years I got to see him now and again. He’d come back and we’d see him for an evening or two. On one occasion Viv and I were in England and got to see him on his ‘home turf’. It was always good to see him and hear about his exploits.

When my boys were born we sent them really thoughtful gifts. Angelo got a little plush robot and soft toy rabbit. Lorenzo got a really neat soft toy tiger. While Lorenzo is still too young to really appreciate the tiger ( or any toy really – his favourite toy at the moment is a cooling rack for baking ), Angelo came to LOVE the rabbit. It’s one of his three special bed-time toys, and he always has to have the bunny when he goes to sleep.

I was thinking just last week how I should send Matt a message through FaceBook and tell him how much Angelo loves the rabbit.

On Friday I came home, and Viv told me that Matt had died.

It shook me up – I can tell you. He was older than me – but not that much older.

It’s been playing on my mind these last few days.

If there’s something good I pull out of this terrible, sad, unfair thing, then I guess it’s this.

Don’t wait.

Okay – so it’s clich├ęd. But it’s so, so true. Don’t wait. Do the things now. Before doors close and they’re lost to you forever.

I should have messaged Matt last week when I thought of telling him about Angelo’s rabbit. He would have liked to know that. I should have told him. Why didn’t I ?

I thought there would be time. Why wouldn’t I ? It wasn’t like Matt was old or sick. I had all the time in the world to tell him how much my son loved the gift he’d been given.

Only I didn’t have time. Time ran out on Friday. And now I’ll never be able to tell him and he’ll never know. And that saddens me on a profound level. Not being able to tell him that small thing.

We never know when our number is up. Do the things.


Goodbye Matt. I’m glad you got to meet Angelo that New Year’s Eve in 2010. I wish you could have met Lorenzo. 

Thank you for the gifts you got my boys. Angelo really loves that little blue bunny you got him. It’s one of his special bed-time toys – he’s got to have it with him every night. There have been some nights where Dada has had to launch special search parties to find and retrieve him before going to bed can happen. I’m sure Lorenzo will come to love his tiger just as much.

I’m sorry I was a bit of a jerk in those early days. It wasn’t you. It was me.

I’m sorry I never did you the painting I always promised I would.

I’m sorry you didn’t get more time.

I’ll always remember roleplaying with you at university, and that time at my 21st where the glass of water you gave me turned out to actually be vodka – with suitably hilarious results. And walking around London with you, telling me about the history of the Michelin man. And all the other memories I have – that are still far too few.

You were a good guy Matt. I still can’t believe you’re gone.

I’ll miss you. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sketch - Monster

Here is a monster sketch I did last night while watching ( sort-of ) the Muppet Movie ( old one ).

I was using monster aspects generated from 'Freak Engine'.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Thing I Wrote - 'System - 3rd Start'

I was poking around in the 'Creative' folder on my computer again, and found this. Again - in lieu of any thing else to share with you I thought I'd post it.

I do vaguely remember writing this. I had been wound up with the idea of a post-apocalyptic story - something which contrasted high and low technology. I was also obsessed with a city called Asylum, and a couple of character names - Paige and Lowe.

I had had an idea of ancient machines which were now millennia old, and had kinda lost their minds.

Anyway - I can't remember where exactly the story was going to head after this. I like some of the imagery here. There's probably something salvageable somewhere !

'System' ( 3rd start ) 

Lowe sat uncomfortably on a lump of fused, twisted steel on the edges of the Cathedral Plains, watching the Artists in their endless circle of creation and destruction. The plains were dangerous – but during the day most of the more lethal inhabitants of the rad-scapes kept to the shadows and the cool dark of the subterrainian ruins. He absently turned the key on his clockwork invenio, winding the fly-wheel. The semi-rhythmic clicks softly echoing from it’s brass housing were a mild comfort.

His attention is almost fully captivated by the Artists. He’d heard of them, naturally, back in Asylum. In his lessons, and from Scythmen and there stories of their time on border-culls. While he knew in his mind that the stories were true – he’d never quite been able to truly believe in them.

Until now.

They were remnants of the old world, from before the Resource Wars. Theories held that once they had been soldiers, considering the obvious power and strength they had at their command. Others asserted that they must have been miners, the beams of searing white light they used to melt the sand into glass must surely been able to slice and carve though rock. They definitely filled some purpose that required many limbs – but their arachnid bodies were reinforced with what appeared to be amour. Whatever their original purpose was, it was now lost in the eddies of time. No person knew how long they had been here in their hive collective. Possibly centuries. Probably longer.

Now they created massive sheets and sails of colored glass strung between the pitted skeleton of the Old World city. They webbed delicate ropes and braids of glass the thickness of a man in intricate loops and whorls, almost as if they were trying to pen amorous notes to the past in some long forgotten language. Sometimes two or more would collaborate in their fluid sculptures. They would fuse the sands, and work the molten goo with their extended fore claws and mandibles, then scuttle and scurry around the desolate boulevards and streets, up the exposed girders and devastated walls – tenderly pushing, molding, stretching and shaping the glass. At other times they would stand or hang inactive for days, watching the work of their robotic brethren. And at other times they would blunder around the domain in a kind of absent frenzy – reducing their labor and that of other members of the hive in flailing range to shards and splinters with their spindly limbs.

Some of the citizenry of Asylum had raised the idea of putting the Artists ‘out of their misery’ but their campaign hadn’t got far. System reminded them that, as old-tech constructs, they were virtually invulnerable to any kind of weaponry they had that was easily transportable to the Cathedral Plains. Also that the prospect of their photonic lances being turned on them would be an exquisitely painful ( if quick ) death. System was most insistent for the Artists being left alone. “They’re happy now. Far happier than they ever were before. Leave them be.”

That's where it finished. Hope you enjoyed it vaguely.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thing I Wrote - 'Work Related Stress'

While I had some down time at the 2nd parent / teacher evening of the year - I had a look though the 'creative' folder of my document file. There were some things in there which I don't really remember writing that I quite enjoyed reading. Mostly they were just fragment of things, mostly starts of stories, but I found this little piece which I remember writing early into the term last year. I thought you might enjoy it in lieu of a drawing.

Work Related Stress

It used to be better. The higher ups will tell you differently, of course – but it was better when things were simpler.

 Used to be it didn’t matter if they saw us. ‘Angels !’ they’d yell, and fall to their knees in quivering supplication, or ‘Demons !’ they’d scream – and they’d turn and run, try to sprint and genuflect simultaneously. In other places there’d be cries of ‘Ghosts!’ or ‘Dragons!’ or ‘Gods!’ – but the end result was the same. They’d run or avert their eyes, and we’d carry on our work. Tending our fields, as the serfs tended theirs.

 Then they got a whole lot smarter.

 Cameras were a bit of a pain. But they were expensive, cumbersome things to begin – by the time one of them could set one up we’d have been long gone. We would only be hear-say, mad-ravings, or at best a tall-tale.

 It seemed like only a blink of an eye, a quick spin around Sol – they were suddenly small, cheap and EVERYWHERE.

 Used to be that visible-spectrum cloaks only had to be used when in or around metropolitan areas. You could take it easy in the deeps of the rural locations, not have to endure the molecule shaking, brain-squeezing, micro-lesion forming misery of the cloaking field, cutting though the composite alloy hull like a sharp saw through bone. And if one or two images did get captured – was it so bad ? There was a high degree of skepticism on the surface. “It’s obviously fake !” and “A clever hoax!’ and ‘Smoke and mirrors !’ and ‘It’s spoon-bending all over again’.

 And then they went and invented film.


High-definition motion-capture.

 So now – VSC’s on at full-strength for every assignment.



 Orders from the Federation Core itself.

 ‘Can’t compromise the experiment’ and ‘Widespread panic will ensue’ and ‘internal organic fluids splashed in the streets I tell you’.

 It used to be this job was fun. Still – it won’t be long now before the fleet is here, and me and the rest of the acquisition scouts can move on.

 Hopefully we’ll find somewhere still in it’s pre-historic stage. You know ? Somewhere we can just kick back for a few millennia. Before the harvest begins.

 I can’t wait.