Sunday, 24 February 2013

Art Jam

Last night I participated in an Art Jam/Skype Call with Mike Tiscareno, Florian Gosp Eybe and Joost van Kempen, with with appearances from George Acevedo and Adam Wesierski. I survived 9.5 hours of it.

First round up was to each submit a word into the mix, resulting in Evil Forest Hooker Automaton. 50 mins approx.

Afterward it quickly degenerated into Mike Tiscareno pouring rough sketch thumbnails down upon us to render to our hearts' content.

This is Jenny May.

George put Jenny May on the Farm...

This is Barbara. Barbara corrupted her PSD file.

I also updated the Artchemical Tumblr :3 There's now 5 rounds of images up to view.

It was a great experience, and for most of it I was not listening to music which is my usual pattern, in the breaks between speaking/banter I could hear the comforting sound of stylus' tapping graphics tablets in mutual creativity. I reasoned that this could be similar to working in an office, and the mindset to focusing set in.

This was the last inspiring image to be posted in the skype chat before I had to SLEEP.

Owl Study

40 minute Owl Study :D

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Deliberate Practice

I've been playing the keyboard intermittently for years. Haphazardly bashing out made up compositions which swirled in my head and nothing more on an old yamaha I got from back when I was a kid in high school.  I looked forward to visiting those I knew owned nicer keyboards which had one thing I was missing.

Touch sensitive keys.

In more familiar art terms to myself this is like gaining pressure sensitivity through a wacom tablet in photoshop etc. While before I had the variables of note, pattern and timing - music is severely limited in those dimensions. I could breathe new colour in to familiar pieces. This was musical depth, where I had previously been skating (sliding on my ass) over a frozen lake, nose pressed to the ice.

Instead of bursts of playing during visits over the years, with oceans of time between experiences, I have approached playing musically in the same way as I have approached art. Do it daily. When I started doing this, something magical happened. I improved, and the more I improved, the more I could play. The more I could play manifested as new arrangements and new ideas for worn pieces.

I've always claimed I could not read sheet music, I can. I understand it. I just haven't read often enough to do so fluently. I am going to change this. You could even send me cool arrangements of things you like.

If you wish to learn something, do it daily, don't give up, you'll see results.

Some links supporting this belief -

Sunday, 17 February 2013


While chatting to Lawrie Brewster, he typo'd Twilight and I was immediately struck with this character, he is:

Twiligth: The Last Non Sparkly Vampire. Spends his nights watering lawns, and hissing at parked cars. It'll sell millions. Dem eyebrows.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Physic Garden Cover PUBLISHED!

First off, wow! Published! Today I can show you my cover for the novel The Physic Garden by 
Catherine Czerkawska, please visit her site to learn more about this wonderful author. :3

‘What am I afraid of? That a million thoughts, feelings, memories, will come rushing back to overwhelm me? I cannot begin to describe to you the terror - there is no other word for it - engendered by the thought of him, even now, and yet he was as kindly a man as you could wish to meet, one who inspired trust and friendship in equal measure, a man who inspired great love in all those who knew him. I used to think it an unmitigated blessing, used to envy him. But now, with the wisdom of my years, I realise that it can be a peculiar curse and a burden, to be a man whom people love.’ 
The Physic Garden is the story of a close friendship and a betrayal so shocking that it pervades the whole novel, like the memory of a nightmare. As a young man, William Lang worked as a gardener at the old college of Glasgow University but he has spent most of his subsequent life as a printer and bookseller in the growing city of Glasgow. When the novel begins, in the mid 1800s, he is in his seventies, widowed and living with his grown-up family. He has just received a parcel containing a book called the Scots Gard’ner, as well as a handwritten journal. With these volumes comes a letter saying that they were left to him by Thomas Brown, a gentleman who has recently died at his country house in Ayrshire. So many years later, the unexpected legacy of the books reminds William of his youth when he and Thomas became unlikely friends. The memories come flooding back. 

Please find the book here on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

This marks a momentous day for me, and I am really glad to have worked with Catherine. It is a briiliant feeling to have a piece of my art published on Amazon, and I hope those who buy the kindle book enjoy reading it as much, if not more than I did making the cover to reflect the story contained within.

If any authors who find themselves reading this post, please feel free to contact me by email or facebook about your own novels. I'm sure we can work something out that will be greatly beneficial to us both!

Thanks for reading.


Artchemical Round 4 - with additional progress steps. Gleaned some approaches and techniques from watching some Anthony Jones' magic.
  1. Created brush from supplied image by Martin. Adapted and created a shape with Quick Selection (Q in PS Shortcuts).
  2. Arranged and re-used shapes to build up composition.
  3. Layered some Divide layers to create vibrant area.
  4. Some light overlay layers to pull the colours together.
  5. Added figure to give focal point to the image
1 hour approx.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Artchemical Round 3 and a 'Valentine's Day' offering painting of a little black heart.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Chibi Ryu

Zak versus Nemesis. Background totally stolen from Street Fighter 4

Artwork done for pitches. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Work at Proper Games

I realise that there's quite a gap in my updates here on the blog, coinciding with my working at Proper GamesHere's a dump of artwork that covers the range of work I did while there. :3

I joined as part of the Abertay Prototype funded project to work on a Facebook adaption of one of their iPhone titles: Yo Deshi. At Proper I worked alongside my team mate from DareWill Wright which aided me a lot, as we share a creative synergy.

Establishing style with a mood board. I will miss you bonzai poodle hair man.

The game was set in a fantastical interpretation of china, where young eager minds are taught the board game in a tibetan-esque monastery.

Around December, I participated in a 1 day game jam where Fritz (of Triple B Games) and I, created Wushi, a one button platformer. This has since been released on XBLIG by Triple B, check out the demo :3

After 3 months our team were hired in as full time staff, and I developed concept art for Proper's then newest title. It had zombies. And buildings. 

These were created in 2 days of experimenting, trying to keep the assets simple and easy for animation, as character customisation would become a large part of the game's appeal.

Guy (left) has had a rough day. He's had to bury his wife. Twice. Also clowns.

I call this guy Fish Tank.

 I pushed for a switch up to oblique projection.

And then went into production art creating environment assets in vectors.

The projects were great in pushing my work in more stylised shapes and design, with some darker shades of humour. On a side note, I particularly enjoyed lunch time board/card games with colleagues, which could last for weeks in ruthless backstabbing to survive the zombie horde.

Unfortunately Proper had to downsize come September, and the project wasn't shipped. On the plus side I decided from then to use that freedom to establish myself as a freelance artist. Onward for 2013!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Feb Sketch 8

Round 2 of the Artchemical Challenges - its based on this one : 3

Feel free to come up with your own interpretations.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Feb Sketch Day 5

Secret Lunch Shu Fanart

Today's painting is a fanart from Secret Lunch's Shu - I really admire what these guys are doing with indie development while in the prototype fund.

You can check'em out on their site, facebook and on steam

I need to study some cloth / drapery / folds to get a better feel for fabric. I noticed on JakeB's sketchbook some full figure clothing studies from fashion etc. looked really useful too.