Here’s a little side project I’m working on for my house! I’m painting Toshirō Mifune, a brilliant Japanese actor who you can read an interesting biography of here if you like. He was very talented and versatile, with a really endearing quality about him. Right now I’m just finishing my sketch, then I’ll paint over it with acrylic. I’m thinking of a cobalt blue – something serene to balance out the action – but I’ll be testing out a few different colour schemes before I decide for definite.
It’s a fairly small painting; I have another scene of him in mind which I intend to paint onto a large canvas some day. More on that another time!
Well, it’s the run up to Christmas and I have a lot of pictures to work on. During busy times like this I tend to work on lots of different pictures at once, rather than my usual way, which is to work on one picture nonstop till it’s finished.
So, since I don’t have any completed pictures to show just yet, I thought I’d just share a couple of little sketches I’ve been doing in my lunch breaks and other little free moments of time. I’ve been trying to do more of these lately. I am a very slow drawer by nature, and it takes a lot of discipline to make myself stop drawing after 10 or 15 minutes, especially when there are a million things about the picture that I want to change! I decided that drawing more quickly and learning to be less fussy was something I needed to work on.
The first image is one of my favourite Brazilian singers, Elis Regina. I was surprised to realize that this is the first picture of her I’ve ever drawn! I’ll definitely be doing some larger, high quality artwork of her in the future as I think she’s fantastic. I was glad that this one ended up looking a lot like her, despite me having to stop before I was finished. It gave me a bit of confidence in my ability to work quickly.
The second picture was a super-fast sketch of Randy Orton. I wanted to try out my shiny new 9B graphite stick and he ended up being the guinea pig. I didn’t have time to draw his extensive tattoos though. Sorry Randy! Again, I had to stop before I was done, but it captures him well enough, and I enjoyed doing it.
The last sketch is of PJ Harvey. I spent a little longer on this one as it was done in the evening time. It’s actually a continuous line drawing, although I don’t think you can tell from the photo! I really felt like doing a continuous line drawing after the students were doing some a few weeks ago in one of the art classes I’ve been helping in. I might recreate this image in black ink, as it should suit the subject really well.
And now for something completely different! I had a request for some Dead Space 2 artwork. I’m very happy with this; it’s not every day I get to paint an engineer battling a necromorph!
The request was specifically to recreate some existing artwork for the game as a large painting. So I don’t take credit for the composition and concept of this piece, and I should point out that it was given as a gift rather than a paid commission.
Nevertheless, this picture was a real challenge in its own way! First, I hadn’t played the game myself before, so I was initially unfamiliar with the subject matter. I spent a long time reading about it, especially looking up all the different types of necromorphs so that I could try to paint our alien friend here accurately. Second, the colours of the original image are so muted, that at one point I thought it would be difficult to balance the picture and make it stand out. When I compare to the original, I see that my solution was to darken the image even more! I think this might have been a result of me watching my brother play the game for a little while. From what I saw, it seemed like the colours in the game were a lot darker and cooler than I had previously expected. I think I may have subconsciously worked that effect into my painting.
It’s another acrylic piece, approximately 12 x 16 inches unmounted. I seriously enjoyed doing it and I’ll be painting a lot more video game artwork in the future. Right now I’m thinking of games like Assassin’s Creed, World of Warcraft and Bioshock.
Just a quick little pastel picture I made while I was watching television. It’s very tiny, 5.8 x 4.1 inches. I was experimenting with a pastel set I had tucked away in my studio for a few months and not used yet. The colours in the set are limited to browns, greys, blues and golds, which should have felt like a challenge, but on this occasion I seemed to automatically feel like sketching an October scene, so really it didn’t pose a problem this time. Love Autumn!
This is a little painting I finished last night of the wonderful PJ Harvey. I have been a big fan of this lady since I was a teenager and have always found her very inspiring. Visually, I think she has an interesting and lovely face, and over the years she has had so many different looks and styles that there’s a real abundance of great images of her to work with. So I will definitely be painting her again! I haven’t measured this painting yet, but it’s just a dinky one; something like 6 x 6 inches.
An A5 portrait of John Lennon I made back in 2009. I spent a long time flicking through photos of him before deciding to paint this one. I don’t think I had seen this photo of Lennon before. Looking back, I guess it’s probably quite a challenge to paint someone with their eyes closed and still make it resemble them, since the eyes are often such a distinctive feature of the face. I think I did a good job resemblance-wise, but I still plan to rework this picture one day and make it as close to perfect as I can.
It was probably while I was painting this piece that I realised how much I liked working with acrylic paints. This was only the second time I’d tried them, and I think they suit me perfectly. I am quite a loose and rough drawer, and I work best with a medium that offers lots of precision and control to balance out my natural messiness!
I made this as a gift for my sister, who loves and occasionally stalks Bruno Mars. It was a fun image to draw, and I especially liked drawing the folds and paisley patterns of his shirt. My sister was looking to creating an Indian design theme in her bedroom, so I researched some Indian patterns; I wanted something to give the image a bit of life and match that wonderful shirt print. It’s on A4 (11.7 x 8.3 inches) and is now in a gold frame in her bedroom!
An update: My sister got to meet Bruno (for a second time! I wonder when she’ll leave that poor man alone) and she gave him a copy of the picture. I’m sure he’s had it professionally framed and mounted up above his fireplace by now. Here they all are together!