Friday, 31 October 2014

Onwards and taking shape nicely

Here are the cards for the two previous drawings.

And one new one with two old ones re-done. I still need to work on the layouts, but this is as close as it gets.

A happy family.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

And back to that project

I've been painting and working on another project, I'll blog about this soon and there will be a little WIP post. But I am back at work on my cards (see below)

Next in line is the newcomer to the current band, Nita Strauss. It's so nice to be able to draw some girls in this project, shame there aren't many more. But at least I have all of the Queens. I'm working on the layouts and have modified some of the older cards. More in a later post.

Drummers are quite a challenge,  drums are intricate but very cool to draw, very interesting graphically. In this instance I was getting into trouble with the face for some reason and I am far from being happy even after starting over many time. It will have to do for now, sorry Brent!

Brent Fitz has played with Alice Cooper for a little while. He's now part of one of my favourite band the moment, playing for Slash. I am seeing them in three weeks and really looking forward to that!

Thursday, 23 October 2014


The idea is to turn the beasties into a series of paintings, so I've been testing (see previous post) various backgrounds.

This here is yet another type of paper. I am not going to pursue this one as it's very expensive and doesn't do much more except it's sturdy. But I am starting to know where I am going.

I wish I didn't have to get up tomorrow because I want to continue that border. For someone who used to hate acrylics I am starting to get the hang of them. I'd still prefer oils but I need to work in fast mediums, to be more reactive when I have some time to paint.

Sorry about the bad photo.

Meanwhile I am also continuing on the cards, but I have a second painting on the easel as well, got a little side tracked by a contest.

Monday, 20 October 2014


I've been testing surfaces to see which ones will take the kind of abuse I normally put a painting through.

So this is mostly a note to myself but maybe it can help others. I made various acrylic backgrounds on various materials:

Ordinary watercolour paper doesn't resist much. The illustration board (Canson) isn't doing too bad but the colours tend to disappear.

No surprise but the Fabriano canevas for acrylics is steadfast and the colours really shine. I'm not sure about the texture but it's ok.

And lastly a plyboard with Daniel Smith watercolour ground is disconcerting but intriguing. I plan to test that further. I was hoping to find the transparent one but it seems impossible to find anywhere in Europe 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

More cards

It was his birthday yesterday, so that inspired me to work on this card.
Neal Smith as the King of Spades

I like this layout and the framed look. But I am not sure it will work at the small size it should be when printed as a playing card.

What do you think?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Getting back on the track

Oh dear, a whole month without posting! Sorry about that.

Job searching is a time consuming matter, but I haven't been idle on the drawing table either. I've done this and that, and I have finally started to work on this idea. It's been a few years since I said it would be fun to draw a full deck of playing cards with people who have worked with Alice Cooper, my big inspiration.

I started in May if you recall my project to raise funds for a friend. And I hope to finish it in the next couple of months, depending on how much time I can take for this. So far I have six unfinished cards, I am still trying out layouts and fonts:

Only 46 to go! And possibly a couple of jokers. The main problem is finding good reference images. So far Ryan and Eric have chosen their own card, hence the seemingly random order, and Chuck's card was pretty obvious. As were Alice and Sheryl.
For now it's just a fun project to get back into a routine after not drawing much last year because of my graphic design courses. Depending on the interest I'll see if it might turn into something printed, or not.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Loncon 3 has come and gone

So that's done then. It was really worth being a part of a World Convention, my best chance to get seen by people from other continents. Also good to be featured in the big art show program, a booklet of 96 pages, and have my name next to some of the biggest illustrators of this time. It's like a sort of finality, a nice statement, I am small fish next to these but I am there, it's all I could ever dream of when I was younger.

I also had a portfolio review, with Irene Gallo and Greg Manchess. Nothing new there, in all of my endeavours, artistic or otherwise professional I am always going in a thousand of directions and not really getting anywhere precise but that's the way I am and the life I like. It was very satisfying to see that my art has reached a level where professionals will acknowledge it, it's encouraging for the next step. The next "level up" moment. I have a ton of projects so this gave me a good boost.

I had several originals, not framed since that would have been a nightmare to organise

You can see my table in the back there

And prints, as well as my art books

And of course my jewellery. That's what I had been working on since last December, I had some nice remarks and even one Tim Powers fan asking some specific questions, that was nice. I was invited to one panel about Art in Jewellery (bit odd for an illustrator but see above) and that went really well. I had some nice feedback afterwards. My fellow panellists were fabulous, and it was an interesting discussion.

In between sitting by my table and sketching, I had time to meet most of the people I wanted to meet, not all but you really can't see everyone in such a huge place. I finally met Ursula Vernon and her husband Kevin, long time online friends but we had never met before. I spent time with old friends and made some new friends. Among which the fantastically talented Margaret Walty and the lively and fabulous Goldeen Ogawa, my fox and dragon friends have guided me well once again.

Speaking of which, one of the Guests of Honour was Robin Hobb. I missed a lot of her panels, the one I managed to reach almost on time was full so I had to leave again. But I managed to be in the first row during her GoH interview. Jane Johnson is a great interviewer, of course she has known Robin for many years but she knows exactly how to conduct these and entertain everyone.

All in all a great experience. Now to plan the next step, try to prioritise things a bit and move onwards.