My dog is notoriously difficult to photograph, let alone draw. This afternoon I managed to capture her in the garden as she munched on a very old tennis ball and an offcut from someone’s fence.

One of the good things about taking the train is getting the chance to doodle away. Here are a few drawings from a recent trip. Mostly I just scribble, but the first group below are some characters from an old story of mine. I’ve been wondering about storyboarding the idea, or developing it further in some way.

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A few weeks ago I began working as a character and storyboard artist on an animated feature film called Spiked. I’ve been drawing a lot but of course I’m not able to share what I’m working on yet, so here’s a little doodle I drew today!doodles_01

There’s been idea in my head that I’ve wanted to storyboard for a while. I’ve begun drawing thumbnails, but before going any further today I decided to get down some rough character designs. A dog features in this story, specifically a Border Collie, so I did some very loose drawings inspired by my own dog Elsa. She has the most wonderful ears.ElsaCollie_02

I’ve been taking part in Inktober – a challenge to do one ink drawing every day of October. They’ve all been posted on my Twitter but I’m just now getting round to posting them here. I haven’t followed the official prompts; instead I’m drawing costumes through the years referencing John Peacock’s fantastic book Costume: 1066 to the Present. Along the way I’m creating little stories for each pair of characters. It’s been fun!

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Some wind-down sketches from this afternoon.

Also, the first little bit has been released about the project I’ve been working on for the last eight weeks. I’ve been a Story Artist on the Animation Base Camp, a trainee programme with mentorship from Sony Pictures Animation. Find out more here!

30SecHorses

I sketched a little in the Botanic Gardens over the weekend. Alongside the plants there were some marvellous statues. 

Heads and Tails

I did these sketches last month but only got the chance to colour them today. Most of them are very quick gesture drawings, around 30 seconds. The portrait was drawn in about 5 minutes. I think the fish came out particularly well!
Koala Woman Turtle Faces Fishy

Bee

BeeTest2The freelance project I’m working on is very serious, with no colour … so I wanted to draw something completely different today! I’ve had an idea for a short, or perhaps a series of shorts, in Flash. I’d like to keep the characters really simple, like the birds in my “Good Morning!” short.

Sketches from The Sound of Music

SoundOfMusic copyI love this movie.

I’ve seen lots of sketches from other people who’ve doodled through films, and I’ve always wondered how they can do that. Well, now I’ve tried it I see the appeal! I loved capturing the lighting in the central drawing, and trying to catch likeness while the shot remained on screen (with varying success). I also filled several pages of my notebook more than I normally do when I sketch – I think the changing images helped me try lots of different things as well as work more quickly. Though I’m not sure this would work with every film – “The Sound of Music” has reasonably long shots compared with many modern movies …

Bristol Museum

Tiger copy

I visited Bristol Museum today and sketched some of the creatures there. This tiger was shot by George V in 1911, which is some sort of distinction I suppose. It was in an amazing crouched position and at first glance appeared to be ferocious. The longer I looked at it, however, the more it looked terrified. I don’t think I’ve really captured its expression so I think I shall have to go back and draw it again.

Jerboa copy 2

I’d never heard of a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, but I feel I should have. It’s so cute!Hyena copy

This hyena eyed me with a hungry expression while I drew it, and seemed to raise one side of its mouth in a “I may look somewhat friendly, but I WILL BITE YOU” way. He reminded me very much of Elsa (my Border Collie).Parrot copyThis Ground Parrot jumped out at me because he seemed so friendly. “Hey! How are you? Let’s be friends. Want to come by for some seeds?”

Birdy

Birdy copy

This little guy appeared while I played with Kyle T. Webster’s great gouache photoshop brushes today.

Old Drawings

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This is one of the first sketches I did for the fire in “Dreid”, my VFS classical animation. (You can find the film in “Shorts”.) I took a picture of the sketch when I had to throw the sketchbook it was in away, and I only found the picture this weekend.Bird copyThis little bird was in the same sketchbook, but he’d been drawn for a different assignment. He looked so cheerful I had to colour him in.

Budgie

Budgie copy

Today’s quick doodle.

I want to try and get away from relying on my sketch lines. I’m finding it difficult to translate them into finished, clean lines!

Gouache II

Princess copy Birds copy Cat copy Bird copyI had fun painting with gouache last night! I bought three more tubes of paint as last time I only had yellow, red, and blue. Also I planned ahead a bit more, taking some designs from my sketchbook to paint instead of attempting to make them up on the spot.

Gouache1 copySince I began playing around with digital gouache brushes I wanted to try out the real thing. I bought some paints today and smudged them about in one of my sketchbooks. I like how they’re a combination of acrylics and watercolours! And yet, unlike either, gouache keeps its richness even when a little watered down. When painted without any water at all, it dries completely differently from acrylic. I like it!

One of my frustrations with painting has been with my dislike of paint. I’ve always found watercolours too pale, acrylics too thick when dry and too pale when wet, and though I like oils they’re a real hassle. Here’s gouache, a real thick paint that I can easily clean from my palette!

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Robbin’ Robin

RobbinRobin copy

Here’s a sketch from my notebook. I was looking out at our bird feeder and began to imagine an outlaw robin … they’re so shy, no one would suspect him!

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