A double update! Both characters are from The Princess of Nowhere, the first novel I ever finished writing. Trennte is the manservant of Prince Jespar, and is the prince’s friend and mentor. Jeffrey is a tie. For some reason I cut Jeffrey out of the later drafts, something I regret as he was one of the things that made the first draft special. It’s possible that one day I will return to the story … I think it may work as an animated series, something a bit mad where talking clothes make sense. With that in mind the Trennte sketch is Gravity Falls-inspired.19_Trennte20_Jeffrey

Rudy is a very old character of mine, but this is the first time I’ve draw her. In her world centaurs are considered like animals and are hunted for sport (though not to be eaten). As such the stories I’ve made up about her are often quite grim. I’ve heard that many peoples’ first stories can be dark. Her stories will likely never see the light of day …

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Bree (or Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah, to give his full name) is the titular horse of The Horse and His Boy. Shasta is the boy. I had wondered about drawing Aravis and Hwin, the other main characters, but there are so many other characters I want to draw I initially decided against it. Now I’m two weeks through the list I made I’m starting to wonder about some of the characters I initially scheduled, so Aravis may appear later in the month …

Like yesterday, I’m looking at The Secret of Kells for design inspiration. Several of the animals like wolves and deer have legs that come to a point. Though it’s quite elegant I think, if I were designing for a real film, I would rework Bree to have hooves.

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The snow is beginning to melt, leaving icy pools of water and slush. As I struggled through it on a walk this afternoon I thought it would be a good subject for today’s study.

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While on a walk with the dog this afternoon I looked out for interesting things to draw and decided on this juxtaposition between snow, ice and water.

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If you’ve been following me for a few years you may remember that back in 2015 I drew ‘Pieces of Sky’, small squares of the sky I saw that day. (Here’s an example.) I’ve been thinking about starting to draw small colour studies again, as I enjoyed the challenge. However I feel only drawing the sky is perhaps a bit limiting, so I’ve set myself a new goal within the same guidelines of a 500×500 pixel canvas. I’ll continue to take inspiration from life, but it will now be from anywhere.

It’s been a very grey, snowy day so unfortunately there is very little colour anywhere. Today’s ‘Study Square’ shows some of the snow piled up outside my window.  I like how mountainous the shapes are despite the fact it’s only about a foot in height!

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While watching The Sound of Music again recently I was struck by the scene where Mother Abbess sings ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’. I decided to do a tone/composition study because the lighting and cinematography of the scene is so lovely.

When Maria enters the room, it’s very dark. The lighting is harsh and dramatic, and all that’s highlighted are the faces. Maria spends a lot of time with her back turned and her head bent. As the song begins Mother Abbess moves closer to the window, bringing more light into the scene. Maria follows, until she is also lit by the window.

The shots at the beginning, while Maria and Mother Abbess are talking, are fairly short and change position frequently – much like Maria’s answers. Once Mother Abbess sings, the cuts slow.

I began with rough but quite detailed studies. However I became aware I was focusing more on the poses and acting than I’d wanted to, so I did the latter images with a broader brush.

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If you’ve enjoyed this you may also like to see the studies I drew from Jaws.

It’s been over a year since I last updated my portfolio and showreel so (thanks to the prodding of others) I’m finally sorting through my work. In doing so I uncovered this painting of Glencoe. From what I remember I abandoned it in frustration, but I quite like it now! It’s loosely based on a photograph I took the last time I was there.Glencoe

Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday) was yesterday here in the UK. I made a little card for my mum with a Charley Harper-inspired caricature of Elsa, our Border Collie. Though my sister immediately knew what it was meant to be, our parents thought it was either a bear or a monkey. So here it is, hopefully cute if not dog-like …

Elsa has appeared in other drawings of mine, here and hereCrazyElsa

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I had an amazing time in LA, but didn’t draw the sky because it always looked like this. There were no clouds, there was no rain, there was nothing but sunshine.

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Returning to Scotland was a bit of a shock. It’s cold, wet and grey. But our sky is much more interesting.

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Here’s a little sneaky peek at a project I’m working on right now! I’m having fun with the simple palette and design. I’m building all the characters, props and backgrounds in Illustrator and am animating them in Flash.

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Another dramatic evening sky. I’m really pleased with how the watercolour effect looks in this – it’s all digital!

If you use Photoshop, I really recommend Kyle T Webster’s watercolour brushes (and indeed all his other brushes): check them out here.

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My laptop, after four years of faithful service, has gone on a freezing and shutting-down spree. Despite being completely wiped, it’s still acting up … and I now can’t use Photoshop or my tablet. Today’s sky sketch was created on my phone!

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Light shining through clouds. Very cloudy, but little rain.

Using my iPhone I often create slow-motion videos, but this is the first time I’ve tried time-lapse: you can see the result below!

 

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I was ready to paint a glorious square of blue. Then I saw how light from the city was glowing in the clouds.

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There was a lot of cloud cover today.

I drew this using a couple of brushes from Kyle T. Webster’s Real Watercolours set. I recently treated myself to them and they’re great fun to use. Plus they have the bonus of “Undo”!

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