Friday, 30 September 2011

Dan and the Dead Character Studies -- Dan

More sketchbook pages, this time showing Dan, the hero of my comic-gothic novella Dan and the Dead, due to be published next summer by A&C Black. I’m illustrating this with black and white chapter heading pictures and a colour cover, and I want to give the book a graphic novel/comic feel, because I believe that will help make it more appealing for its core audience: boys, 10 – 14, who have little motivation to read.
These samples are interesting (to me, anyway) because they are free hand sketches and not pen work tracing a pencil rough beneath. This will hopefully allow me to keep some of the energy and movement of original drawing, rather than turning the rough into an ink fossil of itself. In other words, it’s seat-of-the-pants work. I hope my bottom doesn’t stick out too much.
Click for a closer look if you like. Still working on lots of things, not least the lettering…
Oh, and if you’ve got any spare money, Dan and the Dead is now available for pre-order
Don’t forget, books look better in pairs:)  

Friday, 23 September 2011

Drawing From Life

I went life drawing last night for the first time in years. And it was a humbling experience. There’s nothing like being confronted with the real thing to remind us that everything we draw is in a kind of shorthand. It’s less a question of trying to succeed in capturing the subject than an exercise in trying to control the failure to do so. Which is why drawing from life is so important, and why I’m pleased to have found a new group to join. It’s the visual arts’ equivalent of practicing scales.

But it wasn’t just the drawing that made me feel like a student again. The heat of the room (one of us is naked, after all), the smell of fixative and charcoal dust, the furtive chalky scratchings, and – because there’s always one – the squeal of a board marker being thrown about a sheet of A1 paper, all took me back to Fridays at Norwich School of Art and Design in the 90s. And I struggle with the drawing no less now than I did then.

Don’t bother to click for a closer look – I’m sure you’ve got better things to do:)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Random Ruritanian Gypsy...

...because no blog should be without one.

Much happier with the looser line here (compared to the slightly syrupy quality of the line in my last post, I mean). Click for a better view.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Night’s Template

I’ve been messing about with my blog again, as regular visitors (Hi, Mum!) might have noticed. I have never really been happy with its appearance, so I thought I’d try and make it look like my actual desk. With a sketchbook on it. Do you see? So... what do you think? Stylish? Rubbish? All pretty pebbles and no trousers? You can be honest – It’ll no doubt look entirely different tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s Peter Falk making drawing look cool (thanks, Julian).

Editted to add: Nah, don't like it. Cold light of day, and all that. So now it's back as it was. 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Stubby Pencil Drawings of a Stubby Subject

This post about a dachshund has been moved to my new blog. Please click this link of you want to see sketches of the daft animal.