Monday, 26 December 2016

One more before the New Year!

This one's a bit of an aside from my regular work - I am Chairman of the Ludlow Art Society, a wonderful society that, this year, celebrated its 70th anniversary. As it was such a special event, the LAS's Committee decided early on in the year to invite members to submit original work on a sheet of heavy paper we sent out to them, so that we could collect these, along with a short paragraph about and a portrait picture of, each of the artists who chose to take part.

After a preview of the book during our annual Summer Exhibition, we collected the final details, got everything scanned, assembled into book form, and the books were ready just in time for Christmas. Local multi-talented artist and Committee Member Samuel Bebb did a fantastic job leading the project, collecting and organising the details and defining the overall layout.

I feel it's important to mark events like this, to take a snapshot of what the Ludlow Art Society looks like, what the makeup of it is, and just how wonderfully diverse our artistic interests are. The book contains a brief history of the Society, written back in 1993 by the late LAS Vice President Winifred Burlingham, one of the founding members - this gives a firm sense of why we came to be, and shows that, despite the many changes the LAS has gone through over the decades, exhibiting and demonstrations were then, as now, at the core of the Society.

The book also features a thoughtful foreword by current President, Charles MacCarthy, and opens with a few lines I wrote, which I hope can stand next to the rest of the introduction.

Here's to another 70!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Favourite Paintings from 2016

I've seen a few artists on social media posting their favourite pieces of the year, and as all my work is wrapped up for the 2016 I wanted to jump in and join, but... I've done a lot of work this year (with many, many paintings I'm not yet cleared to show) and picking my single favourite? That's tough! So, I thought I'd look back and pick a handful - not necessarily the most dramatic, or even the most popular, but the ones that, for various reasons, I enjoyed the most.

For the Middle-earth pieces: © 2016 Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 Entertainment
Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees.

For the other pieces: © 2016 Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd

The Adventures of the Kai cover - a fun montage piece, and as it was a cover I had a little longer than I can normally take for my paintings. I really liked the concept of the ravens rising from the documents, too (a concept I cannot claim - I believe the brief for this painting was written by Jon Hodgson).

Agtah - fairly simple, it was fun to put together and turned out well.

Elves of Lorien - the perspective! Halfway through I was kicking myself for choosing this route, but it was good to see it come together and read clearly. It's not something that's even appropriate very often, but flattening the planes in this way did work here.

Hobbit Pipe - yeah, this is possibly my favourite all year :) Simple, clean, clear, and very representative of Hobbits, and perhaps the Shire. Given that I live in Shropshire...

Magnamund Menagerie - a second cover in here, and this one might yet change (which is why the image has text on it, as this is the image C7 revealed). I'd already painted each of the characters as individual spots - I don't think any of those are cleared to show yet - so putting this disparate crew together for a villain-centric painting was a lot of fun. It matches up with a previous cover, the Heroes of Magnamund piece - whereas that had heroes charging right, this darkens the sky and has villains moving left.

Master of Sound (Lesser) - a creepy piece, but I love the contrast in skin types and I was glad my AD (Scott Purdy) signed off on the uncommon raking light.

Measureless Aeons - when I painted this for Cthulhu Tales, it was about trying to tell the story of something so much greater than people, while still keeping a sense of scale. Hopefully I hit something close, but I feel it's fairly heavy on the elements of story, possibly because so little is explicitly laid out.

Office Desk - black and white allows different kinds of storytelling from colour pieces, and here it was all about the story. I could lead the viewer through a short narrative, telling them everything they needed to know about the scene with the placement of a few objects on a desk.

Riverblade Gives the Mission - the initial sketch for this wasn't mine, it was my AD's (Jon Hodgson). I love the different way that two people, with the same goal, can approach the same problem in completely different ways. Also, for me there's something really nice about trying to get the quieter interactions between characters - a wide-mouthed battle-yell is fine, but even in dramatic adventuring there's scope for so much more in addition.

Thank you for looking, and I'll see you again with some fresh paintings in the New Year!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Work from TOR: Adventurer's Companion

I've not posted anything I've done for The One Ring in some time, but there's quite a bit to get into here. Some of these are pieces I've shown before - although many are new - and together they're all the work I had in the expansion.

© 2016 Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 Entertainment

Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees.

Thanks for looking!
While I do keep this blog updated with my new works, if you're interested in following me the best place to find me, and certainly where I'm most active, is over on Facebook - right HERE.

Monday, 28 November 2016

International Self Portrait Day 2016

So... this is a bit late. International Self Portrait Day is always on November 1st, and I did manage to squeeze in a little time to take part this year (and then plain forgot to post here!).

I'm still working on my personal sketch limitations - 4 colours maximum, solid blocks and hard edges only (techniques like hatching not allowed), and seeing how far I can go with it. I'd have liked to have had more time, but it was at a premium that day so I had to make do, and got it done with just minutes to spare! Anyway, it's a great idea to get involved in challenges like this, or Drawllowe'en, or Inktober (which I'm now committing to for 2017) as you can really stretch yourself if you like, you can experiment with styles you wouldn't normally use but with some structure to the challenge (which some people, myself included, like as a change of pace from personal work which is entirely unguided), and you're taking part in something with other people across the world - that's an awesome feeling.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Work from World War Cthulhu: Our American Cousins

Good grief, it's been quite a while since I had an update for you! As always, there's an awful lot stashed away that I'm not cleared to show, but some pieces have now been given the green light to be posted. I've painted ten pieces for the Our American Cousins supplement for World War Cthulhu, but only three have been revealed so far (and the cover, which features art from Jon Hodgson and logo from Paul Bourne - check it all out here). Here we go:

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Pictures from the Lone Wolf Adventure Game Bestiary

Good grief it's been a while since there's been an update! I have been very busy, though, so there's no shortage of paintings currently under NDA (and it certainly feels like I've never painted faster than I am now... but I think that has to be a good thing). A few, however, were revealed on the Lone Wolf Adventure Game's Kickstarter page in a recent update. These are all from the LWAG Bestiary:

Thanks for looking!
(I'm going to try to find a couple of hours on Nov 1st for a bash at International Self Portrait Day, and try out a new style. I would have loved to attempt Inktober this year, but there's just no time... next year, though, I will do it.)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Heroes of Magnamund Cover, Printed

Back in January I posted the step-by step for this cover (link HERE), and now I get to see it in printed form! I've since done two more covers for C7, but this is the first to come out from the printers, and so it feels a little special.

Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Warm-Up Sketches

Over the last couple of weeks I've had a little time to loosen up a bit before work, and with DC's Suicide Squad recently released I figured I'd have a bash at sketching Harley and the Joker (older versions, I don't care too much for the modern ones). Well, it seemed apt to keep on with a few more DC villains, so I ended up tackling Amanda Waller, Sinestro, Grundy and Poison Ivy.

Tried to keep to 30min each, but Grundy and Ivy went over by maybe 5 or 10 as I tried to find the right pose to convey what I wanted from each.

I've got a few thoughts on costume and character design, particularly for women depicted in comic and fantasy art, but I want to sit and develop those thoughts a bit more before I write anything substantial. I'm fascinated particularly by the language of big, simple shapes and colours, and how this plays out perhaps more overtly with comic characters than anywhere else.

I'm not sure there'll be any more of these kinds of sketches for a while, as I've got quite a bit on my plate right now with the Ludlow Art Society's 70th Anniversary Summer Exhibition coming up in just a couple of weeks, but maybe after? If something new hasn't taken my attention, that is...

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Work from Section 46 Operations Manual

The final 3 pieces I painted for C7's World War Cthulhu, Cold War: Section 46 Operations Manual:

Next up... I'm not actually sure. I've Lone Wolf and Middle-Earth work, as well as Cthulhu Tales pieces that are still under NDA, so we'll see what comes out first.
Thanks for looking!