Thursday, 21 March 2013
Friday, 8 March 2013
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
A couple of months ago Tharg asked me to come up with some new cover art for Disaster 1990!, as it was being collected up to go in the Megazine supplement comic. The previous covers were nothing special, or at least not suitable for a more modern reprint cos of old logos etc joined to the art, so I though it'd be pretty cool to do something a bit different from before. I did a ton of sketches (i'll upload them later - can't find them now), the best of which got turned into the covers for volume 1 and 2, the second of which (above) went on sale today!
Really pleased with the idea I had for volume 1 - and its amazing how many people don't see the logo in the water! For some reason I had David Hockney's swimming pool pictures in my head when I started this, I certainly intended it to be more graphic than it is now. but I got carried away with the painting and it ended up quite illustrative.
The cover for volume 2 is a bit more straight, but I quite liked the over-the-top comparison of psychotic, no-nonsense lorry driver Bill Savage and Lord Nelson, which also helps put the whole pic out of place a bit - he's not just a badass, he's floating on water in an impossible and somewhat ridiculous position, being stalked by killer ducks... Which hopefully says as much about the story as you need to know!
The hardest part about this pic was finding a decent reference pic for Nelson's Statue in trafalgar square that wasn't taken from the ground below! Also note the nerdy reference on the side of Bill's DUK-W, its designation is: NVSN1999 i.e. INVASION 1990 (the story that this one is a prequel to) with no vowels. I added that about 5 minutes before press deadline in a last minute flash of inspiration!
Pencils and stage-by-stage workings.
These comics are Bagged with Megazine 331 and 332 respectively - on sale now!
Monday, 7 January 2013
My first bit of art for 2013! Cover for the second Solaris Rising anthology edited by Ian Whates. These covers can be quite text-heavy so I laid the words and planets out together in Indesign/Illustrator before starting in Photoshop to make sure I left enough room for everything, a technique I first tried last year on the Solaris Rising 1.5 ebook. Works quite well this way, as the text really sits in and around the art. Here's the final cover, fully extextinated (yeah, it's a word):
The volume 1.5 ebook cover. Really happy with the fuzzyness of this:
I keep thinking one day I'm gonna stick a spaceship on one of these covers. Here's a couple of roughs I tried, one slightly more in earnest than the other...
I started both images as vectors/fonts in Illustrator and Indesign to get the layouts right, before pasting all the basic shapes as separate layers into Photoshop for colour and texturing. Here's roughly the how the files started off:
Monday, 17 December 2012
Ages ago I designed the look of Trip and System, two space-faring crash test dummies and awesome DJ duo calling themselves Random Crash! I've done loads of stuff for 'em since, including a small comic telling their back story (more soon) but my favourite bit of work (so far) is the cover above for their second single. The very coolest thing though, is the adaptation of the above image into a simple music video by a guy called Timothy Mercenary (check out some of his other stuff its ace). I split the art apart and sent him the files, plus a few extra images, and a week later he came back with this video, which is awesome! Check it out:
Here's a few of the extra bits I sent Tim. I'd love to do another one of these at some point, as it turned out great, but next time with a whole story to tell rather than just the cool visuals.
You can download the Electric Rain single here!
The story so far! Here's the first 2 pages of the comic strip:
Some of my first sketches coming up with their look, plus logo designs:
Roughs for the first piece of finished art I drew them (final above). This got adapted into the cover for the first single, with Kai Love, the singer added in behind.
You can download the track here!
An unused cover concept:
I've loved working on this stuff, so thanks to them and their manager Aaron Ross; dudes all.
You can follow Random Crash on twitter @RNDMCRSH
More coming soon!
This is a bit of art for an ebook cover I drew/painted last month for The King's Man, by Rowena Cory Daniells. It's a novella set in her Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin series published by Solaris. A lot of the image I drew got cropped off for the actual cover so here it is at full width. Below is the final cover and a quick look at the various stages it went through. I started with a quick pencil sketch then added some greytones in photoshop before finally overlaying a few colour layers at the end.
Friday, 12 October 2012
Ravenstone is a new Children's and Young Adult publishing imprint set up by Rebellion. For the last few weeks I've been doing all the branding and stuff for them in anticipation of the launch, starting off with a basic logo design, but applying that style to all the promotional items, sales sheets and website etc. There's still a lot to do, as they haven't actually published a book yet, but here is some of the stuff I've done so far.
First up, and most important, was the logo. I offered up quite a few options when designing it, just sketching loosely in photoshop:
Luckily, everyone was pretty much agreed on the best ones on this list (the sketches around the 30s), so we whittled this list down to about 3 options and I went from there.
I ended up taking the type idea from the bottom right one, and adapting the top 3 into one idea (1d). The only thing I really didn't plan for in the sketches was flipping the raven so he comes towards you rather than facing away. Once I'd started working in illustrator he just didn't look right with his back towards you, and by having his head facing forwards I could make the eye and beak bigger and more prominent, which gives him a bit more character.
Here are some alternative colour options. I'm hoping to expand on these, adapting the colours to match whatever art the logo has to sit on.
Below is the banner I came up with for the main Ravenstone website. I took the basic logo and changed it into a full illlustration, drawn using a combination of vectors from InDesign and Illustrator, then adding some texture and shadows etc in Photoshop. I'm quite keen to go back to this and either animate (the windmill could move, the grass and tree could wave in the wind, the bird could fly in and land! quite excited by the options here) or add detail to it as time goes on. This is a kid's book line after all, and I'd really like the website to be as visually interesting as possible.
Next job is to make the Ravenstone typography into a full, workable font which I'm in the process of doing now. Been teaching myself to use Fontographer, so it'll be one of my first jobs with that. So far I've only worked out the lower case letters.
To find out more about Ravenstone (and to see all the branding in situ) please check out their