Monday, October 28, 2013

The Cottage Thief - Recent Sketchbook

I've had this idea for a while now, where a giant is making off with someone's house. In the past I would have gone with whatever I came up with first and dove right into the painting. However these days I like to ruminate on things a little more and mess around with the idea. There are always variations to consider - expression, costume, posture etc. So for now, here is some of that thinking, or horsing around, take your pick.

More soon and thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nana and Goliath

He came down out of the hills in full armour. He stomped through her garden, wrecked her front door, ruined her table cloth and even broke her favourite window. When he finally woke up he wandered off and never came back.

Thanks for stopping by.

More soon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recent Sketchbook

As usual I am up to my knees in client work that I cannot share because of contracts and NDA's and that sort of thing. However, I have set October aside to take care of a few small commissions and perhaps even paint one for myself.

In the meantime I have some recent sketchbook work. This is all random doodle stuff that I do to warm up or just have fun and possibly spark an idea for a picture. It is all very spontaneous and executed without any plan or forethought, which I'm sure is quite obvious. Here we have some gnome archers and some gnome wives and some other bird like critters.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope next time to have something a little more interesting.

More soon.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recent Sketchbook - Meadow Sprites

As summer moves into its final days and the colours on the land transition to the warm golden hues of autumn, Meadow Sprite activity invariably increases. These recent sightings were made in and around local gardens and nearby fields.

Be on the lookout for these normally elusive creatures. You just might be surprised to find out what is lurking in your garden or behind the shed.

More soon and thanks for stopping by.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Trolls - Recently Observed

This one flew past me near The Crown and Otter, followed by a flock of crows.

It's getting to be that time of year again. The final days of summer will soon be upon us and we can already sense that Autumn is just around the corner. The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. The annual migration of Trolls out of the Big Hill Country has begun and a few have recently been observed on the outer regions of Gwelf. These aren't the scary ones though. These are the harmless and the curious ones coming down out of the hills for a little look around in advance of the bigger and nastier ones that will arrive closer to Halloween.

These 2 were standing in a turnip field just off the Post Road near Bambury.

Don't be fooled by these early arrivals though. They may not be looking to start any trouble but if you scare one, or if they find their way into your wine barrel, there is still the potential for property damage, broken bones or worse. I just want to take a moment and remind everyone traveling in the Gwelf area this season to be cautious. I don't want to scare you but it is always better to put safety first. Trolls are easy to spot and even easier to smell. Stay vigilant and look for clues. Trampled gardens, broken gates and stray livestock are a dead give away.

This one was on Albion Bridge. There was something wrong with him, not sure what.

There will be a lot for tourists to do in the Gwelf area this fall so please be careful and enjoy yourselves.

Thanks for stopping by. More soon.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Draw !

In the past I would often post the warm up drawings I do in the mornings in preparation for a day of sitting at the drawing board. I haven't done a post like that lately and someone asked me if I'm still doing the warm ups or have I let that side of it go. I'm still doing it most days. Not every day mind you but quite often.

So in the spirit of full disclosure, here is a recent sampling. I draw lots of heads. I probably draw more heads than anything else. I also still draw lots of hands - sometimes my own, or I'll find random pictures of hands in magazines and draw those.

And figures of course. There is still a lot of work to do in that department.

Facial expressions - very important.

And sometimes when I'm drawing my own hands I will use a little mirror I keep on my desk and draw the reflection so that I can get a bit more variety out of the old left hand - see above.

Thanks again for stopping by.

More soon.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Painting - Long Bow

Well, I managed to find a bit of time to actually paint this one. I was hoping for slightly better results, but then I'm always hoping for better results. Anyway - watercolour and gouache on cold press paper. More soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Long Bow

I'm anticipating having bits of free time on my current project as communication passes back and forth between myself and the art director. These things usually take time and I wanted to have something to work on while the wheels of production turned - you know what they say about idle hands. I've had this little Redwall inspired mouse archer in mind for a while so I thought I would jot him down while I was thinking about it.

With any luck I'm going to be able to find the time to paint my Robin Hood Mouse while continuing to push forward on the commercial work - fingers crossed.

More soon and thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Recent Sketchbook - Faeries

Okay, some recent sketchbook. Since everything I'm doing these days is still NDA protected there is very little that I can share, but my sketchbook is still mine and there isn't anything anyone can do about it - so here goes.

These first couple are variations on a pose that I came up with for one of the projects I've recently been working on that I can't actually talk about. I have changed them of course and they no longer resemble their original incarnation but there is a vague similarity which you will see if I am able to obtain permission from the publisher to share a bit of said project with you.

These next ones are just for fun and come straight out of the old sketchbook. The way faeries appear in my mind they are misty and indistinct and it is not easy trying to pin them down in a drawing, when describing them seems to take away their magic. Thus the paradox of drawing the Unseelie.

That's it for now. I hope to get back here much sooner with another post. Thanks so much for stopping by. More soon.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Root Cellar Books

Root Cellar Books

As anyone who has visited the Gwelf region can attest, it's very well known for the variety and quality of it's book shops. This is a topic I have been meaning to get to for quite a while now. The problem was,  where to start, what with there being so many worthy establishments deserving a mention. So, as luck would have it, I ran into Fox the other day at the Belle Flower Inn and he told me, over several pints, how much he still enjoys popping into Root Cellar Books, the one out there on Kenilworth Road near the old stone bridge. I know the place well and was quite prepared to launch into my own reflections on time wasted and hours spent browsing those same dusty shelves when old Foxy began reminiscing himself. He is a gifted story teller and so I gave way.

Young Fox
He discovered the place many decades earlier when still a teen and began frequenting it regularly instead of going to school. He didn't have any money in those days so he would borrow the books, sit outside on a stone, which is now known as Fox's stone, and read in the warm autumn sun. At the end of the day he would return the books to the shop and in exchange, would sweep out the shop and empty the receptacles. According to Fox it was much different in those older, simpler times and borrowing a book from a shop meant to sell them was not frowned upon. Fox borrowed and read many.

Old Fox

Epic poetry and history were his subjects in those days and it is not at all surprising that he would grow up to become a scholar and a writer himself, despite his lack of formal education. I couldn't help but agree with his opinion that advanced mathematics and geometry have little or nothing to do with writing, story telling and the creative arts. There are of course some that say mathematics is a creative art in itself but that world is so foreign to me that I shan't comment. Needless to say, old Fox went on to have a brilliant and well known career as local historian, bard,  composer of fiction and patron of Root Cellar Books. Pop in if you're in the area and have a moment. I'm heading over right now. It hasn't changed a bit.

Thanks so much for stopping by again.

More soon.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Rabbit's Cottage - New Watercolour

Yes, this is a new watercolour, but it is also a reworking of a picture I made about a year ago that I called Rabbit's Garden. At that time, when I painted Rabbit's Garden, I also started this one which is about twice the size. I wasn't sure which one was going to work but I was curious to see if I could get this larger version off the ground. However I felt at the time that the smaller one was looking stronger so I completed it and put this one away. I recently pulled it out again and felt as though I was now ready to pick up where I left off with it.

For the past year or so I have been working through the most horrendous creative block. You've probably noticed posts going up and coming down as I search for a path out of this wilderness and try to get around whatever it is that's keeping me from moving forward. I feel, for now at least, as though completing this picture is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for bearing with me.

More soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Faun Colour Study

Just a wee colour study this time - 8 x 10 inches, acrylic on board. This is a preliminary warm up for something a bit larger I'm hoping to get to shortly. More soon.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Two Fauns

Okay, I warned you that there might be some more stone heads coming and I wasn't kidding. Here we have a small Rubenesque faun relaxing on just such a head and gazing out over the Arcadian landscape. Below her we've got a prancing faun making his way through the fields and below him we have an in-flight faerie drifting over the very same fields. All three of these characters exist in the same area at the same time, feeling the same breeze and the same sun, and are aware of each other, but all have agendas of their own and will not be influenced by the presence of these or the many other characters at play on this hillside at this time, such is the manner of these beings in this place. Thus the magic is cast over all. More soon, on these hills and many others.