28 February 2006

Unconscious Art...

...or Paint Doodles to those of you not fluent in Head-Up-Arse-ish.

Whenever I'm painting, the parts of the paper not given over to the important bits tend to get used for testing and experimenting before I go ahead and spoil my expensive paper and its painstakingly rendered drawing. Over the time that I've been painting with gouache I've grown quite fond of these accidental artworks - fond enough to want to preserve and celebrate them in some form.

The new banner above and the scribbled over ghostly title at the the top of the sidebar (I'm not sure if they're staying yet but they'll remain there at least until I make up my mind) are the very doodles I'm on about, as are the painty scribbles illustrating this post. These examples all grew like pretty weeds in the margins and waste-spaces of the numerous illustrations for the book I keep mentioning (does it sound like I'm quite chuffed and excited about what I've done? Well I am!).

I might post more of this stuff as and when it appears on my pages.


For anyone reading this from a corner of the universe where football (soccer) is not the flavour of local fundamentalist religion, every other summer (the ones with an even number) has a major footy tournament - this year it's the world cup and I'm already getting jittery and praying various members of teams I don't support don't get injurred between now and June. Especially Wayne and Stevie Lad...


Oops I did it again...


That is, spend a morning scanning various things, burning them to disc only to arrive at the library and discover that all the new stuff is not on the disc after all.

So, instead, I leave you with a few illustrations from the (as yet still incomplete - only two more drawings, five more paintings and a a load of DTP-ing from the finish line though) book I've been working on. While I fart around burning another disc etc so I can hopefully post what I intended to post today anyway.


Oh yeah, maybe I should see these disappearances as a lesson and stop off to buy a CDRW on my way home.

16 February 2006

I leave you with...


Some more sneaky previews...


to keep you wondering about (and hopefully looking forward to) what I've been working so hard on...


(assuming I actually finish it!). See you next week!

15 February 2006

Substantially fewer than a thousand words...

...in lieu of a picture. Because I just arrived at the library to discover the various images I had burned onto my cd were not there. This has happened before - I think it's something to do with burning again and again onto cdr instead of using cdrw. Anyway, I mention this is because I'm going away tomorrow, won't update for a week and didn't want to leave you all wondering if I'd fallen off. If I find time before my coach tomorrow I will post sumfing wiv pitchers like I'd planned to do now. But I probably won't find time in which case sorry and tara til next week.

13 February 2006

The Elvys

This strip, an early go with gouache and originally posted in October 2004, came to mind almost fully formed the moment I encountered the following pearls on the estimable Psychbloke:

It's still something I consider to be amongst the best two or three things I've done, and probably my most successful and satisfying gouache work to date. Many thanks Psychbloke for planting the seed...

9 February 2006

Some illustration work that came up this week... (not work, school or child safe!)

Believe it or not I spent most of yesterday drawing and painting 3r3ct p3nis3s. And a chin. And not just for the sake of it, because I'd been asked to do so by the magazine I mentioned earlier this week. The next issue (out early March) includes and article about phobias and they asked various artists to illustrate some of the stranger ones. I chose ithyphalophobia, the fear of seeing, thinking of or having an 3r3ct p3nis, and geniophobia, the fear of chins. I thought they were made up but apparently they're boner fide phobias. Aware that human 3r3ctions are illegal in UK media, I gaussian blurred (don't ask me what it means - it's an effect in paintshop) out the offensive members in the hope that it would render them palatable to the censor.


I dropped them off at the magazine this lunchtime and they decided to go with the one below - WITHOUT the blur! Which means I'm free to show you these blurry versions. I'll post the chin - and perhaps the uncensored versions, depending on my courage (I'm getting paranoid even now as I sit in the library, my screen full of cartoon 3r3ctions) - after the magazine has been published. Sorry if my representations of god-made human anatomy (exagerated slightly offend!



Maybe one of these?

I've been very busy with one thing and several, ays painting and nights being Haemon. Whenever I'm painting and there's a spare corner of paper to doodle on, I've been filling it with experimental new banners for here. These are what I've come up with so far.



If I decide to use something along the lines of the first one I'll probably do a 'best' version but the second can probably be used as is. What do you reckon? Which (if any) should I regenerate as next.

I'll post any other experiments as and when they appear on my page.

7 February 2006

What all local readers should do this weekend...


Yes, after more than a year away I'll be back on stage this weekend. Do come along and support us if you're in the neighbourhood. I'm playing Haemon, engaged to Antigone and son of Creon the King. Despite my name, I don't have a sidekick called Battlecat and never get to say 'By the power of Greyskull!'

Listen out for an excerpt from the play and interview with the director live on Radio Merseyside around 6pm this Thursday (9 February).

(Ooh - better point out that I didn't have a hand in this poster or any of the publicity).

Greed! (Unused Magazine Strip)

I was going to post this now anyway but today I received the (expected) confirmation that the magazine who had commissioned this strip (Another Late Night) weren't going to use it. Apparently my page was sold to an advertiser - adverts being more important now that they're expanding from local to regional. The theme of their first issue after Christmas and the New Year is Greed/Philanthropy and that was my brief - an A4 strip or illustration that has something to do with greed and/or philanthropy. There wasn't much time so I put this together (from brief to finished page via knocked around ideas) in about three days.


Everything about it - media (watercolour pencils), working to a brief and to a tight deadline - was new territory for me and it was satisfying to work for somebody else and get it from brain to page so quickly. But, somehow, it just doesn't feel like 'me' to me. And that, along with its failure to make it to print (which feels like a rejection even if it isn't), has left something of a bad taste. Still, they've asked me for another illustration and I'll give it a go. At 70mm X 70mm maybe I stand a better chance of winning out over the advertisers this time. I'll keep you posted!

2 February 2006

A Short History of Illustrated Headers

As so often seems to be the case, the inspiration for this brief post (marking the end of the original guild of guestbloggers re-posts) comes from psychbloke. He recently posted the various banners he's used to stamp his personality onto his portion of the blogosphere and so I'm doing the same:


This pencil drawing was my first attempt at a home made hand-drawn banner for the original GoG. Sadly the dimensions weren't really suitable so it never got used. Thankfully it wasn't a complete waste of my time as I was able to salvage the 'Wooo!' ghostwriters figure that has become my avatar (or whatever they're called).


Familar to the few who have been with me for the duration - the first hand-drawn banner that actually got used on the original GoG.


A pastel banner with a very short lifespan, from Autumn 2004.


My first gouache banner, defaced with the aid of Paint (the software that comes free with Windows as opposed to the colourful stuff) and usurping the shortlived pastel banner.


The undefaced banner which the old GoG sported from the end of the Guestblogger extravaganza until its demise in December 2004. The reborn blogger GoG (which you're now perusin) soon put on this coat:

It feels a bit like all those different Doctors in Dr Who. Maybe I'm due a regeneration...?


Fred usually blogs at koniption