Richard III

Gosh, I really seem to be neglecting the cartoons whilst I focus on photography. However, I was recently commissioned to do a very specific cartoon that included a) Richard III and a reference to carparks b) an old people’s home c) a library of sorts, and errr d) Elvis!   Don’t ask…

Well, where does one start when they have to cram all of that into a single panel?    I managed it some how, I hope the recipient was happy!  richard iii colour

Under the weather



I’ve been off work today with a head that feels as though it’s stuck in a vice, streaming eyes, a deep, painful chesty cough and the energy of rechargeable battery that has had been reused one too many times. I spent a good 18+ hours in bed feeling sorry for myself before dragging my aching body to the sofa and back to bed when being upright became too much. Thank goodness for the internet, my iPad, paracetamol and the pile of satsumas left at the side of the bed by the good doctor. Here’s hoping another 10 hours sleep and a bucket load of drugs will rid me of this hideous lurgy. Good night all.



26/365 - Draftsmanship

Photo 26 of my 365 project used my cartoons as the subject.   I have been dedicating quite some time to my photography challenge and haven’t missed a day yet – it is much less time consuming than drawing but it gives me the same creative gratification.

Michelle at The Green Study pointed out that I haven’t really shared my ‘process’ before, and someone else commented that they thought I drew everything directly into the computer.   In a previous post I briefly mentioned how I do things while I waxed lyrical about creating smooth lines in Illustrator but I’m happy to share a bit more.

My process is simple.  I sketch in pencil, biro or whatever writing implement I can get my hands on.  It’s usually a really rough sketch to get the positions/expressions right. I then trace over the originals on a fresh sheet of paper using black Indian ink and a fountain pen, or a simple black liner if I’m feeling lazy. I have a lightbox to make tracing easier.  I continue to redraw, tweak and redraw until I am mostly happy with the final image.  Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly self critical, this part can take an age.

Finally, I scan the line drawings into Photoshop and do a bit of touching up. For example I  might remove blemishes, erroneous lines or fill in some detail I think would add to it.  Then I colour and add texture.  Ta Da!   Of course there are all sorts of variations depending on my mood, but this is my preferred approach.


The Casual Smarts


I’ve been doing some illustrations for a friend at work who has just started a new fashion blog called The Casual Smarts.  We couldn’t be more fashionably different and when we meet to discuss her project, I can’t help but compare my scruffy jumper, rucksack and baggy jeans to her carefully constructed outfit with matching accessories. Terms which were once unknown to me like shift dress, clutch bag, close-toed wedges and designer names such as Antonio Barardi and Barbara Cassasola, now fill my inbox.   A month ago, I could not have picked out a Louis Vuitton Pegase suitcase from a sea of inferior plastic wheeled cases and cabin bags!   Today, I can tell you what a Gavriel backpack looks like from 100ft away! We spent some time discussing whether my cartoony style would bring the tone of her blog down but she asked me to press ahead, which I duly did.   If they get used, I shall certainly share a few – but for a taster, here is her header image!

The Casual Smarts