Sunday, 11 October 2015

Inktober 2015 - Part 1

It's that time of year again! Time to have ink all over my hands for a full month. Here are my pictures from the first 10 days of Inktober.

Day 1 - ink and water. Isaac may be an angel or he may be a ghost with delusions of grandeur.

Day 2 - gel pen. This one was done in a bit of a hurry because I forgot we had guests for dinner. No proper background for you, Nat.

Day 3 - brush inking and ink wash. Time to cheat and do a dolly-style picture already! I used it to practice brush inking so it wasn't a complete cop-out. Lena is looking fancy in a shiro-lolita outfit.

Day 4 - g-pen. I was absolutely gobsmacked that my 'frequent use only' cartridge g-pen still worked after months gathering dust in a drawer. That's not a good environment for Chiihon.

Day 5 - brush inking and ink wash. Ill-advised adventures in ink wash may be my favourite part of Inktober, even though I don't like ink wash enough to use it normally. This is where I started to settle into the rhythm of the challenge, I think. Lucas survived this incident, but the police never found the culprit.

Day 6 - mapping pen. Throwing your only friend in the air is the best and most entertaining way to practice your telekinesis, of course.

Day 7 - brush inking and ink wash. I was still thinking about Lucas after being very pleased with day 5, so I drew him again. 7 or 8  years later he's about as fully recovered as he's ever going to be.

Day 8 - ink and water. I wish I'd had time to give this one a better background, but Sweetpea is having a good time with his tree's autumn leaves anyway.

Day 9 - gel pen. Not all the fairies in Louise's house are creepy and bad.

Day 10 - ink and water. I tried specially to have a proper background this time, as I'd gone four days without one. One of the tricks Spider can do with his psychometric powers is translate books in languages he otherwise doesn't know.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Spook's Apprentice

I've been working on some book illustrations for a portfolio update, so I picked a few scenes from The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney, which is a book I really enjoyed. Originally I planned to do these in gel pen, but I realised I'm still very happy with the illustrations from The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray that I did in that style, so I tried something a bit different and went for thicker cross-hatching done entirely in dip pen. I also tried a few insets instead of sticking with only full-page illustrations, and experimented a bit with new compositions.

Of course, any kind of horror illustration is still firmly within my comfort zone. Up next, something a bit lighter and more child-friendly.


I only made one new comic (so far) this year, so I thought I'd try something different and do all the comics in graphite. It's made in the same way as Flight, with four short comics based on one-word prompts. In order, these are Line, Place, Compulsion and Kleptomania.

The hardest was the last comic, Kleptomania, because I accidentally scripted a comic that was nothing but a long chain of things I can't really draw. Oh well, these are the ways we improve.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Another piece from the dark days of computer issues.

This is an example double-page spread from a children's book concept, in which a girl descends through different levels of the ocean in a bathysphere. The full book would have a double page per ocean region, and probably some extra pages in the back with facts about the real sea life that appears and the development of the bathysphere and such.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

More Civil War

The last of the non-fiction drawings from when I had computer troubles.

This was really common when I was in primary school - comparisons of clothing styles between puritans and catholic royalists. One thing I noticed though is that they tended to show upper-class royalists, and middle or lower-class puritans, so I drew a standard upper-class royalist pair (although they ended up looking too much like the actual king and queen...) and tried to find information on what upper-class puritans would wear.

It turns out puritans were very much in favour of the social hierarchy, and upper-class puritans would have worn richer fabrics and embellishments like ribbons and lace edging to visually indicate their social standing. The open-fronted skirt was apparently a more conservative style at the time, because it required less of the more expensive outer fabric.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Civil war soldiers

In today's episode of 'things from when I had no computer', some different types of soldiers from the English Civil War.

Researching these turned out to be very hard, there was a lot of conflicting information. For example, would a pikeman have a sword? I found books saying both yes and no. In the end I thought that being in the front line with only a heavy, 3-4 metre spear would practically be suicide, and I couldn't see anyone agreeing to do it unless they also had a close-range weapon.

Anyway, I did my best with the sources I could find, but I won't be surprised if a historian pops up and points out lots of problems!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cells, bacterium, virus

Today in ‘things I couldn’t post during computer trouble’, cell diagrams.

I was working on the sort of diagrams I remember from school, so I tried plant and animal cells at the two levels of detail you’d see at GCSE and A Level here in the UK, and a virus and bacterium for good measure.

I’d like to also try a more 3D approach, as they’re getting more popular in textbooks.