Sunday, 11 December 2011

Advent day 4: Bat Craig

As per request, here is a picture of Craig loading up his Batmobile with Bat Stuff.

Not pictured: Batmobile.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Day 3, hahaha... Meg and Mog

With each day I fall further and further behind....

This is my friend Meghan. She likes cats and doesn't afraid of anything.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Day 2 (late) Liam

So at present my theme is "Bog standard portraits of friends in odd, but not particularly interesting, poses". Today's pic is my pal Liam, who is a good egg. He's not been out for fowar days. I left in a couple of test sketches at the top.

I got a new pen today and it is gorgeous. Weird how things like that make all the difference when it comes to how professional a drawing looks, huh?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Day 1? Rolo

So lots of people I know are doing the whole drawing a day advent thing, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. I'm aware today is not day 1 of anything. I did start this drawing on the 1st though. I also put a question mark because there's a good chance this'll fall through like a DIY staircase. We'll see I suppose.

I don't really have a theme. This one's just a straight up portrait of the GF. Her response when I showed it to her was, "Who is it? Oh really? I couldn't tell. What's wrong with my hands?" Thanks, Rolo x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Spook Fighters

Went to see Ghostbusters last night. Then stayed up super late drawing this. Inevitable really...

Saturday, 12 November 2011


I mean, uh... working on my caricatures... because... it'll be useful, yeah... Useful...

Certainly would be a handy skill for commission based stuff or what have you. I dunno, just something I wanted to work on. I was also trying to think more about colour theory and shading but I'm not sure how successful that was either... Dissertation still squats uncomfortably on my shoulders whispering terrible things in my ear. Yet to reach 7000 words but I'm pretty sure I have shed 7000 tears. That's close, right?

Guess who.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Slice of Life Drawing

Tried something a little different in the second half of life drawing today and attempted to caricature the life model. Once I explained what I was doing to our tutor, Reinhard, he was fine with it. I'm fairly pleased with the results, and if nothing else it was lots of fun.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Leaf Drawing

I don't really want to saturate my blog with my frankly rather mediocre life drawing. Been trying to push myself with it since Christmas though and I thought I'd put up one or two of the highlights. I did have a huge hiatus from about April through to September due to not being at uni, but I'm getting back into the swing I think.

These first two are from before the summer. The first one is copic markers, I'm not sure how long the poses were. The second one is just col-erase pencil and took 20 mins each.

The coloured chalk one here is from last week and was a fifteen minute job. The charcoal ones at the bottom were done today and were also fifteen minutes each

By the way, if you're feeling particularly good about yourself and need a swift kick in the self confidence, feast your peepers on this guy's life drawing. Jeeso...

Saturday, 17 September 2011


It was my mum's birthday on Wednesday, so I drew her a picture of Mick Jagger dancing. Because that's what mums like, right?

Thursday, 15 September 2011


Wakka, you crazy conservative...

I really need to get back into the habit of shading my drawings... This was just a quick sketch though. Wakka's hands are the bane of my existence.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Getting ready for Winter...

Ned Stark is ready for Winter, are you?

God damn I love Game of Thrones.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

You know that feeling...

When you start something that's supposed to be a quick silly doodle, then two hours later you're adjusting the colour levels and fiddling with the saturation and wondering what happened?


This picture stemmed from a Facebook conversation about Mark Haldane's oddly cropped profile photo and what might be happening in the rest of the picture.

Friday, 5 August 2011

It'll never last...

Three days, three blog posts. I seem to go through spurts of uploading loads of stuff all at once then having nothing for months. I think at the moment it's primarily a procrastination thing. I've got a dissertation to write, commissions to work on, storyboards I said I'd draft about for our 4th year film. Lots of daunting things basically, so instead I busy myself colouring doodles or, in this case, a postcard idea for D-con that didn't quite make it.

Interestingly, while I was trying to fettle some settings to make the picture less dark I accidentally inverted my shadow layer which, with the tiniest amount of tweaking, yielded this.

I quite like how it looks like there's two light sources now, one electric and one natural. I just wish I could take credit for it...

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Super Nanny!

Had a meeting with the rest of my team and ended up watching whatever Jo Frost's latest program is called while we had some dinner. For some reason one of the idents before the advert break had a toy helicopter in it and some how we came to the conclusion that this must therefor be Jo Frost's' method of transport.

So I drew this...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sketch dumps

What follows is a collection of pencil farts plucked fresh from my sketch book. Actually some aren't very fresh at all, some are weeks old... You've got the day I decided to draw dragons, some messing around with ideas on drawing faces (mostly plagiarised), some observational drawing, some people I saw around Dundee and Edinburgh drawn from memory later, a couple of passing in-jokes now immortalised and a smidgen of Phoenix Wright fan art. Hope it makes up for ridiculous hiatus.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Dr Who-Now?

This is a commission Piece for a friend who asked me to draw a picture of her mum with the tenth Doctor for her birthday. I need to work on my caricatures I think, had a bit of a struggle with this one.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


I thought this was funny when I started drawing it, but I think that writing my dissertation for pretty much twelve hours straight has addled my brain.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Open the door, Get on the floor, Everybody lay the Smack Down

This is a painting I did for my friend Ryan for his birthday, acrylic on canvas. I actually started it last year for his 21st but ran out of time. Then when I came back to it this year I discovered that I only had about 4 hours of work left to do on it. Gutted.

Doesn't matter anyway, Ryan seemed to like it and I know a few folks in the studio were interested in seeing the final product, so here it is. The wrestler is supposed to be Ryan himself. The dinosaur is no-one I know personally.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Something that... isn't... uni work...?

Apparently I'm still occasionally capable of drawing things just for the sake of drawing them. It's very liberating and I really wish I did it more often, but usually it makes me feel guilty...

Rachel's been preparing work for her portfolio over the past week or two and today she decided to do some painting. She had a nice reference picture she'd found on the internet of a girl sitting in an autumnal forest and since I was sitting next to her (Rachel, not the girl in the forest) I found myself sketching the girl's face. It turned into me trying to work the copic markers and this is the final result. I've tweaked it in Photoshop slightly because I think when I scanned it the colours came out kinda faded, but then again it might just be my laptop screen. Let me know if it's too bright, or any other criticisms really. Really need to improve.

Also need to update this blog more often...

Thursday, 31 March 2011


This is a major headache for me. Trying to work backwards to pin down all the things that make me who I am as an artist and an animator and why I'm going where I'm going with this film, along with why I make the kind of jokes I make, all along with references and links and critical analysis sounds pretty close to all the things I hate about essay writing. But hey, I do what I'm told, and I was told to do this.

To start I'm going to list some artists who inspire me stylistically and I'll talk a little about what I like about them and what I'm taking on board.

Okay, let's begin with Chris Riddell since a couple of people have told me my drawings kind of remind them of him. I think he was a bit of an influence on me before I even knew what an influence was. He's an illustrator for children's books amongst other things, and that's how I discovered him, while reading the Edge Chronicle books. He's got a lovely way of catching a lot of realism while still turning the drawing into an illustrative caricature. Wide set eyes are something of a trademark of his, which is something I've picked up in my own art and he just makes his characters so interesting to look at, without making them ugly, a skill that is actually pretty hard to achieve.

As cheesy as it no doubt is, I'd like to list my team mates as inspirations. I think one of the best things about being here in the animation department is being constantly surrounded by other creative minds. Aside from their beautiful personal work, they also are a veritable gateway into the artistic world, introducing me to hundreds of other artists, a lot of whom I plan on listing here.

Here we have some of Lynsey's doodles. I was in Lynsey's group in the first semester of first year and even though I never spoke to her due to being completely socially redundant, I did marvel enviously at her sense of construction and ability to subtly caricature the models in life drawing. It is pretty much due to looking through Lynsey's blog and sketchbooks that I learned how to draw girls, and just improved my use of construction shapes in general.

Kat has a tremendous skill with colour and composition that comes through very strongly in her work. She uses these talents to artfully bring out emotion in her work, and coupled with her beautifully vivid imagination, to really instil a sense of back story to the art. She's great with a graphics tablet and pretty much my go to gal when I have to do some digital work. Like Lynsey, she has an enviable sense of construction, and a wonderfully fluid style of drawing. The only remotely critical thing I would say about her work is that sometimes it feels like she rushes her drawings.
I wanted to link to Suzanne's animation rather than her illustrations because I think that's where her talent shines through best. She's got a great sense of timing and composition as you will see if you watch the video on the other side of the above link. She also works really hard, which is inspiring in a different way, and she's great at drawing animals, something I really need to work on.

Tom's sketchbooks are proper works of art. His delicate use ofline is just beautiful, and he really utilises colour to it's full potential. Everything he draws has so much character to it, you can really see his sense of humour coming through, and every time you look at his drawings you notice something new that is guaranteed to make you smile. On top of all that, he's great at drawing fabrics, smoke and other visual effects, animals, and he's a really strong animator to boot. To be honest, I don't know if I could pinpoint specifically everything about Tom's work that appeals to me, I just know that I frequently find myself wishing my own work looked more like it.

Going back to people I don't actually know, here are some of Stephen Silver's sketches. I discovered Silver because Tom had borrowed one of his books from the library and it was sitting in the studio. I took a look through one morning and was utterly blown away by the man. It would be unfair to him to say that I like his style, because he doesn't limit himself to one. Silver seems to change styles constantly and they all look amazing. Looking through I found myself thinking things like, "That's a cool way to draw noses," then copying it in my sketchbook. Aside from new ideas like that, I also picked up a handy tip about drawing faces based around figure of eight shapes which has come in pretty handy.

Stephen Silver isn't the only person to have his work plagiarised by yours truly. There are quite a large number of artists who I've stumbled across or been linked to who have inspired me to draw things a little differently. Instead of going through every single one, I'm just going to take a handful and put up wee examples of their work.

Bobby Pontillas

Emily Carroll



I'd like to speak briefly about Kate Beaton, who's work is on the left there before moving on, because I'm going to use her as a convenient crux. This is because, not only do I reference her comic, Hark A Vagrant as inspiration for her drawing style, I also love her humour. See what I did there? We've moved on to a different type of influence. Kate Beaton's style of humour is excellent. The jokes are slightly surreal and always totally unexpected. She manages to do this however while remaining to be incredibly insightful and observant, and just down right clever.

I'm strongly of the opinion that life is generally too short to be taken seriously, and comedy is probably my favourite kind of entertainment. The following (In no particular order) are all comedies that are maybe a little surreal in places, witty, observant and just generally funny for all those reasons that are impossible to pin down. By no means are these all my influences when it comes to humour, but it's a start:
Monty Python
Black Books
Laurel and Hardy
Fry and Laurie
Tom Lehrer
Flanders and Swann
Ivor Cutler
The Big Lebowski
Tom and Jerry
Scott Pilgrim
Terry Pratchett
Green Wing
Rock Profiles
Kung Fu Hustle

The list goes on. That last one, Kung Fu Hustle, is quite relevant to our fourth year film, Eat Your Greens, because it is very fast paced and very silly with a lot of physical comedy, something we're hoping to achieve.

Okay, so let's look at some animations that I find particularly inspiring, then we can all go home and have a nice lie down in a dark room.

First up we have SuperGo, an 8 minute epic by Alex Butera. The plot is bizarre but very funny in places, the characters are, admittedly, all very similar and fiendishly simple (although their proportions are quite realistic). The animation is my favourite bit though. Everything moves so fluidly and naturally. There is some pretty extreme foreshortening and perspective in some shots and some of the movements and actions are pretty complicated. Everything has a beautiful sense of weight, etc. It's awesome

Next is Burning Safari, a Gobelins film It's 3D but the way the character's move is so fast and cartoony and wonderfully silly. It's exactly the sort of over the top action we're hoping to replicate in our film.

Another Gobelins film, Le Royaume Also very silly. I love the crazy character designs in this, and the fact the animation itself has been left kind of rough which gives it a slightly manic edge. Possibly what I love best about it though is the totally over the top, extravagantly cinematic camera shots. Some wonderful direction all in all.

And finally, here's a scene from Gurren Lagann, a Japanese anime that also sums up that whole "Taking itself so seriously it can't take itself seriously any more" vibe that I love so much. The whole program is pretty ridiculous, in a wonderful way, but some of these crazy action scenes really take the cake. Sends shivers up my spine. I also like the few split seconds where the animation is really nice but really unclean, and you have this wonderful scribbly moment of madness. I'm fairly certain that style is demonstrated better in another scene in the series, but since I've been unable to find it you'll have to settle for this one.

So that's it for now. I've spent more hours than I dare to count trying to amass all my inspirations and I've probably missed out an awful lot too. Hopefully I've met the brief, and hopefully there's something in there to inspire you too.

Chris Riddell's Edge Chronicles work:
Kate Beaton's Hark A Vagrant webcomic:
The Goeblins Youtube channel:

Blogs and Deviantarts:

Friday, 11 March 2011

Faces in places. Mostly on this page of my sketchbook...

Spent most of yesterday mindlessly doodling faces and I've been told it should be on the blog, so here it is! Apologies for how long it's been since last post D:

Monday, 7 February 2011


Okay, I really need to get on top of this blog thing. Apologies for yet another late post and for yet another half hearted contribution. I've been a little snowed under, same as last week, and it's putting personal work on the back burner. Blah blah blah, heard it before, okay here's some more life drawing.

This week I decided to delve into the world of colour. As I said in a previous post, being able to use colour is a skill I feel I am quite severely lacking in and I've been meaning to start experimenting for some time. First two pages here were ten minute poses. The last page was twenty five minute poses.

I'll try and get something more interesting up soon.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Failpost No1

I was super busy and totally caught up doing stuff for the Flying Duchess fourth year film, and as a result I've done very little personal work. I was also away in Glasgow for the weekend and didn't manage to get anything uploaded here, so here's a late post. Have some life drawing. It's not much. I'm sorry.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

To quote the ghost, 'Sorry I'm Late'

Been working primarily on some basic preproduction stuff for my degree film this week, and as a result I find myself slightly lacking in the personal blog type work. I can, however, offer up these paltry doodles. Firstly we have this sketch I did in the pub. The man on the left started off very loosely based on a man sitting nearby. I quite like the way it turned out. The guy on the left is just your average mad professor stereotype...

I also have this rough doodle I did with my D-con stuff in mind. I was just trying to get the Cowboy Bebop cast down in a style I felt more comfortable with, any images I end up making prints of will hopefully have a lot more direction and scenario.

Anyway, that's all for now. Enjoy it.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Sofa, so good.

That's what I'd name my couch shop, if I owned one, which I don't.

Been drawing a lot this week. It's quite nice to have some time off to draw whatever creeps into my head. I had a wee think about what aspects of my drawing I need to work on and came to the conclusion that I need to work on pretty much everything. Where better to start than the bottom, eh? Anyway, this week I've been venturing into the world of shading, a skill I'm severely lacking in. I tend to shade badly, which spiralled into my hardly ever shading at all, and that's not really helped if I'm honest.

Started off with Big Boss and Kamina up the top (I was thinking about what D-Con stuff) then my own ugly mug and then a few other friendly faces of my own creation.

Dunno who this guy is, some kind of bounty hunter maybe? I was trying to branch into some other areas of weakness and experiment with costume design and camera angles.

Anyway, that's your lot for now. I'm thinking about trying out some digital colouring on the second picture at some point but at current I don't have the software running. Keep your eyes peeled and all constructive criticism is more than welcome.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New year mark 2: Newer year

This blog was started as part of my New Year's resolutions last year. I think it's pretty safe to say that I failed miserably on all accounts there... I'm going to give it another go though. Nothing too specific this time, I'm keeping it simple.

I will update this blog at least once every week I possibly can.

Now I'm aware that most of the people who follow this blog are the same people I see in the studio every day, so I'm relying on you lot. If it gets to Thursday or Friday and I haven't updated yet, just come over and punch me in the face... Or tell me to post a blog... Or something... You get the idea, get me telt.

Anyway, to start us off I've got something a little different. My little sister had to do a self portrait from a mirror as part of her Standard Grade Art and it got me thinking. I only ever seem to draw with pencil these days and it's always cartoons as well. So here's an oil pastel self portrait, drawn from a mirror.

Talk about oily skin, eh? The proportions are off, I seem to have subconsciously prettied myself up a little... The whole thing is a bit rough in general and I haven't used oil pastel for absolute donkeys. Also the paper I used has some weird relief lettering on it which I didn't notice til it was bleeding through my picture... Ach weil, see you next week.