Thursday, March 29, 2007

Freshwater Fish

I'm just trying a smaller font size on this post to see if I or indeed anybody else prefers it, any comments welcome.

Here's some spots produced for (yes, you've probably guessed it) Horrible Science Magazine, various freshwater fish and some of their strange/interesting behaviour. I've had to draw a fair few creatures for Horrible Science, drawing animals well can be difficult especially when you may only have a small amount of reference or knowledge and have to draw a variety of them in a short amount of time but as I've probably mentioned before you can learn an awful lot from having to draw things that you probably wouldn't choose to draw. It doesn't hurt to have a broad knowledge of all sorts of stuff if you're an illustrator - or artist of any kind I suppose. Sorry that I don't really remember what all of these spots were about in particular and can't give you more information about them but I do remember that I enjoyed doing them and that out of all of them I think I like the Pike one most.

Goldfish

Suckermouth Minnow

Piranha

Tench

Siamese Fighting Fish

African Cichlid

Pike

Friday, March 16, 2007

Illustration Friday - Wired

I didn't have time to finish what I was working on for the latest IF as I had some Horrible Science stuff to finish off so here's something old that fits the topic, it was originally produced for Hi-Fi Choice magazine. I can't help feeling that posting something old is cheating a bit and kind of misses the point of IF so I guess that makes me a dirty cheating hound. Hopefully I'll finish off the piece I originally wanted to do and post it here.

Horrible Science - Astronauts

More spots produced for the Horrible Science Magazine, pretty self-explanatory really a bunch of astronauts from various countries.



Thursday, March 15, 2007

Horrible Science - Barmy Birds

I've been working on the Horrible Science magazine for a little while now, doing spot illustrations that are meant to be close to the style of the art in the original books. Here's some spots of some birds and examples of their weird behaviour. One of the best things about working on the Horrible Science (and previously Horrible Histories) magazine is that you have to draw all sorts of stuff that you would probably never normally draw. Being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing, even if the end result isn't as great as you'd like it to be at least you've learned something. I might never have drawn anything as brilliantly named as the Blue-footed Booby.


Blackcocks & Hawfinches

Dancing Cranes

Blue Bird Of Paradise


Catbird

Riflebird

Blue-Footed Booby

Sugarbird





Friday, March 09, 2007

Mortified and ashamed...

...is how I felt when I saw how long it's been since I posted anything on here. I've been busy but not that busy, if I'm honest. Bad Faz (with much finger-waggling at self). During this quiet period on the blog I was asked to do another piece for Scholastic, one of their classroom publications - the same one I did the Sybil Ludington illustrations for that I posted oh so long ago. This time it was a civil war scene, part of the battle of Bull Run where Union soldiers mistakenly thought a battalion of foot soldiers approaching them from their right were Union when in fact they were Confederate. At the time they were engaged in cannon battle with Confederate soldiers over the hill in front of them. Various conditions including no wind, low cannon smoke and dirty uniforms all led to the confusion. This is the initial pencil rough I drew.



The deadline was kind of tight on this one - it's really a bit of a shame when deadlines don't allow enough time for research
and to familiarise yourself with the period as much as one would like but that's the world of commercial art and illustration for you. I did the best I could under the circumstances but I'm not entirely sure if I was all that successful in depicting the scene. Battle scenes can be tricky to draw for many, many reasons - mainly because there's usually just an awful lot going on and laying something like that out can be difficult and this one was also made hard because of the three groups that needed depicting. Here's the revised and more finished pencils.



I should probably mention that as it's a magazine for schoolchildren in the US there couldn't be any blood or anything too gruesome so it's all a bit tame really. Kind of silly when the same children are probably exposed to far more violent imagery on a daily basis on the telly and elsewhere. Can't help thinking that it's a good and responsible thing for children to be made aware of the true price and horror of warfare, maybe even more so in an educational magazine. Anyway, enough blather, here's the final piece.