Monthly Archives: February 2013

Brickwork No.1

So I’ve been monitoring my (non existant) cashflow and I’ve come to the realisation it’s back to supplementing my “starving artist” lifestyle with some more painting to sell ( And it looks like there’s a few more “doors” left in me. Eventually I’ll paint, like, 78 of them and realise I could have done another Tarot Deck (sigh) – but I don;t have a full deck in me, ready to come out … and these things cannot, or should not, be forced.

Doors, however, I can paint and doodle for peanuts.

This series of four (always a nice round number), will be based on brickwork. The doors themselves will be recovered wood, made into doors. This gives me a lot of creative freedom to “age” my paintings with dirty textures and surfaces.


Starting with the base colour – all of them got two layers of Warm Red (working in Acrylics). I find two layers gives a good solid barrier between the canvas and the washes of paint I apply on top. I’ve noticed on my thinner pieces that if I’m not careful with my brush pressure, the paints rub right off the canvas with thinner layers. Two layers of “primer” or “base” layer protects me from that lack of grip.


After the Burnt Umber sketch, I start working on the contrasting light undertones. Note that I’m still thinking of all the colours which will be under the final ones I paint on top. I’m not sure if this a particularly great technique, but the end result is much richer when I have layers of paint and translucent washes.


Here’s a Day Time shot of laying on other mid level tones over the darker ones. The photos here vary between light and dark because I work throughout the night under warm (yellow) light. I also work on 4 paintings at the same time, till i get to a stage where one needs to be detailed. It’s a workflow process I’ve adopted to save paint (and leftover paint gets applied as a under layer on another painting, regardless of whether it’s suitable for that painting).


Going back to lighter tones, I start detailing the brickwork in the architrave.


A few more perspective adjustments (painting without sketching can be tricky, but since the canvases are so small, the adjustments are easy to make) and I start laying the base colours of the door.



And here’s the final with highlights and shadows worked back in. I’ve opted to give the door a bright/sharp light source and an overcast shadow from above to give a bit of depth. It makes it a little peculiar but I think with a final shadow wash, I can anchor it all back in. The perspective isn’t perfect, but I suppose that’s what make paintings not photos.



Hmm, to-door-knob or not-to-door-knob?

Keep It Close To The Heart


Here’s another re-composited image of one of the characters in the story I’m illustrating.

I reused the face, body, hands and hair from a previous image and just added a few little things.

The face, is a dramatic change from the usual menacing one to a soft smile – which required a fair bit more re-arranging of features. Thankfully the wrinkles of the face make it easier to convey that expression and scaling and joint-painting over it this one was a breeze.

The original face in the image below was scaled up and over laid the sketch to indicate the areas which needed rework (note the repeats in face of the original image – that’s because I work in layers and cover over the extra bits of the face with hair/clothes)


The face with sections cloned out (Lasso-ed and Option+Nudged) and Rotated and scaled to match as close as possible to the expression I’m going for.


The half of the face which has been painted over to clean up the joints. The nose has been angled a bit upwards and the brows raised to soften the gaze. The half face is then Mirrored to and  painted over (cleaned up) again at the mid section.



I also reused the hands from another picture and re-did the index finger and thumb to hold the locket. The glasses are bent in this picture to further accentuate the softness of the expression. Apart from that, the whole piece took much less time than other pieces because the bulk of the work has already been done.

Visual Cover Letter (& Resume)

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So here is the slideshow/gallery of the Visual Resume I made, in an attempt to get my foot in the door in an (mid-sized)  Architectural Firm (I’ve blocked out the names of the people involved and some references directly to them for their privacy) . I did get an “interview” of sorts, but unfortunately there were no positions available for my administrative experience, creative skills or architectural background. The upside was that one of the principals was impressed with my work (I had to generate a port folio from scratch for the “interview”) that he might contact me in the future for presentation work to add to my “industry experience”.

The background/inspiration of this piece came from a thought “what would I want to see if some one sent me a resume/cover letter for a position in a creative agency?”.  Writing my own brief, I determined that I should make it post/mail-able, showcase of my ability to communicate visually, quirky enough to be different but anchored enough to show my personality. Most of all it had to be personable, because the person reading this would have to get an idea of who I was as a human being of 30 plus years.

I went old school for this using blue mechanical pencil lead (old school drafting) and felt-tip pens for the lettering. I also left faint construction lines, to evoke that old school feel.

I had a lot of doubts while producing this, as it was a significant body of work (40 pages of hand drawn images and or typography), about the success of it. Thankfully I managed to push through it, because the response was “delightful resume” and “come in and let’s have a chat”.

(While I am pretty amazing with my baking, I decided not to risk food poisoning and opted to get a cake from Le Petit Gateau for the “interview”)

Side Serves: Concept Art & Visual Resume

While working on the illustrations I’ve blogged about, I have also been working on two other little projects.

(One) Some concept art for an ex workmate who wants to create a RTS type Game. Humans, Robots, Aliens – usual stuff. At this moment I have free reign on concept with a very bare frame work suggested by him. I’ll post some images up later once I get an okay from him.

(Two) I decided to do a Visual Resume/Cover Letter to apply for an entry level job at an Architecture Firm. I figured, if I was hiring, I’d like to see something personal and creative from the applicant. In this case I am also cold-calling. It’s a 80 page Moleskin blank journal – which I only used 40 sides, because of how thin the paper was. All the lettering was done in felt tip and all the background images were done in mechanical blue pencil (old school drafting). I left the construction lines for effect. I’ll probably post the sequence out, once I find out if it had the desired effect (even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll probably still post it)



Wish me luck!

Recycling Faces

Part of my workflow has been about recycling and re-using of parts/sections of previous detailed work. In effect, I’m doing photo-manipulation work to reduce the workload of re painting images from scratch. Thankfully, I had some foresight to repeat themes and images when I first laid out my work and so the re-work has been minimal.

Here’s two images which are similar (background character), but different at the same time.

This image is similar to the “Vampyre” one, but the only difference was the addition of hair, hands and part of the body.


The image below is similar to the one above, but the difference here is the hair, hands, angle of the face, and mouth (which I varied with a little smirk). I also got to re-use the heads of the foreground characters from other images and the teddy bear.




Based off these original images where I composed most of the elements.

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