Thursday, 25 March 2010

Pirates colour studies

These are a bunch of 15 minute colour studies from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Movie shots are carefully framed and colour designed for story-telling and mood so it's a great study resource for all the beautiful images you might want.

It's funny how the more you learn about something the more you realise how little you know. Back in the days when I started colouring digitally I knew very little about colour theory, or light for that matter, but I knew what I liked so that made me confident in my colour usage. Since then I've gradually caught on to the complexity of the world of colours and light, which all of a sudden made it into something rather difficult.

Colour is one of those shifty topics where rules are rarely general and things are judged on a case-to-case basis. There's a lot that could be said about it, but the piece of advice that I keep stumbling across is "When all else fails, go by what looks right". 

There's a great resource for pre-captured movie stills here - Leave me the white

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


At the end of last year I was privileged to be invited to my first wedding - that of Sally and Peter.
Sally is a gifted artist who I met through the comics scene. She had done a fabulous job at decorating the wedding reception with origami orchids made from book and comic pages, which gave the occasion a very nice personal  touch.
Instead of presents she asked us to do some sketches and I was more than happy to comply!

I was honoured to be able to share their moment.

From having had a wedding attendance of zero only recently I'm looking at two weddings coming up this year. You can tell when you're getting older.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Recent sketches

I lost the pen I normally use for my sketchbook (a Pilot G-Tec C4) on a recent trip to a karate competition (from which I brought home a silver medal by the way!) so I've been reverting back to the good old biro until I get a new pen.

Biros actually feel quite a lot like using a pencil, minus the possibility to erase of course. You get dark or light lines depending on how hard you press and it's quite easy to fall for the temptation to correct mistakes by going over the same area again and again... usually resulting in nothing more than a messy nest of lines and no real improvement.
That's why I love using a more fluid ink pen like the G-Tec when I'm out and about with my sketchbook. Its thin tip is precise and it forces you to be decisive when you put down a line. If the line is wrong you just leave it and move on which makes sketching fun and liberating and there's a definite charm to describing things with as few lines as possible.

With the risk of this turning into one of those "this is the tool to use" talks, I'd just like to end on the note that of course it's all about what you're comfortable with. It's worth highlighting the benefits of using a tool that makes you take responsibility for your lines and preferably think before you put something down however.