Monday, December 24, 2012


Been neglecting to post work lately. Sorry about that. As an apology please accept these fine faces not so finely finger painted. And have a Very Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, November 23, 2012

ABC Warriors

The ABC Warriors are the creation of Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill, supported by the excellent, Mick McMahon, Brendan McCarthy and many others.I've stuck pretty much to O'Neill's original designs rather than the 'muscular' look of later incarnations as, despite some great work, that's my preference.
These have been put through an Instagram filter, mainly so they come out smaller than the set size Finngr does them which is pretty big.
I've decided to make prints of some of the finger paintings, I've done 4 portraits for this, but I'll not post anything until I've arranged printing as the internet is notoriously fickle and I think a gap between posting and selling would hurt.
I've not sold anything before as I find it hard to gauge interest for the kind of print run these things seem to need. But you have to take the plunge some time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rough and ready Monkey gif

This is the small version of a gif I made to use in a smart notebook resource for teaching children about books from other cultures, in this case 'Journey to the West', for my primary teacher degree. All the drawing took me about 5 or 10 minutes, putting it together took a hours, because I'm an idiot :)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Don Siegel finger painting process

Here's a process gif of the Don Siegal finger painting.
It doesn't seem to show up the solid black on my computer, but clicking on the pic seems to work... and will probably make it bigger.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Don Siegel finger painting

One of my favourite directors, with an impressive list of film to his name, including Riot in Cell Block 11, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Killing, Coogan's Bluff, The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick and Escape From Alcatraz, all on my 'best film' ever list.
No matter what the subject matter Siegel's films were tightly told with a minimum of fuss and flair, yet were far more than just service, the lack of fuss gave them a muscular leanness and the lack of flair was more to do with not getting in the way of  the story rather than lacking in visual style.
Siegel's raw stripped down style, with great silent moments and direct, almost terse at times, dialogue found a great match in Clint Eastwood, who featured in many of Siegel's films.
Because I'm a fan I'm slightly disappointed by not doing a better job at capturing his likeness. In many ways he should be a perfect fit for my slightly Muppet-y cartoony style, but I didn't capture the twinkle in his eye. Still, it's not a bad likeness.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Shining finger painting

I opted to draw Shelly Duvall rather than Jack, because he get's more  airtime, and persoanlly I think she sells the fear and edginess that makes The Shining work.
I decided to save as many stages as I could remember when I did this one and have a go at making my first Gif - I'm afraid I have no idea why it isn't showing the solid black... anyone else? Hopefully this gives a little insight into how the process works. As you can see I start of with a rough shape and placement and then add and refine from there. As Finngr has no erase function you can see that the only way to correct is to paint over what doesn't work - this is also how I refine bits, by carving away what doesn't work by painting over with whatever the base colour is.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Creature From The Black Lagoon Fingerpainting

Wonderful design, and a great. There's some lovely scenes in Creature From The Black Lagoon, and one of my favourite doesn't even feature the creature - it's a shot of the boat going one way as the camera tracks the other way. All those wrinkles were loads of fun to draw

Mad Love fingerpainting

I saw Peter Lorre in Mad Love when I must have been about 9, I've never forgotten it. In my head it's disturbing, hysterical and hallucinogenic, which is the great thing about childhood memories :)
Here's Peter Lorre before and after....

Fingerpaint collection 8

Why did I draw Jon Bon Jovi? It was the challenge of how to do the hair. Does it look like Jon Bon Jovi, not really, but check out the hair.
Alien, after tackling Jon's curls I figured the piping on everyone's favourite xenomorph would be a doddle.... and it was :)
Two from American Werewolf in London, because it's a brilliant film and because the hair, then the shredded face were going to be a challenge. They were, but they were fun to do too.
Rawls from The Wire is not a bad likeness I think, and it came pretty fast too... of course at this point they were taking more than 5 minutes, but 10+ minutes didn't seem too bad. McNulty was a little trickier, probably because I didn't use anyone particular piece of reference, just cobbled together a pic using a few different ones.
A tree and a car, back to doing something quick and off the cuff.
It's nearly Halloween, so I started doing some horror classics, these last three, Two Lon Chaney's and a Frank from Hellraiser, were back to being a bit quicker and less precious about capturing a likeness, but they also had the advantage of not needing an exact likeness as they're fairly iconic.
Somewhere inbetween the early speedy fingerpainting of the first few in this series and the later detail seems like a nice compromise.
And there you have it (well, not quite, there's just not enough for one of these collections), fingerpaintings so far. There's nearly 90 of these now and they've been worth their imagined weight in gold for me, they've been a lesson in simplicity vs detail, but most importantly they've been fun to do, and finding drawing fun seems to be what it's all about.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

FIngerpainting collection 7

I love me some Phibes, and Price and his craggy make up was a joy to get lost in. Worf presented some issues of colour choice. Giant Haystacks came quick and easy, I wonder if it was because I wasn't too worried about the likeness? Kurgan looks nothing like Clancy Brown, sadly. The next 4 are people on the bus and in a coffee shop, so you'll have to trust me when I say they looked EXACTLY like this.
If you draw Giant Haystacks, you have to draw Big Daddy, it's a law.
80s synthpop singer Claudia Brucken.
Lemmy, done in a minute, which is why he probably looks as much like Sean Connery as Lemmy.
The Joker, as played by Cesar Romero, I should probably do the other versions of the Joker, make a nice set. After I finished The Joker I couldn't resist adding his makeuped 'tashe.

Fingerpaint collection 6

Nothing much to say about the random guy I made up, just having fun.
Can you tell it's Walter Bishop? I didn't use reference, so it's not great, I was just watching Fringe at the time.
5 from Arrested Development, Tobias Funke fell straight of my finger, and it seemed obvious to do him in his blue man make up. Buster didn't take much work either, but Gob, George Sr and George Michael Jnr took a bit more work. I think they all sort of look like who they're meant to be, but gain a bit more recognition from being grouped together.
Slaine from 2000ad, and a nod to Mick McMahon's version.
If you've ever been anywhere near me with a pint you may have heard me babble about how amazing Superman The Movie is, so when I decided to draw the Zod, Ursa and Non I wan't to see how well I could draw them 'properly', even to the extent of briefly dropping the 'muppet' nose for Zod. THe tricky bit about Zod was not just trying to get a good likeness of Terence Stamp with a chubby thumb on a tablet screen and no zoom function to help me out, but to get that wonderful haughty expression... I'll leave it to others to judge if I managed it. Ursa was tough, I admit it, and I'm not too happy with how she looks, which is a shame and it's one of the few pics I'd like to revisit (but forward is the name of this exercise, which I started to realise it'd turned into at this point) After the failure of Ursa I was chuffed when Non just appeared in a few minutes.
Picard was a pretty quick pic, and I recall my wife shouting from the bedroom (she was ill at the time) that I was supposed to be walking the dog not doing another bloody fingerpainting... at this point, I was clearly suffering an illness just as much as she was:)

Fingerpaint collection 5

IF, like me, you like horror and comedy, you're probably a fan of The League of Gentlemen. Hilary Briss and Edward & Tubbs are some of my favourite fingerpaintings, they're still quick and cartoony, but I think the likeness is strong, and not just down to the focusing on the key obvious bits.
Blackadder 1 and 2 don't quite capture the likeness, but I think they capture the character, 1 looks simpering and 2 looks in control, so I'm happy with that. It's a similar thing with all 4 of The Young Ones.
Columbo is the one though. The likeness isn't perfect, but I had such fun drawing the wonderful rumpledness of Peter Falk that I found, that despite my earlier thoughts, a degree of detail was possible - it required 'chiseling' away the lines a little, which seemed counter to my earlier quick 'get something down' efforts, but as it was still enjoyable, then I was fine with it. This was the point where I not only realised I wanted to go further with capturing a likeness, but that I was jsut having a great time and drawing was loads of fun. Thank you fingerpainting!
Kirk and Spock are a bit of a step back from Columbo, but I was doing these pretty fast (anywhere from 2 to 5+ minutes) and launching into the next one that I wish I'd taken a breath just a little and done a slightly more considered version... that said, they were both fun, they look like who they're meant to be, and I think I even (accidentally) managed to make them look like a mix of both actor who played them.

Fingerpaint Collection 4

As Bubbles didn't work out I went back to something simpler again, but although The Scarecrow and Tin Man were my own design, I couldn't resist a nod to the film versions of The Wicked Witch of The West and the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz.
Laurel and Hardy are a bit of a gift for the simple but recognisable thing I was going for, they aren't great, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't obvious who they're meant to be.
The next 3 were done in a coffee shop and so even though they're rough were another attempt at trying to be a bit more considered before applying thumb to screen.
I can't resist drawing SUperman, and he'll always look vaguely 50s-ish when I draw him - see here for proof.

Fingerpainting collection 3

Last 3 Game of Thrones pics, and I was pretty chuffed with Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane and Khal Drogo, still fairly simple focusing on key information (for me, it looks like Drogo just because of the eyebrows), but they came together quite well I thought. Daenerys Targaryen was a little trickier and didn't come off so well.
Not much to say about Spidey. Ziggy Stardust Bowie look like a junkie in drag, which isn't exactly inappropriate, but I was grasping for subject matter here and with Thin White Duke Bowie, guess I was wanting a theme to follow on from Game of Thrones?
The quick Clockwork Orange pic came out ok, I quite like the pose..... not so much with Tron.
Dylan looks nothing like Dylan, but I quite like the pic, so that's ok.
Back to the portraits with one of me, it looks more like me than the pic of Bubble from The Wire, who looks a bit like Yozzer Hughes from Boys From The Black Stuff. Bubbles/Yozzer was frustrating, I really wanted to do something as good as I thought 'The Hound' and Drogo came out, which probably inspired how the next three fingerpaintings came out.

Fingerpaint collection 2

Bond appears and which I guess is the start of 'likenesses'. Bond appeared simply because he was on the cover of the Radio Times when I was doodling. I think the red for the face is quite striking, but I later decided that keeping coming up with a different colour for skin tones was going to be tricky when Finngr only has 8 colours, so I eventually settled on grey.
Matt Smith as the Doctor barely looks like him, but I think the big nose and sweeping hair is enough to make the point. Also, the muppet nose seems to make it's first appearance. I've always felt noses drawn with an outline can be a bit weird looking, and I've started to think of noses as interesting shapes.
My version of Batman is probably closer to Adam West than Frank Miller, so this has the fun of West and a pose that's taking the mickey from one of the Dark Knight covers... when I posted this one on twitter I called 'Batman playing with a balloon'.
I'm a huge fan of Mr X in a variety of his incarnations..... he's very easy to draw and make look striking.
Wally Wood/Al Williamson/Frazetta style 50's tearaway. It's not great, but it was my first go at adding detail to one these and I was quite surprised to see that I could.
Could I fingerpaint from life? My daughter eating cereal say still long enough to prove I could. I still really like this, but I can't put my finger (*groan*) on exactly why.
With Jon Snow the whole portrait thing took hold, it doesn't look like him, but fingerpainting doesn't really allow for that much control, particularly when you can't zoom and the like, or at least that's what I thought at the time. Like the Matt Smith pic, it seemed best to latch on to some clear aspects of the character, in Snow's case it was the mopey face and amazingly tousled hair. After doing one Game of Thrones character, I thought I might as well do more.
Joffrey is barely recognisable, but he looks smug and sinister and that was enough for me.
Robert Baratheon doesn't seem a bad likeness, I tried a different colour on his face to try and capture his florid look, it makes him look more like a muppet, but that's ok I think.
Ned Start probably look a bit better drawn but there's neither likeness or 'key recognisable points', and I was a bit disappointed to be sticking so close to reference - the previous pics had been done either off the top of my head or just looking at a few different refs and making up my own version.
At the time I wasn't happy with Tyrion Lannister as a drawing or a likeness, but looking at it now, it looks ok. I think the benefit of grouping the characters together is that it becomes obvious who is who by contrast and association without worrying too much about getting an exact likeness and just focusing on the character..... maybe that's the problem with Ned, the others have some kind of expression that tries to sell who they are, Ned just looks all noble and stoic. Tyrion could've done with a better try at capturing his character, he is one of the best things about Game of Thrones after all.
More Game of Thrones fingerpaintings in the next post......

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fingerpaint collection 1

I decided to go back and group all my fingerpaintings in chronological order. I thought it might be interesting to see the development and progression.... at least, it's interesting to me!
I think it's fairly obvious on the first 5 halloween themed pics that I was thinking in terms of starting with one big shape and adding simple detail. At this point fingerpainting was just throwaway fun.
Dredd broke with the style of previous pics and propted my Dennis the Menace, which, if I may be so bold, I'm really pleased with. In fact, with Dennis I though, I'd be quite happy with a Dennis comic fingerpainted like this.
I didn't originally post the Hulk pic as I thought it was a bit clumsy, but as I've done more fingerpaintings my idea of 'good' has changed somewhat. Basically, if I had fun, then the picture is 'good'.
With Darth I'm trying to go back to the single dominant shape and simple detail.
My daughter had been playing a lot of Sonic, no other reason for that pic.
There's always some Pixar on in this house, and I'm pretty happy if it's Monsters Inc. The last 2 pics here look like I was starting to break free of the simple approach, if only by having more than one character on a pic.
So, even after just 12 pics I think there's a progression of sorts. And it doesn't stop there!.......

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calvin and Hobbes

Initial rough drawing
Pencil sketch of flowers
Final pencils
Almost finished art
Tighter cropping
I'm a longtime fan of Calvin and Hobbes yet for some reason I don't think I ever drew them, luckily artist extraordinaire James 'The Mooks' Howard set Calvin and Hobbes as another of his drawing themes.I imagined other artists would take inspirations from Calvin's exuberance or flights of fancy.
I decided to focus on the obvious love of nature Watterson had, and would occasionally allow Calvin to have - the Sunday strip in which Calvin muses philosophically after discovering a dead bird was in my mind, but I wanted something a touch more positive.
As luck would have it I'd taken a photo of my daughter that I'd thought about using as the basis for a drawing, but my efforts never came out right - perhaps it's because it required drawing her in extreme close up which made getting the balance between my need to keep my drawing cartoony and capturing a realistic likeness? So I decided to use the photo as inspiration for my Calvin and Hobbes piece.
One massive mistake I made here was getting lost in the drawing. My intention had been to crop quite a bit of the drawing. I just didn't like the crouching pose on Calvin, and it was meant to be more about the close up of his face and the flowers/caterpillars, but wanted to draw a bit more to give it a sense of place in my head - even if I did fudge things a little. In the end I didn't crop things enough, so I've included the correctly cropped version here.
The initial rough of this was loads of fun to do, it's drawn A3 size with a thick graphite pencil, and much like the fingerpaintings I've been doing, it felt great to draw with the same abandon I see when my daughter draws. There's an important lesson there, and it's one I intend to pay attention too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Not the first time I've had a go at drawing Phibes, but it is my first fingerpainting of him. These have been getting a bit more elaborate (if you follow me on twitter you'll have seen a few more), but they're still fun, and fairly quick. If you want to see an even better Phibes go to Shane Oakley's blog here.

Arrested Development fingerpaints

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yet more Fingerpainting

Characters from Game of Thrones. Another nice thing about Finngr is the lack of zoom. Ordinarily this would be a problem, but the clumsiness of use (depending how fat your fingers are!) also helps focus your mind to say exactly what you want to say as simply as possible. In the case of capturing likenesses? Well, decide for yourself how close these characters look like who they're meant to be.

More Fingerpainting

Here's all the fingerpaintings I did on Finngr yesterday, 3 times as many as I posted before.
I had a lot of fun doing these, the limited palette and lack of erase and undo really helps focus your mind and frees you from caring. Not all of them are successful, but I learned a lot doing them. I have a few favourites from them, but they might not be the same as yours, so I'm keeping my mouth shut!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Quick drawings done on a fingerpainting app called Finngr, recommended by David Hailwood. It's got a minimal palette and no erase or undo. Nice and simple.
These are mostly halloween themed, but Dennis the Menace sneaked in too.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Judge Dredd

I've always struggled drawing Dredd. It's a great design, but it's not one I have any affinity with, I just can't make the eagle and shoulder pad work. I've faked the odd Dredd, and I could probably do a passable pastiche of other people's interpretation, but I've never managed 'my' version. I also have a fondness for the early design, the 70s biker/punk ethic, that I feel is lost nowadays. I also like the rounder elements of the original helmet, back when it made the Judges look more skull like, rather than the stylised look that I think loses that. None of this is criticism, I think many other artists (McMahon being the obvious example) make it work brilliantly, just not me. Anyway, I tried to have another go at doing my version, and these are what I came up with. They're doodles really, the B&W is a fingerpainting (my first) done on an iPad, and the colour one was done on a scrap of paper and probably half the size it is on screen. But, they're actually quite close to how I'd like to draw Dredd.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Astrodog

Here's a random panel. The Star Wars cantina influence is strong in this one.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Astrodog page 1

Here's an early showing for the revamped Astrodog comic. I've inked 10 pages, which means I'm 1/3rd of the way through.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Kids, snow and a robot?

This is for a thing that might happen.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Desperate Dan

Here's my version of Dandy classic character Desperate Dan (the bull's a nod of the hat to 'Bully for Bugs'), created by the brilliant Dudley D. Watkins, and presently featuring the wonderful work of Jamie Smart.
UK comic institution 'The Dandy' is at risk of folding due to low sales with it's 75th birthday coming up. I used to get The Dandy delivered and was a regular reader for at least 5 years. To be honest I'm not sure why I read it (my memory seems to think it was picked by my dad, not me), the truth is that the IPC/Fleetway titles appealed more, with only old issues featuring David Law's Corporal Clott, or reprints of Dudley D. Watkins' Desperate Dan providing interest.
The point is that even at the age of the target audience I found The Dandy to be pretty stale.
I started to pick up the odd issue of The Dandy a few years ago for some reason and found it a much changed, and improved title, then it was revamped and became Dandy Extreme. The revamp appears to have been criticised, which is a bit unfair, yes the new look had less comics and more gaming/film content, but the comics in there were still pretty good. Eventually the revamp was revamped into the present incarnation, into comic that absolutely trumps the version of the Dandy I was stuck with for the 70s. I do think much could be done to improve the present Dandy, but it is still a great comic bursting with enthusiasm.
I hope the news of possible cancellation spur people to go out a buy a copy, I think they'll be impressed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poop poop!

Been busy on work I can't really show (not that it's getting published, it's a pitch, so either it'll get picked up and you can see it, or it won't and I'll post it here_, but in the meantime I painted a Wind in the Willows picture for a friend's birthday, and here it is.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This is the first page of a strip that will be appearing in ink+Paper #2. The first issue was excellent so I'm really pleased to have something for the upcoming one. This was based on a conversation with my daughter about a year ago and it feels nice to turn it into something concrete.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More Paintgirl

Here's another Paintgirl pic. Within 10 minutes of posting it on twitter I was getting replies wanting to know when the comic would be coming out. So I guess Paintgirl will definitely be a comic, it'll have to get in line right behind Astrodog though!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


After explaining to my daughter what a utility belt was, she told me if she had a utility belt it would be full of different coloured paint that she'd shoot out of wrist bands. That way she could colour all the things the baddies made look miserable. And so 'Paint Girl' was born. And I had to draw her.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak

Second drawing in respect to another fine creator loved and lost.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Beastie Boys

Marking the sad passing of Adam Yauch/MCA/Nataniel Hornblower.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Felt like drawing Thor. Thor was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Kirby designed, drew, did the storytelling and original dialogue. Lee did some stuff too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sneak peak

This is a rough(ish) colour test using the first panel of a strip for the 2nd issue of Ink+Paper.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


No Astrodog this time, I came across a Ghostbusters doodle I did and decided to turn it into a finished piece. No real effort to get the likenesses right, and I didn't bother getting any refs for Stay Puft either. There's a couple of mistakes on this one, but that's the problem when you try and keep the best bits of a doodle in a more finished style. Still, I can live with that.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Astrodog Meets Dune

Love Dune. Love it. Love the book, love the Lynch adaptation. Never seen the TV version. So why did I stick a dog on deckchair into it? Love.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Astrodog in Unusual Suspects

Astrodog meets.... well, quite a few folk. We've got Yoda, E.T, Wall-e, Vincent, Huey, Louie and Dewey (from the wonderful Silent Running). It's a bit of a Usual Suspects type line-up, but that's not an intentional reference.
Astrodog meeting these guys doesn't mean there won't be a more self contained pic later, I've got an idea for a Silent Running one, and I can't draw Vincent without wanting to draw Maximilian (who was, frankly, much cooler). Anyway, these will keep coming until I run out of ideas - or busy with other things.

The Dog Barks Back.

Episode 3 of Astrodog meets. This time it's Empire Strikes Back.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2001 A Space Odd-yssey

Number 2 in the 'Astrodog appears in sci-fi movies' series. Apologies for the terrible pun of a title for this post.