Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I was going to post a special halloween  sketch for this post but  but then I thought, heck, every week is halloween in the Fantasy Art Class, so I just ran with the  usual.
But first let's recap what  was discussed during class.

As most of you know by now, my biggest influence relating to fantasy art comes from comics, and I am a particularly big fan of horror comics. As I have mentioned before, US horror comics have some of the best comic book covers back in the late 60's and early 70's.  Sure, there were some great iconic covers produced for Amazing Spider-man, Hulk, Batman, and Detective Comics, that told the buyer what to expect on the inside, by creating an image that was part of the story (something I love about 60's and 70's comics and miss with modern day comics) but it was the horror comics that really grabbed my attention. Often inside the stories were nothing more than mild versions of Twilight Zone, Outer limits and Night Gallery tv shows but they often contained some hidden gems with great art by Alex Toth, Neil Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Gene Colan, and Jack Kirby.

I have previously  blogged about DC's Witching Hour and  House Of Secrets  so I figured it time I gave DC'S Weird Mystery a mention. 
Weird Mystery ran for only 24 issues  between  1972 - 75

Wierd Mystery #1  contained a rare find, a horror story drawn by  Jack Kirby, and also has a classic cover by Michael Kaluta

Here's a collection of excellent  Weird Mystery covers .

Cover by Luis Dominques

Nice low angle shot and  perspective. Note how the scene is frames by the tree trunks either side. Also note the use of a circle to tie the two main elements together. A nicely layered  central composition.

Cover by Luis Dominques
Again, note the use of a circle.
Note the diagonal design  creating an eye flow from right to left

Another great cover by Luis Dominques, although House Of Secrets this time.

Cover by   Neil Adams
Note the framing created by the swamp growth.

 Charlton Comics also had some cool covers for their Ghostly Tales and Ghostly Manor series, often featuring art by Tom Sutton. I really like Tom Sutton's compositions.

A nice pyramid composition with a circle grouping the image and title together.

For those of you interested in reading more about early 70's horror comics I can recommend some good blogs written by  comic fans far more knowledgable than myself.
The blog listed are well worth trawling through for all  kinds of interesting stuff.

This is just for fun, not compulsory.

 This is a nice, easy portrait of one of my fave Universal movie monsters, The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

 It's a  really easy piece and all you will need is some green paper (£1 for a pack at the works, Merrion Centre), 3 green markers (don't have to be Copic markers- but they are the best in my opinion) , an ink pen and a yellow pencil.

Copic marker colours: Celadon green(YG25) for the base tone, Moss (YG67) or a Marine Green (YG99) for the shading on the skin and a Blue Green (BG09). You can view the colour charts(as well as buy the markers) here
I'm not going to take you through every stage of the pencil stage as you may want to do your own take on this creature and not follow my drawing too meticulously.
The head breaks down the same way  we have been drawing the human head in class this past few weeks.
I am showing these first stages in black and white as the pencil line did not scan all that well.

 Notice that there are three rows of fins either side of his head.

Once the pencil sketch had been  completed , I applied the ink using a Faber Castell brush and super fine pen. 
Make sure the eyes stand out on this on.

Using a Celadon green(YG25) copic marker, I applied some light green areas to begin building the skin tones

Blue Green (BG09) copic marker dives a nice dark background to throw out the image.

A Marine Green (YG99) was used for the next layer of skin tone. I only applied it to the areas I wanted to build up with darker tone. 

 Using a bright yellow pencil  to create highlights around the upper edges of the  cracks, folds and fins/gills. I used a lemon yellow Derwent Studio pencil butsee what you can get your hands on. Caran D'ache also produce a decent quality  range of coloured pencils

The thing to remember when using markers is that once a layer of ink has dried, by applying a second layer over the the top using the same maker you will create a much darker tone. Applying 3 or 4 layers of the same maker can give you a nice subtle blend of tones.
I have built up the skin tones with three layers of YG99 , each time leaving enough of the layer beneath exposed so as to create a visible, stepped layer. Although the layers have created a nice build up of depth I still felt that the fins/gills at the side of the head needed more contrast so I applied some black ink hatching. See below.

Ok, have fun and I'll see you next Tuesday 6th Nov.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


I guess I was pushing you all a bit tonight with this one, so here's a recap.
Below are the three thumbnail sketches I produced for discussion.
You will get to decide which route to take for your final piece.
The pose is a difficult one to pull off so maybe breaking it down into shapes will be helpful.
The pose is soft and alluring pose and almost side on with the back and shoulders rounded forward and the head tilted back.

Don't be too concerned with drawing the snakes for now. Concentrate on the pose.

Remember the head drawing session in week 2 and the sessions we do every term? The head is basically broken down into a circle and a cube. Try to keep this in mind when drawing the dead at different angles.

Some of your were having difficulty with the mouth. Keep it simple. Don't over complicate it. Sometimes less is more when  getting to grips with drawing something you are having difficulty with.

Check out some of David Finch's youtube turoials. 
You may find them helpful.

Here's a breakdown of the hand. Remember what was shown in class about how the hand can be broken down onto cylinders and  blocks.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Because I have fallen behind with regards to posting  choice pieces of student art I have decided to do a 'pick' instead of 'pic' of the week .
Here's a collection of work I was impressed with during last term and the  past three weeks of the  current term.

A collection of art drawn by Dave. 
The first pic is a work in progress. I liked the developments  so far and decided to post it.

 A collection of art drawn by Eric.

A collection of art drawn by Richard.

A collection of art drawn by Orazio

 A collection of art drawn by Vanessa