Thursday, 29 May 2014


Like a sucker, I watched the Nick Cage double bill on Channel5, Ghost Rider and Drive Angry. I had seen Ghost Rider before and thought it was terrible but I actually enjoyed it this time around. Maybe  it had more to do with the fact my brain was fried from long hours  drawing storyboards
Anyway, the next day I felt compelled to draw the Ghost Rider in my sketchbook.

Obviously I am being highly irresponsible here setting fire to my sketch. Please don't copy my foolish behaviour

#Ghostrider #marvelzombies #marvel #fire #flames #hell

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


As most of you attending the class will know, I can't emphasise enough the importance of constantly practising figure drawing. The more hours you put in studying how the body works and transferring that down onto paper, the less you will have to ask "Steve, how  do I draw hands?", "Steve, I can't draw feet. what am I doing wrong?" , "how can I make my heads less wonky?". Of course these are all questions you now have to ask in class, because you are still at the stage where understanding this stuff is new and alien but if you put in the  time and concentration, you will no longer have to ask, you will know how.
Below I will present a few approaches to figure drawing that may be of help. Some will be a help, others may be a hindrance.  Try each one out  and see which works best for you.
The above sketch  is pretty much how I figure out a pose. I think of the shapes and  try and feel my way around the contours as a three dimensional object.
Some of you may find this approach helpfull and easier than plotting a pose using cylinders and blocks.
I think the best way to begin is by thinking about the skeleton. As I have mentioned before, I don't know the ame of every bone, just the major ones but unless you are having to explain the skeleton to anyone, you don't need to know al the names, just how the frame  responds to moment.
  If soemthing looks a bit too complicated, try to simplify it so that breaking down he information is simpler. The skeleton can be simplified to a basic stick form, using oval type shapes to represent the head, rib cage and pelvis. The rib cage  will give you the foundations for the upper body and the pevis will enable to position the legs correctly.

Using the stick form is a quick way to guage a pose and work out how the structure responds to movement such as the tilt of the hips and shoulder

  I often use a mirror to study how my own body works in various poses. I find it very helpful as it is not always possible to find the exact reference material for a drawing.

After becoming aquainted with the stick figue you may find that fleshing the figure out using cylinders and blocks  is a helpfull method of making the figue more three dinemnsional.
Some find that by applying these shapes , it is easier to achieve a realistic outer shape.
Of course, this will not be easy for everyone. An understanding of the muscle structure wil lalso help you produce a better figure drawing., unless you do, the above  diagram may be a little difficult to navigate.
Getting hold a  good solid book on anatomy  for bone and muscle scructure will go a long way in helping your figure drawing progress.

Here are some break downs of poses. Just  focus on the bits that are helpful. No need to draw every stage if it is not helping you.

here's another

The image below is an  example of how I quickly sketch out a pose. I aim for capturing the pose/shape in as few  lines as possible. I also keep the sketching , nice and light. By applying less pressure, it allows the pencil to flow fluidly across the paper  I find it helps capture movement more successfully.

 Here are some links to some books that you may find usefull.
DYNAMIC ANATOMY by Burne Hogarth
There are loads of books on antomy. You can probably pick some cheap ones up in The Works bookshop or even study  diagrams online.
I personally learned from this book.
It's out of print but this book might be just as  good.
I've not read it so I can't really vouch for it.
Ok, the ends part 2 of the half term  post. More to come soon.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


There will be no class on the 27th of May due to it being half term.
The next class will be held on Tuesday 3rd of June.
See you there.

Saturday, 24 May 2014


This being the first post of the term, is well oever due. Not much I could do about it as my workload just  dominated my  life these past weeks.
I will begin by  listing a few of the basic materials I use on a daily basis and then list a few , hopefully, helpfull links to online art stores etc.
These are just some of the materials I use on a daily basis but you may find other pencils and pens that work better for you. Choosing your drawing tools is a very personal thing and what one artist feels comfortable with may not be he same for another artist.
I generally use HB Saedtler  pencils  for my storyboard work and for concept/working drawings.
Lumograph (blue)are the higher quality and  Tradition (red) are the regular office standard. Noris (yellow) are generally considered the budget range but I find that  they are absolutley fine for everyday sketching.  They are quite versatine too.
Faber-Castell produce some really nice pencils . I like using  their PITT GRAPHITE PURE range
The pencils I REALLY do like using are PALOMINO BLACKWING. These are a premium range pencil . Delightful to use as the pencil  just glides across the surface of the paper. Quite expensive though.

for a long time I used Faber-Castell PITT ARTIST PENS.

They are available in a widerange of sizes and  I have been very happy  with their performance until I tried out a Copic Multiliner.

These pens are awesome!
I love the line it leaves on the paper. plus, you can buy replacememnt nibs and refil ink cartridges , so these , although more expensive than The Faber-Castell PITT ARTIST PENS, work out better value in the long run. 
Faber-Castell PITT ARTIST PENS. are not refillable and replacement nibs are not available. However, the brush nibs can be pulled out using a pair of tweezers, and you will find that  there is a nice new brush nib all ready to use on the opposite end of the worn out nib.
Pentel produse some really nice ink pens  ranging from cheap budget range to the more expensive pro range.

The Pentel Brush Pen is a really nice pen to use for inking your work (fade resistant black ink) or just fooling around in a sketchbook. It feels comfortable in the hand  (wel,, mine, at least) and is quite versitile with it's line. A very good product and reasonably priced too. 

I also have a fondnessfor fooling around with black markers and even use them for illustration for print.. I am a big fan of the COPIC marker range. In my opinion, one of the best there is on the market.
Copic have three main ranges. The Classic, the Sketch , the Ciao and the Wide

Many years ago I used to do most of my ink work using brushes
I got the best results form using Winsor & Newton Sable brushes. These are more  expensive that synthetic brushes but the last longer and hold the  ink / watercolour better  and produce a better line.

For whiting out I use a few products.

Copic Opaque White - leaves a godd sliod white mark over black ink

Pentel Correction Pens -a bit of a blunt instument for illustration and sketch work but  is surprisingly versatile

Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip DX white - more control  for finer detail

Windsor & Newton Permanent White - for more subtle and variable tones over black ink

Below are some sketches  produced using the above materials.
As featured in  How To Draw Fantasy Art.
Drawn with a Staedtler Noris HB pencil.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Radio Times
All line work using a Winsor & Newton No.3 sable watercolour brush
If I were to draw this now, I would use a copic multiliner brush.

Julie Newmar -60's Batman tv series
Face - using a faber-castell suerfine
Hair - using a Faber-Castell brush
Everything else -using a Copic marker
Highlights - Pentel correction pen

Gene Simmons - Kiss

Face detail - using a faber-castell suerfine
Hair - using a Copic Multiliner brush
Splater effect - Stephen's Indian Ink and an old toothbrush
Everything else -using a Copic marker
Highlights - Pentel correction pen

 Invasion Of  The Saucer Men
(Aka Invasion Of The Hell Creatures)
All fine lines - Faber Castell superfine
Everything else - Copic Multiliner brush

all the above were drawn in an A5 sketchbook. All the paper is handmade from cotton rag.
Sketches produced using Faber-Castell fine and a variety of Copic markers and a Pentel correction pen.

Like I say, the above recommendation are based on my experiences but there are lots of other products out there that you may find more preferable. I have not even mentioned Technical or mechanical pencils. It's not that I don't rate them, it's just that I don't usually use them.
These days it is hard to find decent art shops on the highstreet. There are some still out there but they are few and far between. 
Here are some art stores that I can recommend as they stock a reasonable range of pro quality, as well as student quality, products
Hobby Craft
This is an art and craft store which caters for all kinds of activities but does stoch  a lot of Winsor and Newton products and a lot or pro range pencils and pens. 
Not all that great for paper though. It 's ok for general practice work but nothing high end.
It also has an online store

Based in Headingley , Leeds
It's a small shop but has some good stuff in there
Has a website but no online store

The Art Shop
Based in Ilkley and Northallerton
Stocks a very good range of paper and drawing materials. Also, very helpful staff , which is always a plus. Worth a visit.

Online art stores
For buying markers and  drawings pens I tend to go straight to Cult Pens. Their prices are very good and the range of pencils , pens and markers is  the best I have found so far. Service is very good too.

Artifok is another good online store that I rate highly.


Monday, 5 May 2014

A Little Piece Of Heaven #AvengedSevenfold

Some more sketches in the Father's Day book.
These are inspired by Avenged Sevenfold's , A Little Piece Of Heaven. Hope you like them.