Freedom Festival – Live Draw on Humber Street… Big Robot

I suppose every drawing session is live really… especially if you work in a room that people wander through on occasion. But there is something particularly rewarding doing that work in front of passing crowds and getting that constant feedback all day.

The Live Painting gigs whether organised for events like Freedom and Humber Street Sesh or live sketching at Theatre events like the one we did for Euphoria are just that.

This time I got down to Humber Street on Sunday at around 10ish, Jorge and Dom had turned up ahead of me and we just set up where we were stood. Alan, Jess and Matt joining us a little later…

All of us on site

I had thought to restrict myself to drawing from observation, but a late bus meant I had no real time for any warm up sketching (my observational drawing off the page I’m never really happy with)… festival goers where already beginning to mill about as the street came together and events people opened up, so I made a quick decision and plumped for something more like an extended doodle, pretty much in the vein of my recent spate of Genre Doodles.

x Humber Street

And although robots and comics might be not serious enough art for some people, San Diego Comic con (and similar events in the UK) and ever major summer movie (and many critically acclaimed independent ones as well) say different… did you know Tamara Drew was a comic book based movie? Or Road to Perdition?

Still, my (not quite target, but certainly most appreciative) audience were the kids, kids (of all ages) love robots, maybe next time I’ll draw a giant robot fighting a dinosaur… that will be all the food groups I guess, and totally polarize my audience into:

“*Huff* But isn’t it all just a bit silly, and not y’know, quite arty enough”


“Whoooar! Awesome!”

Anyway… As I started to work on it I had a lot of titles for the piece flash through my head…

“The Audition”, “I brought my own sticks”, “What do you mean is he in?”, “I don’t think there’s room in the van”… etc. and the image evolved into the one that happened, much of the detail was made up on the spot, and there where some gaffes, but nothing that couldn’t be glossed over. I started with a quick thumbnail showing the robot on the right and and some figures on the left… I think at this point I had the notional idea that these would be musicians, reflecting one element of the Freedom Festival’s remit.

Process part 1

As I said its great to work alongside people with whom you primarily correspond online. An illustrators life can be a solitary one (creatively speaking) at times.

x Working next to Alan

We seemed to have a good audience for the whole day too.

People were snapping photos and chatting behind us every time we turned around.

x Process part 2

I was worried for a while that I wouldn’t finish the piece (not that it really mattered) and I would have to add the last details at home… but at about 6.15 I added the last couple of touches.

x Gareth finishing the last details

And that’s that I guess… Like I said it was a great day (though it killed my knees, ankles and shoulder)… and hopefully a bit of fun/something new for those who came and watched.

x Final Piece

…here are some details too, first the guys in the band with the van.

x Band and van

…and the Robot/Suit itself.

x Robot Only

My intention now is to take it down to Thoughtbubble. I might add a few gray marker shadows and see if anyone wants to purchase it.

x Robot Detail

I also might just work the robot up as a separate piece of digital concept art.


For those of you wondering “where do you get your inspiration?” and there were a few people who asked me on the day… Well, the image of the big robot I used was pretty much inspired by > THIS <

I’m clearly not the first to make this kind of leap either, names like Erich von Däniken and other paleo-contact aficionados may leap into the minds of some of you old enough to remember…

For thos of you who don’t know what I’m on about… take a look at these( below) then go back and click the von Däniken link.

Various Ancient Astronauts – [1], [2], [3], and while we are at it…Is > THIS < what inspired the “Two Weeks” scene in Total Recall?

~ by hesir on September 9, 2013.

One Response to “Freedom Festival – Live Draw on Humber Street… Big Robot”

  1. […] check Gareth’s post about this at . I really need to buy a new […]

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