Yuletide Sketchbook – Dec 2013/Jan 2014

So, this is just a round up of some of the images I was posting on Twitter over the holidays, ones that don’t fit into the Their Pride & Joy… or the St. Bernard”/Tibet projects.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting back to this intensive sketchbook filling, and could see elements within my work improving over even this short two week period…

Well worth the effort.

NOTE: I don’t really work through the pages of a sketchbook front to back so the chronology is out on this post, but you kind of get the experience of looking through the book front to back… Where I’ve used a image in another post I’ve tried not to repeat the posting of the image, instead I’ve linked to it.

x Stuff 014

This cover image I doodled out in a bid to remind me what I would be trying to concentrate on in this book… the car image went on to be part of the “Their Pride and Joy…” project development I produced in this sketchbook which you can see in full >HERE<.

x Stuff 016(You can enlarge the images by clicking on them)

I’m pretty sure this image was simply a reaction to some of the great images I’d seen Ian McQue posting to his twitter feed during that period, more of a prompt/reminder to get back to this thumbnailing of multiple ideas practice than anything concrete at this point, but a lot of fun. I might well try and fill a single sketchbook just with this type of compositional practice.

Also this page of costume/character roughs.

The following images was more of the same, just varying the layouts a little, the one on the far right was my favourite, so I threw some quick PS overlays onto it…

x Stuff 015

More character roughs and doodles done while Mary Poppins was on the TV… the page following that (2nd page below) was an elaboration on the thumbnail of the rock and roll rabbit at the top of this page above… I have no idea what any of that was about… no idea at all.

x Stuff 017

Following that came several pages I have posted into other project posts…
[1] [2] [3] [4]
Wolvie Sketch...…the finished version of this sketch included.
As well as a bunch of vehicle designs as discussed…
[5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Before dropping back into more period characters and doodles done watching various movies on the TV.

x Stuff 018

The character sketches above were just warm up doodles on one of the days over the holiday, no real rhyme of reason… just getting my eye/hand in.

Then more vehicle thumbnails.

…and then Pirates and what looks like Dr Who… I love drawing pirates.

x Stuff 021
…and again with the vehicle thumbnails (this time racing planes).

…followed by doodles done while watching the BLOOD BEAST TERROR!!! including Cushing‘s great cheekbones.

x Stuff 020
There was more of Cushing and Co. on >THIS< page too…

…and then more Pirate types (amongst other characters).

x Stuff 019

I was particularly fond of this chap (below) and so quickly threw some colour on him in PS.

x Stuff 022

…then it was back to more vehicle drawings.

…some creature doodles (this page below also included some of my Yeti images)

x Stuff 010

…and then my last Selfie of the year (2013).

x Stuff 011 - Self Portrait

…I think the following images came from watching Harry Potter while doodling… just a much scarier looking Dumbledore in this instance (below).

x Stuff 012 - wizard

Above are some pareidolia exercises, quick shapes made with a couple of markers, then looking for unsought visual information within the random marks and developing them into finished images by drawing into them with my fine liners…

The markers tend to bleed through the pages of my sketchbook but that just means more shapes on the reverse which can be exploited for the same exercise…

x Stuff 013 - pareidolia

Sarah didn’t believe that the randomness of the marks was as random as I was making out… and so we got her to to make some marks using the same markers (below) and I worked into them to get the images on the page directly above.

Pareidolia 002

You can see (below) how it was used to create two of the images at the top of this post (on the cover of my sketchbook).

Pareidolia 001It’s a tried and tested method of artists going back to the Renaissance (and for mystics and interpreters of portents and symbols much further back than that).

It’s likely that there is some evolutionary benefit to us being able to interpret random shapes as faces and or other forms of life as we are constantly seeking out faces and the meaning hidden in them during our conversations with each other on a day-to-day basis.

Not to mention the seeking out of the fearful symmetry of predators framed within the shadows or tall grasses of the plains of the past as our ancestors might have needed to…

The images on the page directly below where warm up doodles… the top middle (smaller of the two) cartoon (selfies) was an attempt at the style of Thomas S. Sullivant

x Stuff 001

Above and below you can see yet another side-project that has sprung out of the pages of this sketchbook.

The eight thumbnails on the page above came about while chatting with Sarah and after looking through the Dave Stevens book she had bought for me as a Christmas gift, in which I asked her if I were to draw her, what would she want to be?…

Well… Pirate came out as the top answer, and so I produced that quick series of thumbnails… I really liked the first one, there’s something of the quiet threatening poise of some of my favourite Frazetta pieces in it and so without further ado asked Sarah to pose for a direct study.

Pirate Girl

A quick 12 minute sketch later and I’m ready to either scan and digitally paint over the top of the image, redraw the composition from the study, or to work into the pencils with more pencils and inks perhaps…

Then some more yeti drawings and designs.

The dockyard (sans alien ships) at the top of the page (below) was drawn while watching the X-files… the rest while watching the excellent Arabian Nights production that was on again over the holidays…

x Stuff 003

More observational drawing… Sarah crashed out, exhausted and unwell. It’s really not like her to be asleep in the middle of the afternoon.

Giants! I don’t know why, but just some quick compositions for images I might want to work up at some point in the future.

x Stuff 004

I particularly like the one on the extreme left, the top left and top right compositions, these might make great portfolio additions… we’ll see.

Then a bunch of Russian looking chaps in winter wear.

Back to the Sarah as “Pirate Girl” imagery…

x Stuff 005

And then doodling some nefarious gangland characters types while watching the boy play GTA5.

x Stuff 007

…again one of the above doodles might make for another fun portfolio image. i.e. Giant Bomber Crash.

x Plane Crash

I was thinking something akin to a WWII airbase scene with similar characters and kit, just with a giant over-sized bomber aircraft, multiple propellers, vast glass multi-floor cockpit, with debris and landing gear breaking off and flying towards the viewer.

The sketches on the partial page (second image) above are from some work towards Paul Starkey and my Games Project – Rabbit Heart, which we are looking at again following a brief hiatus…
Then two more pages of Rabbit Heart character expressions work…

x Stuff 008

…and as we begin to wind up that last few pages the first of three mecha images, no doubt again heavily influenced by time spent pouring over the excellent Ian McQue sketchbook I picked up at ThoughtBubble last November…

I managed to take a snap shot of the original pencils for this one…

Big Robot Sketch

Then the finished doodle…

Scan 13

A couple of pages of doodles of faces and the like, though I quite like the superman type in the middle on the left.

Scan 70

…then more robots/mecha. Both of which show a guy standing up using binoculars as the device cradles its own cockpit glass under its arm.

Big Robot 001

…so with those warm up doodles out of the way I started a more focused image on the same theme.

Starting with some rough shapes as always… you can see one of the thumbnails on the opposite page…

Robots Sketches

Then finishing with a mix of inks, loose pencil shading and white gel pen.

Robot 002

This might well stand up to some working up in Photoshop… perhaps changing the context/backdrop.

…and finally a quick doodle on the back page of the book.

x Stuff 009




…I do have a new sketchbook.

~ by hesir on January 13, 2014.

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