Archive for October, 2006


Rough Stuff: Wolf Culture

October 15, 2006

A picture I started last week, but was unable to post because of too much work and, erm, World of Warcraft. I’m not going to get addicted, it’s for research only.

Not 100% sure if my bipedal wolves, with ‘primitive’ material culture ideas is working, but it’s more interesting than plain old fur and teeth wolves. If it looks crap when I’ve finished I’ll start again, and maybe try something a little more conventional. I have an alternate vision in my head I may sketch if I ever have the time.

The only bit I really like is the idea of wolves with early gunpowder weapons the ammo for which is predator’s canine teeth.


Influences: John Blanche

October 6, 2006

Yeah I was a Games Workshop geek as a teen, I only got over the shame of the whole thing a few years ago, and now I’ve embraced my misanthropic youthful past in a way that’s probably slightly unhealthy (I’ll come back to this at a later date).

John Blanche was so my favourite artist of the lot of them. His stuff was just so twisted and weird. It wasn’t striving for the ultra-photorealistic look of Boris Vallejo or the cheapo stuff you found in AD&D Monster Manuals, but some dream-like point between the two, highly stylised but with depth and detail that made it feel eerily real.

As with all artists, John’s style has developed over the course of his career, but when I encountered his work in the mid to late 80s it was going through a bit of a punk inspired phase. As he puts it in Ratspike (currently OOP, try Ebay):

“The first images of primal man would concern themselves with hunting scenes, heroic action, mighty beasts, death masks, war paint, fetishes and trophies. Today we see the same sorts of themes represented in punk haircuts, studded leather and even the imagery employed in films like Bladerunner and Aliens. This is the heritage of Western culture, and that is what I’m trying to tap when I paint”

I’d never seen fantasy art like it, it was by its nature cheesey but it seemed way less innocent than the Vallejos, Frazettas, Achilleos and all the TSR artists, it looked dangerous and therefore more exciting.

As I understand it John is still at Games Workshop as Art Director and is still painting, check out his website.

Below is what I believe is John’s defining piece, Amazonia Gothique. Okay, she’s still wearing clothing entirely impractical for battle in the traditional fantasy female style (check out the stilettoes) but at least she’s not some vacuous blond bimbo in a chainmail bikini.


Stuff I’m working on

October 6, 2006

Yup, a skeleton warrior. I plan to do this one in colour (inks), a medium I don’t use very often. The last time was 3 years ago. I have a story in mind behind the whole undead thing in this instance. It’s a little, well, romantic. As you can see, he doesn’t look particularly happy…

This is a scene from a ‘secret’ comic strip idea I have lined up, if you’re thinking it looks kind’ve Batman-esque, well you’re not a million miles off, but you’re still pretty off course…

A wolf, with a bracelet. Trying to anthropomorphise animals without going ‘Disney’ is quite hard it’s like no matter how mean you try to make them look, animals on 4 legs always end up looking too cute for me. But I think I’ve come up with a way to solve this problem.


Influences: Dark Mod

October 2, 2006

The Thief series (The Dark Project, The Metal Age and Deadly Shadows) produced some of my utterly favourite computer games, so I was naturally pissed when Eidos decided they weren’t going to put up the funds to get any more made. Thankfully, a dedicated team of modders have taken Doom 3 engine and decided to carry on where sell-out Eidos left off. The Dark Mod are putting together an engine for ‘Thief-like’ gaming (they’re not continuing the Thief series, that would be copyright infringement), which while still a few years off, looks like it’ll be well worth the wait.

Check out these screenshots





The design itself is fairly generic ‘gothic’ style, what really makes these images for me is the lighting – really dense shadows hiding god knows what. The Thief series always excelled at atmosphere, which derived from a combination of the character you played, the dramatic lighting, the amazing sound effects and soundtrack, and the cool as hell story lines. One ambition I have is to try and capture this atmosphere in a drawing, something I reckon will be pretty hard given the static nature of the medium, but I have to give it a go don’t I.

Check out this cool demo too


‘Mistress’ rough

October 1, 2006

Zoe rough

As I said, I did no rough sketches for the ‘Mistress’ picture, but I did take a photo of it during the pencil sketch stage. As you can see Lindsay didn’t have aviators at this point, until I gave up trying to draw her stupid, boring eyes. I hadn’t added the cute little dog either.