Monday, 28 January 2013

Commission: Party girls

I was commissioned by a friend again, the girl seen here as 'K', and once again I was given permission to do what I wanted. Although one stipulation was that her friend 'W' had to be in it. Technically this means W was getting a free pic... but luckily she's my friend too so that affords them a lot of leeway. Gnarleeway? No, sorry, forget that word.

This whole pic came out of nowhere, I just threw my friend into a position I think befits her personality. Yeah, that's her personality. W's pose was drawn purely to compliment K's, she's not quite so steely in real life. I actually sent her the sketch first to see if she was bothered I drew her with that expression...

Although that's not the worst part. Originally W was wearing a yellow dress. My friend M pointed out that putting an asian character in a yellow dress is... well he never pointed out anything, he just called me a disgusting racist. That's not why I did it, honestly! Yellow just compliments blue! W didn't even think about it either! Wow, look at me referring to all my friends by initials, as if I'm drawing the staff of MI5.

Now the background, all those bubbles and stripes, I don't know, it just came to me. Maybe I was getting a 70s vibe from those dresses. I'm particularly proud of those stripes making a sorta road and coming toward the viewer. I was just trying shit, and it looked good to me. The space between the last two stripes and the rest of them wasn't deliberate but I left it in because it has a nice, subtle effect. That's probably not a message I want to put out there. If something is a good effect, it might have been an accident. At least I was intuitive enough to see it?

I'll end by telling you that W ended up commissioning me too! Before she even saw this piece. I could have considered this image one one commission for two payments... But I'm better than that. Or maybe not, I kinda want to buy a buckle with a my initial on it right now.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Donkey Kong and Conkers. Donkey Konkers. Donkers. See how I got there?

We're back to Rare! Okay, I know DK is actually Nintendo's character. But Rare made him the guy we love: the jungle partying, crocodile-squashing hoarder of giant bananas. I certainly have no affection for that other gorilla throwing a tantrum on the girders... The DK platformers on the N64 were my obsession. Well, one of many it seems. I think I borrowed and rented the first two games but I saved all the pennies I could from my paper route to buy Donkey Kong Country 3.

Conkers, well, I gotta confess I never played his game.  I remember at the time reading about a new Rare game featuring a swearing squirrel and thought it'd be cool to play, but I never quite got round to buying it. I could never quite commit to the £40 for it, even though I had a better job by then. Still, he was worthy enough to include in my crossovers.

I ended up putting a lot of effort into the background for this one, after which I crammed a giant monkey on top of all the work I did. So here's the background by itself. Sketch and inks below it.

Donkers Sketch

Donkers Ink
Donkers Background Ink

So this marks the end of my game series! I like theming my art. I'll probably return to this theme again, but three's enough for now. I like trilogies too...

Monday, 14 January 2013

Star Worm Assault

Last week when I said I was in the mood to draw video game fanart, I should have mentioned that it was a long lasting mood. Here's my second anthropomorphic character crossover piece. There... there may be a third.

I remember the advertisments for the Earthworm Jim cartoon as a kid. A man was holding cards with the bad guys on it. "Professor Monkey-For-A-Head" he said. "Queen Slug-For-A-Butt." And then started laughing. Probably fake laughter now I think about it, but as a kid? Seeing an adult laugh at this cartoon was immensely satisfying. I'm pretty sure I'd decided to watch the show before that, but it confirmed with me that it was gonna be brilliant. It was visuals and humour outside anything I'd ever seen before. Even though it was obviously a kid's show, it felt like adults writing comedy rather than adults writing children's entertainment. And the game, which I actually played after, was likewise a lot of fun.

Starfox, well I never got that excited about the game. I just thought Fox was cool. Looked cool, flew a cool spaceship, had a cool attitude... and when I say cool attitude, I don't mean the producers stuck him in the latest fashions and made him listen to hophip. I mean he was brave, noble and bad-ass. But I still wasn't that interested in playing a fly-and-shoot game. Was happy he showed up in Smash Bros though. Why isn't Earthworm Jim in Smash Bros.? Earthworm Jim should be in Smash Bros.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Rare Sonic Team

I was recently introduced to the show Game Grumps, and one of the first episodes I watched were of the game Banjo-Kazooie. Though I never owned the game, as a kid I was obsessed with it. My next door neighbour had it, and watching those episodes reminded me of being at his house playing it all the time. I probably wanted to play the game more than hang out with him. But don't worry about judging me, we had a 'if you die it's my turn' rule, and I spent most of my time watching him play... Still, we were best buds, that game enthralled me.

See, I loved those iconic game characters. Mario representing Nintendo, Sonic representing Sega... they're just mascots really, but I saw them as heroes with big stories. Their games were built up over time, slowly building up the depth and scale of their world. And when Banjo Kazooie came out? Damn, they nailed icon status for me right away. They didn't start off in a little pixel world with a tiny story, straight away their world was vast, gorgeous and packed with ideas and humour. I never wanted for anything. Of course, the company Rare had a history of gaming and technology advances to build off, but you still need to build something great and I fell in love immediately.

After watching the Banjo-Kazooie episodes and then the epic horror Sonic '06 (you'd have to watch the episodes to know why it's so bad) I got pining to draw some fan-art and here it is.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Dragon Riders

This is how we start the new year! With a drawing I actually did last year. But it was in late December, so, close enough?

I was commissioned by a friend to draw her and her boyfriend, with free reign on what everything else could be. I immediately went with a dragon because she adores them and I'm considerate like that. I also had no idea what else to do. I added a ring of fire to keep it interesting, but felt like more was needed.

The background is a photograph of clouds a friend took which I thought would be good and simple, but after playing around with the style and hues in Photoshop it looked to me like layers of forest pierced by rivers. That's my impression anyway, maybe you see something different. We at least agree that's a dragon? Unless there's a scaly species of cat I'm not aware of.

The reason my friend commissioned me, aside from having excellent taste, was because she needed something to put on the bare walls of her new place. I'll post a photo of that when I get one. If I don't, it means the drawing looked awful on the wall and went in the bin with a ton of Christmas cards and scaly cat droppings.