Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Page Process : Phonogram 'A Black Parade'

Hey hey,

So finally I've gotten round to pulling together a post on some of my process. I'm aiming to do some more in depth posts than this one, as this project was just a 5 page short and I didn't have much to design. Anyway stay tuned for more process posts, I'll try and make more of a regular thing of it.

So this post covers my work on 'A Black Parade', a short story for back of issue #3 of Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie.


I'm a fan of the Phonogram series and of both Kieron and Jamie's work in general. By chance I met Kieron at a con a good few years back, we chatted and he looked over my portfolio and asked me to join him on a B-side story for the upcoming 3rd book. A couple of years passed, the book was delayed but Kieron still remembered me and kept me in mind for the B-side.

I'm always grateful for this little job. Kieron not only kept me in mind but also has never forgotten my face when meeting in person. He's put me forward to publishers more than a few times, so the guy really is a true gent. *Salute to Mr Gillen*

Right so, without further ado.
Character Design sketches   

So first off, after reading the script, I'll usually work out the characters that need designing. In this case I had some existing characters to work from but also characters such as the girls Kohl and Kid With Knives are chatting to. 'The Were-Emo' also needed some working out before moving on to the pages. 



After those designs get a nod of approval I get going with the thumbnails. Typically these are 12 x 8.5 cm.

Page Process
I usually print off the previously seen thumbnails at nearly A3 size.
Then I lightbox the thumbnails, tightening up the line work and adding detail on paper.
The inks here are traditional ink on Bristol board. I print out the pencils in blue onto Bristol board and then ink over them with a brush, switching to fine liners for straight lines.
And here we have the magic of colourist Andre May. After inking I'll scan in the inks and clean them up and add any alterations in Photoshop.Then I send Andre the pure black and white inks.
Andre then works what I can only describe as colourful witchcraft.
And so here you have the finished thing!

The pages were lettered by Clayton Cowles. Lettering is itself a whole other art form and essential for the finished page. However, I'm usually not involved in this process. I'll skip it for this post but hopefully cover it more in other posts. 
This is a perfect example of Andre's genius and skill as a colourist. Page 4 really turned out to be something else with his work. In fact I'd say this whole set of pages became something much greater with his work on it.

* Inks for this page were drawn digitally using Manga Studio. At the time I wasn't confident in a heavy use of black on the figure, so I decided to do it digitally to allow for tweaking as I went. Funnily enough this was one of the pages that changed things for me and made me think of inking digitally more often.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

One Door Closes...

Hey, hey!

I've still got the habit of postings peeks at recent work on Instagram and Twitter and not much on here.
I've been working away on a few things recently, unfortunately one door has closed on a project before it managed to really hit the ground but I've been lucky enough to have two more doors of cool stuff open. Also the trusty world of Porcelain has been there for me and I'm always at home working there so it's all good in the Wildgoose camp. 

Here's a little peek at some recent postings on Instagram of all the things I've been on. I've got some blogs I really want to write about projects I worked on over the past couple of years and they'll have a big chunk of my behind the scenes process type stuff to them so stay tuned! 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Book Wedding: Pub Sign Illustrations

Hey there! So here's a little personal illustration project I had for myself recently, nothing big... just y'know, my wedding!

Oh before we begin, I am totally aware this post may sound like one big proud horn blow but after all the effort we put into this thing, I feel like we're allowed at least a little toot. So bear with me...

I was lucky enough to marry my girl Laura a couple of weeks ago. Now one thing you must understand is that we are big book fiends, so we had a pretty obvious theme to the day.

The invitations were illustrated by us, based on traditional bookplate designs. The rings were tied into a secret compartment, cut into a book which means a lot to us (Neil Gaiman's Stardust). The table plan was a set of belly-banded books with illustrated bookmarks to show who was sat at each table. The table centre pieces were piles and piles of strange old books all stacked at odd angles, some with subjects relating to people sat at the table. The rest were simply about Romany gypsies, palmistry, Indian demons, long lost cults or good old fashioned Satanism. We had twig-covered vases made from coffee jars and wood collected from our local forest, countless twine-wrapped candle jars, potion vials of rum with hand written name labels and slow moving glitter jars catching the light for hours after being shaken (it took me ages and lots of glue and water experiments to get those bloody things right!)

Then there were the table names themselves...

Original pics by Zoe Andreas and Hannah Cumming
Now these were one of the things we knew we wanted before we even got engaged.
It's sad, sick and I want to punch us in the face for being the people who had these things in our heads before we were even on the horizon of getting married but when random chats got random, this was one thing we talked about. Each table was to be named after a fictional pub from our favourite books. Not necessarily a new idea I know, but I was adamant I would illustrate the pub signs and have them etched into wood. At one point I wanted props on the table relating to each pub too, but eventually I was talked into reason and just kept with pub signs. I spent an hour each morning for a few weeks, working on them as my warm up illustrations before work. My good friend Adam had the know-how to get them etched into wood and so here is the end result:

Can you guess which pub belongs to which book? Some are very easy but a few are very obscure.
Answers after the pics.

The Eolian - The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Three Broomsticks - Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling
The Poison Kitchen - Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
The Prancing Pony - The Lord of The Rings (The Fellowship Of the Ring) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hallowed Bear - Porcelain Bone China by Ben Read, Christian Wildgoose (Me!) & Andre May
The Seventh Magpie - Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Leaky Cauldron - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Originally we had six tables but had to add a seventh thus a second Harry. Though we realised way too late we could've done The Admiral Benbow Inn from Treasure Island! There are definitely lots more we missed but these all meant something to us. Also, as you might know, I'm a huge fan of Name Of The Wind and know that 7 is a good number to have.

And yes I know the Prancing Pony illustration is a little cheating but if it it ain't broke...

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into the arty parts of our wedding. A tip from a recently married person: If you can make anything for it yourself, do. You'll get a lot out of it and your family and friends will notice the detail and effort you put in!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Assassin's Creed Comic - Cover 2


Just got wind that they posted up my Cover art for the Assassin's Creed comic from Titan.

Here it is with and without title. Pencilled on paper, Inked on Manga Studio, Colour and Effects via Photoshop.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pac Man - 35th Anniversary


You may know that it was the 35th anniversary of Pac Man this year and Bandai wanted to pull together an artistic celebration in honour of the dot munching hero. They gathered 65 artists  and I was asked to be one of them. Apparently the art was on display in Jump Festa expo in Japan though I haven't been able to find any pics yet
There is talk of an artbook but nothing certain just yet. meanwhile here is my piece:

Drew this almost completely digital this time around. Pencilled on paper, inked in Manga Studio and coloured in Photoshop. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Assassin's Creed: Covers

Hey, hey!

CBR just did an article about the new run of Assassin's Creed comic and the variant covers and mentioned one of the ones I've done. HERE
The self important artist in me noticed that the colours of my cover on that article were ever so slightly off because of it being a CMYK file and I find colours almost always look awful when posted on the internet in that file type. So to soothe the fussy art beast in me here's an RGB version which should better show how it will come out in print :)

I've got another cover for that run too, both I'm really happy with.  I'm genuinely a big fan of the games so It was awesome to be able to do something for Ubisoft and Titan.

Also mentioned in that article is the Templar series that will have covers by my buddy Marc Lamming I've had a sneak at another one and trust me they are wicked! I think he's also doing some for AC too so keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Worldbuilders 2015: Original Art & Book Auction!!


So for the second year in a row the Improper Books team have given some of our works to the Worldbuilders/Heifer charity team for their annual auction.
Last year we gave away some copies of our books but this year I think we've really given some good bundles of things to auction.

So if you know me and my work you may also know(And be annoyed) that I haven't sold any original of anything yet (I'm hoping to in the future but still no idea when) Meanwhile this is actually the first chance to get your hands on my actual inked pages.

I've given the guys at Worldbuilders a page of inked artwork to go with a copy of each of the respective books. Also it's not mentioned in the description but with each book that comes with the artwork I've signed and sketched in the font too.

Also if you are new to our works or fancy a pack of it all for someone who hasn't read any of our books then we have also given in 4 bundles of all of our books. in there. so that is Night Post, Porcelain, Porcelain: Bone China, Briar, Butterfly Gate, Night and Dragon and Mulp - Books 1+2.

HERE is a link to the auction listings. If you scroll through you can find our stuff in amongst the other auctions.
There are tons of great little item packs in there so be sure to check out all things  up for bidding. Speaking as a big 'Name Of The Wind'/ Patrick Rothfuss fan there are some achingly good trinkets on there.

Remember this is more importantly for a good cause, a great cause in fact. So bid high!!
I don't want to butcher the explanation for what Worldbuilders do so here is a video by World builders about what they and Heifer do:

Also here are the pages that you can get hold of in the auction (they are all brushed Ink on Bristol board A3 pieces):

Butterfly Gate:  Chapter 2 - Page 31 

Porcelain : A Gothic Fairy Tale
Chapter 3 - Page 1

Porcelain : Bone China
Chapter 2 - Page 22
Briar : Page 31