A penny for them…


Bumbly Bee

Whilst working on some new business cards, I’ve also been thinking about some new bits and pieces to use around this site. This little guy popped into my head and demanded to be drawn.

He’s all set to become a recurring character, zooming around the galleries to say hello 🙂

Digital Painting – Poppy – Part 2

My previous post showed the first stages of a work-in progress. Work has continued and the next stages are shown here today.


Continuing from my earlier steps, I added layers of colour to the image, building up light and shade to define the character’s form. I then went on to add a little more definition, as well as adding details to the facial features.


With these steps completed, I’ll put the image to one side for a few days. When time permits, I find a few days distance from an image is incredibly useful, as it allows me to view the piece with fresh eyes before adding any finishing touches which might be needed.

Happy weekend! 🙂


Digital Painting – Poppy – Part 1

Today I thought I’d share a work in progress. The images show the early stages of work on a character project. This little figure – her name is Poppy – will eventually sit with a logo, so the layout has been chosen with this in mind.

The image shows my first three steps on the project, all done in Photoshop.

First (page left) I made a very rough thumbnail. I wanted the figure to fit roughly into a circular shape, so I started by marking in a circle to guide me. At this stage I’m mainly interested in getting a feel for the pose I want, and don’t worry much about the drawing… as you can see from the super-messy doodle!

Next (centre) I made a more precise sketch – still not a ‘proper drawing,’ but enough to help me block out the figure more clearly.

Using the sketch, I then laid down some colour (page right). In this step I’m laying the foundations for the digital painting work proper; it’s a little like the underpainting you might make when using natural media.

With these stages in place I can get stuck in to some more detailed, delicate work; more on this in part 2 🙂

Time to Play

Sometimes you just need to stand back, down tools and head for the sandpit. Blow bubbles, get yourself elbow deep in finger-paints, or make custard-angels.*

So, with this in mind, I’ll be working on the – very loose – theme of ‘Silliness’.


Play is important; it helps recharge the batteries, boosts creativity, revives the flagging spirit etc. All of that good stuff.

I haven’t been doing enough of that so … here goes.

Who’s with me?

*  Perhaps don’t try this one at home; while it is possible – Science Fact! – to walk on custard**, I suspect lying down on the stuff might be pushing things a little.

**  Because custard is a non-Newtonian liquid.

Painting in 3d – Part The Second

So now I’ve done a bit of work on smoothing out the paint and adding some texture to the snail. I’ve also started to add in some relief to the skin surface, and some shine in places – that way he’ll catch the light nicely when he’s moving abut in his virtual world.

I’d better start thinking of snail names…



Painting in 3d – Part The First


This picture shows the first pass at painting my snail character. This virtual ‘paint’ job was done mostly in the modelling software, using the built-in painting tools. However, I’ll do more work on this in a separate graphics programme – I find there’s a lot more scope for refinements that way.

This is a pretty rough and ready render of the character – setting up good lighting and camera rigs is an art-form in itself … and something I tend to tackle when all the modelling and painting tasks are done 🙂

Drawing in 3d

I’ve decided I’ll spend some time concentrating on 3d modelling. Okay, so it’s not exactly drawing – but, then again, it is too.

As well as modelling and sculpting your item in 3d space, it needs painting, texturing, specular maps and so on…it’s a pretty layered process that combines technical and artistic requirements in a way I enjoy.

But then, I am a nerd.

This is the basic character model I’ll be working on this week – it’s based on one of my favourite doodle subjects! When he’s finished, I’ll rig him for animation…even more fun 🙂