Thursday, September 11, 2008

Website banner

I am designing a basic site for my dad's business, which is mining/blasting engineering. He wanted something a bit fun and bright, not too corporate. This design was a winner in my books but he doesn't want to emphasise the blasting too much, apparently.

I haven't tried comic book style stuff before so it was fun to experiment a bit, even though it's not strictly a comic style in the end.

Monday, September 8, 2008

DVD menu

I made this original image a long time ago and never used it for an actual project or anything. Then it came time to make a DVD menu for my showreel and I thought it would fit well - looks kind of interesting and very clean... shiny!
I chucked a particle effect inside the globe on the left just so it wasn't COMPLETELY static and did some color grading but didn't animate the whole menu. I'm not convinced it's really needed.

Simple and I think it works fine. 3D stuff really can be so helpful if used well... i wish i had maya or something at home so I could do more with it.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I made croissants last week, and as far as I'm concerned they are as aesthetically pleasing as any art, and far tastier. I love looking at the layers, the flakiness and the unique shape.
The photos were very red due to the lighting but I like it that way so I hardly processed them at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun animated tidbit.

I did an illustration in 2nd year uni that was basically a tram advertisement for opera in Melbourne., and I really quite liked it, was probably one of 2 pieces from the class that turned out like i was hoping.

But i never did anything with it because it was just an illustration and I didn't have a print folio. I found it again recently and decided that with a bit of animating, it could be a nice second or two in my showreel (and give me a bit more animating practice with the Puppet tool in AE).

So here it is, i'm quite happy with how it turned out, even though it's only about 3 seconds long! The next step would have been to add a whole 3D set to it and have some more action happen, but I have other things to focus on...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two quick things

I started painting a picture of some kid i found in a magazine, but it was looking yuk and i realised I didn't want to do it!
They always look bad when I start out (I wonder if this is the case for great artists, or if they know ways to do better foundational stuff, because it's quite discouraging for me until it all suddenly starts coming together much later on).

Anyway, i then decided to try something without a reference, and for some reason a cook came into mind... didn't want to do a female since i've done them recently, so i just drew a bit and tried to be vaguely anatomically minded, though I know it's a long way off. I tried lighting the opposite direction than I normally do, and to make a textural brush to paint with.

Overall I don't really like it, but it was quick and I don't mind. Colors are pretty bad too, i wanted dulled but not in the same way my pics always seem to be, but this turned out like the usual!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another painting

I was afraid that after having one painting success i would just suck again, but i think this one is still better than my old stuff so i haven't completely regressed.

such inane subject matter... i use fashion photos a lot because they are of people, which interests me, and they are always lit well. But it is a bit boring drawing generic_girl_27 or whatever. There's something appealing about the colors and makeup and all that but overall, "eh". Admittedly I'm not doing much to move away from the fashion-y feel. I will try doing more illustrative/cartoony stuff perhaps.

I don't like the hair on this one either. I always do it last so it's when i'm starting to get bored. I almost left it completely flat-color which may have worked better, as a kind of graphic approach.
OK, i just decided to change it, so here is the new, flatter, blue-ish hair. I like it more. When you compare the two, the lighter one looks pretty washed out because there are NO really dark values. But it didn't look that washed out to me until i compared them.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I felt like doing a digital portrait after a long time of not doing any (because they were looking crap and i was frustrated by them!).
I started this one and it wasn't doing any better, and i stopped, but then tried again today and i feel like i got somewhere. Not sure if i "learned" what i was doing wrong, my skintones still look a bit murky and getting the balance between smooth and textured is hard, but i like the result at least.

Fluoro hair is because i painted normal hair but didn't want to spend the time refining it so much, and it was taking focus off the face which i think was more successful, so i just blend-moded it and modified it a little.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stills from animation

I have been working on an animated segment for a short film... I mentioned it briefly a while ago. I am almost halfway through and I think it's coming along fine. Luckily, they are happy with/even looking for a sketchy style, and so i don't have to get too caught up in making it all ultra smooth and accurate. Which I couldn't do even if I DID need to!

There is some mighty funky (in the weird/wrong sense) anatomy taking place, and the motions aren't really natural. Nevertheless, the overall feel is fine and it conveys the scene ok. Here's a few stills from the girl... you will see how much variation there is (they were chosen to deliberately display that), it's really quite poor... the head size varies a LOT, the style evolved as I continued drawing frames and I haven't done much to fix up a lot of the bad anatomy/posing. I simply don't have the time, and it's not crucial.

It will be interesting, however, to see how the guy turns out when i start drawing him. Every time I do more animation/drawing I learn new things and improve, so just as the drawings at the end of the girl's sequence are/can be better, the guy might be better overall. It's slightly less-than-ideal when you see this development throughout one scene, but ah well!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I found this post when looking up some lyrics and enjoyed the capitalisation of EVERY work and some of the funny grammar... not in a mocking way, i just liked it.

then a quick wander in photoshop and i'm done. I kept making the words less and less obvious as I went, not exactly sure why but i kindof liked the simple background i drew at the end so thought it should be visible with the words over the top but not obtrusive.

looks better in the bigger view.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Academic achievements

These were some leftovers from when i was trying to typograph-y my resume, and i had to choose some nice typefaces so it would look neat and slightly designed.
I thought you could read all sorts of 'artistic intention' into it... maybe if i write an essay about it I will be able to sell prints for lots of money. But really it's just scrap paper.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I revisited one of my earlier 'paintings' today, and after redrawing the lines, decided that it would be better as a more abstract thing so i cropped and rotated it, then repainted using a color palette from one of my other old things.

I kinda like this one. The smudgy digital paint look is ok with me, some artists can use it to such good effect (i.e knowing when to leave edges/overlaps rather than smoothing everything out) but i haven't practiced nearly enough to be good at it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Glowy green things.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I often enjoy cropping images or designs to get new interesting shapes and compositions.
Tonight I accidentally made my canvas 800x80 px instead of 800x800 and I liked the shape, so I decided to create the larger square canvas but divide it into a series of strips.

The design I came up with is based upon a photograph (bet you can't guess what) which I cropped and then painted over with colors I chose on a whim. it's actually really hard to get good color combinations! In the end I put a gradient over the whole thing and put it on Color mode to unify the palette... I think doing a subtle grading is often helpful to bring together a design, but I went fairly intensely in this case because I liked the orange and yellow tones.

I am also including the un-gradiented version so you can see what a difference it makes. Might be a bit easier to work out the subject matter from this one (but I'd still be surprised).

As an aside, I just put in an order for some business cards, which is fun. They will be here in a few weeks and I will take a photo of them so you (whoever you are that actually reads this) can see them. I like the design though it is quite simple and not anything mindblowing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


This is based off a photo from a david jones or myer catalogue or something, hence the fashion look and generic-ness of it all. I really liked the striking colors in some of the photos so wanted to work with that a bit.

I added the gradient color because it was looking a bit scraggly... I didn't want to incorporate more levels of shading so thought it might help bring it together a bit. The actual dress is satin or something very shiny so the highlights and transitions were quite strong, and i think i captured some of that.

The hair looks a bit like snakes or worms, i think. But i didn't want to play too much and get it overworked. I quite like the overall palette (which, though inspired by the photo, is different because I used my eyes, didn't scan or anything or stay strictly to it).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Just a quick photoshop thing. I decided to use a calligraphic brush and this came out. I have always liked low-contrast darks together... something cool about it when it works.
In 'real' life, the effects you get particularly at night are so beautiful, like driving home and seeing silhouettes against a dark, slightly blue sky.

This isn't meant to capture that, though it is a scape of some kind i guess.
I actually thought I was going to do an illustrative treatment of some fruit today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I liked this when I was part way through it, but i must have overworked it or taken a wrong turn or something, because i'm just not very keen on the final. Of course when i say final, that's just when i stopped working, it's not what i would consider a finished piece.
I tried hiding a lot of the layers and looking at different compositions to see if i could work out which bit i don't like, but i think it's a combination of things and i'm not going to do anything more on it.
A dangerous step is always once i start incorporating photo/texture bits into a drawing-based illustration, so for example the coins in this one don't work, i think.

In any case, I learnt a few little things doing it, and had some fun with light sources (though i can't really self-critique to see which bits are wrong).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flyer design

A friend asked me to design a flyer for a theatre production that her work is putting on.
Then i found out about 2 days ago that they wanted it ready for tonight, and since i wasn't aware of a timeline like that i hadn't really started much at all.

So i got to it!

I am learning a lot about typography at the moment, through other people and also trying to just be more observant. I know that my type skills let me down, and it's one of those things where i can often know that it's wrong, but not know exactly WHY or how to fix it... if i look at a great example of clean, minimal design (like, say, Mark Gowing's work) and try to "work out" why it looks resolved and professional, i can't really... all sorts of fine details and decisions about the type, color, layout work together, and i guess I just need to keep at it.
Anyway, point is, I tried to be conscious of my type in this, but i still don't think it's great. Part of it is just the actual fonts used... I only have free ones really (or the ones that came wth software) and while i have d/l'ed some good free ones from design sites, they are usually at least *partially* odd or something's not quite right with the balance or kerning or whatnot. Still, that's not a crutch really, and i am going to keep working at getting my type to look great. There's things I would change now from this design, but it's OK and they've probably already printed it.

It is also evident that this "it's OK" attitude is good in some ways, but i think you have to be a bit anal to get great type, so when i am rolling my eyes at friends who will disregard a font because they don't like ONE of the characters, maybe that's actually a good move...

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I wouldn't exactly call it practicing photography, but i did try a few different ISO speeds...
and it was good soup.

The resulting photos were pretty average, so i just did a lousy tint on one and worked on the levels a bit... but bad lighting to begin with can't be fully rectified.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ahhhhh ahhh ahhhhh

In this one I played with saturation in a strange way... for example, the shadows of the bodies used a lighter and very desaturated color instead of the usual darker/more saturated. I don't think it's a thing i could use mostly, but interesting, and worth playing with.

I think this would have worked well with a handdrawing scanned in to get a nicer quality for the lines.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


First, a photo I took quite a while ago... just some sticky tape stuck into a little shape which I liked. I started working on removing the warm cast and stuff but then decided I liked it (but now that i look at it as I upload I wonder if i should have...). I need to learn some photography technique so that my shots are a bit nicer... never pro, but at least more competent.

And then a very photoshoppy thing I just did using old resources I already had. A bit of fun I guess. Sometimes I don't want to avoid typical photoshop looks (blend modes, pixelly, etc) although i still don't quite have it in me to go the lens flare.

I was thinking about OK Computer (by Radiohead) a while ago and how its cover art is very obviously digital... i have heard people say that the packaging is amazing, but i don't really like it. Looks cheap and low-budget tacky now. Maybe because i wasn't "there" when it first came out I just won't get it. Meh.

Just thought as well, i haven't done much drawing for a long time. Must get back into that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


A few little things for you today.

the colored stripy ones use a secret technique I have developed over years and years which i'm not going to tell you. I like its potential though, and i thought these stripes were nice.

And I scanned in the crest from a letter I got... it's so small that it automatically went jagged when i scanned it big. Looks a bit like a Photoshop filter unfortunately but it's not (though the color halftone over the top is).

Now, off to get a sour apple slurpee.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Test frames

I am (probably) doing a little animation segment for a short film... it's an experimental piece that will be mostly video and stills, with a few animated scenes. The whole thing is pretty bizarre and the narrative will be have to be interpreted a lot by the viewer.
Anyway, they want me to do a 15 second scene where the two characters are sitting in a coffee shop and having tea. That's all... they just sit there. They will do stuff like take a drink, look around, whatever, but no specific actions or dialogue.

Pretty open, pretty fun :)

They gave me the background and a mockup of a frame to show kind of what they had in mind. I worked off that but also just did what i wanted to, because that's most likely to work when i try and do the full animation! I don't know how it will look with this much detail and sketchiness, whether it will just get really jumpy, because i usually keep the lines a bit cleaner - not straight or fluid, but not scribbly with the construction lines like in this one. One of my two images is a little cleaner and that takes longer, because i have to go back and get rid of some of the extra rubbish, but i suspect it will be a bit easier on the eyes.

Anyway, I've sent it to them to check what they think, and if I get the go-ahead I will do a second or two to see how that works...

A thing.

There wasn't any inspiration, goal or meaning to this... just opened photoshop, chose colors based on what i liked, and put them down and started layering some things on top.
I have a temptation now to vignette everything i do in some way, whether it be the traditional soft dark corners or through more blatant methods... things often look good with some kind of framing. But I don't want to always do it, so i didn't today (well actually i did, but i blended it pretty low so it wasn't very prominent). I sortof wanted to do bold, dark strokes around the left and right. but no.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

self portrait of sorts

I was reading last night before I went to bed, and as I got up I realised that my reflection was very visible in the window, which for some reason made me want to draw myself. I've done it once before and actually got a pretty good likeness, but i wasn't in that mood tonight, and the lighting was also not conducive to that... when i sat close enough to the window to see it well, i was almost directly under the light so lots of my face was in shadow.
Nevertheless, i grabbed a piece of cardboard I had looted (i like drawing on cardboard for some reason) and chose to work in black biro, and got to work.
Because of all the shadows, i didn't really know how to work but i jumped in and started plotting out some lines, and built up lots of form through directional lines and layering. In the end, I don't think it's very "me" (particularly if you ignore the hair which is a bit more of a giveaway) but it was fun and good practice I think, as i really imagined the forms of my face and where lines might go. I made a fair bit up, and didn't do the shadows quite consistently but it wasn't meant to be a 'study' as such.

Then i photographed it today and found a cool effect where the light was gleaming under my curtains, so i used that, heh.

Monday, February 18, 2008

CD covers

here was a comp that just finished to design a cover for some band. I like competitions for a few reasons...
1. they give you a brief ready-made, and motivation to do it
2. you can win cool stuff
3. they often allow you to see other entries so you can see how others approached it.

and it seems they're often for things i wouldn't normally do or when i start them i find it really difficult, so it is good practice to push on and problem-solve.

i ended up putting four entries together for this one because i was working on two and not really liking either but kept developing them for good practice. Then i got a new idea so i did that and figured i might as well put them all in.

I don't expect i will win, even though i quite like 1.5 of my entries, but it was good for me to do anyway!
There's something about most of my work that just doesn't look professional and i can't really work it out - some of it is about color and quality (of images, type etc.) but yeah, it's like even if i have a concept that works and a good start, i lack the eye to really polish it, even if i do spend the time on refining. For example the cover with the cut paper text straight on and the fabric... i think it could be a really effective cover, but i don't think it fully 'works' here. Partially is about the photo - it is sharp and alright but lacks a bit of pop (but when i upped the values it became washed out or harsh) and the fabric needs to be richer and better lit. maybe that is all, dunno.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

old sketchbook things

I lost momentum with drawing in my sketchbook, i'm getting a bit back now but here's some old stuff i didn't get uploaded. It's good to come back to it a bit later, because you see lots more mistakes with fresh eyes (yeah, *great*, i know :P) which is a good thing in the long run.
As i continue i expect to get better at seeing with "fresh" eyes while I do the drawing, so i can correct mistakes and not just get absorbed in little things that aren't important/right.

Now looking for a neat anatomy resource for hands :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dodgy painting

I was feeling lazy and opened photoshop... not a good combination for me i've found, because i end up doing *something* but it's not inspired or fresh or anything.

anyway, listened to a song saying "hiding inside the horrible weather" and found a photo of rain. Painted this just using colors from the image which i like in principle, again, not necessarily good here but ok.
If i were doing it again, i would do a fun illustration for it because the one here is a little depressing in its look and just 'eh' overall.

nevertheless, here it is because that's what this blog is for :)

Next time : do something that isn't just a sketch... refine something to a point where i need to claim that it's a finished thing. It's too easy to hide behind the 'sketch' tag to avoid doing any real work!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I was doing some sketchies and developed this one a bit more. I was initially thinking of a nice streamlined, smooth kind of illustration but couldn't be bothered being disciplined so just threw lines wherever! Tried to be anatomically decent though, and i think it's not too bad (for me). The poses were a bit tricky on purpose, i am pleased to have gotten the left one semi-right. I was going to make him wet (since he's climbing out of water maybe?) but couldn't really work out how.

I like the kindof sun-bleached look with mostly white. Hoipefully gives an impression of a hot, bright day.

EDIT: Oops! forgot to do the shadows on the ground! I had it in mind to do all throughout and then got interrupted right near the end and left them. will go back into that if i can be bothered later :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

CD cover

There was a cool challenge on a while ago which i just saw yesterday... basically, design a cover for a fictitious band but with some big restrictions:
1. the name of the band is the first article that comes up on wikipedia under random.
2. the album title is the last 4 words of a page of quotes
3. the main imagery used is the third image in flickr's "interesting photos"

so it's good because you're forced to work with the restrictions and make the best you can. Some of the entries people gave were really great!

I had a go today, and though i tried a few refreshes to get an image that was CC (so i could use it without having to seek permission) and big resolution, i gave up after a few tries and just used one that came up with high-res but was copyright. Since i'm not using this design for ANYTHING apart from my own exploration I don't feel too concerned about that, but i do try to treat other people's contributions the same way i'd like people to respect stuff that I worked hard at and put online.

So here's the cover I came up with, after a lot of cropping and grading of the photo. Not anything too detailed, just a quick little fun exercise. I reckon i'll do more similar little projects with some restrictions to stretch me... could involve anything!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A bit of coloring

I felt like doing some coloring so i grabbed one of my recent sketchbook scans and played around briefly with some texture and making a feral Paris-style girl, then a clay/porcelain style skintones a bit. But i got bored and didn't really refine any of them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

T-shirt design

I just finished up with a T-shirt design for Threadless. The contest theme which I entered was "big ideas" and i was playing with a few concepts when I thought of the illustration Devie did for uni last year... it fit really well and so I emailed her to ask if i could basically steal the idea and just make new art for it. I didn't hear back from her so I've done it anyway and if I win I'll just chuck her a pile of hush money or something :P

Should be approved for voting soon, so check it out here. I also had another idea but I won't have time to do it because the theme contest finishes tonight. ah well.

All the small things - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Sunday, January 13, 2008


More sketchbooking. For some reason I've managed for the moment to get a bit of momentum going with drawing... it's not as if this stuff is suddenly amazing (though I am improving which is what matters) but it seems that I have more motivation to draw regularly... and I'm quite enjoying it :)

Trying to do a few different approaches/styles for a face... I usually start with the eyes but I'm not sure that's the best for me. Sometimes i do the general head shape which can work but sometimes i end up having to squish features into a misshaped head (particularly when I'm trying to achieve a likeness). This is a problem with forgetting to focus on the solid shapes rather than just eyeballing and working from what i think. Anyway, i want to get into exaggeration and different stylising/simplification more.
And efficiency with lines. My pencil stuff turns out better but as I improve I hope to be able to do more confident, accurate strokes to describe things simply.

The pink is a scan of the diagram from Anatomy for the Artist, the grey is my drawing... not too far off :) (well, it's a bit off, part of it is just the way i rotated/positioned the pink incorrectly but there are some bits i need to work on). I'll keep doing this exercise occasionally to remind me of the proportions, where things meet/line up. Theres one that has muscle and skeleton which would be a good one to do.