This one is called ‘Lantern Market' because I really couldn't think of a better name. Maybe somebody will suggest one someday, but for now that will suffice.
Flipping through my old photographs from Hong Kong I was remembering the glass-windowed electronic stores, back to back with their stock visible through the walls. Transparent, modern labyrinths of electronic goods and gold watches and music. When I think of China I think reds and teals, golds and greens. When I get bored I draw celestial dragons and lanterns, stereotyped as they may be they are a joy to paint, so when I made this piece for my aunt I tried to evoke them. Hong Kong is a really special city, and it feels both old and new simultaneously in that way that cities uniquely do. Hopefully some of that feeling comes across, and if not? Then you might at least enjoy the colours.
I love all kinds of pink, particularly fuschia and magenta. I also enjoy the fact that humans basically can’t really see them since they aren’t in the light spectrum. In essence we make them up!
My goal for this painting was to try and create an image of a female who could basically be any race, so picking an unnatural colour to represent skin-tone seemed like an obvious choice. I then started to collect pictures of women from different parts of the world and various ethnicities and drew sketches on top of each other, layer after layer to build up a face. Hispanic, African, Indonesian, Scandanavian - all kinds of origins made their way into it. That way, I hoped, what I would end up with might appeal to a large portion of people.
I felt it important to make sure things were pretty symmetrical, since humans generally find symmetry to be attractive biologically. And the hair is supposed to be equally vague because the lines could portray any kind of consistency. I guess you could say it was my way of interpreting the ‘Mother Nature’ archetype, so I titled it ‘Gaia’. I have no idea how successful it is, but I like the picture anyway and I’ve gotten good feedback from pretty much everyone I’ve shown it to, so I hope you like it too.
A year ago I had the pleasure of meeting a personal hero of mine, comics legend Grant Morrison. I stayed up for a few days beforehand creating a portrait of him with the intention of giving it away as a present. I’m glad to say he seemed to enjoy it, even although I embarrassed myself by forgetting to sign it and he had to remind me.
I wanted to try and represent the two sides to his career; both creative and professional. I felt like he has this vivid, colourful imagination bursting beneath the surface that you can only really see come to life in his work. Plus I have such admiration for the man, since he has done so much for artists in his industry and really values their talent - possibly since he also likes to draw.
Sorry for the blurriness; I didn’t really get to take a proper shot of this painting before I gave it to the person who commissioned it. Since I only have a crappy phone it’s not the best image but I still felt like sharing. The concept is specific to the owners, a lovely pair of girls for whom this was a wedding present. I love drawing dragons so it was really fun to work on.
The third colour theory practice piece, which is themed roughly on 1980s kitsch and beaches. There are palm trees, peacocks and voluptuous lady-parts; I’m blaming Vice City for this one. Original is in A2 and completed with Copic Markers. Title (for now) is ‘Malibu’.
Another colour theory practice image, this time in hot shades. Original is A2, again entirely in Copic Markers. Title is ‘Bombtangstic' because it's bright and zingy and the first word I ever heard it described with was 'bombastic'. I'm not sure if you can still see it, but I drew most of this image around a doodle of a Gorilla's head. I bloody love Gorillas, they're amazing.
One of three colour theory practice images I’ve played around with. Original is A2, done entirely in Copic Markers. Title is ‘Fetallic' as I was thinking of waves, water and creation/birth.
A very good friend of mine took the time to compile a bunch of photos he shot during the creation of one of my canvasses. He set them to Secede - Born in a Tropical Swamp and faded the images sequentially to show the process. The resulting video is really pretty good, I think. The subject is the one I posted earlier.
Painting this took three days to complete, but it’s so detailed that I could probably still keep adding to it forever. I’m always stuck for titles, but I think in honor of construction time/subject matter I’ll name it ‘Three’. The majority of the work was done in Krink and Proline marker pens, as you can see in the video, because I really enjoy the quality of the ink/control they provide.
I really feel like the whole thing was a collaborative effort between myself and the multitude of people who wandered in during its creation. They each commented on what they saw and told me about their interests and hobbies, so in some way maybe those feelings made it into the mix? Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys it~
A quick oil pastel - or adult crayon picture, as I call them - that took around four hours to complete. Original is A3, thin paper. The title is ‘Octopodes’, but I’m hoping it’s clear what he is. :)
An A3 metallic marker painting I titled ‘Dark Train’. This one is a lot more gloomy than I had expected it to be, but I guess I was in a bit of a slump when I made it. The circles were supposed to represent mechanical lenses; there are many, many security cameras in the world and that always feels slightly invasive. Big Brother is always watching etc.
My favourite Artist Salvador Dalí used to practice sleep deprivation in order to bring on hallucinations, such as the ones gained from the use of psychedelic drugs. He’d wait til he was about to nod off, then wake up and sketch what he’d seen.
An extraordinary personality.
[Smiling wryly at the sponsor, because did you know only Parliament can give you over 30,000 traps? Hrm.]
Wow, so my dashboard just got an awful lot more crowded. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with everyone I just followed. I don’t have any art to post at the moment, so here’s a picture of my pet rats instead.
This is a two-page comic I did for a Scottish comics exhibition in Brussels. It was intended to represent the theme of ‘Creativity’. Both pieces are A1. They are high-quality prints, being shown in Scotland at the moment after having travelled back from Belgium. Some are available for purchase, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a sneak preview of a piece I’m working on in the long term for a friend’s gallery. Very excited to share this with people!
This is a painting in acrylics I did one day, listening to Malambo nº 1 by Peruvian artist Yma Sumac.