Off-season Greetings

Irish actor Colm Meaney character study inspired by the movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
It's a situation-comedy in which he co-starred as sacked radio DJ Pat Farrell who bear's a very understandable grudge against large corporate take-overs and a shotgun siege ensues at the local station.  The final comic chase sequence goes off the deep end at Cromer Pier on the north Norfolk seaside coast @ #BrokenBritain
I imagined this artwork for no better reason than it's still January! then I read somewhere that the movie boosted tourism in the area.
Maybe then I ought to cash-in by re purposing my artwork with a different strapline like 'Hey Siege face!' or 'Your text here' or 'Army Surplus Farmers Greetings' ???

..comments welcome!

Science poster2017

The brief for the Brighton Science Festival poster took the form of a brainstorming session over a coffee with its Director: Richard Robinson. ''I want to see lots of steam,'' he said.  ''Uh?,'' I interrupted as I hadn't quite cottoned on yet.  He continued, ''...because the theme will be around the S.T.E.A.M educational subjects - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths'' ...and possibly to do a picture like Heath Robinson's style, his Incredible Contraptions, ''would be great''.  And he also insisted I needn't bother myself with the info layout as he will do that himself - over my artwork!  Later next day I showed him a couple of loose concepts with a follow-up chat on the phone.  He preferred that I develop the boiler idea -
Was only after seeing Richard's entertainingly scatological school workshops on youtube that I got busy on surrealist ideas.  You can see RenĂ© Magritte's: 'Time Transfixed' (train in a fireplace) and my nod to Giorgio de Chirico's compositions, though unresolved here due to final art deadline brought forward unexpectedly by one week!  Important early on was to establish the poster's 'local' context, done by including the Brighton Pavilion's iconic onion domes on the boiler with the new i360 viewing tower as its chimney.  Not least I had in mind a visually appealing rougher artwork style.  I kept him updated with 5 or 6 roughs to show daily progress -
''More steam please jim,'' he said (I am but a tool.)  Here's the result -
And here's some detail portions -
Done? well, Richard phoned saying, ''...need the photoshop file right-away!''  So I provided the file next morning with the steam puffs on separate layers for him to easily flower-arrange layouts and crop to the various proportions as required dimensions for magazine small-ads.
Can only wonder how my artwork will look(?)



I have been experimenting on a newer style of illustrating, I'm aiming for a look that's rougher, brighter, fresher and more immediately aligned to commercial illustration needs -

They're small detail portions of A3-poster artwork I'm doing for the Brighton Science Festival 2017 which I will reveal in January. 

Till next time, I wish you all a great Christmas and a prosperous new year.  And a big thanks for sticking with my occasional newsletters.


Ah, just when you thought now's a good time to go in the woods to get that tree then remember CARDS !..
 ...A good-to-go Christmas Card - online version to share!
I scanned in my tiny pencil-sketch into photoshop for some more digital-sketching.  I'm carried away with doodling as the light's fading.  Too late for tree fetching today so I continue roughing-in a stunned homosapient fellow who lends a sense of scale then some loose background for added perspective.  There will be versions to come but now anyway this is an off-the-top-of-my-head Rough of 2 Bigfoots casually strolling along like in the famous shaky cinifilm footage from the 1960s see here the stabilised version for closer scrutiny. Woop! Woop!

To boldly go

--- update ---
Neil Laughton asked ''Could you please create another drawing depicting "courage" in the same style as the others? Required for a charity talk''.  Might get a bit tricky I thought, there's kinds of courage; Dutch Courage or To-boldly-go-where-no-man-has-gone-before?  So I put the question to Neal and he replied ''.. more about facing your fear and taking that first step. Jumping out of a place with a parachute or climber clinging on to a vertical cliff face or someone stepping into the unknown?''  Okay, that narrows my search though coming up with the right visual to compliment the 9 illustrated Success Factors already done wasn't so easy but then I found a ref pic of a Tightrope Walker, this seemed to display the Right Stuff, after all, any idiot can leap out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane.  So then I presented Neil with some pencil roughs and eventually arrived at the 10th!

--- earlier posting ---
Cartoon about Integrity
One more illustration was needed to complete a powerpoint-presentation, this time to MDs at the Institute of Directors for Laughton & Co - a leading business consultancy, coaching and training academy.  He wanted a cartoon to be in keeping with the others. So we had a chat and I then sketched this idea -
Some suggestions were made and I then followed up with another sketch -
Neil liked this a lot except that he preferred that the final pic have a cheesy smile added.
Lovely little job.

whats on mars

...well, what's on the cover of Feb's edition of the What's On Guide to Brighton and.. Mars, well it's my poster actually -

...nice!  And my main portfolio site: is back!  No, not from Mars, nobody comes back from there.

Goals for 2016

I was asked to come up with something simple engaging and unique for powerpoint presentations.

My thanks to Andy of MyTalkinDrum 
Cient: Laughton Co - a leading business consultancy, coaching and training academy.

This commission marks a good start to the new year and indeed one would do well to bear these 8 Factors inmind in whatever goals you set yourself for 2016.  I certainly will.  Maybe even get all 8 tattooed on me knuckles.


So Richard (Director of BrightonScience) won't know the festival's dates until the last fortnight before it begins.  Although it's against my better judgement, he does insist on having my photoshop file well in advance, therefore I needed to simplify the file's layers and trust he maintains the integrity of my design ...

... I provided 2 separate layers above the background layer, one holds the info as rendered layout but without date-numbers and the other holds only numbers (zero to nine) so now he can select whatever days-of-the-months that become applicable and drag those into position nearer panic time.

I also made a version for my desktop.  Ideal backdrop for your icons! you're free to download and apply ...
(intended for non-commercial use only)

How did I respond to the festival 2016 theme; JOURNEYS.  The idea came while googling 'mission to mars', eventually came across these two -

The sunlight cast similar shadow in both photos so making my photoshopping task easier to plonk Brighton's iconic dome building on top.  After some warping and blending I'd thus created a quite believable Domed-habitat!  Looked pretty neat too with the replacement decals added.  Richard approved my concept so then I found a real Martian terrain for it to sit on, then had to make up a pinky purple martian sky with a Dust-devil, then tweaked colours etc etc and finally added a Lensflair filter.

Also part of this project was to provide small-ads and these two banners -'s site banner
Brighton Science facebook page banner

One day Others will journey from halfway across the Universe to add their footprint and take a selfy.


Pulp Detective (monthly magazine for younger readers) got pulped before it had a chance to succeed.  I recall asking its Editor before accepting this regular illustrating gig - 'There's nothing quite like it so how can you be sure your new A5 print publication will fly from the shelves of WHSmith?'  'We've got Distribution and done our research,' was his matter-of-fact response.  So, naturally I jumped at this opportunity.
Immediately after completing the ilos for their first issue, the commission came for issue #2, but the job's remit changed!  Although I was still given free range as to what 10 scenes to illustrate from their featured short stories, these scenes now had to be A4 sized (never mind that the Mag's size was smaller at A5) and heavily detailed backgrounds too, only because the Editor wanted flexibility in placing cropped image-parts elsewhere in the mag.  I did point out that I'd like to see the story-page layouts indicating some place-holder graphics, but my queries were summarily ignored and I accepted the extra workload.  Why?  Because, not only was the pay fairly decent, but illustrating this era of 1920s - 30s Bootlegging was, still is fascinating.
I was still anticipating arrival of issue #1's proof-copy while working on issue #3 when eventually it came in the post.  My jaw thudded the mat!!  Seems the Editor's publishing zeitgeist wasn't quite up to snuff.
Anyway and long story short, I later unearthed certain facts pointing to their Distributor, having hold of the purse and all rights too I suppose, pulled the plug!

More about this work labelled: Pulp Detective .. and related stuff at my folio site the 'Kids' section.
And even more Detective pics are at my BEHANCE gallery page !

Typing entrails

I've just completed the 2nd book-cover artwork -
It's the sequel to accompany 'When Angels Rise' (see earlier post)
The story continues 5 years later and the two friends are now grown up, they fly their little plane from Germany, hopping across Europe and Afghanistan to another adventure set in British colonial India.  Exploring beneath temple ruins they uncover an embarrassing ancient secret that quickens the pace of India's Independence.  That's my reading of the Author's draft manuscript from which I loosely sketched a rough idea and emailed it along with some detailing notes just to check with the Author that I was actually barking up the right tree - there was no art directing, was left to me to decide what image was going to appeal to the Author's intended readers whom I dare say expect Adventure Fiction in a vein not dissimilar like Tomb Raider / Indiana Jones.
My rough was enthusiastically approved, which is always nice!