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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Lighter Touch

I tend to be fairly heavy handed when it comes to drawing, and I've been making a real effort to loosen up my lines.
I'm pleased with the results but it's hard to resist the urge to not press down harder and harder.
Interesting note - a lecturer once asked me if there were any other painters or drawers in the family.
I have a grandfather who was a musician and apart from him, no other creative types as such.
My lecturer suggested that perhaps as a child he did pick up a pen to draw and they told him to put it down and learn something more useful - like the piano.
I have no idea if he played particularly well, but he played until he died.
The froggy bloke above looks nothing like him.

Below is the view of Coles Bay from the deck of the Freycinet Lodge - heaven on Earth.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Now - 3 Things

A couple of ideas today.
One kind of existential, the other physical.
On the weekend I rewatched on of my favorite recent movies, Shaun of the Dead.
I couldn't help but note the similar build of myself and one of the main characters.
I feel a sense of obligation to myself to point out that the chap in the movie has man boobs where as I have pectorals (I hate it, but I do go to the gym regularly).
Still - it's hardly inspiring.

Style, style, style.
What a thoroughly abused word.
Photoshop and Illlustrator now enable even moderately talented image maker to recreate a classic 50's look.
That is a style.
A style is something every dope can achieve with little effort.
When do you hear the word PERSONALITY???
Surely that's what it should be about!
I could rant on forever but I wont because I'll sound like a wanker.

Loki - god of mischief

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Strange Girls, Humble Beginnings, Gay Cowboys - and now added - Unhappy girl

Brokeback Mountain 2: The Sequel

Below is the first animated commercial I ever made by myself.
I'm not especially proud of it (there's some rotten animation in parts) but the transitions are nice, and the kind of thing I'm good at.
I had 2 days to bash it together - I animated it over an evening and did the inbetweening over the next day (which is why it looks like a pencil test).
If you've seen any of the others you'll note the character has changed quite a bit.
Many people assume it's myself providing the VO.
In fact it's a local magician and balloon sculptor called Geoff Hayes.
I post this image to counterbalance the peculiar image above.
(edit - I've just rewatched it for the first time in's not tooooo bad I guess).

Hooray for Dust!

With the exception of a blissful break chatting to a friend, I have spent the day sanding architraves.
I could go into the intimate details of timber dust blowing into each crevice on my body.
I could describe the colour of my snot.
The heat...
The fact that I can't wear my spectacles...
Or you could just take a look at the picture and work it out from there.
There's only a little bit left to do and I shall leave it for tomorrow.
Then when that's done I can move back into my home!
One step closer to my international trip.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Drinking in After Effects

This is one from my series of ads for the Responsible Serving Of Alcohol commercials.

I've mentioned them before in another post and will only give you more info if requested.

As usual we only had a couple of days to do this.

It was shot by my good friend Alex and animated over a day by me in After Effects.

There's a shot missing I'm embarassed to say.In the flurry to get it done I forgot....

Also - whenever I post one of these things in the blog it makes all my copy double spaced which really gives me the shits.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Jolly Public Holiday

I didn't post an images yesterday.
I was feeling well enough to leave the usual smart arsed replies on everyone else's blog but didn't feel well enough to draw anything new.
I went home for a snooze at lunchtime and feel remarkably better.
So I've come in on one of the nations many public holidays to post something new.
Today is Australia Day, and I've posted something appropriate.
Now then.
Australia is not a perfect place to live, but on a comparative global scale, it's pretty damn close.
We don't really start wars.
We don't invade our neighbours.
Our political leaders have never been evil or dastardly as such - just loud mouthed or stupid (and in the case of our current leader - dull).
The climate is wonderful.
We have a diverse and colourful mulitcultural society.
The people here are friendly, and although sometimes we appear to be loud mouthed and ugly, generally we are a tolerant and welcoming nation.
These are the sorts of things we celebrate on Australia Day.
The one thing we usually avoid is the mass genocide and continue obliteration of the native culture and people of this land.
This is an oft told story in so many nations in the world.
There is nothing new I can add here, but seeing as this is an blog of images, visited by artists and image makers I will mention one fact:
Did you know that the Australian Aboriginal culture is responsible for the oldest man made images ever?
My facts here are not spot on - I'm trying to recall the chapter in a book I read.
It had always been assumed that traditional Aboriginal rock paintings were pretty damned old.
18 or 19 million years was the suspected age.
Then they found some that dated back 30 million.
Then others were discovered dating back a possible 80 million years!
Now then - I'll check this book as soon as I can get back into my house and revise the figures accordingly, but I'm fairly sure these dates are about right.
I'm sure everyone who visits this blog know of the Disney purchase of Pixar animation studios.
A lot of positive comments, a lot of negative.
Anyone involved in the animation industry has something to say - it's a controversial subject to be sure.
Disney has been making images for how long - I don't know exactly - perhaps 80 or 90 years.
Pixars 20 or 30.
What a tiny, tiny moment in history and what a big, big fuss when compared to the ancient art and abused culture of an entire race of human beings.
I'm not a political fellow, but I like to think that like all image makers, I am capable of having a strong sense of social justice.
Whoever has managed to slog through this lot deserves a prize...

Monday, January 23, 2006


I guess there has to be an element of obsessive-compulsive disorder going on in anyone who makes images.
Hopefully though, most image makers know when to leave a drawing alone, whether they think it is finished or not.
Which leads me to these drawings.
Several years ago I was living with hugely talented pot smoking maniac (he was a very very fine illustrator).
We ended up going our separate ways, and one of the reasons was our interests in art were fundementally different.
I started doing these quite obsessive, laboured abstract scribble drawings, and he thought I was completely insane - could not comprehend why I would spend days crosshatching the white off the page when there were naked girls to be drawn (mind you, I'm kind of understood where he was coming from).
I did about 7 or 8 in 3 different sizes.
The medium sized one is the image above.

This is a detail

And this is the largest one I did - it's a rough panorama of the finished thing.
It's about 4 metres across and about a metre and a half in height.
It took me about a year to complete on and off and represents to me, the most obsessive I've ever been when it comes to my art.
I'm not sure if the work I put into it is something I'm proud of, but I am very pleased with the final image.
People inevitably ask what it is and I really have no idea.
I called it Stormfront in the end, deciding it looked a bit like rain clouds.
Someone I can't recall described it as "meditative" which I liked.

At the moment there are tradesmen polishing the floors in my house so I'm staying with a friend almost exactly opposite my place on the other side of the valley.
This was taken about 6 o'clock this morning.
It's going to be another hot one...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blast From the Past - Updated with new pictures

This is a clip from my student film.
It's rather a daunting thing to present it to y'all.
It was the first finished piece of animation I ever did.
It's 10 years old now, but it has some merit.
There's some more info on it on a post further down the page...
After I did the picture above, I felt compelled to go back and put a saucy face on the body.

Prehistoric Art

Most of this stuff is nearly 10 years old.
It's all large stuff.
Ink mostly.
There's a pencil then in there too that my lecturers hated...perhaps I've posted this before....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Boys Well Hung

When I was a teenager, I has aspirations of being some kind of polictical cartoonist.
At heart I am not really a political fellow and these hopes were fleeting.

This image is referring to the fact that the Indonesian Government will hang you if you are stupid enough to be caught bringing drugs into their country.
Now then - I think corporal punishment is despicable. Revolting. Immoral. Evil.
However, having said that, I don't think the Indonesian Government could make it any clearer that death is what awaits you if you are caught.
Every Australian at least knows, through news, and tv and mini series and popular culture, that if you are sprung smuggling hashish in Bali then a miserable life in prison and or a death sentence awaits you.
Yet people still continue to do it.
And every time it happens it makes the news and shitty Australian current affairs (a misnomer if ever there was one) interview the villiage idiot who says "Oh yes, the Australian Government should step in and stop this business".
Fuck oath.
It's nice to think that your country is like your mum - if someone pushes you over in the playground she'll come over and push them back.
But anyone sensible knows that this is not the case.

Busy again

I am rather busy today so you only get this sketch and a tidbit about the animals themselves.
The wombat is the tasmanian devils closest relation.
They are both marsupials, which means they give birth to young who then crawl into a pouch.
On both these animals the pouch faces backwards.
They drink milk in the pouch.
There you go.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Flying Solo - Updated in the arvo

My very dear colleague Vanessa has fallen ill and won't be in the office for some time.
This means I am flying solo indefinately.
This is not such a bad thing, in that we aren't that busy, but it does mean that I'll be slightly too busy to spend my days drawing and blogging.
Just like a real job - like the rest of you!
This image was not inspired by any impending doom, but by a film I saw called Constantine, a not too bad comic book adaptation about demons and hell and whatnot.
The devils son was in it and he is called Mammon, a name I find very pleasing because it sounds like a vegetable rather than the son of satan.

Smook and Doodlers - I've just recalled a connection I have with Toronto, albiet a tentative one.
My student film played at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival in 1998 (a million years ago!).
For a lark, I did a search for it's title, "Weisman and the Devil".
I discovered a review someone wrote at the time.
It's way more enthusiastic than it deserves and I am thoroughly embarassed to say that it makes comparisons with Night On Bald Mountain (beyond undeserved I promise).
I will be vain enough to post the short review though.

The animation tip, meanwhile, is equally well-represented. Australian director Elliot Cowan's Weisman and the Devil (1996), for example, is a wonderfully rancorous fable that catapults Weisman, a sad-sack schlemiel convinced that his lack of social success stems from his pudginess rather than his idiocy ("...and only an idiot would think that," the narrator intones), into a highly uneven struggle with the Prince of Darkness. Sketchy, black-and-white visuals and an eerie klezmer score help make this as close to a six-minute version of Night On Bald Mountain as you're ever likely to come across.

If only my lecturers felt the same way about it, although I suspect she may have seen a different movie and confused it.

My Good Rockin' Buddy

Right in the centre of this photograph is a small animal called Ella.
She is my best friend in the entire world.
In this picture, she's having a relax after running up and down the path there for about an hour chasing a stick.
I can't say enough wonderful things about this tiny creature and it will be very hard to leave her behind.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Again with the monkeys

These monkeys look the partner of a friend of mine.

And here's another thing.
I have mentioned the talented and delightful Francesco Francavilla before on my blog (the post is a little way down the page and is accompanied by one of my pictures, not his).
Finally I can provide a link to some of his work - a comic he is working on called The Black Coat.
Apart from being a terrific and highly prolific draughtsman, he is also a delightful fellow, full of useful advice for young artists and simply a great guy.
Anyone interested in comic art should buy several copies to keep his Italian stomach full of food and his bills payed.

And here's a bit of treasure.
I was 16 when Chuck Jones made his was to Australia.
I stood in line for a long time to meet the fellow and get his autograph.
I'm not really one for being a fanboy, but this is something I'm especially pleased with.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Got Rooster, Got Crow

And here's a piece of cleverness.
If you go to you can draw a little picture and the thing will play it back to you.
Here is an example.
It's rather a lot of fun.
My computer isn't so speedy, so I'm required to draw quite slowly, which is very hard for me, but I found myself examining the construction of the final image and that was interesting (for about 35 seconds).
But it is a hoot - art people will find some entertainment value in it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Corporate Affairs

This illustrates a meeting I had a with a client this morning.
Of course no-one literally had their tongue in the rectum of another person...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I'd like to encourage everyone to go take a look at the work of sculptor Thomas Kuebler.
He creates life sized circus freaks and monsters and such and they're marvellous.
Take the time to have a look.

Also - some months ago the clever people WIN marketing decided that we all needed to have the same desktop image on all our computers.
It's a repulsive corporate thing.
It's been requested that I change mine for some months now (I've had one of my own images up) and I've finally relented, but with some enhancements.
Initially I did something a little harsher, but it was the sort of thing I could have got in genuine trouble for, so I did another softer version.
Does this make me a complete pussy?... I fear so.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I don't plan any of my drawings much - my personal work anyway. Commercial work is another thing altogether.
I rarely do roughs or sketches.
I just let the pen do whatever it wants to do and bammo - there's hopefully something nice at the end.
Consequently I'm at the whim of my subconscious, so I don't always get what I'm hoping to.
I've been treading water for a few days with the silly sketches below and am now relieved to return to something a little more fullfilling.
These things can be so fleeting sometimes.
I've been listening to a lot of Tom Waits recently and he often puts me in mind of wailing, apocolyptic preachers.

I have seen a handful of DVDs in the last few days and I should like to mention 2 of them.
Cold Mountain.
A film about the American civil war, with a cast of Europeans, a Brit and and Aussie as the leads and directed by an Englishman.
And shot in Hungary, or Belgium or somewhere else European.
There are a handful of Americans in the cast.
So before the film really gets going there are some major issues concerning authenticity.
This is not to say that Nicole Kidman and Jude Law aren't fine actors - they're both ok.
But their accents are not fine, which to me kills most of it dead.
I won't go on about it too much, but really, are there not enough American actors, who probably even have the correct accent, who could have played the roles?
On a positive not, you get to see the actress Melora Waters boobs, which is pleasing.

The classic ancient Greek tale.
Swords, shields, beautiful women, blood, sailing ships, adventure, gods, soldiers, a whopping great wooden horse.
Before you even start making the thing you've got a pretty good start.
There's no plot that needs to be nutted out.
The characters are well established - even before pen is put to paper.
But it's about as dull as can be.
Almost the opposite of entertainment.
It's a sedative.
The only real nice bit is Brian Cox, who is normally terrific, but in this movie acts as if he was taking part in a different film.
He is entertaining because he is so silly.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Cheesy Pun

Artist William Wray is asking folks to go visit a project he's working on.
It's a thing called Billy Bastard and involves lots of swearing and puppets hitting each other.
Here's a clip

I spent a good hour working on a very nice drawing of Frankensteins monster.
I was very pleased with my efforts - so pleased in fact that I overworked my drawing completely and killed it dead.
Instead of the rather nice and sophisticated gothic image, I give you this silly pun.

This is a reasonable facsimile of the Frankenstein monster that I made a complete hash of this morning.
It's not a terribly good drawing but I'm pleased with the concept.
I especially like the little withered arm.

non Frankenstein related.

This is Magneto, from the films.
It's a post from a drawingboard thread.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hit Series

I think it's going to be huge.

Speaking of huge hit series, I went and saw The Lion, The Witch etc last night.
I was not really interested in seeing it, I don't really like the book.
But I have to say I thought it was really good.
The story is completely bizarre, even for a fantasy, and I'm not really a big fan of the Jesusy overtones, but there's plenty to enjoy.
The animation throughout is very, very good.
There is some nice voice acting, from Ray Winstone as Beaver especially (the beavers were particularly well animated and had a lovely run).
I think Michael Wincott who did the chief wolf has a great voice but the American accent was out of place.
My favorite character was a gryphon who only delivered a single line.
Whoever voiced it has a terrific voice, and I was dissapointed he only had a tiny role.
The fellow playing Mr Tumnus was very endearing indeed (I had an ex who used to call me Mr Tumnus, I have just recalled).
Liam Neeson did a dreadful job as Aslan the lion.
The film simplifies some complex issues, and as I mentioned, is really quite a strange tale, but it was really very good.

Alabastor Brown

I decided I should follow up that last whining post with something light and jolly.

Some time towards the end of 2004 I was travelling back from Devonport in a car with my very good friend Robyn York.
We were chit chatting away about this and that and I started talking in this old man voice I had been playing with for a bit.
She thought it was extremely funny, and over the next few months we developed him into a bit of a character, with a history and a life and all that business.
We named him Alabastor Brown.
His character is hard to describe, it's best to listen to the clip.
Robyn was pregnant and the time, and so to distract her from baby things a bit I'd go into the booth and ad-lib a few minutes of Albie chattering on about one thing or another.
This is the second in the Albie series. (there's also a permanent link to it on the side there). It's audio only, no vision.
It details his short marriage and his battle with bulemia.
I have great fun doing this sort of thing - I'm not a big fan of Edna Everidge, but I am very fond of another character Barry Humphries plays called Sandy Stone, and I suppose there's a dream floating around somewhere of playing this character on stage in a similiar style.
Pie in the sky no doubt.
Hope you enjoy. The character speaks quickly and I use a strange pattern of speech but I'm sure you'll cope.
There are other Albie tapes somewhere but I'm not sure where they are.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Van Diemen's Land

Not half an hour from my front door is this little patch of paradise.
It's the site of a convict ruin - an old flour mill.
It's peaceful and quiet.
The water running over the rocks is usually warmed by the sun.
It's terrific in the summertime as the river is nice to swim in, and once you've finished swimming you can plonk yourself into one of the rockpools and let the water run over you.
There's something supremely relaxing about sipping beers in a natural rock pool.
There's all kinds of birdlife to sooth - eagles, herons, kookaburras.
Twitters, tweets and squawks.
As the water trickles through your toes, you can sip your beer, perhaps nibble on another slab of Tasmanian brie, feel the hot sun on your face...
So why on Earth am I leaving this all behind?
Well it was almost 10 years ago I moved here for personal reasons that I don't feel inclined to get into just now.
I was working in animation before I left and when I got here that's mostly what I was doing.
Then I moved into live action production and animation took a back seat.
Art didn't dissapear completely from my life.
Every year I would produce some new pieces and I exhibited a few times over the years.
Then this whole blogging thing started and I realised that I'd kind of let myself go to seed a bit.
My efforts had been concentrated on all this live action commercial production, After Effects editing and whatnot, and I'd lost sight of what I was really about.
Seeing the work of everyone here really does make me think I'm a good 10 years behind the rest of you, which frankly scares the shit out of me.
I'm not sure if there's the opportunity to catch up, but I'm going to see what I can do.
I have no firm date for leaving - there's some housey things I need to finish before I put it on the market - but I imagine that I'll be wending my way across the globe sometime in the next 6 months.
I intend to be heading through some bits of the USA, certainly visiting Europe and intend to end up somewhere in the UK.
My folks are both Brits which entitles me to a British passport and the opportunity to work there.
So it's all about starting again I suppose, and getting back to what my life was supposed to be about.
Anyone who bothered to read all of this is entitled to a prize, sexual in nature.

Angry Old Man

Last night I went and rewatched the latest Harry Potter film again.
I very much enjoyed it the first time and I've enjoyed it even more the second.

Friday, January 06, 2006


I like to draw something to post every day.
Occasionally I start something and realise that it's I'm a little busy doing my real job (bloody clients...bloody executives) so my deadline to finish the days drawing gets shorter.
I sometimes start something nice and then have to finish it as quickly as possible, which is the case here.
I very much enjoyed drawing the moon and I shall revisit it soon enough I should imagine.
The comment he is making refers to whatever you would like it to.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Double Whopper and Fries Please

And congratulations to unknown Canadian in Stony Point.
You've just become visitor number 18,000.
To claim your prize email me and I'll send you an address you can post your cheque to.

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