Saturday, December 31, 2005

The clanking of crystal explosions off in the distance.

Okay, so it's technically not 2006 yet, but I'm probably gonna be too hung over to post anything tomorrow.

See you next year.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Last night I went to my grandparents' house for a barbecue. After dinner, my auntie pulled out some old photos of my grandfather that I'd never seen before. There was one of him and his four brothers outside a church. I showed it to my grandfather and he couldn't tell which one was him. When I pointed it out to him, he said (in Italian, so I'm paraphrasing here) "That can't be me. I never had that much hair!" I asked him what the story was behind the photo, and he told me that he and his brothers had just gone to confession at the church, which was apparently somewhat of an event in those days. They all had cigarettes in their hands.

For some reason, I couldn't take my eyes off the photo. I dunno if it was because it was a relic of a bygone era, or because I liked seeing what my grandfather and uncles looked like when they were young, but it really intrigued me.

It made me wonder if photos of us now will have the same power over young people when we're old.

Anyway, no real point to all of this. It's just been playing on my mind today.

I'm gonna get really drunk tomorrow night.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Yesterday I had a really good idea for a drawing and I was all like "fuck, that's a really good idea for a drawing" but now I forget what it was. I know I had one idea for a drawing of a teddy bears' picnic, and another idea for a drawing of a ninja, but neither of those are the ones that made me curse. I really wish I could remember what it was.

Anyway, I haven't been posting the last couple of days because, well... I have no excuse. Just deal with it.

I moved into my brother's old room on Tuesday (he moved out) and it's bloody awesome. It's at least nine times the size of my old room and I am exaggerating. (I'd take some photos to show you, but my sister took the digital camera to Thailand and dropped it or something, so it's fucked.) The only thing I used to do in my old bedroom was sleep and sometimes get dressed when society required it. In my new room I have my bed, computer, couch, bass, PlayStation, TV, books, DVDs, telephone, and a ball of rubber bands that I made today. (I haven't moved my clothes in here yet, so I still get dressed in my old room, when I have to.) Plus there's a fridge just outside my room in the garage. I think I'm in danger of forgetting that there's a world outside of my wee sanctuary here.

If it wasn't for this damned digestive system I'd probably never leave.

Anyway, here's a grisly shot I did for the feature film I'm storyboarding. This should keep you placated until I think of another really good idea for a drawing.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Moleskine: the iPod of the creative world

What is it with people and Moleskines? In case you don't know what one is, a Moleskine (by the way, that extra e on the end of Moleskine is so redundant) is a shitty little glorified notepad that's sold for thirty dollars at Borders. Why would anyone bother to buy a Moleskine? Well, I'm sure that it has something to do with what the official Moleskine website boasts (as well as the Moleskine packaging itself):

The legendary notebook of Van Gogh, Chatwin, Hemingway, Matisse and Céline.

Here's a tip for all you aspiring artists and writers, you are not, nor will you ever be, Van Gogh, Chatwin, Hemingway, Matisse or Céline. And the fact that you thought that by buying an overpriced hunk of sandpaper, you would come anywhere near the respective geniuses of these people shows how far off the mark you are. (I'm talking to the sad souls who drink cheap, watered down Absinthe and paint some shitty picture of a green fairy that they "hallucinated". The sort of people who drop acid and are consequently bewildered when they find that what they wrote is nothing like Hunter S. Thompson. You know who you are.) Besides, as if the notebooks used by Hemingway were anything like the Moleskines of today. The drunken bastard probably wrote on actual mole skin... that is, when he wasn't trying to write "Mary, get me some Eno" in his own pool of vomit.

Moleskines are too damned overpriced for a sketchbook. The only place I've found them in Melbourne (not that I was looking) is at Borders, and everything there is a rip-off. The only value I can see in owning one is the "chic" factor when showing off to other artists. Fuck that. Just give me a six dollar fat sketchbook from the local newsagent, thanks. Even comes with a free pencil and everything.

I've seen a lot of writers in coffee shops using Moleskines to jot down ideas. That's just plain wanky. What difference is the quality of Moleskine paper gonna make to what you're writing down? If you ask them, they'd probably say it's "for posterity". But I say, "fuck posterity". As if some poor bastard a hundred years from now is gonna want to read how your Fitzroy housemates "beleague" you so, with their constant "caterwauling". Piss off. He's probably too busy dodging nuclear warheads from South Korea to read your whinging anyway. Plus, I thought all aspiring writers and artists were s'posed to be shit-poor. How the hell is everyone affording these thirty dollar notepads?

Anyway, that's my little rant for the year (yes, year - I don't rant very often). In closing, I would never consider owning, touching or being seen within a twenty foot radius of a Moleskine notebook. Unless, of course, I could afford one.

Warning: Cliff Edge

Wasn't really thinking too much when I drew this. I'm sure it's symbolic of something, but I'm not smart enough to figure it out. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 23, 2005


Dunno. Looks like a possum to me. I didn't use a reference, though.

Sea Robot

Back to my old ways again (drawing robots, that is). Larger version here.

It was inspired by this piece I did a couple of months ago:

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Hai Noon

This took a lazy forty-five minutes, whilst listening to Elliott Smith. I spent most of the time mucking about with the colours.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cut. It. Out.

I've been mucking about with this sort of "cut-out" style. Here's the original sketch:

And the final thang:

Suprisingly, this simplistic style takes longer to do than the way I normally colour.
For some more examples, click here, here and here.


After a few weeks of actively trying to have a lucid dream, last night I succeeded. I've only ever had one lucid experience (that I could remember) and that was years ago. I think I've discovered that my lucid trigger is looking in a mirror and my confirmation is looking at my hands (I'd read that your hands always look weird when you look at them in a dream). I only had three fingers on each hand, like a Ninja Turtle. I was so excited when I realised I was lucid that I couldn't concentrate enough to make anything cool happen. I basically just walked around a strange house for a while looking at my hands and then I ran out onto the street. I tried making someone materialise, but it didn't work. I think I'll try something simpler next time, like flying. After a short while things started happening on their own, and before long I was back in an unconscious dream-state.

If you wanna read more about lucid dreaming and how to achieve it, check out this Everything2 node: click! There's lots of information there.

I can't wait to go to bed tonight.


Trying to brush up on my figure drawing. Probably should've used a reference for this. Larger version here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Boxing Day

This one was done in pretty much the same way as the Santa/Jesus image. I think I'll use it for an invitation to my Boxing Day BBQ. Click here to see a larger version of the image.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Santa / Jesus Process

Here's a quick rundown of how I generally work on drawings, from sketch to final illustration. It's not always like this, mind you. Sometimes I just run with a drawing without thinking about where it may lead. In this case, however, the drawing was planned beforehand.

I do most of my drawing in Photoshop. I use Corel Painter on occasion, but I generally find Photoshop a lot quicker and easier to use.

So first, as you'd imagine, I start with a general sketch plotting out the composition, characters, and objects. At this point I'm not really thinking about the details, just the main shapes.

Next, I start inking the lines on a new layer. There's a lot of trial and error in this stage, playing around with the details. I think I spent the most amount of time getting the facial expressions right. The characters are all drawn free-hand, whereas I used the pen-path tool thingy to get the lines of the sleigh nice and clean. If you don't already know how, learn to use the pen tool. It really is a saviour when it comes to getting smooth shapes.

Then on a new layer underneath my linework, I grab a big brush and start filling in the colours. There's a lot of playing around here as well, to get the right mix of colour. I generally go for low-saturated pastels, but in this case, I needed a deep red for Santa and the sleigh.

This part's fun. Here's where the drawing really comes to life. First, I pick a direction for the light source, and then a grab a smaller brush and start blocking in the highlights and shadows. I'm not skilled enough with the airbrush to get smooth shading happening without it looking tacky. Instead, I go simple: for each base colour, I use one darker shade for the shadows, and one lighter shade for the highlights. It's up to you how dark and how light, but I generally find that subtle colour differences don't really work with my style. I don't really mind the "line" between one shade of colour and the next. I employ a lot of guesswork when it comes to shading, and while it's not always as accurate as it could be, it still brings a whole lot of form and life to the drawing. Getting the contours on the sleigh took some trial and error. I'm still not sure it's entirely convincing.

Now comes the finishing touches. Photoshop has a good variety of textured brushes, and they can be quite versatile with some practice. For the background, I picked a couple of lighter shades of blue and started sponging on some texture with a big "leaf" brush. Then I brought the size down a bit and the brightness up, and stuck in some tight clusters here and there. For the sleigh sparks, I grabbed a rough "star" shaped brush and a bright yellow, and started throwing them all over the place, alternating size as I go, so it comes out looking kind of random. Then with a thin brush and a dimmer yellow, I threw in some feint streaks along the sparks, to give some sense of movement. For a larger version of the final image, click here.

And that's it! Hope this was somewhat insightful. If not, you shouldn't expect so much of me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Storyboard sketches

Here are a couple of rough sketches for the feature film I'm currently storyboarding. I've only ever boarded my own short films, so this is the biggest drawing job I've ever had.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Hey. I've created this weblog to post daily sketches and maybe (maybe) some random thoughts. I'm not really into keeping a journal sorta thing, but if I feel like writing something down, I guess here's where you'll find it. I mainly created this "blog" to encourage myself to draw more often. I'm gonna aim at posting at least one drawing a day. Don't expect anything spectacular (although I have been known to blow people away, on occasion).

As with most of my creative ventures, this journal is extremely volatile. As it stands, it's just an experiment, and I don't expect it to last forever, so neither should you.

Anywhat, that's it for now. Oh... I guess I'd better post a drawing. Well, here's one I did today:

I know. Not exactly the most glamorous way to kick this thing off, but hey. You get what you pay for, and this shit's free.

See ya tomorrow (maybe).