Guthrie’s Art Journal

June 2, 2009, 3:47 am
Filed under: Art, Drawing, Illustration, Sketch | Tags: , ,

Lux Interior 28.03.09

This will be the last post for my blog at this location.

The new blog is surprise surprise I know I can tell your all shocked!

Anyway here’s a quick sketch that I’m going to us as a basis for a digitally painted portrait of the late Lux Interior. It’s a composite of about fifty photo’s and my memories of the pasty white boy rocker!


The painted funeral director
March 5, 2009, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Art, Illustration, painting | Tags: ,
funeral director version 2
Bodge phone photo of the director shot at Camberwell

This is my first acrylic painting in many years. In fact in my be the first one since I left school. So not to shabby an effort although the background is still in progress.

So we’ll see how it stands up next week against where other part-timers are at.

I know very much that the background colours need to be more muted and pushed back to create a less flat perspective.

funeral director
Scan of the painting in progress

I used an acrylic pad at the suggestion of one the crew on the course. It’s not too shabby as a medium for painting having quite a good texture. Here you can see the stage before I started painting in the red curtains. Acrylic paint is very unforgiving but I kind of like that, it forces you to make creative decisions about what your doing. I also found I had to stop to let the piece just sit before charging on.
Acrylic dries quite quickly but not so fast that you don’t get time to consider where to next. I did want it stay wet longer at times so I could work it in a bit more but maybe that’s what oil paint is for!

I will post another version of this once I get it back and fill in the background more completely.

G is for Gruesome and just a little darker…
March 2, 2009, 11:26 am
Filed under: Art, digital art, Drawing, Illustration, Painter, Photoshop
G is for Gruesome 7
A swift ‘darkening’ of G is for Gruesome

I noticed when I was preparing this piece for print today that the distribution of tone was very even making the image very flat.

This was not my intention so I worked it over in photoshop some more to try and create greater variation in tonality and give it a darker feel.

A photoshop technique I’ve learnt recently worked well. Basically you use the dodge and burn tools – so quite a photographic approach – to darken and highlight your image. I pushed quite extensively at the whole image to give it greater contrast. It’s definitely less flat and a little less friendly, but not really as menacing as I’d like.

Overall I think it’s an improvement as the previous version was a great deal flatter and a bit lifeless for it.

Ol’ one eye
February 9, 2009, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Art, Drawing, Illustration, ink, Sketch | Tags:

ol' one eye

Ol’ one eye pen and ink monster

Absolutely loving my new calligraphy pen.

I’ve had the inks for ages but I really like the fluid effect and bold contrast that you get with a calligraphy pen.

I went for the vermilion and straight black not really knowing quite how it was going to work together.

The black shows up really subdued on this sketch pad but it really works with the burnt orange of the vermilion ink. Definitely going to play around more with this for quick as you like sketches!

The idea to buy the pen came from reading Concept Design 2 which I got at christmas.

The Funeral Director
January 27, 2009, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Art, Drawing, Illustration, Sketch | Tags:
the funeral director

More, more, more!

Sarah McIntyre was a real inspiration today. So I’m having another go at daily sketching action.

My funeral director was one of the random breakfast sketches from the last week or so but the sketching so far’s not been very regular an event.

Miss Kitten in fur
January 22, 2009, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Art, Costume life drawing, Drawing, Illustration | Tags:

Miss Kitten in fur
Originally uploaded by guthriejwatson

Colouring in action

So for the past couple of days I’ve been working on colouring in this piece.

This is just a section as it’s really too big for my little scanner phone camera’s aren’t really an art tool, at least not as far as I’m concerned, although I’ve ordered a cheap A3 scanner which maybe more accommodating!

I really like the furry gloves which I worked up with lots of pencil action. At last count I used 30 or so different coloured pencils for this drawing.

Amusingly enough Janet, at our tutorial pointed out that a lot of the work I like uses very little colour and is a lot darker than the last pieces I’ve been working on!

G is for Gruesome
January 20, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: digital art, Illustration, Painter, painting, Photoshop, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

G is for gruesome
Originally uploaded by guthrie

So I’ve finally decided this piece is finished! I kind of need to move on and possibly I’ve learnt what I can. As a piece of illustration I think it succeeds in some ways and fails in others.

As an image I like the bold colours, maybe a little too much detail, although I did rub a lot of it back, simple composition, cute and horrific at the same time. As an alphabet letter I suspect it could be a little more overt but I decided I didn’t really want lettering on the piece so it’d need to be in the title of the piece. It could also be a bit more scary and darker.

So what was the process?

Well it took about three sketches to get the basic elements down and then the last of the pencil sketches was scanned into Photoshop.

I then manipulated it into a form that I could start to lay colour onto which meant cranking the contrast a bit and whiting out some of the paper texture from the background.

I’ve been reading a lot of concept art approaches in ImagineFX and combined that with my knowledge of digital print and my limited experience in traditional painting. Painter was the next stop.

This is my first bash at making something finished in Painter and really the first time I saw it’s real potential. I’ve had a Wacom tablet for years but just never really had the need or opportunity to do much with it.

First steps…

So I blocked the colour in using a lowerer res version of the image until all the basics were in place, then scaled it back up dropped a higher res version of the image back so I had a good sharp outline to work against for the details.

I might choose to do the colour blocking in Photoshop next time as it took ages to find a simple way to just dump lots of colour on an area without funny brush marks. It didn’t help that this is my first go at it.


Then I just started painting using different colour modes and layering, testing out as much as I could. I’m used to the principals from Photoshop although Painter has some of it’s own unique ways of dealing.


Brushes seem to work a lot more like traditional media which means it’s really good to have a clear idea how they work in the that mode before you try the digital version. Water colours, inks, impasto, pencils and pastels all have different digital surface properties and it’s a bit of a learning curve working out how to make the most effective use of them!

So what did I learn?

Well I can definitely see that there’s potential to go into the kind of work I really keen on but also it’s going to take a bit more time out from design work to spend on painting!

If I was happy just doing the kind of more stripped back illustration style like the Crimbo cards I could get away with a lot less time but the kind of imagery that I love Ray Caesar, Syd Mead, Glenn Brown (who I only just discovered after seeing him on the cover of the Tate mag – brilliant can’t wait for the exhibition!), Scott Robertson and Nick Pugh well it’s all really worked over and even a quick small image takes 20-30 hours so you can see where that’s all going!!

Janet had one very inspiring thing to say early on in the MA and that was she believed many illustrators set there goals a lot higher than what their tutors expected of them and she was always impressed by how many achieved those goals!

So here’s to reaching for the stars!