Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The above artwork shows two peacocks fighting and the punning title: keep it play-fowl. A twist on the well known jiu jitsu catch-phrase Keep it Playful.

I originally wanted to draw two turkeys fighting but I have already drawn a turkey recently (see below) plus peacocks are more fun to depict with all those crazy tail feathers.

The peacock art was very quick - just four stages. From small thumbnail sketch, to A3 sized sketch, tracing paper and fineliner art and then scanned and coloured in Photoshop. Click tge image below for a bigger image.

Thanks for following my art blog, I wish you all a happy Christmas and creative New Year!


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser T-shirt

I collaborated along with my BJJ artist friends Bong Abad (Gawakoto) and Matt Benyon (Scramble) to produce this t-shirt. All profits raised will be donated to aid relief organisations who are working right now to bring help and repairs caused by the devastation of by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The t-shirt is available to buy here - http://store.gawakotoclothing.co.uk/Pre-Order-Fundraising-Shirt-Stronger-Braver_p_45.html

Here is a little more information about the creative process. This was my first involvement in a three-partner design collaboration.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Heavenly Wristlock

Heavenly Wristlock is the next in a series of geisha vs demon artworks I am exploring. I first began the series with my Gentle Omoplata design last year for Tap Cancer Out. Earlier this year, I created the Heavenly Footlock fundraiser t-shirt. For this followup I wanted to continue the serene and elegant poise of the previous characters so I chose her applying a wristlock technique. Wristlocks are powerful if applied correctly and cause immense pain. They are also quite handy for maintaining the character in a graceful posture - unlike techniques where she would have to unfurl her kimono and generate more body pressure on the demon (which might look less graceful).

So with the idea in my head, I quickly sketched out some very rough doodles in my notebook...

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The Manual T-shirt Design

My new t-shirt is inspired by and pays homage to both the car workshop manual and the BJJ instructional book.

It is available from my store here.

I created the diagram using Adobe Illustrator and based it on an old photograph I took several years ago of my former instructor Eddie Kone and Royler Gracie...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Halloween Wallpaper Art - usage guidelines for sharing artwork

I was delighted to see so many followers both here and on my Facebook page share and enjoy the Halloween wallpaper art (above) I created but there were a couple of examples where the artwork had been amended and altered quite drastically. Before I go on a boring long rant, I thought I would begin by posting a brief guide on good practice concerning shared images (which applies to all original content, not just mine):

  1. On Facebook, it is completely fine (ie positively encouraged) to use the ‘share’ function and show off the artwork on your timeline. We love this!
  2. In cases where the ‘share’ function does not work (Facebook can be annoying like that) then downloading and re-posting is also fine, but do include a link or tag the author/artist.
  3. Sharing on Instagram is fine too, just do a screengrab and post on your IG account, but don’t forget to hashtag the author/artist.
  4. Written content on blogs should not be repeated in full – instead, post an opening paragraph and link back to the original blog. This way we all get to share a little link love.

The upshot of these basic guidelines is that sharing, tagging, linking and other forms of credit and acknowledgment to the original artist/author/creator helps us promote our work to new people. I make no apology that whenever I offer wallpaper artwork, it is in effect a cheap way to advertise my brand. I hope that by offering something cool and unique, the tradeoff is accepted. For people who do want to amend and alter the design, or perhaps use it as a tattoo etc then I’m not hard to contact – a simple email requesting permission to use the art for this or that and I can usually respond swiftly.

A bit naughty
Whenever something of mine has been purloined and used inappropriately, I try to defend my IP quite vocally. In the course of doing so I have met with many responses that attempt to justify the actions of the content pilferer. Here are some commons responses:

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Chinese Phoenix snapback

Following my excursion painting designs onto canvas shoes I bought a blank snapback from Ebay with the intention of drawing something on this too. I never got round to it and left the hat on my bookshelf for ages until a chance conversation with one of my customers gave me the inspiration to draw a phoenix on the hat.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Pug sticker

I recently asked my Facebook followers ideas for something cool to draw for a sticker design. I received hundreds of ideas but one that really caught my attention was the pug. There's nothing special about this idea more than any other, but when it was mentioned, I instantly wanted to draw the pug's face. Here's a brief rundown for my work process, which was quick by my standards.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

White Tiger

I was commissioned by Swedish fightwear brand Kenka to draw a series of rashguards celebrating the four mythological animals that represent the seasons in ancient Chinese and Japanese folklore. The White Tiger is the symbol for autumn and of the west.

I began with a quick layout idea:

I wanted to evoke the flavour of some really amazing tattoo artwork I have observed of tigers and cherry blossoms, but with the twist of drawing it in my own personal style.

I chose to draw the tiger in pen first:

Then I scanned this into Photoshop, cleaned it up a little, then worked on it some more in Illustrator.

This is the bare bones tiger in vector form:

The branches bit was easy, but the cherry flowers were fiddly. I first drew some basic cherry flowers that were intact and attached to the tree branches:

Then I went to town with 3 or 4 different petal shapes, each one with a nice pink to red colour gradient, then copy and pasted them at random places:

The front panel was simpler, I reprised the tiger and played around with mirroring him along with logo placement. Same again with the sleeves.

The final result is a really neat piece of garment making in my opinion!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Photoshopping a composite together

I don't use Photoshop as much as I do Illustrator. The few functions I do use relate to a little post production work on my photography. But this weekend I was in a tight spot. I needed photographs of a person wearing my new product - a hooded top - but I was running out of time before the product went live.

The above photo was produced by compositing a photo of me onto a stock picture of a brick wall. Here's how I did it...

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The curious case of the bewigged lizard

When I met black belt instructor Raphael dos Santos during my trip to Cornwall recently, we discussed the idea of a personal mascot for him. Raphael is known for his ultra low standup stance (despite a strong judo background) and it is a stance often likened to that of a lizard. I sketched out my idea of what I thought would be a cool gi wearing lizard.

I wanted to avoid any confusion of another well known BJJ lizard mascot - the one that Lucio 'Lagarto' Rodrigues uses - which can be seen here. Lagarto's version shows a lizard in upright posture.

When I scanned in the pencil sketch, I then traced over it with the pen tool in Illustrator and all was going well at this point.

I then added shading. I wanted a dark heavily shaded effect, similar to how Spiderman is portrayed in comic books.

But when I posted it on Facebook, I was quite surprised by the comments. There were at least half a dozen very immediate responses informing me that the lizard looked like he was wearing a wig. I simply could not see it myself so I dismissed it as an anomaly only a few could see.

But the comments kept coming which suggested to me that this was not the isolated prank postings of a few internet trolls but a very real problem. I examined the design again. I still was too conditioned in my mind by my concept that I could not see the so-called 'wig' until someone pointed out the spinal shading resembled a middle parting. It then hit me and I could not stop seeing the wig. It was an effect very close to observing one of the Magic Eye posters.

I felt bad that Raphael's logo might be subject to ridicule so I offered to change it (even though he said he loved it the way it was).

I removed the shading, simplified the gi lines and redrew the left arm. This broke up the head adornment effect while still maintained the posture. The end result is a vast improvement I hope.

Mind you...I now miss the wig. Who else in the BJJ world has a wigged lizard for a logo?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Canvas shoe art

I've been having some fun drawing on canvas shoes. I first came across the idea when browsing Instagram. There are a number of custom shoe artists out there and from what I can see, the concept is a very popular one.

Here is a breakdown of my experiences with drawing on shoes...

Monday, 11 February 2013

Heavenly Footlock

The Heavenly Footlock t-shirt is a collaborative project together with Tatami Fightwear, BJJHQ and 93 Brand to raise funds for the charities RAINN and Rape Crisis.

When I first began sketching down the concept, I realised quickly it would be quite a task to get it looking as technically decent as I wanted it, and I needed help too....