Twitter rolled out new look profiles last month, allowing higher resolution avatars than before. I opened my Photoshop file to export a larger copy, made sure the glasses resemble my current pair… then lopped off the quiff (as I no longer sport one).
The human self-portrait, displayed on my portfolio cover and in the top-right of this blog, has also been shorn and contemporised…
It’s my dad’s birthday this weekend. He’s been retired for a few years now, but is always up to something, he’s not the idle sort. For the last couple of months he’s gone to meetings about bees. He’s bought a bee-keeping suit, but there’s no hive in the garden… yet.
While mum considered digging Bizzy Buzzy Bumbles out from the attic, I made this. The inside reads “Dad-Bee Birthday!” (there’s a reason I didn’t write “Bee-Day“).
Hand-drawn then coloured with crayons, the bumble bees are raised from the card slightly on paper blocks. The day before gifting it, I happened across a YouTube tutorial to make wiggle-springs for cards: I carefully prised Dad Bee off and re-applied him with one of those installed!
p.s. Admins: I’ve added a captcha plugin for comments. Should help.
Behold, the site is refreshed! The visual shift came about as this blog is now powered by WordPress. There’s a reason it’s one of the top names in Content Management Systems: It sees a heck of a lot more updates, support and plugins than my previous CMS, Habari. Everything has been ported over except the comments, and there may yet be an injector for those. All in all, I like it.
If you want an update with a picture in it… my deviantArt account passed 7,000 pageviews a few days ago. I did a comic for 2, 3 and 5 thousand views – The 7,000 views comic, featuring old character Super Turnip, is now up.
In the last couple of months i’ve got into the work of Scott C., particularly his Great Showdowns series.
Also, a friend got married last weekend – the same one that received the social butterfly, if you’re keeping track of such things.
The card I handed to the groom at their reception sports a cheery watercolour of the newlyweds in Scott’s style. I haven’t used watercolours in a long time, so it worked out nicely for a “first go”!
Scott’s gonna have a table at the Thought Bubble comics convention next week: I’ll get him to sign my copy of his new Great Showdowns book, and maybe get to show him the above!
So, “expansion”? Regular client and friend Final Boss Fight – The video game news site has grown into a whole network! I didn’t brand A to Play (playthrough videos), and Pixel Gaiden (editorials) was straight-foward, but AutoFire (news feed) had a little journey. Observe:
The top one was pretty unintelligible at small sizes, while the second one (originally with a red backing) looked like it should be hung outside a fire station. To give each site different colours, blue and purple came into play. Then it moved into the same frame-size as the main site and editorial logos, and finally, by request, pixelated to match the existing hub logo.
A bunch of other assets were cooked up too – a couple of CRT TVs, favicons, and a few pics to replace the stock ones on the network hub, including a quick shot of my games shelf and a Store image.
There’s one more logo, but the site’s not live yet so it’s still under wraps. It’s not pixular, I promise.
Random ending: I updated the mobile phone icon on my Contact page, because I haven’t used a phone with those things called “buttons” since 2010. The old one was a Nokia 3110c – It’s now an Orange San Francisco II.
Hi. So, how are you keeping? Around exchanging time for money, i’ve been doing these odds and ends.
One picture, based on a scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was mothballed in 2009 after reasonable progress but unsatisfactory results. Now it’s being reworked – The characters have been re-drawn, while the background and border are next. Quick preview:
I also have a new typography piece based on Minecraft, uploaded to DeviantArt here. A black background looks fine but boring, whereas dark green makes it all a bit muddy. It currently lives in anticipation of a better solution being cooked up.
An ongoing thing has been the branding for games-and-comics news site Final Boss Fight. It turns out i’ve mentioned this before, but now the site’s running properly and i’ve made additional images. I even helped out with the camera work / logistics at the Manchester MCM Expo, which was nice.
The earlier examples have at last been added to the Illustrations page, along with a pic from my Puffin Digital Prize entry (see this post).
The second tick-over is again Minecraft-related (play it, it’s fun): A texture pack.
The textures default at 16×16, so it teaches pixel art & “economising” at the best of times. In addition, the pack i’ve been updating is in the style of the original Game Boy handheld: This means working in 4 colours. Some of the textures are taken from Game Boy games – some are modified from the defaults – some are completely new. Anywho, it is called CraftBoy, and this is where it lives.
This is the default texture pack…
…and this is what CraftBoy does.
Finally, this site’s seen a slight header update, code fixes and item shuffling, as always.
February 1st was Hourly Comic Day. Once a year, amateurs and professionals alike draw an hour-by-hour account of their day (ideally as the hour to be drawn is coming to a close). Some people ink & colour their pics later, while others just scan their doodles.
This year, I joined in for the first time. You can click the below image to view it.
The forum for this years event, where you can see dozens upon dozens of hourly comics, is right this way.
In other news, this site’s asthetic was bugging me, so i’ve upgraded it again!
To provide more visual interest and definition I introduced a coffee colour, shuffled things around, changed font sizes. Gradients appeared as I learned the wonders of -moz-linear-gradient and -webkit-gradient. Code’s been cleaned up.
Finally, I added a little Geek-ster egg which is easy enough to find (hint: less than 200 pixels down), but not that easy to figure out 100%. Tee hee.
There are now a few images in my flickr photostream of Cliffe the Caterpillar in the wild. To cut to the chase, here are the direct links: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Second off the bench, something new:
A poster for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, if there had been a 1950s animated serial. Inspired by (and borrowing the woman from) this backdrop from When Magoo Flew.
Last topic – quick fixes. The tag search page is improved, and it seems the way this blog’s CMS manages pages broke some of the links to my contact page. Needless to say, that’s now been fixed, but it’s a good thing I put contact info in every page’s footer too!
Now I must be going; Current events include a job interview, a friend’s show, preparations for Cliffe II: Caterpillar Harder, and a family matter.
And I hope you all had your 2 minutes of silence this morning.
The second part of the “Cliffe the Caterpillar” project has been pushed back towards Halloween, but the first half has already gone to print. I’ve been invited to the opening of Cliffe Castle’s nature trail next weekend, where the finished boards will be! I’ve seen a preview sheet, but I must get some pictures of the real thing in the wild.
Aside from that, Filmstock has been continuing his web-series based on Animus (a superhero role-playing game), and asked me to help him replace an abandoned shoot with a quick ‘animatic’ episode. Two of the eight panels below:
Finally, a few tiny tweaks to the site. Cliffe has joined the portfolio, i’ve re-jigged the social network icons, changed the Featured Works, and updated the union logos on Jailbreak poster 2011.
Update: The Animus video is now live – My drawings are around 1min 25secs in.
By Red Mill, I mean Moulin Rouge, that infamous cabaret that ended up romanticized in Baz Luhrmann’s musical of the same name.
4 or 5 years ago, during uni lectures, I did a doodle in a sketchbook – Harold Zidler from the film, spouting a catchphrase. This turned into a t-shirt printed for a friend, the image created in Macromedia Flash, JASC Paint Shop Pro and Microsoft Publisher (of all things). Later on, while teaching myself Illustrator, I did a few more characters. Skip forward to today, down that slippery slope; now there are eighteen of them.
I finished a couple of stragglers off this weekend. This is almost certainly the final update: I do have a vague plan for two more in the future, but they’re not getting brought out right now.