Out & About

Crowds & Men, Artists All

Last week I went to a couple of art exhibitions & a museum workshop, and they got me thinking about Art. Now, I try to think about Art as little as possible, regard it from the corner of my eye, never cohere it in my inner ear. It’s the background noise to my chosen occupation […]

The Subspace Cellist

Trying to be a good boy and posting these here on the blog more often. This is the latest cover for the Post Atomic Horror Podcast’s Supplemental episode. I don’t always use references, but I’ll often do a blind sketch keeping a picture of a subject on the screen, without actually aiming for accuracy. More […]

Lady with a Space Ermine

The other day I was looking for any excuse, as usual, to not do any work. I needed to try out some techniques on some new illustrations I’m working on, original pen & ink art that will be for sale, in fact (stay tuned for news on those!). As I was arranging my art supplies […]

The Birth of Ziggy StarDax

I mentioned in a previous post about how I should be cataloging my process, if not for pure posterity & narcissism, then at least as a counter to my own spotty memory. I’ve often hesitated to put a lot of this ‘junk’ on my blog, considering starting separate blogs or repositories for such things (on […]

Practice 28 March 2014

I need to start owning my process and acknowledging all the steps that it takes to get to a finished piece of work. So much of this gets lost in sketch books, and after a while you start to think you can do without it, much to your own peril. So now & then I’ll […]

The Wyrm Tamer

This was a warm-up sketch that got out of hand. Unplanned, hence the stiff composition & anatomy, the uneven detail & sketchy background. But as practice goes, not horrible. V PS God bless the Uni-Pin fineliner.

Woman by Window: A Study in Patterns

It’s been a long time since I drew something entirely for myself. Not for clients or Today’s Doodle or even just for practice. Those are all things I should also be doing more of, often the best learning experiences come from setting yourself the goal of creating something finished. So a couple of days ago […]

Two Kisses

As a proper artist, I only steal from the best. V

A Bunch of Work from 2013

I did less work than I would have liked in 2013. Various factors led to this, but mostly I spent the year either chasing client work that never came through, planning & putting work into personal projects that have yet to be realised (ahem, the webcomic, mostly), or actually enjoying myself with extended family. There […]

A Bunch of Work from 2012

I did a whole bunch of work last year, most of which I didn’t blog about here. So here is a roundup of some of the good stuff that came out of my brain in twenty-twelve. Though I spent most of January & February in India, I was also working on The Sarcastic Voyage Guide […]

#26Characters – F for Fandorin

#26characters banner
Continuing this series with a bit of a quickie (as in, it didn’t take me three hours and several abandoned attempts), this is F for Fandorin.

#26characters fandorin

Erast Petrovich Fandorin is the protagonist of a series of novels by Boris Akunin. Fandorin is smart, stylish, and a talented (and lucky) detective. Fandorin is a bit of Sherlock Holmes, a bit of James Bond, and a bit of Batman. The novels he stars in are as enjoyable and witty as such a cocktail of ingredients is likely to produce.

#26characters a-f complete

With this one speed was of the essence; even with a bit of dawdling, I completed it in under 90 minutes. I went for coloured linework instead of basic blacks this time, which gives it less of a graphic look than previous ones, but is one step further on the exploratory road that this project takes me on.


#26Characters – E for Emma Frost

#26characters banner
Well, it’s been a while. When I started this project I made a quick list of names from A-Z spanning fictional characters, mostly the first thing that sprung to mind. My friend @OldMonkMGM on twitter wondered if I was taking requests, and then asked if I could draw Emma Frost next. I said yes, of course — my earlier stand-in for E was pretty crappy anyway 🙂

That means this list is by no means permanent, so if you have a specific request, feel free to drop me an email or a tweet @allvishal. So far, the letters H & M are spoken for, but there’s plenty more alphabets to choose from. 🙂

#26characters e for emma frost

Emma Frost, formerly of the villanous Hellfire Club, is now the leader of the X-Men. You may remember her from the excellent film X-Men First Class, where she was played — badly — by January Jones. Ms. Frost is known for her telepathic powers, her ability to turn into a diamond-like substance, and for her skimpy outfits.

Seriously, many of her costumes are just lingerie, fur coats and boots. I went with what I am told is her latest incarnation, which at least has pants instead of a thong. I quite like the costume, especially the way the cape sits, and I’m a sucker for anything with opera gloves.

(Now if only I could actually draw hands and feet)

#26characters e for emma frost

Much as I try, these take a lot longer to do right now, at my current skill level, than traditional drawing. So consequently, I’m never really happy with the results, and the same is true in this case.

There’s several elements I like about this one, but much of it is the result of my hands getting tired. I wrestle with the tablet in ways I do not (and can not) with a real pen. Chalk it up to the combination of a hard plastic interacting with another hard plastic, and the disconnect between looking at a screen and moving your hand somewhere else.

I may possibly need better hardware — my tablet is a simple, cheap one by Genius — but I know where this rabbit hole leads, and I’m not prepared to plonk down thousands of dollars for a Cintiq.

#26characters a-e complete

I may have to get looser with these, more sketchy, more painterly, but the latter of those two is completely uncharted territory, and every time I try I end up with a mess. Oh well, this is nothing if not an excuse to fail, and then fail better the next time.

And, overall, I think I am failing a little better with each one.