Monday, 31 January 2011

Edwin P. Waldrip

Governor Edwin P. Waldrip is as his name sounds, a large and pompous man who has stepped over many people to get into the position of wealth and authority that we see him. He is also Alice's guardian!

Matt gave me this description of him to work with: "Waldrip defines the words bombastic, callous, egotist and pompous. Although a jowly and Jovian looking man, he is in reality remorseless and ruthless with the weapons he has - wit and wealth. Think corpulent and pudgy, but with steel in his eyes and downturned mouth."

His likeness is based on actor Ian McNeice.

For Waldrip's clothes I researched upper class men's fashion in the 1890's, and eventually came across a photo of a Governor/Congressman called William McKinley and based the style of Waldrip's jacket, shirt and tie on him.

With the colouring I hoped to achieve an impression that exudes wealth and style; a rich gold waistcoat contrasting against Royal and Navy blues. This guy obviously has the money to splash out on fancy clothes in the hight of fashion and likes to show off his wealth and power.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Young Love - 100th post!!!

What a way to bring in my 100th post than with a touching image of Alice and Jackson!

Once sketching up the preliminaries for these two I just had to have a go at drawing them interacting.
Theirs is a forbidden love and bound only for a sorrowful and bittersweet end... BUT they do look cute together, don't they!!? :D

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Theodore Jackson

This young chap is Theodore Jackson.
More commonly known as Jackson, he is a member of the ferry's crew. Matt describes him as being "strong, with a good heart, but easily led, Jackson doesn't fully understand the work The Captain and his crew perform. Think handsome and striking, with an easy smile and honest intensity to him."

His likeness is based on actor, Noel Clarke!

Finding accurate pictures of how working African Americans dressed in 1890 was really quite difficult! I've tried to cobble together bits and pieces from various periods in the century that Jackson, being poor and working class, might have dressed. The hat is the only shady area, but I thought it added to his rather happy-go-lucky character to have a soft peaked cap at a jaunty angle!
The sepia-like colours I've used I hope play up the contrast between Jackson and the richly dressed and coloured upper-class passengers, and show instantly the social divide and segregation that was true of this period in America's history...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Alice Coulson-Swift

Meet Alice Coulson-Swift, the descriptions that Matt gave me of her are;
"Headstrong but lacking confidence, Alice is a contradiction of emotions. Out of the shadow of her odious Guardian, Waldrip, she blossoms into a woman, around him and her elders she retreats into girlhood. An understated beauty whose red curls fame porcelain skin."
Matt envisioned her likeness to be based on actress Deborah Ann Woll, so I have used her as a reference!

After sketching out my initial ideas I just had to quickly add in a light wash of colour. I envisioned Alice to wear very light colours, mostly white to underline her innocence and purity. Her dress is a mixture of Victorian fashions, I felt the exposed neckline and bare arms added to her subtlety and grace.

I have a feeling I'm going to have lots of fun drawing and designing Victorian dresses for the women!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

That little Varmint!!

Last week Don came over to discuss the few drawings I'd previously done of the Varmint character. He also dropped round a book and some photos, along with a cuddly toy that he'd picked up several years ago that reminded him of what the Varmint might look like!

Here's the beast varminting around while I try and re-define my character sketches.

I incorporated Don's suggestion for the Varmint's colouring to be more red, white and dusky blue, he is after all an American animal!
I also tried to make him look a little less like a Red Panda and more a new animal entirely that has a blend of Panda, Raccoon and Tabby cat.

The Varmint is the cause for various little every day annoyances, like a sock that has gone missing...
And he is always there, just out of sight. Especially when there is food to be had!

Friday, 14 January 2011

The One-eyed Raccoon

Here is my first stab at the One-eyed Raccoon character featuring in our Arcana story.
This little guy was created by James Pearson, he is the form that the Devil takes on the Bayou.

With this character the only reference I was given was to which eye was missing. So to make this guy feel more sinister and malevolent I decided to approach him with the idea that the devil's spirit is animating the corpse of a Raccoon.
I wanted to try and make the Raccoon look extremely ragged and emaciated with bare bone showing between threads of fur and flesh. The only aspect that should look alive is his left eye, (and occasionally a red glow in the hole of his right socket when he's at his most evil!)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Colour concept number 3: Night time!

This is the same sketch used for the Dusk concept but rendered for night.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Colour concept number 2: Dusk on the Bayou.

This has become less of a colour concept and more of a full blown illustration... I knew I'd get too carried away! But I've found swampy Bayou trees as much fun to draw and my trademark forest Fir trees!

Also for your viewing pleasure, the original sketch! I actually scanned this one in, rather than photographing the pages, to be able to render it properly in Photoshop. It took 3 scans and 2 joins to piece this double page spread together!!
I should invest in an A3 scanner...

I'll use this sketch again for the next colour concept which shall be set at night.

Friday, 7 January 2011


The first of a few colour concepts for Bayou Arcana!!

Plus the original sketch thrown in...

Bayou Arcana

Along with The Varmint from Vermont, my other very exciting project is Bayou Arcana!

Bayou Arcana will be an Anthology collecting short issue comics from a variety of writers and illustrators. The basic concept is the creation of one man; James Pearson, but the writers and artists involved can take his Arcana universe and shape it to anything they like within their short stories!!

When Matt Gibbs approached me with an idea of teaming up to create a story within this project I made no hesitation in getting involved! So While Matt is writing up the first draft of the script I'm exploring with what I can do with our portion of the Arcana River and it's inhabitants.

I started off sketching from images sourced from google, anything and everything I could find that resembled a swamp or bayou. I made sure to keep these sketches quick, loose and free, spending about 30 - 45 mins on each. Oh and apologies for the quality of the photos, although the sketchbook I'm using is very very lovely it's slightly too big for the scanner..

Here I've started to tighten up a bit and think more about the gnarled shapes of the trees and the Ferry that features in our story.

I'll be working up some coloured sketches next, so stay posted!

Also to visit Matt's Blog, Click here!:

Monday, 3 January 2011

Octopus E Sting, UPDATE. (It's been a while!!)

Okay it's been absolutely aaaaaaaaaaaages since anything has been heard about the 2010 E Stings competition. Evidently as it is now January 2011 there was no 2010 competition despite the responses to my emails.

I've postponed the finalization of the Octopus animation for the launch of the competition. It is pretty much done, all that is left to do is add transparencies to certain layers and edit in the sound (but any backing music/jingle will have to wait till E4 launch and make available any usable sounds).
So I thought I'd email them again expressing my disappointment at receiving misleading information and the lack of any news on the website, despite continued interest from other people who comment on the site.

This was the reply I got:

Dear Sara,

Thank you for your email regarding E-STINGS on

I can confirm that there will be another E-STINGS competition in 2011, but unfortunately there are no confirmed dates as yet. We would advise for you to keep an eye on the website for further details.

We apologise for any disappointment.

Again still rather vague on the details, and you can be sure that if nothing goes ahead I'll be having some strong words. I would rather wait till the competition launches to reveal my finished animation, but if worst comes to worst then I will not be able to wait any longer to share it with you all!

So please, don't think I've given up on the 'ol Octopus! He WILL get his debut in the near future!!