F(r)iction Illustration

F(r)iction magazine illustration

F(r)iction magazine illustration

So, I regularly illustrate pieces for the fantastic creative writing magazine F(r)iction and the commissions are some of the most fun ones I get.

Here's something I did for issue 6 illustrating a feature on Isaac Marion's follow up to Warm Bodies - The Burning World.

You can now pick up copies of the mag at Barnes & Noble. So go do that if you live in a country with a Barnes & Noble. They (the magazine) are doing important work.
Drawing Stanley Kubrick with camera
So, I'm not gonna say he's underrated (because he definitely isn't) but it's easy to forget that while a bunch of directors were running around smashing up the studio system, bottoming out on cocaine and alternating blockbuster hits with gigantic bombs during the seventies and eighties, Kubrick was just quietly working away for over three decades making masterpieces, not doing drugs and being an absolute tyrant.

In celebration of that fact, here's the master filmmaker doing some master film making (almost definitely shooting something in single point perspective). I posted the drawing a few weeks back, but now it has colour on it so it definitely counts as something new and I've still technically posted a new image on this blog every week since I started it.

Another round of sketchbook illustrations

Marc Maron sketchbook

Charlize Theron Atomic Blonde illustration

John Malkovich sketchbook illustration
So, not for the first time, I'm bogged down with commissions and other bits of work that I can't post - so here are some scratchy rough portraits from the sketchbook.

I used to constantly draw in sketchbooks when I was coming up, but tapered off a few years back when I started getting into this whole drawing stuff business in a more serious ill-advised way - working on larger things that took a bit more time. And then I was really jazzed when I got my green Ciak sketchbook and started up again.

I had this idea that it didn't matter how things in the sketchbook looked and I could just play around and have fun. That ended pretty quickly when I posted a quick portrait of Alan Moore on Instagram and got a ton of likes. Since I am a whore for the likes the sketchbook immediately became a quick and easy content generator.

What I'm going to need to do is get a second sketchbook on the go where it doesn't matter what I draw because it's not for posting and I can try out new things. Of course, I will probably post something from there if I particularly like it, and if that should happen to get some love online then it will turn into a second layer of content generation. And I will inevitably move deeper and deeper into the strata of sketchbooks like an infinitely recurring set of parenthesis.

Film Director Sketches

kubrick drawing

Martin Scorses pen drawing

Coen brothers pen drawing

So I've been really busy with some pretty time consuming commissions lately. I had three weeks booked off work and I got to this weird place where I was just working on the same thing for seven hours a day, drinking vodka, and listening exclusively to true crime podcasts and You Got It by Roy Orbison on repeat (which I have recently realised is the greatest song ever written).

I'm not going to sit here and say that isn't exactly what I want to be doing with my life, but there's probably a limit to how much of a good thing one can handle before they start to disappear into a recursive pleasure cycle - like those rats that got wired up to a button that stimulated the pleasure centre of their brains and lost all interest in anything else other than pressing the button and died of starvation.

So I took an occasional break to try out my new Lamy pen and draw some film directors doing film direction. Here are some scrappy rough sketches of Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers.

More sketchbook drawings

Colin Farrell illustration

Adam West Batman sketchbook

Lupita Nyong'o illustration

So it's been a while since I've posted a batch of drawings from the green Ciak sketchbook (it's coming to the end soon) so here's a few.

Colin Farrell from In Bruges. Which, incidentally, is so worth a watch if you haven't seen it. It might look like just another mockney gangster flick from the cover and poster, but it's actually an incredibly deeply darkly hilarious film about guilt and purgatory. I'd never been sure about Colin, but this is the film that sold me on him and his eyebrows one hundred percent. And it's also the movie that introduced me to Martin McDonagh.

Adam West as Batman. Because I had a ton of good times back in University watching my DVD of Batman The Movie.

And Lupita Nyong'o. Who has got some extremem elegance alongside a real set of acting chops.

More of the same next week!

Robocop poster

Illustrated Robocop poster
So, I talk a lot about how Robocop is my Nan's favourite film, but it's true. And I must have seen it on VHS about a hundred times. Not a lot of time this week due to commissions, so here's Alex Murphy.

Danny Torrance - The Shining

The Shining Kubrick Danny poster

So I've posted a lot of stuff online over the years, and I can never tell which things are going to get all the likes and which ones aren't. Sometimes I hold a picture back from social media for a bit while knowing it's going to absolutely kill because it's the best thing I've ever drawn and people are going to go nuts for it. And then I put it up and it lands like a sack of rotten coconut flesh on a pile of felt. Other times I know I have to put something up to maintain my momentum and the only thing I have is a piece of crap that's been gathering dust in some loser folder on my hard drive for years. And I post it with a sad grimace and I get a thousand new Instagram followers overnight and sell thirty prints of it on Etsy.

The point is, I have no idea what people are going to like so I just keep making stuff I want to make and hoping for the best. And, seemingly at random, some stuff catches on.

A couple of years back I made some portraits of Jack and Wendy Torrance from The Shining and they turned out to be (by a considerable distance) the most popular things I've ever posted online. So much so they're now my business cards. I don't think Danny has quite the same iconic power, but I always thought it would be a good idea to complete the family. So there he is, looking scared, above.

Bruce Campbell

Evil Ash Evil Dead Drawing

So, here's Bruce Campbell and his chin from that time he turned into Evil Ash in Dead by Dawn.

It's an old picture with some colour added while I get on with some bigger projects, but it's always crazy fun to work on something with a bunch of weird gory detail like this.

Girl in a leather jacket

angry girl with hair blowing in the wind drawing

So, the ridiculously gorgeous Rochelle Seignot was kind enough to let me use her as a source for an image this week.

She's not normally scowling like this, but I'd just made her sit in a windy beer garden while I took a ton of photos while giving instructions like, "Try and look happy and sad at the same time." And, "Don't look at the camera, but don't necessarily not look at the camera." So I think she's fine to be slightly annoyed.

I'm going to try and move away from illustrations that are purely influenced by films for a bit. It's not that I don't like films anymore, but I think I need to see if I can do anything else. There might not be a whole lot changing around here though, as I have a backlog of cinema-inspired line drawings that need to be coloured, a couple of other film-based projects that I have already started, and I will probably still be doing quick movie doodles in the sketchbook. But when all of that is done - no more films.

Riggs, Lethal Weapon Illustration part 2

artwork Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon

And here's Mad Mel as Riggs to go with last week's Murtaugh.

Since that first Lethal Weapon movie came out Shane Black has pretty much just carried on making films where two guys (one fast talking, one slightly less fast talking) solve an incredibly violent and tangled mystery in L.A. while bickering constantly. And as long as he keeps doing that I'll keep watching them.