"Hurry!" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Hurry!

Oh how life mirrors art sometimes! When I first saw the topic for this weeks IF I was really excited and bursting with grand ideas for what to do. Eventually though, with the 4 day Jubilee weekend eating so much time I scaled down the idea considerably. But even scaled down it was a lot of work and by yesterday morning I threw in the towel and resigned myself that I just wasn’t going to be able to do something for this week.

This morning though, as I sat at my computer, cat on lap, gazing at the rain as it lashed the window I suddenly got a jolt of inspiration. Reaching for the nearest sketch pad, I leave them littered around the house so there’s usually one near by, and a pencil I doodled a little person trying to get out of the rain – a not uncommon sight in Britain – and suddenly knew that he was in a hurry and with that the race to get this posted in time to add to Illustration Friday listings was on!

"Hurry!" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

“Hurry!” by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

It’s probably not the greatest piece of art in the world as it was, as the topic suggests, hurried. I scanned the sketch to get the idea but used Photoshop to redraw and colour the piece digitally.

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Illustration Friday – ‘Faded’

I’ve always had a soft spot for chameleons, with their multi-directional eyes and their awesome colour changing ability they have always seemed one of the world’s stranger inhabitants. So, when I saw this week’s Illustration Friday topic, Faded, my mind drifted towards the chameleon and the type of situation where blending in to the background might not help things!!!

So, may I present, Crispin, your friendly neighbourhood chameleon… okay, so there’s a chance he’s also a small time crook but if that’s the case then his colour changing stills aren’t going to help in a police identity parade!!!

'Unusual Suspect' by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

‘Unusual Suspect’ by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

This unusual suspect was created in Photoshop, though unlike last week he was based on several sketches of chameleons as I wanted to capture his chameleon-ness.

"Rare Sight" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Sight

For last weeks Illustration Friday I wanted to do a science fiction illustration – something that was darker than my normal subject matter and maybe hinted at adventure – this week I’m diving in to another genre for Illustration Friday… a genre very, very dear to my heart – fantasy.

So here it is, a rare sighting of the very shy and rarely seen Snarkleblaster but careful he doesn’t catch sight of you… you never know what a startled Snarkleblaster might do!

"Rare Sight" by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

“Rare Sight” by A.R Vincent, Copyright 2012

This technique, of combining illustration with photography, is something I’ve seen several times before and is something I’ve wanted to try and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that it was created using Photoshop. I actually used the photo as the starting point for this and created the Snarkleblaster straight on to the computer, without any preliminary sketches, using my much-loved Wacom graphics tablet (not sure how I ever created anything without one!). Obviously the photo I chose dictated much of how the scene would look and, to be honest, other than that I had no clear idea for the details of the character’s look, instead just following my nose and seeing where the character took me, making the end result quite a surprise!

"Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Hitch

I must confess I wasn’t too inspired by this weeks Illustration Friday word, hitch. Perhaps it was because of this or because I have been busy with other projects that I was very late finishing this up and posting it. Whatever the reason, it’s here now!

Please let me introduce you to Ursus The Terrible and the little hitchhiker….

"Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

“Ursus The Terrible And The Little Hitchhiker” by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday - "Dizzy Heights" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Heights

Sometimes working hard to get to the top pays off and sometimes you put in the hours and effort and climb and climb only to find that you aren’t that far from where you started in the first place!

"Dizzy Heights" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

After all the work and time spent on my animation for Why Woodland, the sudden post-contract silence has been surprisingly comfortable. I have found that usually after a big event – exams, launches, deadlines, performances – that the lull that follows, far from being the chance to rest and relax that you’ve been dreaming about through the mounting chaos and excitement, seems to open up around you like a void and leave you feeling restless, angsty and lost. Perhaps I didn’t get that weird discombobulated feeling because once the project was done I dove straight in to other things… one of which was this weeks Illustration Friday.

I really enjoyed working on this illustration for this weeks topic, ‘Heights’, and had tremendous fun getting back to producing things in Photoshop for their own sake rather than to export to Flash or Premiere Pro or After Effects.

Illustration Friday – Puzzled

Oops! Missed it!

Time was certainly not been on my side last week and paid work meant this illustration had to go on the back burner. Oh well, I may have missed adding this to the weeks IF line-up but, since  my blog posts this months have been a little thin on the ground, I still thought I’d add him here.

"Who's More Puzzled?" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Who's More Puzzled?" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Vocal

Well, with my work deadline this close and a week beset with technical trauma, I didn’t expect to have something for this weeks Illustration Friday!! But sometimes it comes down to stepping away from the computer… or throwing it out the window… and at times like these there’s time to do some drawing, take your imagination for a walk and try and remember why it is you wanted to work in the creative industry. So after a little sketching and, with a cat purring on my lap, I sat and spent some happy Photoshop time putting this together and fell in love again with illustration and the arts.

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a post about me getting vocal, this is about a post about a little guy who gets vocal because its part of who he is… please put your paws together for Guido the Trumpet Chicken!!!

"Trumpet Chicken" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Trumpet Chicken" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Shades" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Shades

I must confess, I would have been happier if this weeks Illustration Friday topic had been ‘shade’ rather then ‘shades’. That little ‘s’ changed, in my mind at least, a nice broad topic to a choice of blinds, sun glasses or paint squatches, all of which I found about as inspiring as quadratic equations or filling out a tax return. To be fair, there are weeks when I’d have been happy to embrace the challenge, think outside the box and break new ground but, with a midweek deadline and a dying computer causing me both literal and metaphorical headaches, its not been that sort of week!

However, I have been reading 2 truly awesome books “The Perfect Bait” by Bobby Chui, whose online tutorials I’ve also been following, and “Masters Collection 1: Digital Painting” by those talented chappies at Focal Press.  So, inspired by the former and interested in testing the techniques shown by the latter, I freestyled an illustration in Photoshop – no plan, no sketches! I’m not displeased with the results but have to say it was way out of my comfort zone… especially as I had to use a mouse rather then a graphics tablet!

Introducing… Shades

Timid and shy, Shades lives in the dark and shadowy places in the world. Despite his huge orange eyes he sees only shades of grey.

"Shades" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

“Shades” by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

In terms of inspiration I think he has a look similar to a lemur or, more specifically, an aye-aye and, as usual, I think there is a kitten-like quality to him too. I feel I should also mention here that I was obviously heavily influenced by the illustration work of Imaginism team as well as the character of Gollum from Ralph Bakshi’s animated adaptation of ‘Lord Of The Rings’.

Oh… and I know that my Illustration Friday offerings of late have been sort of charcter-design-tastic so I will try in the next few weeks to do something a little different…. depending on the topic of course!

Illustration Friday - Yeild - A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Illustration Friday – Yield

I found this weeks IF topic, yield, a really tough one. Everyone I mentioned it to seemed to instantly think crop yield and suggested pictures of corn, wheat or maize, but I just didn’t feel inspired by grain crops! I did have a bunch of ideas that I didn’t really have the time to do justice to (so I’ve put aside for later) and one sci-fi idea that I actually finished working on before I binned because I didn’t like it.

 But then, whilst trying to find a blank page in the sketch book, I found a doodle I did ages ago and thus Sparky the dragon was born.

Here he is guarding his treasure, it is the yield from plundering dwarf mines and rich elvish cities… or so he claims. Personally, I think he looks a little to cute to do a whole lot of plundering but perhaps, with dragons, it’s the cute ones you have to look out for!

"Rich Pickings" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

"Rich Pickings" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

It did take quite a while to change dragon doodle in to fully Photoshopped illustration and I confess, as I was trying to do this in my spare time, that I did rush a little towards the end. Still, though he’s not perfect, I’m pretty pleased the result.