Dev-Con 2016 Sketches

Some sketches from the Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention earlier on today:

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

First up, two from Celtic Fenian Mythology. First; Sabh, a naughty wizard, her doe form, Fionn, and definitely not a wi-fi symbol. (Turns out celtic knotwork can look too simplistic if you take plain elements and then crop them too much. Anyway, knotwork was a bit more a monastic thing, so I need to harken back to simple knotwork-like motifs carved in stone more.)

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

Second, fiery Tuatha De Danaan fairy Aileen and Fionn. The idea is that the Tuath’ are definitely not elves with pointy ears and spindly bodies – because that would be predictable and lame – but impossibly beautiful and perfect beings where the guys look as gorgeous as the girls and the girls look as powerful as the guys. Kind of like a race of supermodels. I think I need to put a bit more work into fleshing this particular idea out though; we’re winning in the unsettling, asexual disco-diva look stakes, but it needs a little something more too…

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

Tank Girl!

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

Boba Fett from the old Star Wars films! I really should reference this guy properly at some point! Visual memory of Cam Kennedy‘s Dark Empire comics art is not enough!

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

Wonder Woman, who seemingly still isn’t allowed to wear trousers. Somehow. Hope you like that battle swimsuit you seem to be stuck in, you symbol of female emancipation. (I wonder if a male audience and male creative teams might have something to do with this..?) Anyway, I gave her a nice skirt.

Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention sketch

Wolverine, drawn with copious photo reference of Hugh Jackman! That Hugh!

Exe-treme Etchings

Some of the sketches I drew for folks passing by my table in artists alley (which always sounds like it’s the dodgy part of a convention) at the Exeter con this weekend:

Chewbacca. There’s some kind of Star Wars film coming out soon isn’t there..?

Iron Man! I was all juiced up for robot funtimes because the lovely John-Paul Bove was on the table next to mine.

Everyone’s favourite world-saving layabout, Richard Cole the journalist from the Power of Five series.

Iron Man meets Thor. Because comic conventions are all about the pull of recognisable characters, so why not play at some alchemy with that?
(Also, as I had to explain to some people, it’s truly made by the Hammerstein from the ABC Warriors in 2000AD style hand-hammer…)

Not-November Noodlings

Some sketches I drew live and dangerous for folks at Plymouth’s ‘Dev-Con’ today:

Brushpen comic convention sketch

Link from the Legend of Zelda! There I was with a couple of sketches in front of me wondering what to draw next and then a couple of people dressed as Link walked past…

Brushpen comic convention sketch

Fionn from the Fionn Mac Cumhaill stories I’m currently pulling an outline for a graphic novel together from. The visuals aren’t set yet, but this is a tryout for a young (and fairly New Wave-looking) Fionn.

Brushpen comic convention sketch

Here’s Sabha, another character from the Fionn-filled ‘Fenian’ stories. I wasn’t really warmed up when I drew this one so I think the features of the face look a bit odd…

Brushpen comic convention sketch

Deadpool! There are many deadpools drawn at cons. I’m getting to a stage now where I can use it to channel Yoji Shinkawa – the Metal Gear game series concept artist – a little bit… All army dudes, body suits, protective gear, pouches and gizmos. And samurai swords (or is it a ninja sword because Deadpool’s supposed to be a ninja..? So they should be straight instead of curved, right?) Yes, just like Metal Gear.

Brushpen comic convention sketch

Doctor Doom lookin’ ominious.

Brushpen comic convention sketchThis guy’s from the Fallout 4 game trailer. I get more requests for game characters these days, it’s all good, these are the characters that people’s imaginations live with these days, they just don’t happen to be on newsprint.

Brushpen comic convention sketchDredd!
Brushpen comic convention sketchSpider-man. Man, those web patterns on his costume are fiddly.

Brushpen comic convention sketchMikasa from Attack on Titan.

Brushpen comic convention sketch

A “fairy tale princess” for Diana Mizuru (whose picture book ‘The Gingerbread Man’ is really good!) impossible drapery on dresses that mix kinds of ages of medieval costume are fun!

Brushpen comic convention sketchBatman. Is he mired in the agony of being a creature of the night, a melancholy that wraps itself around him like a dark cloak? Or has he gotten muddled up while changing his bat-duvet cover..? You decide!

Brushpen comic convention sketchClaire from Resident Evil / Biohazard. Only now do I realise she looks a bit like Lara Croft. Ah well. I actually had reference for this character provided in the form of an action figure. I think that was a first.

Once you get into the flow (hoho) of using a brush pen, the art comes out really quickly. Lines are down in no time and then going into detail with such a bold line with such variety of weight just seems to muddle everything up, so you skip it. It really keeps you drawing fast and ready to blitz on with the next sketch.

Night of the Blank Sketch Variant Cover Comics

A couple of commissions for those fancy blank cover variant comics they make for art monkeys to scribble on. Bless those comic publishers, I don’t quite know why they do it. It’s fun though, and as long as it shifts a few more units we can all pretend it’s some kind of industry. ANYWAY, here’s Calvin Ellis, president of Earth-23 in DC Comics and also that world’s Superman. That sentence I just wrote does make sense to some people. I promise. He’s on the cover of the ambitious ‘Multiversity’ fourth-wall smashing comic.
President Calvin Ellis, Earth-23's Superman in DC Comics

I’m laying this on a bit thick here but since I usually bash these out at cons they’re very quick – these two were done at home so I got to take photos step-by-step.

President Calvin Ellis, Earth-23's Superman in DC Comics

Inking with my Pentel FP10 brushpen. I’d forgotten just how quick it is to work with.

President Calvin Ellis, Earth-23's Superman in DC Comics

So I got out some watercolour for these two. The paper of the extra cover didn’t quite take the pigment or water as well as I would have liked, but it was A NOVELTY so never mind. Actually, as the solution soaked in and bled quickly, it speeded up the whole process, which was handy!

President Calvin Ellis, Earth-23's Superman in DC Comics

And there you have him, looking both Super and super-electable.
Proper old-fashioned propaganda-worthy, I hope.

And next up, here’s your Wolverine, being all savage and living with a pack of wolves – just like any middle-aged man would, given half a chance – he does have to fight off angry polar bears though…

Yellow spandex and tapered fins Wolverine’s cool and all, but it’s the mutant-caveman-soaked-in-viscera look that we all really pine for, right? Failing that, it’s the Weapon-X look which is exactly the same, only with a silver bucket on his head.

I did this one first (just to confuse you) and I wasn’r quite loosened-up enough the ink with the brushpen yet, so I used my Platinum Carbon fountain pen.

Aaaaiiieee! (And no, I’m not talking about how bad the bear anatomy looks.) I always liked the Capcom games look of Wolverine with the splayed claws. Much more interesting than having them lined up perfectly. The bristling hair was good too.

Suddenly, black areas.

And then I made the grey wash in the background worthwhile by painting in some white snowflakes.

Next: more Exalted pieces! (Honest!)

Letters from Lawgiver

Some Dredd-drawins from the Lawgiver Mk. II con

Judge Dredd convention sketch

Here’s the man himself. I like edge-lighting.

Nemesis the Warlock from 2000AD convention sketch

Since it was a 2000AD con (naturally) and 2000AD’s about more than Dredd, I thought it was time to draw some Mills-verse stuff. The ABC Warriors and the Nemesis the Warlock shared universe was the stuff I got the most out of reading 2000AD, so here’s Nemesis the aforementioned warlock…

Blackblood from the ABC Warriors convention sketch

Blackblood from the ABC Warriors. He’s a naughty robot with a pirate captain / skellington / snake robot styling thing going on. What’s not to love?
I idly draw the ABC Warriors every once in a while when I should be doing other things. Some time in the future I’ll have to put up a great blog entry of scanned sketchbook pages they’ve appeared on over the years…

There were other sketches too, but putting them all up would just ruin the mystery, wouldn’t it?

December Dev-Con Doodlin’s

Some sketches I did for eager folks at the Plymouth Dev-Con last week. The con happens in the city guildhall where cosplayers mill around underneath hanging tapestries gifted to the place by Napoleon’s nephew and Cuban mahogany panels line the walls.
But enough about that, on with the pop-culture frivolities!
Convention sketch:Spider-Man teams up with Judge Dredd in a non-canon fashion. Dread remains unimpressed. As usual.Convention sketch:This is supposed to be that (Green) Arrow fellow from the telly series. Came out looking more like the lesser known television character ‘Druid Bigface’.
Convention sketch:British character ‘Union Jack’ from Marvel, who seems like a dashed paramilitary sort.
For good flag-emblazoned-fellows, see ‘Jack Staff‘ by Paul Grist.
Convention sketch:HellGirl! Apparently there was a one-shot comic this character… I was aware of the Duncan Fegredo pin-up in one of the Hellboy collections with ‘Hell-Girl’ gags (which was actually a reference to Fegredo and Peter Milligan‘s ‘Girl’ comic from Vertigo at the time) but this was a new thing and I only had the brief of “Butch girl Hellboy!” to go on, so I came up with this.
Convention sketch:Classic Flash. The Bloke with the Shiny Helmet. I decided to give him some lovely trousers to balance him out.
Convention sketch:A Tusken Raider from Star Wars.
Convention sketch:

And finally, Moomin!

Dev-Con 2014 Sketches

Some sketches from the Plymouth ‘Dev-Con’ comic con last weekend…

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketch

Judge Dredd! Fizzog like a rougly hewn rock-face with a shiny bucket on top: a hero all British people can believe in.

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketchLuke Skywalker. He’s been in some films.

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketchHere the request was for a Transformer… The one that came to mind was Laserbeak. He was one of the original ones, I’m pretty sure my brother and I had an audiobook or book with him in when we were growing up, hence the resultant brain-stamp. Not that we actually ever owned the toy or any of the other cool Decepticons that turned into tapes, or Soundwave, the guy they slotted into. We did have Optimus Prime though…

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketch

And here’s the bot himself. He’s got a lovely pair of windows.

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketchThe ever-popular Deadpool, who’s gotten an awareness boost because of a videogame. Not because of some stupid dead medium like comic books or anything like that. I should’t gripe, at least he’s funny and has no truck with any of that ‘dark, gritty superhero’ thing everybody else in superhero comics is trying to do. But wait…

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketchHe’s brought a friend with him! The friend is a Mexican personification of Death from the videogame, as far as I can tell…

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketch

A couple of characters from Koei‘s ‘Dynasty Warriors‘ games. WIsh I could remember their names. I played a lot of the first version of their Japanese history… Inspired series, Samurai Warriors. I was probably kidding myself that it was research for drawing samurai or (in an even more flimsy excuse) Japanese history… What I was actually researching was just how much game a developer can hang around pressing the attack button on the joypad many, many times.

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketchDeath’s Head II! A young impressionable guy who didnt know any better wanted some Marvel UK stuff, and I opted for Death’s Head II! Yes, he was basically everything that was wrong with comics at the time (a muscled skeleton… Cyborg. With long hair. And a bionic arm… Made out of liquid metal. That could also hack into ‘computer systems’. And turn into a gun. While Death’s Head I had the comedy one-liners; when I was eleven, it was all about Death’s Head II (in ‘Overkill’ magazine on the UK newsstands). There was a story Henry Flint drew which I remember being both genuinely mad and genuinely touching. And another multi-part one set in the far future where Death’s Head was reduced to being a lowly fetcher-and-carrier on a distant, barren planet, who ended up being stitched up and dying, but eventually coming back and ending up having to kill the one friend he had so her memories could live on in his brain. Sounds stupid, but when I was reading it, the time between installments seemed like untenable torture because it was such. A. Great. Story!

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketch

It’s towards the end of conventions when things are winding down that I usually end up drawing the characters from the graphic novel that are sloshing around in my head… Here’s Fionn MacCumhaill from Irish Celtic mythology…

Dev-Con Plymouth 2014 sketch

…And his girlfriend Sabh. Complete with two different false starts in pencil underneath. (And some more on another piece of paper…)

Dev-Con Plymouth May 2014 Sketches

Some of the many sketches from the Dev-Con Plymouth Comic Convention earlier on today…

Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention Sketch - Attack on Titan
An Attack on Titan type doodle.

Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention Sketch - Link from the Legend of Zelda
Link from the Legend of Zelda.

Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention Sketch - Pirate girl
A quick pirate girl for Diana Mazuru.
Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention SketchMarvel’s Black Panther.

Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention SketchThis was a laff – a Silver Age Thor on an Apple iPhone. (Which I then spoiled by spelling ‘Forsooth’ wrong. Man!

Dev Con Plymouth May 2014 Comic Character Convention Sketch

Robocop and Judge Dredd. It has been pointed out by more observant people than me that the first Robocop film was the best film about Judge Dredd that didn’t actually have Judge Dredd in it. Until the 2012 ‘Dredd’ film came along, anyway.

I ended up doing loads of portraits today, which are cool and I have copies of, but I won’t go putting them all up here, ‘cos it’s slightly odd for the subjects…

Dev-Con Exeter Sketches

Some sketches from the first Dev-Con comic convention in Exeter today –


Thor! Shiny helmeted and big of hammer! Anything’s better than a bloke in spandex. Anything!


The Green Goblin from Spiderman. My god, he’s wacky for a mainstream comic book character. I had great fun drawing ‘im!


Deadpool, looking surprisingly sensitive.


Batman, once again looking surprisingly effete. That was the idea, anyway.


The King of the Old Ones from the Power of Five series. (With a page with him on behind.)


A quick doodle in the inside cover of an Evil Star graphic novel.


Levi from the Attack on Titan manga and anime series.



Goblins from the Wild West. Because you don’t need an excuse for goblins.


X-23 from Marvel comics, she’s like a teenage girl version of Wolverine, as far as I can tell.

P4050997And a lil’ Fionn and Sabh to round off the day.

World Book Day Workshop Photos

Some snaps some the workshop I did earlier today at the Drake’s Circus branch of Waterstones in Plymouth. It was great fun and I’d like to thank everybody who turned up and made it such a good way to spend an afternoon!
I only thought to photograph some bits of it, as I was either too busy, drawing away or just lost in waving at passing members of the public.

Quick sketch of Anthony HorowitzGroosham Grange, from an offered description! It’s a spooky castle!

Some of the drawings I coaxed out of people who just thought they were out shopping!

Dave Hooper and I jam out a comic with a Noir theme… Me, I like a noir theme, Dave, he lives a noir theme, and has the hat to prove it…

Jam comic by – in order – Diana Mazuru, me, Dave Hooper, Rob CrossTincuta Moscaliuc and Jake Rowlinson. We were all warmed up by this stage…

Another couple of satisfied customers! Dad here is a graphic designer and draws a mean cartoon cat (which is in the collection above!)

My totally top gang of core comickers, (from left to right) Tincuta Moscaliuc, Diana Mazuru, Dave Hooper, Rob Cross, Craig Richards and Jake Rowlinson (dressed up as Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings in honour of World Book Day, no less!) thanks folks!