Sci Fi Noir

March 29, 2012

Rather than attempting an academic analysis or pop culture discourse of why or how much of my work has been influenced by the literary genre of comic books, or certain genres of contemporary film I felt it would be more interesting to show some of the key pieces & provide a technical/conceptual description.

Growing up (but never out of!) with a diet of 2000ad, X-Men, Star Wars, Bladerunner, HPL the list is endless… a vacuum of other people’s creations have in a sense become the influential Primordium to my work.

Miniature pieces were designed with the idea of creating a series of images that can be viewed individually or as part of a set. As individuals they are shards of a glimpse into nocturnal, vertiginous & claustrophobic cities peopled by heroes and heroines inspired by film, graphic novel & fashion photography.
As a set the paintings can be viewed as a narrative or sequence as various noiresque characters are framed in blacks and fluorescent vividness.

The idea was also to create exquisite small-scale precious objects where you have to view closely to understand what the image is showing.


Goya visits Arkham city

March 26, 2011

A recent diet of Goya and Batman have allowed me to persue my ultimate indulgence – black & white wet media.

I originally viewed Goya’ s Spanish Civil War series at the Hayward Gallery on London’ s south bank a few years ago and have been struck by them ever since. I’ve always enjoyed the precision, control, high level of accuracy and gestural spontaneity of these rapidly executed drawings. Also the strength of character & evocative atmosphere is so powerfully conveyed through such a simple and immediate medium.

I love the technique of low opacity ink wash & gradual build up to black or dark, working in this manner allows an amazing level of control in terms of structure, construction, proportion & tonal build-up. I’ve found that using a wide range of drawing tools will provide even more control for example, hogs hair brushes for dry, scratchy & expressive marks, soft brushes for precision control and detail and sharpened sticks & dip pens for the application and refinement of detail and texture. It was fairly obvious and a natural progression to include the use of white paint, this has allowed for further refinement for tonal build-up, negative space punctuation & areas of detail & texture – eye detail, lips and other areas of moisture highlight emulation. Working like this allows one to go back and forth through the monochromatic spectrum refining the image.

Batman is an obvious one really coming from a life long comic book fan its hard not to be influenced by the graphic styles at any level. i’ve always found a lot of the contemporary interpretations of Batman to be fantastically gothic, atmospheric & wonderfully dark. fantastic Illustrators such as Dave Mckean & Frank Miller amongst others…..

Pastiche & beyond

March 6, 2011

Vertigo. Acrylic/India Ink


Beyond technical preoccupation my work is ultimately a Pastiche, an appreciation or homage to multiple sources, which have been of influence. The list is literally endless there are a handful of specific genres, which stand out, some of the film poster art of the 20th century, fantasy/sci-fi illustration, Comics/Graphic novel art & contemporary street art graphic styles.

With out over elaborating I have attempted to list some of my key influences with the idea of understanding conceptually the purpose of my work.

Classic cinema movie posters contain many elements of interest such as strong colour pallets, skilful graphic design, high quality draftsmanship, unique composition, exaggerated proportion & perspectives & also dramatic placement of the movie stars.

Work by the following having been of great interest to me: Tom Chantrells (Taste the Blood of Dracula, One Million Years B. C & She), Saul Bass (Vertigo & North by Northwest), Mitchell Hooks (Dr.No) & Drew Strusan (Star wars, Back to the Future & E.T.).


Comics/Graphic Novels represent the true formative element of my artistic education: 80’s & 90’s 2000ad, Marvel & DC (60’s, 70’s & 80’s), Dark Horse, Heavy Metal Magazine amongst, the list really is endless.


An Aesthete in Dayglo

December 23, 2010

Rarely in my work have I been interested with colour until very recently. Traditionally I have been preoccupied with the monochromatic notions of line, tone, texture, form, proportion, accuracy and other such terms when regarding the human form.

When presented with an exhibition brief where the dominant issue was colour, colour & more colour! I was presented with a fascinating challenge.

In April 2010 I took part in a collaborative exhibition with fellow artist and good friend Robert Walker entitled ‘The day the world turned Dayglo’, check out the interview piece by Ziggy Nixon:

In hindsight I can actually see that my use of acrylic colour was actually the ‘missing link’ and has rapidly evolved the notions previously associated with monochrome techniques and media. In fact my painting is simply drawing but with colour and brush.





A relaxed yet focussed approach to the execution, this is achieved through the observation of appropriate application of loose & tight mark making. Speed is the essence of illusionary movement and spontaneous results.

Potential waste elements such as drips, splats, construction lines & corrections are used to provide a density of tonal build up, a backdrop and template for the drawing.

The foundation of my work lies in a continuing preoccupation with drawing and painting faces & figures. The process of Drawing & Painting the human form represents a constantly fascinating and amazingly experienced challenge to me.

Specific challenges are, achieving accurate proportion, good line quality/tonal build up & texture, and also colour. As a by product of these obsessive qualities theme’s of beauty, fluidity, emotion, movement & life are hopefully generated.

India Ink (watered down and neat) with various sized hogs hair brushes and sharpened bamboo provide an unlimited tool box for line, tone & texture.

Black Ink is an awsome media for generating pure mood and emotion.