WANTED! Cosmic Outlaws, Space Pirates & Intergalactic Scallywags

June 20, 2024

Hi gang!

Social media has got weird hasn’t it? I don’t know about you but I’m sick of seeing Ai images in my feed, sick of adverts, and more than that, despite having a good healthy following on some platforms I have almost no reach anymore. I had WAY more reach back when I had around 1500 followers in 2017!

So I am trying something new, public membership posts! A different vibe from my blog which I seem to only post on once every million years, it will be posts showing processes and new art from the projects I’m working on.

It is a wobbly state of affairs when you’re someone who relies on social media for reach, so I need to evolve with it and try new ways of getting people to see my artwork.

My membership is £2 to join (access to anything I don’t share anywhere else plus first chance to buy originals and access to secret shop!) and there are other tier options too if you want to pay a bit more, OR you want to join the top tier where you will get an original painting every 3 months! (You don’t have to keep on that tier though, it can be a one off 3 month cycle if you chose it – there is one space left in this tier). If you’re interested in any of that, all you have to do is click ‘membership’ in the menu above 🙂

MY BRAND NEW PROJECT!

It’s time to reveal my next project! This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a few years but my other projects beat it to the top of the list until now. I have been DYING to show you my new characters but this time I’m trying to eek out the sharing, and teasing it out as long as possible! This will be in book format and the plan at the moment is to launch it on Backerkit. I am reluctant to go back to Kickstarter (and have said I won’t..!) since they support Ai projects (and Backerkit do not), but being seen is also very important, especially as currently things are a bit difficult with regard to getting seen on social media!

Originally I was calling this project Mug Shots, but Matt Dixon (artist and husband extraordinaire) thought of naming it WANTED instead, and then the subtitle evolved from that. So instead of characters who have already been captured, it is going to be those who are wanted for their shady shenanigans!

Matt will be collaborating with me on this project which is hugely exciting as the last time we collaborated was on our mini books and back then I was painting digitally! So over 7 years ago now! He is ridiculously good at coming up with ideas and also will be doing a couple of the characters too (with me painting them).

The Painting Process

This guy, Admiral Pimpleneurker, might be my favourite character I’ve painted so far. He is wanted for smugling contraband space-fruits called Wertlecumbers throughout the galaxy. However this is a fairly low grade crime so I don’t think he’ll get long behind bars if they do manage to catch him.

Here is my process for one of my characters. (Descriptions are under the picture that they are about).

He started off as a wee thumbnail in my sketchbook:

I then transferred that sketch to Procreate and detailed him out a little bit ready to transfer the pencil lines to my watercolour board. I also roughed out my idea for colour at this point.

Transferring to board is a case of printing out the linen drawing on paper, then I rub the back of that paper with graphite powder, making sure to get rid of any excess. I then place that on the board and transfer it like a carbon copy.

First steps with watercolour for me usually are laying down a base wash. I will wet the whole area that I want to paint and get some colour on there. It’s very wishy washy at this stage and I generally always go a little easy at first so I don’t find myself not able to undo anything! I do use gouache for lighter areas sometimes but I generally will try to use the white of the paper as much as possible.

Now more base washes and blocking out the shapes ready to be painted over with hundreds of glazes. I am mostly painting wet in wet here still (within the head area) so I can get soft blends with the colours more easily. I do this by painting over areas I’ve already painted and it doesn’t tend to lift the lower layers (depending on the pigment I’m using, most of the time it’s fine).

I painted as much detail on the brain as possible before then adding the blue wash over it. Once the wash is on it I then had to rework some of the brain detail that was lost with the wash. I begin to get stuck into the creases and folds and markings on the alien’s skin. SO much fun doing this as this guy really starts to come to life.

More detail added, making the growths on his head look more round and adding more depth to the colour of his throat and back of the head. Starting on the helmet attachment round his neck too.

Yet more detailing to the head and adding a background. Normally I’d do background’s first, but not with these! Just a neutral pigment with lots of granulation for the backgrounds.

Almost there now! Adding details to the suit and white gouache highlights to his brain dome and other lumps on his head!

All finished at this point, more gouache added onto the suit to indicate folds and highlights. He’s now ready to scan. Here’s some detail shots:

And the final piece, scanned and cleaned up:

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this post and the new project I’m creating, I am so inspired right now it is such an amazing feeling! Remember you can comment below and do share if you like it!

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If you’d like to be notified every time I make a post like this then you can sign up to my free membership (click ‘membership’ in the menu at top of page). OR you can sign up to the part of my newsletter that will send you the free membership updates HERE.

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4 Comments

  1. I love your characters and enjoy learning about your painting process. Please keep sharing.

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  2. If Douglas Adams were still around, I bet he’d enjoy the heck out of this project. I’m looking forward to more!

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    • That is a really amazing compliment, thank you!! X

      Reply

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