Friday, October 31, 2014

Free Halloween Anthology Comic...YES FREE!!

*UPDATE As it is now no longer Halloween, the link to the comic has been removed.

HOWEVER, ALL IS NOT LOST! Read my contribution below. Written by Steven D Quirke and Lettered by Mike Stock. Drawn by me, obvs! Enjoy!

Once in a while, something very VERY special comes around and we get all excited.

A bit like HALLOWEEN!!

To celebrate this darkest of days and nightest of nightmares (eh?!) join me and bunch of very clever and talented indy/small press comic book writers and illustrators by downloading the very, very VERY EXCELLENT:


Click that link above to download the comic!
Did I mention it is completely FREE I think I did in the title but's FREE!! 

The anthology is made up of (fittingly) 13 stories, with some shorts from established series such as Afterlife Inc., Bertie Bear, The Gee Bees, The Kill Screen, Little Terrors, and The Red Mask, as well as some great little one-offs.

Cover to the anthology.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica Graphic Story Prize Entry

Well, the last time I posted something I covered myself in icy water for this time I am posting the work I did for a competition. Sadly, I did not win nor come in as a runner up, but it felt good to do something for a purpose other than to print on a medium scale and sell locally or at cons. It hasn't put me off entering future Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica contests and I might even be entering one or two other comics, illustration or story telling contests over the next year.

You can read about the winning entry on the Guardian's website here.

There is also a contestant in the form of Myfanwy Tristram who has an extensive list of entries on her BLOG.

Here is my piece for the contest which when I place side-by-side with the winning entries (and compare with some of the others on Myfanwy's blog) I feel somewhat unconfident, but I still like the story I produced even if it might have rubbish dialogue - which I feel I rushed a bit. I also sent my entry in the post the day before the deadline by special delivery so it would arrive before noon! I think I will send competition entries in the post a little earlier from now on, that was stressful!

Anyway, I hope if finds some kindly readers out there that do like it and might give me some good critical pointers...cheers!

Click on the picture to view a bigger version!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Process, My Way!

Okay, so been a while since I posted something and news-wise, The GeeBees part 4 is due to go up very soon and 5 parts 5 and 6 will be following along shortly. Part 6 has been started and a third of the way through. Parts 5 and 6 are getting done as a double whammy! In the meantime I have been hard at work on some commissions as well as busting my proverbial gluteus in the classroom! Which is where this little tidbit comes in. I am asked every so often how I go about making the art that I do. Or my process!

Firstly, I sit down with a sketchbook and work it out! I think about my idea, what I want to do. For my recent Hellboy art contest piece, I thought about the character and what situation he might be in before some danger strikes. Therefore, I got a story into a one-image piece. Why is Hellboy in the city, on top of a roof drinking beer? Where has that tentacled monster come from? What happens next? All great potential story ideas before this scene and after. Also, sorry about the bad handwriting and spelling!!!


Once I have fleshed out my idea, I will get drawing. I use a Pentel mechanical pencil (I have tried so many in my time as an artist and have settled on a particular one now!) mostly because it feels good to draw with and I draw on A4, so quite small. I also do all comic page penciling on A4. I am very sketchy when I draw and this will get cleaned up in the next few stages. However, at this point I can make correction upon correction until it goes the way I want it to, or feels right - especially with poses; they have to feel real! Also at this stage I can decide whether to change some things on the drawing or leave it to computer edits - in this case, the head is a little too large. I keep that in mind as I move through the rest of the processes.

I next scan the pencil drawing into the computer and change the lines blue using Photoshop. I print it out onto A3, enlarging it as I go. The reason for drawing inks on a bigger surface is simply the tools I am using to refine the artwork are thicker than chunkier than the pencil so I double the paper size to get in those details. Some artists I have seen change lines green or red. I prefer blue because it is a calming colour, not too in-your-face and vibrant. The reason for changing the line colour is the coloured line can be erased a the click of a button instead of having to spend too much time, effort and making a mess using an eraser to rub out pencil lines - which also tends to fade out the ink work I've just spent hours doing!

So now onto inking. I use a range of different materials and tools. Kuretake brushpens, Pentel brushpen, but in this case I used a Twist Grip No.2 brush - one with a good point in it. I tried very hard to not fill this image in with too much heavy black shading which I tend to overkill much! Once it is inked over the blue line, A3 print out I scan this version in and make the blues disappear! At this stage I edit anything else, like the head. Did you notice it is ever-so-slightly smaller than the pencil copies?!?

And that brings me onto colours! Now, among all my other tools, and quite fortunately I print the black edited and cleaned up black lines back onto A4 card stock (using an A4 laser printer). Toner from the laser printer does not run or smudge like ink jet so it's good for painting watercolours over the top as in the example above. You get great effects with watercolours and it's great to be able to make clean line art combine with watercolour without fiddling for ages with the first-hand line work that is safe and can be re-scanned or used for other purposes if need be.

The absolute final stage is a little colour editing using Photoshop. I felt in the original scan, the colours were too flat and there needed to be a little depth to differentiate the main features from the detailed backgrounds thus making Hellboy and the danger element stand out. It also enable the city to look more dirty, aged and used. I was also thought about isolating the 'Hotel' and 'XXX' signs to make them look illuminated which kind of worked out well.

Hope that is comprehensive enough - shout me some questions or comments below and I will be happy to answer best I can!

Happy drawing!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Arty Type News (GeeBees and other art!)

This evening, I have been finishing off the pencils to the latest issue of The GeeBees Comic as well as having a good night of telly. Arrow and The Walking Dead, two favourites of mine at the moment that just keep getting better and better. So I doodled one themed cartoon during each show!

And now, some badly taken photos of the pencil pages from the latest issue of The GeeBees Comic, here are some sneak peeks at issue 5...

Monday, February 24, 2014

RIP Harold Ramis

Sad news today. I know it looks like I can't think of anything else, or a cliché or whatever, but the first film I saw Harold Ramis in was Ghostbusters. Egon was also my favourite character and I am not just saying that! I thought the others were funny in their own way, but Spengler had some of the best facial reactions and lines in both movies. Ramis had a way of making exposition sound interesting!

Here is a visual tribute -

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Portrait Studies

I have to draw marginally recognisable portraits of famous authors in the next part of The GeeBees Comic, so in order to practice I dod some warm up illustrations to start my day.

Hunter S Thompson

Stephen King

I am available for commissions or to help you illustrate things for your project - reasonable prices negotiable - Cheers!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Recent Commission Work

So, I'm on half term this week and it gives me a chance to get started on some commissions which have been in the works for the last few weeks.  The one below is for The Mayfair Gentlmen's Kettlebell Club - something devised by my mate Phil Jones who works as co-manager of the Mark Roberts gym in London. Just getting started on the second phase of this project so I'll keep posting progress as and when.

I do have time for a holiday I between time so the wife and I are off to Belgium on Thursday - so lots of drawing to be done there and posts a-plenty!

I'm available for commissions...just click the link at the top of the page...Ta!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

GeeBees #4 NEWS

Been a while for news...been working my socks off at school and with my art as well. Speaking of which, The Gee Bees Comic part 4 is now complete and in the hands of our letterer Mike Stock.

Here is a quick preview of things to come:

The GeeBees
Written and Created by Steven D Quirke
Illustrated by Kel Winser
Lettering by Mike Stock

All artwork is Copyright © 2012-2013, Kel Winser.