Thursday, 25 February 2010

Tintin fan art

This is quite an old piece now (though not as as old as the fake patina would suggest). I first got the idea when Jackson and Spielberg announced they would be doing a Tintin movie - so some time in late 2007. I think everyone assumed it would be a live action film back then (turns out its going to be motion capture - presumably along the lines of Beowulf or Christmas Carol), so it got me thinking about what a realistic rendering of Herge's characters might look like. At the same time I was immersed in a lot of 1930s Pulp covers, and as Tintin was another product of that decade I thought a combination of the two might work.

I chose 'The Blue Lotus' as the subject partly because it was the only Tintin book I had to hand and also I'd wanted to draw a chinese dragon for a while and this story with its Shanghai setting gave me an excuse to do just that (so a green smoke dragon doesn't feature in the story, but since when has story detail meant anything to cover artists?).

I'm sure the final result is an abomination in the eyes of true Tintin fans, and having completed the work I have to say that the character should probably only be portrayed in the pen and ink style of his creator, or at least have two black dots instead of eyeballs - its what makes him Tintin I think.

Below are three steps to the finished version. The original pencil sketch (yes with real world pencils and paper). The scanned pencils taken into photoshop on a multiply layer with flat colour on a layer beneath (maybe better than the finished piece). And finally the fully rendered version done in Painter, prior to having type and digital dirt flung at it.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Vote LEIGHT or Goldilocks gets it!

I've been roused from my blogging slumber to ask any kind readers who might be out there to visit my entry (see above) for Don't Panic's 'Left Hand of God' competition and consider casting a vote my way. Yes this is nothing but shameless self promotion.

'Don't Panic' (the free arts and culture publication) is running the competition based around the release of the Penguin novel The Left Hand of God. It asks for an artistic representation of the lead character of Thomas Cale based on three excerpts from the book. The winner gets to see their design printed on the Don't Panic poster and the chance to have their work featured in association with Penguin's promotion of the LHOG paperback.

I'm not holding out too much hope for grabbing any prizes here but as its decided by the public's vote I'm just hoping not to get too embarrassed by a big fat 'nil pois'

You can find my entry and take pity on it here (you'll have to register at the top right of the page in order to vote. Voting ends 5th of March). All other entries and the novel's three excerpts can be viewed here.

Below are the initial sketches for my piece based on excerpt 2 - yeah the violent one... with knives.