Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Army of Bears

As a follow up to yesterday's post here are some of the sketches I did for my initial Armoured Bear illustration a couple of years ago. These were done very quickly as I remember, I was just trying to work out how the whole armoured plating thing would work on a polar bear. I was looking at a lot of books on armour worn by horses in battle, but looking at it now it seems more influenced by the gear worn by the Uruk-Hai and Attack Trolls from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films.

I've just realised its Halloween and I should probably have posted something with more of an appropriate theme. Well there's always next year, and anyway an armoured bear would scare the hell out of me if it came trick-or-treating. I'll post something scarey soon. Probably on Christmas Eve.

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Armoured Bear

This is a recent reworking of an illustration I did a couple of years ago. The first attempt can still be seen on my website. Its based on characters from Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights novel (The Golden Compass - US). I was reminded of it recently with the current hype surrounding the forthcoming film version. I saw the film poster in our local cinema featuring Lyra and Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear. I have to say I still sort of prefer my design for the armour (even if you might mistake my bear for a large angry badger) but I suppose we'll have to wait for the film's release in December to judge what it looks like in action.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Space Mural

Some photos here of the mural we finished off last week in our local hospital's Accident and Emergency wing. There was a very small window of opportunity for us to get in there and do the work as its an area of the hospital that is in high demand and there was already refurbishment work being caried out.
The 3m x 3m ceiling area to be painted was specifically designated as a child's treatment cubicle and staff wanted something bright on the ceiling to help distract 5 to 10 year olds from whatever unpleasantness they may be undergoing. With this in mind I looked at a lot of the design techniques used by animators and cartoonists in the 50s - people like Mary Blair, Tom Oreb and even Saul Bass. A great Source of inspiration was Amid Amidi's book 'Cartoon Modern : Style and Design in Fifties Animation'. I thought the strong graphic style and bright colours of the period would lend themselves to quick application with stencils. It worked too, though It would have been impossible without the help of designer extraordinaire Carrie Edwards, sharing the work at the top of that scaffholding.
So despite working in a completely alien style and having to deal with real paint and all its associated messiness, I was fairly pleased with the end result. I only hope the poor kids who have to sit underneath it don't feel like its adding to their woes. I also have to thank Steve and Cat Tait for bringing the project to my attention in the first place - Cheers.