Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another Mailer... Yay!

Alright... so my artistic inclination has been feeling particularly malnourished these last few weeks, but here is a little something I've been playing with lately. Developed from the Bremen artwork.


For a very short time I used it as my profile pic on facebook, until I realised how creepy it was. Stuff.

Anyways, the Bremen artwork got me interested in looking at rich-looking graphic artwork, particularly whisky and vodka bottle labels... Then onto Russian imperial jewellery, and faberge eggs. below is a sample of my reference images.

   


ref from www.drinkology.com


ref from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Musicians of Bremen Calling Cards

Here are some "Calling Cards" I've made from elements from my poster entry in my last post.



Charles Darwin
 

Mr Samuel Dog

Joe Donkey Jnr.

Phillip H. Chicken

Ms Cat

Musicians of Bremen

Musicians of Bremen Poster
 This is an entry I recently put together for a local art competition. It's an idea I've been mulling over for some time now, and I'm stoked I got off my ass and actually produced it.
The idea was to see what happened to the Musicians  of the old fairy tale, 20 yrs down the line. 

I ended up doing more than my normal copious amounts of visual research for this artwork. Part of it was looking at famous CD and LP covers, so that I'd have an obvious music history reference to pull in. In the end I settled for a remake of the Black Eyed Peas: Monkey Business cover artwork for a number of reasons: firstly, the focus is very tight on the characters--enabling me to put in a lot of detail. Secondly, the obvious reference to animals in the BEP album name--I think if i'd had more time I would have tried to come up with a more clever title... but I'm happy with "Reunion Tour."
On the BEP album the stylized head element was that of a monkey. I've replaced it with the face of Charles Darwin, (albeit with a slightly trimmed beard) for lateral reasons I'll leave you to figure out.
 

Poster Element: Darwin

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little Sister Crow

Little Sister Crow
Been thinking about fairytales lately, anyway... here is something that emerged out of my late night meanderings last night. Slightly disturbing.
Pencil sketch photoshopped up... has kind of ended up looking like a CD cover for an edgy acoustic grunge band from the mid 90s.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Squidboard

video

Here is a very short stop motion film I was involved in the making of in 2009: "Squidboard."
It was created as part of a course run at the Cape Film Commission, and was basically an introduction to stop-motion film-making.

The Squidboard team consisted of:
Masha du Toit
Jacqueline van Meygaarden
Marko Petrik
Hilette Stapelberg
Yazeed Kamaldien

This 30 second animation was created using only paper cutouts for puppets. The process involved each paper element being moved incrementally and then photographed. All the photos, some 800 of them, were then stitched together into a film running at around 12 frames per second. Filming time for the 30 second animated sequence took a day to set up, and another full day was spent filming--a record by industry standards! Sound and titles were added post-production.

A special thanks goes to all friends, family, and significant others involved in the hard work on the project. Without you this project would not have been possible!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pulse Artwork Part 2

Right... Part 2
So I reverted with some pencils... here is the inked version below...
I've added a championship belt to drape over His shoulder--I actually spent quite a lot of time on it's design--it says "King of Kings" and has angels holding the earth, and lots of stars. Unfortunately you can't see it... sigh. 
Besides "King of Kings" I've added various references to the other names of Christ throughout the image. The subsidiary buckles have the greek capital letters for alpha and omega on them, surrounded by a compass rose, and the tattoos on Christ's forearms are the Greek words and , "faithful" and "true".

The heart is burning--which is a direct reference to catholic iconography, but obviously the meaning is different here (read Part1 ). The client was quite happy with the conflation of iconography, so we went with it.


Inks and layers
 The coloured version is below...
With the colouring and titling, I heavily referenced Mexican Lucha Libre iconography. 
This is something that I should have mentioned earlier, the image has a deliberate Lucha Libre slant---> this is the Mexican form of WWE. The wrestlers often wear colourful masks and often incorporate religious symbolism into their costumes, such as crosses, etc. which worked well for the subject matter here.
Pulse: finished artwork

The final step, below,  was to add a texture I photographed from a wooden wagon wheel in Turkey.

Pulse: my fave... but not the one used by the client

Pulse Artwork Part 1

Recently I received a commission to design the logo for King's Cross Training's youth group, Pulse. King's Cross is a Christian college located in Rustenberg, SA.
What we were attempting with this image, was to personify aspects of Christ's character in a relevant, contemporary way, rather than make a portrait of Him, per se. 
There is somewhat of a backlash in Christian circles around how Christ is typically portrayed: blonde, weak-looking, a bit hippyish. As Mark Driscoll often points out, it's no wonder so few men want to be Christians when there God looks like that. So this was our attempt to change that...

The course of action was to depict Christ as a  a wrestler, with the core scripture of the Pulse group written on His arm... During this time, the name of the youth group also changed from "72" to "Pulse".
My initial scamps focused quite strongly on Jesus basically beating down the Devil.


Smash!
Stamp!



The client reverted with with the idea that they wanted the image to convey that Jesus holds the believer's heart in His hands... this was my solution... and frankly, with hindsight, I'm glad we didn't go with it! -->a bit too "burning human sacrifice" for what Pulse was trying to get at.


So another revert... and the heart with chopped off veins is converted into a "Valentine's"  heart--much better idea for conveying emotion, rather than the idea of a physical organ!


 I want to add some more pics here, but it seems Blogger has fallen down in it's inimitably crappy style... so I'll have to save them for another post.




Halloween Party!

This is an invite I recently created for my friend Juli's Halloween party... and it's open, so you're invited! Just dress up, m'kay?
Artwork elements from  the brilliant Artemio Rodriguez and the equally brilliant but unfortunately dead Jose Guadalupe Posada.Click for a larger image.

..

Halloween Party!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Slumdog Guttercat

 So recently I was commissioned to do the cover art for Slumdog Guttercat. This is a book by Anoux Massey, with lavish black and white photographs by my friend, the amazing Tracy Robertson , and published by the talented team at ReadHill/Mousehand. Anoux is involved in animal welfare, and the books deals with her journey and work in this cause.

The cover went through several reverts, below. Click on the images for a closer view.

Initially the idea was for a double spread illustration, mostly monochrome, but with highlights in magenta. This follows quite closely with the book's interior design, which is black and white with small magenta elements.


This was the second version, with a grittier style, to try and match the internal images in the book.


 This was the final version, after several reverts. Between the publishers and myself, we came to the decision that to miss a photographic element to the cover would be to almost misrepresent the interior styling of the book. The particular photo we went with was, I think, a good choice, as it was highly illustrative in its nature, as well as pushing the artwork in a more conceptual direction. One is told "beware of the dog" (in Afrikaans) which kind of speaks in an ambivalent about the way pets are seen.
The illustration takes up the back page, and space has been left for writing on the spine, as well as a blurb. Here I integrated as much of the texture of the fence into the drawing as possible.

We also went with a more illustrative looking font, Smudger, to give the book more of a hand-drawn feel, and to match the font used in the photo.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mercedes SL 55

This is a fairly recent illustration I did for Mercedes Magazine.
Layers and layers of effects! The big squiggles are paint strokes that I scanned in and distorted.
Click for a larger view. 
...










Close up...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rayban and the Tent Hangar

 I recently received a commission to produce some artwork for Rayban, for an upcoming rock concert in Cape Town. The artwork was to be printed onto door hangars, similar to the "do not disturb" signs one finds in hotels, which were going to be hung onto camper's tents at the concert.
The brief was to incorporate a given image (hand pulling the "rock on" sign and holding a pair of Raybans) into an illustrative setting, in keeping with the trendy/electro vibe of the concert. The second set of illustrations was really an idea I wanted to try out, basically a crowd of heads with rockin' hair, wearing the product, of course. The project unfortunately got scuttled (sigh... ) before it got to the print production stage, but below are the final images that I designed for the event.

My personal favourite is the pinkish hand :) 




crowd of hands
 this was perhaps closest to Rayban's own styling
  




Pinks...

   


the crowd of faces... all wearing raybans





Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Nun





































This is a nun...
Quite a lot of fun to do, took me about a day or so.
The nun herself is a pen and ink illustration, on top of which are multiple layers of images, that have been pinched, punched and distorted. The ripples are actually the result of leaving a sheet of paper alongside a sputtering pot of beetroots. The rain is a Corel paint filter, but I think it would have looked better if I had used a texture instead. Next time...
I added some "glows" to her head and body to try and give things that effect one gets when you look at a light through a rain-wet window. 

Available as a giclee print on Hahnemuhler paper.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nanoscience Brochure

 After a month of work and several weeks of research, I finally handed in the official nanoscience brochure for the MTN Sciencentre in June. The aim of the project was basically to inform school kids about nanotechnology in an accessible way. I ended up doing  not just the artwork, but also a lot of the copywriting and research, which I think makes a better product at the end of the day... one always does a better job if you know what you're on about!

The most time-consuming thing about this task was the VAST amount of visual research I had to do for every image. It is actually quite hard to draw an abalone from memory... you think you know what one might look like, but when you sit down to draw it, you end up with something that looks like a hat with eyes. Thank goodness for the Interweb! 
I still need a way to figure out how to do get people to pay me for visual research--usually ends up being a freebie service, very few clients actually appreciate what it takes to produce what seems to be a simple illustration.
Anyways, these are the double page spreads for the brochure:


Quick intro to the nanoscale


Bacteria are cool to draw... 
the scale... quite a lot of research went into this.


Learnt a lot doing this pic!


sadly, most of the info on nanotechnology out there tends to revolve around washing powder and sunscreen.



big words...



the soldier took waaaaay too long to draw and colour...


The "Dangers of" illustration was probably the most fun to produce: pen and ink sent through multiple filters in Corel paint, most notably the "Plastic" filter.

I got a little carried away with the artwork on this one... had to try and make it more child friendly...


who doesn't like robots?



Bacteria. Gotta love them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Soldiers and Camouflage


So my grandma had this really old cookbook about Chinese food, which had these unbelievalby good drawings of Chinese peasants from the early part of the 20th century in it.  Really amazing stuff--ended up "borrowing" it for months to improve my chinese cookery. The end result is of course that I still don't know how to do egg-fried rice, but I did come up with this dude here. Who is for sale...

Had quite a lot of fun coming up with his camo armour. It is actually quite difficult to create camo that looks like camo, especially when one tries to replicate the more modern pixellated uniforms that the US army uses, like below. Suppose I should do a tutorial on camo sometime...

This last dude is for a job i just finished for the MTN Sciencentre... updates soon!

Baba Yaga


So anyways, this is Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is basically a Russian witch who possesses teeth of brass, and  a mortar and pestle which she uses to ride through the sky. She lives in a house that walks around on chicken feet, and her garden fence is made out of human bones, proving that Russia has the most kick-ass witches. Ever.

So this started out as as a pencil sketch in the corner of my notebook, when I was much much younger. I scanned it in, then dropped in various layers of dirt and played with the colour saturation and  balances to get it to its current state. The blood stains are the result of basically scanning a page in at high contrast, and then using the magic wand set to high sensitivity to crop patches out.

For sale! Giclee prints on, you guessed it, Hahnemuller paper.

Crow Food


Initially this started out as a black and white sketch of some crows in Adobe Illustrator. Opened it up on Corel months later and decided to add some colours and gradients, which really made things pop. I also added the column on the right, which was a useful way of turning an oddly-formatted illustration into something approaching the more common book-format.
I made this more as a test of Corel capabilities, but I guess this is for sale, as is nearly everything else on this site, so give me a shout if you are interested, I can organise some archival prints.

Not my Grandad



 


Not my Grandad!
 Available as a Giclee print on Hahnemuller paper, framed or unframed. 
red.swifts@gmail.com for inquiries.

Golden Dragon


The Golden Dragon... 
available as a Giclee print on Hahnemuller paper, framed or unframed.
Without the advert, of course.
red.swifts@gmail.com for inquiries.