29 December 2020

Poster: Creature of the Black Lagoon


Click images to see larger versions.

Still not sure how successful this is but it is a much more fully realized illustration I think. It has background and foreground elements and isn't as graphic design oriented as my giant monster  or sci-fo posters. Again done in Krita and charcoal brushes and too about 25 hours of drawing time. There are many details hard to see unless you are close up to it, like the texture on the creature's skin. I used  the blending stump brush like I did with real charcoal sticks on paper. I drew the underwater weeds over and over again, simpler versions just didn't look right. The sketch was a good guide even though I changed some details like how the swimmers foot was postitioned. For something like this I make a detailed sketch so I can make a grey silhouette and then add shadows, highlights and details and the drawing seems to push itself out of the canvas as I draw. The bubbles etc were just freehand with no plan. I just kept at them until it looks OK to me.  

I looked through the film for references and used bits and pieces as inspiration but I have found the clearest references were photos people took of models made of the monster. The film is burry and grainy and the details are often obscured, especially with the pose I was looking to use. I wish I had unlimited funds to buy some of these toys so I could play with more poses myself. 

27 December 2020

2021 demo reel


 It's been a tough year, really tough for me and everyone else in the world. If you need or know anyone who needs animation, graphic design, motion graphics, editing please, PLEASE get in touch with me to work something out! 

View my portfolio site at:


22 December 2020

Poster project: Nosferatu


I seem motivated by monsters these days. When I get an idea and the urge to realize it I'm trying just close the door to the studio and work until I'm done. I started this one a day ago but did about 7 hours on it today. 

I used Krita again, the charcoal brushes and went through a restored version of the film frame by frame for reference images. I didn't really find a single pose I liked and so I made one up using 2 main images as references and the famous stairway shadow as inspiration for the background. I skipped his hair over the ears, I know it's in the film but it always sort of bugged me so I guess I used a more "modernized" version of Nosferatu. The last few decades that little patch of Brillo pad hair over his ears is usually forgotten favour of totally shaved head. 

18 December 2020

Poster: Monster Zero

Otherwise known as King Ghidorah. I had a nice long chat with my my friend Mike today about art and other things and I was inspired enough to do another giant monster poster.I had been planning this for a few days so it didn't just happen out of nowhere, but my ideas came together and I thought I should strike while I was in the mood to create something. 

The title took longer than I thought. I tried it in 3D but there were all sorts of problems getting the textures right. (I wanted it to be made of rock for some reason.) In the end I went with just using Affinity Designer and adding more subtle  effects to the text.  *EDIT: I could not help myself and did more work on the 3D titles and solved the problems I was having.)

I struggled a bit with the lightning rays... should i do them or not. They seemed over the top so in they went. I used the sort of style I did for Godzilla but with three heads, two tails and wings Ghidoraj was much more dynamic. Again I went through movies to find references but I also discovered some of the toy figures and studio publicity photos had ideas I could mix and match. 

This looks like comic book cover to me but I think it makes a good poster as well. 

16 December 2020

Poster design: Godzilla

 I had to be without my dog for the day as he was at the vet getting fixed. I couldn't really concentrate so I distracted myself by going through the original Godzilla frame by frame to find a never reference image to draw from, then designed  poster around it. It's sort of a clean but retro inspired look I think. 

15 December 2020

Illustration: Tiggles


This is the second drawing of a toy Ive kept since my early childhood. One of my first along with Spot, the dog toy I drew a few months back. Tiggles (Pronounced tie-gels) is a much worse shape and might be a little scary to any kid who inherited now. I drew it in Krita, which I like more and more for drawing on my iMac and after doing the initial pen and ink drawing, added a couple extra layers. One colour layer with the toys electric green eyes and some more subtle red on the nose with light orange in the mouth and another in with some greyscale shading. The grey won out in the end, but I didn't delete the other layers in case I change my mind later. 

The whole thing took about 3 days and about 15 hours. I had to redraw the darker sections as they were too light for contrast after I started drawing the bulk of the fur. I used a solid black and a very dark grey to five the lines a little more tonality. 

10 December 2020

New website design: John Davis Massage

 This was a long term project that went in fits and starts but we finally got it online today. The site had not been updated in 15 years so it had been made for 12 inch screens or something that seems ridiculously small now and it was made by someone else. I only had worked on my own site in years so this was a little bit of challenge, not to design but to upload properly. I forgot what a pain in the ass that can be with some providers. 

John is a really good massage therapist. I have used him when I am in Boston and my sister started to as well. She does triathlons, including Ironman competitions so she is pretty particular about who she gets a massage from! 

Book and appointment here if you are Boston:

John Davis massage

04 December 2020

New project: A Vine on a House (animation)


My next animated short is an adaptation of the Ambrose Bierce short story, A Vine on a House. I have started by making the one and only set piece which is a house on the side of the road - one version of it fairly new and well maintained and then another in a ruined state years later covered in vines. I also have been working on the logo. 

Next step is the make the 3 (sort of 4) characters which I would like to be very simple. No more than 2 appear together at a time so my computer should be able to handle the shots with not too much slow down. 

Another change from my previous project is there is no dialog, something I have tried in the past and abandoned. Since I don't have access to both my voice actors, one I have to go to his place to record which is 500 km and a closed  national border away, this is a good time to do a silent project.