Category Archives: Digital Art

Digital Art

Project JKF-1: A Candle-Lit Shack

Here’s another study for my project with my friend and published author John Fulton winner of the Great War Dundee Children’s Book prize.

The inside of a candle lit shack.

For this I really tried to focus on the process of working from big shapes to small.


Project JKF-1: Dog Painting Study

Another study for my project with my author friend John Fulton.

For me studies like this are useful because you notice little things that can make all the difference – like the subtle tone variation in the white fur, the white hairs on the eye brows etc.


Project JKF-1: Kettle Studies

The more I learn about, art the more I see the importance of using reference images and doing studies of them.

For my first illustration in Project JKF-1, I need to paint a kettle so here are a few studies.


I also took the opportunity to develop my painting process a bit further by using a hard brush to achieve a more painterly style.

Écorché Painting Of The Back Muscles

So I’ve been getting back to anatomy study with this écorché painting of the back muscles.


Écorché paintings are where you try to paint the arrangement of the muscles beneath the skin.

They’re a bit painstaking as you have to research each muscle as you paint them (unless you already know them inside out – which I don’t).

Submission To Crimson Crucible 6: Spiderborn And Ravenred

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been burning the midnight oil working on a submission to an art challenge called The Crimson Crucible.

Specifically, Crimson Crucible 6: Halloween Companions.

The brief was basically to design two Halloween themed companions, one had to be humanoid and the other, non-humanoid.

I used my comic project and picked out a couple of the supporting characters to flesh out in this challenge.

Spiderborn is one of the Acolytes Of Mymosule and Ravenred is his flying steed, a giant raven.  I gave Spiderborn a mutant spider arm :).

I did not expect to win and indeed I came nowhere close but it was a very useful experience:

  • I had to do studies on subjects that I would not have otherwise studied.
  • It highlighted some gaps in my skills – namely I’m no good at environments.  Although to be fair I had to rush the environment to meet the deadline.
  • I began studying environments and found a great free online course which I will dip in and out of over the next year or so.
  • I had a go at using a tilted horizon line and really liked the result.

But most of all, it was great fun :).



Project Code: JKF-1

My friend and published author John Fulton, has written a collection of 9 science fiction short stories and needed some artwork to accompany his writings.

I am pretty excited to be working with him as his artist on this project to see if we can’t get it published on Amazon Kindle.

John has a website where he blogs about his writings and posts some well written book reviews.  Check it out at

To help me organise myself a bit I am going to tag any work I do on this with “JKF-1”.

To get into the swing of things I’m doing a few studies of relevant subjects.

Here’s a study of a rabbit :)


Master Painting Study: John Singer Sargent – Man Wearing Laurels

So here’s my first master painting study ever!  John Singer Sargent’s Man Wearing Laurels.

I’m just beginning to study painting seriously so am still trying to find me feet here.

So what did I learn doing this?

  1. For the initial block-in it was easier to start off with a small canvas (I’m working digitally).
  2. Using a big brush helped my simplify the shapes as I was blocking in.
  3. From a couple of discussions on Discord while I was doing this piece – I decided to learn how to use RGB sliders as this more closely mimics real life physics.
  4. I first estimated the colours and then checked how far I was out with the colour picker.  Turns out the real colours are always darker than I reckoned.
  5. Having been studying light and shadow for a while now I could see where the different types of light and shadows were e.g. there’s a slight terminator/core shadow on the guy’s left cheek, the reflected light underneath his chin.
  6. Sargent seemed to use lots of carefully blended brush strokes as opposed to the large swipes I’ve seen some oil painters use.


And here’s the reference image: