Saturday, 27 August 2011


This guy started as a fairly standard digital drawing but I wanted his character to read better so I drew over the top and pushed and pulled and simplified until I'd taken out nearly all the detail and caricatured the silhouette (kind of a French comics or animated film style). I use it to show how much more character you can squeeze out of a little simplification and stylization of an initial more realistic concept.

Oh, and I really hate the hands. They were never quite right but I won't fix them because they remind me to work harder on my hands.


About a year and a half ago I got an itch to paint World of Warcraft races, the way I'd like them to be. This was more than a little conceited as I assumed my versions would be better, turns out they are just different and even then, unfamiliar viewers would struggle to see the differences. That part of the exercise was really instructive. I learned a lot about why Blizzard's great character models look the way they do as I researched them during the project. Kudos, Blizzard!


This was an exercise in speed painting from a photograph. I didn't learn a lot but the result makes me look cleverer than I am.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Forever Alone

You probably haven't noticed but that awful twin of mine has stopped following my Blog! I worked out how to do it and just edited him right out of existence, no more to trouble my page, no more his retarded little face blinking in the light...I think there is something in my eye...I'll be alright in a isn't like I miss him or anything...I'm better off...really.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


This guy's face took '*forever' to get right.

*no, obviously not actually forever, but way longer than it should have.

Pilot design

I had heaps of fun over the last few evenings creating this character in a rather more naturalistic style than I'm used to. I only had an evening for each piece (the thumbs, design 6 and then design 5 respectively) so all in B/W so far. I'll do some colours and post them later in the week.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Check out Lynda Mill's Art

Check out this awesome post of original Blob2 art from the talented Lynda Mills;
Lynda, as much as anyone, created the look of the Blob and Blob2 games and her new Blog is a treat.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Bluetongue, the games company in beautiful Melbourne where I have had the good fortune to work the past eight years (Great Scot, that makes me about seventy six, if my maths are right) closes it's doors today, along with our sister company; Studio Oz in Brisbane. I can't tell you how sad this makes me, given the dedication and talent that my colleagues have demonstrated time and again (and that I am out of work, which sucks even worse). Our GM, Kevin Chan and Brisbane's GM, Jason Robson have been heroes to the last and my art team are bloody world class, every man, woman and child (Wyatt's not an adult). This was tough for THQ, our parent publisher, who has been very good to us over the years. I wish their remaining studios every success with their fine upcoming titles.
I hope something rises from the ashes here and that perhaps I'll have the pleasure of working with these very talented, clever and genuinely funny people again someday. In the meantime, you can find me down the job centre in an ill fitting suit...


This little guy was lurking in my brain for ages and ended up as a doodle on every sketchbook page for about a month until I finally designed him out. Here he is and after the jump I'll tell go through the design breakdown.

Form follows function; Wrex is a baddass and a gunfighter so he's chewing a cigar and packing heat. He's British so his coat is decorated a bit like a Union flag (and the horizontal bar also helps to reinforce the strap across his chest, hinting at a shoulder holster). He has dog tags which infers he's ex army. He's a Staffordshire bull terrier breed which is known for the misconception that it is violently aggressive, where in fact they are gentle and loyal if treated with kindness.
Finally, the bare paws and proportions are deliberately skewed towards you seeing him as a dog that thinks he's a man, rather than a man that likes to dress like a dog.

I did a companion cat and some zombie enemies for the project before I got bored and moved on.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Jon Clancy's Rainbow1066

The idea of this fantasy FPS "Rainbow 1066" was too fun to ignore so I worked up a more contemporary HD game scene. The name came from my eldest son Ben, while Jake (the son we don't talk about) was let out of the attic briefly to pose as the character and his squad mate so I could cheat and layout the figures quickly! Artistically I don't condone tracing but in the concept world it saves time and money.

I sourced the stone textures images then warped them into perspective and mashed them into the pic with some judicious paint-over and unsharp-mask filter work. lots of fun and a pretty quick result for the princely sum of 20 of your earth hours (or two and a half working days in old money).

Incidentally, I designed the gun separately in the CDWA prop design class so that was easy to drop in!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Character Design

Since I mentioned him earlier, here is the Good Guy character from my previous design tute at CDWA. It's briefly annotated here for easy ref.

So here you can see I start super rough so the thumbs are just about ideas - not draftsmanship. I have an idea of what I want because I have criteria (tom Clancy's Rainbow Six in a Fantasy Setting). I pick a pose that describes the character and work it up. The Layout revisions define volumes and the costume starts to come together.

The colour palette was selected to complement his world (based on a mood board of images I selected for the project) and they contrast with the bad guys so you can tell them apart quickly. The final image is still rough but there is loads of information here - his mask is kinda cool but I want to design a face...

The face started as a quick generic hero head I painted to get a rough colour/volume guide down, then i drew over it and distorted the features to give him some character. I duplicated that and tried out some variants before opting for Mighty Chin guy (suggested by Kevin Chen) who I then worked up. Job Done in a day, phew!

I'm with stupid

Often we say stupid things and wish we could take them back. Today I have accidentally followed my own Blog in an attempt to follow someone else's. Now I can't get rid of the damn thing. It looks at me with that smug...look. Now my idiot twin will follow me forever, reminding me that we are both stupid.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Bringing a bad guy to life

 I did a live demo, designing a bad guy for a fictitious game at CDWA this year in Adelaide. It was great fun and I promised I'd post the WIP with some notes...

After drawing some rough b/w thumbs based on triangles (they attract attention) and a heavy-set figure (looks brutal and hard to kill) I selected three (pic1) and narrowed them down to one, where I refined the outfit (Pic 2).

After making a basic pass at some poses to describe his energy and brutality (pic.3) I settled on a lumbering run (to give the design some character) and quickly blocked in some colour values and refined the pose (pic.4). I wanted him to be cold in contrast with the warmer toned hero from the previous class.

Finally (pic.5) he's worked up a bit with some final lighting and his weapon for detail. All up about 8 hrs from scratch.

Desktop for Traci

I composed this in April to Traci's spec, so I got art directed for a change (she's rubbish) but it was fun and the style was a little different in order to capture the feel of the game. It was pointed out to me that the parchment BG was a cop out...yup!

Gaze into my arts hole

Welcome folks. I'm new to this. In fact, I'll be honest with you, blogging is not really my thing so bare with me and I'll at least make a stab at posting some regular art and comments but don't expect too much and you won't be too badly disappointed. So, as my father always used to say, "Let's get on with it, we haven't got all day and the owners will be back any minute."