Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Proud as a peacock - Work in progress

Had a lot of time playing around with the colours of this thing. Not done yet, but it's getting there. Looking forwards to constructing it too.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Merzbox so far

In response to the story 'The Proud young woman', i've been playing around with the phrase 'proud as a peacock' to create a visual response. I've been wanting to try a relief style illustration for a while now, and as this is a practice for the negotiated project, it seemed like a perfect time to give it a try. Here's a bit of development work.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sam - Grasped the controls, and then...

Pretty much complete. Minus a few possible tweaks. This is probably the most mixed media piece i've ever done. Feel free to comment and crit as ever.

Click to enlarge

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Screen prints for sam

These are the screen prints for the sam piece, with sam yet to be added.

And some letterpress blocks to be used in the background

Friday, 11 November 2011

"Sam.....And then" progress.

Have some development stuff for the new picture book project. If you're reading this, the chances are that you have the brief, but on the offchance that you're not, we've been given a phrase from a book each, featuring a character called sam. Sam can be anything, boy, girl, alien etc, but has to wear a specific top and red converse, and we're to make a double page spread.
I've gone for a western slant on this one, which stemmed from me trying to find a relevant way to use letterpress inspired typography. It also gives me an excuse to watch westerns and pretend i'm working.

 And a composition rough

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Editorial pieces

How to be conceited 

First one completeish. It may change slightly before the deadline depending on how i feel about it, but for now, again, this is done. Did some newish stuff in illustrator, seemed to pay off!

How to undo things

Not 100% with this one. Colours seem off.

Small Victories

Small victories. The concept hasn't changed since the draft. 

Monday, 31 October 2011

Editorial progress.

We've been given 3 articles to illustrate. Been having trouble finding solutions that both work and look nice at the moment, but after a lot of digging I seem to have unearthed some things that may work. Apparently, i'm not as sharp as I was in the first year.

This is the plan for the How to be...Conceited article. The face to the right is meant to go inbetween his hands, and the profile of a person is to be turned into a pattern for the background.

This piece has caused a lot of design-trouble. Finally got the composition mostly sussed. Getting a sailor jerry style tattoo onto a body, and keeping both the body and tattoo large enough was tricky. Eventually settled on this superman-esque pose of a CTRL (or should that be command) + Z chest piece.
Final (and first) idea that i came up with while working on the SPAM ad. I've fixed the previous hand issues, but if I have enough time left after the first two, I may run with another idea for this. We shall see.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


After a lot of work, here it is. I'm quite happy with how it turned out actually. There may be a slight tweaking of text position and other little things, but this is essentially the end product.

The image is painted, and colours/levels tweaked in PS, lettering is hand drawn and livetraced, and the whole thing was compiled in illustrator.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Spam in progress

A cheeky little preview into my spammy advert painting world. Painting seems to be taking forever, but I'm happy with how it's going at the moment.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Party Scene

As a follow up to the summer project, we had to combine the characters designed into one image. Considering the diversity of styles I had used in all the characters, combining them into one image proved very difficult to do without looking cluttered.

Friday, 7 October 2011


You can now get here through www.joe-mclean.co.uk Ill probably end up using that domain for a website, but until then, it will direct you here.
While you're here, here's a little insight into the mess that is my mind. Click an image to enlarge.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

In the style of...

Armed with a summer brief to design 7 characters in the styles of our favourite visual artists in one hand, and a pencil in the other, I managed to create this crowd of strange bedfellows, and maybe I learned some things along the way too.

In the style of South African illustrator and graphic designer, Jordan Metcalf, who's creations are often characterised by a bizarre sense of serenity. I aimed to create an effective character with strong line work and a lack of colour. Some of his work to be found here 
Inspired by one of my favourite contemporary illustrators, Shaun Tan. This piece was an experiment into compiling pencil lines, colour and a stained background in adobe photoshop. The character was created to have an air of calmness and purpose. That said, it can't speak so it wont tell me what its purpose actually is.

Created after looking at the work of the jazz illustrator, Jim Flora. Working with a flat colour limited pallet, I aimed to create a character who seems entirely surrounded by the music he creates. 

A particularly poor scan, but this piece was inspired by an American Fine artist and Illustrator called Seth Fitts. Painted in acrylic, but in a way i'm not used to. The heavily layered finish is achieved with many layers of acrylic washes, with layers of Matte Medium in between to create a sense of depth, and occasionally being worked into with pencil lines and shading. He has a deviantart full of work if you fancy a look 

This character was inspired by British illustrator, Jamie Hewlett, most well known for Drawing Tank Girl and The band, Gorillaz. Creating a sense of personality in this piece was important for me.
Created after looking at an under-exposed illustrator from Poland called Mateusz Kolek. Hand-drawn line work, worked into with colour and texture on adobe illustrator. Just so you don't have to remember that name, here's his website. 

A-La Ashley Wood