Sunday, December 19, 2021

Keyframe Magazine


The latest issue of the quarterly Keyframe magazine from the Animation Guild has a piece on me and my paintings! It's an edited version of the following exchange. Buy my art books and original art at my store here

What inspired you to paint the Samitaur building? Feel free to mention your Iconic Places series and anything else that's relevant. 
A: I moved to LA to work at a small animation studio in the Hayden Tract and I'd explore that area on my lunch break with my sketchbook. I was struck by the innovative architecture in that district of Culver City and learnt that it was mostly by the same architect Eric Owen Moss. The Samitaur 'tower' changes its appearance throughout the day -it's often lit up colorfully at night and during the day it's textures are revealed. As a new resident in the city I used painting and sketching as a way to explore and familiarize myself with the streets and neighborhoods of this (huge) metropolis. Living in foggy San Francisco previously I was making line drawings but LA inspired me to dive into color and try and capture the vibrancy of SoCal.

Could you share a little about the medium and techniques you used?  

A:I use gouache paint on heavy Canson paper. My set-up is relatively lo-fi; I use a metallic baking tray as a palette and cycle around until I see something that captures my eye. I may drive if it's a specific architectural spot that I've researched and is further across town. In the car I'll carry a folding stool or a BBQ chair to sit in on site otherwise if I'm cycling I'll find what functions as a seat (which often dictates how long I spend on a painting. I'll stop when it gets uncomfortable, the sun gets too hot/I lose the shade or ants find me!). When I find a spot to paint I'll do a quick pen and ink sketch to solve any perspective/architectural problems then loosely pencil out the broad shapes on the Canson paper and get stuck into painting. I try to maintain spontaneity and embrace happy accidents. If I find myself 'noodling' details I'll stop- that's when I know the picture is 'finished'. 

Was your Iconic Places series in your book?

A:Just before the pandemic I collaborated on a group show at the Anim Guild with 2 old friends; Matt Cruickshank and Mike Dutton. Every year for 5 years we went away together to a chosen destination for a few days to paint and draw. So the show and the book 'AM3RICA' represents the different views of the same places by 3 artists. In my section I included Iconic Places from not only the US but also iconic places I found in Mexico on trips to explore the Mayan Pyramids and Mexico City. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 I've published a new e-Book on my Gumroad store. 80 pages of paintings, drawings & photos of my trips to Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Buy my product

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

MAYA & THE THREE 'Divine Gate Battle' storyboard scene

The Divine Gate seq in ep7 of 'Maya and the Three' was a blast to storyboard. JorgĂ© came up with the ultimate 'threshold guardian' and I got to pay tribute to all my fave movies; the rock monsters from 'Hellboy II' and 'Galaxy Quest', the mecha-gate warrior in 'Labyrinth' and of course Harryhausen's Talos in 'Jason & the Argonauts'. I tried a gag where Picchu gets so mad at the Gate for harming Chiapa that he crushes the widescreen with his frown!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Maya and the Three

Huevos rancheros! It was a blast boarding 'Maya and the Three' Every scene had a mix of comedy, action & emotion and I love stretching all those staging muscles. JorgĂ© would ask for "MORE!" to make the drama more exaggerated than a telenovella (there's some subtle stuff too). He encouraged me to incorporate my cinematic influences: Mario Bava, Herzog, Ridley, Tsui Hark, Spielberg, Harryhausen, Crouching Tiger, Leone, Lean, Clive Barker, King Kong, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Jodorowsky…The hybrid TV/feature model we used worked brilliantly; we had sufficient time to do a couple passes, get feedback from the team, make fixes, get it into editorial and then sweeten scenes again with strategic revisions. Here's a supercut of some of my favorite shots I got to draw on the show.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Process vid!

How I draw a long pan with character running for they storyboard animatic of my Roald Dahl short.

Monday, October 04, 2021


It's the month of spookiness already so here's a new painting inspired by a photograph of Elvira at the house from Psycho. She looks like the ultimate Hollywood real-estate agent! 

The original painting of the Mistress of the Dark is for sale here

Saturday, September 18, 2021

New e-book!


A collection of notes, sketches and draw-overs on Gesture Drawing. A guide to the essential building-blocks of capturing the essence of a pose quickly and efficiently. All the notes I posted on the Artof_GestureDrawing IG page summer 2020 are included + more sketches, draw-overs and text.

Available in my Gumroad store here

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Roald's Nest

I created a short film for Roald Dahl day 2021! I found footage of Dahl talking about his writing hut and creative process and thought his wonderful voice would make him the perfect narrator for an animated version. All creatives need their own writing hut; a creative space whether it’s a corner in a cafe or a private studio- it’s a place to think and dream without distraction. I grew up in Wales reading Dahl’s stories and discovered he was Welsh too (Norwegian parents). I knew many of the places in Cardiff that his family frequented. He built his hut after seeing that of another Welsh writer, poet Dylan Thomas, and copied the design. I’ve packed more easter-eggs inn here than the BFG has bottled dreams. Dahl fans should be able to spot them all.

Sunday, August 29, 2021


 Robin meets the wolf-girl Mebh while searching for her bird, Merlin, in the forest.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Grandma busts Yokai!

For my Story Class feature film ‘YOKAi’ I did a scene where we see Grandma attacked by yokai in the corridor of her apartment block. The fight has more dynamic staging but for one shot I wanted to go flat and watch her dispatch the invaders with her improvised yokai-busting kit in a homage to the #Oldboy corridor fight. The tone of the film is a Japanese Gremlins meets geriatric Ghostbusters! I couldn't use the soundtrack from Park Chan-wook’s film but found a copyright-free track. See the version with sound effects on my Instagram

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Thursday, May 06, 2021

'My Life, Drawing' eBook preview

My latest book on drawing shows my path from learning classical life drawing techniques at art school then making the midi-set change to a gesture drawing approach at Californian animation studios. My digital e-books on painting and gesture drawing available here Check out my GESTURE DRAWING channel for 100s of vids of me drawing from a model in class. My original art & printed art books for sale here

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


1-2 minute sketches of a costumed model on a 'Cleopatra' theme. Check out my GESTURE DRAWING channel for 100s of vids of me drawing from a model in class. My art & art books for sale here My digital e-books on painting and gesture drawing available here

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Streaming Chess


The Streaming Wars have begun...

Mando- the ultimate cowboy dad. Disney finally figured out how to do Star Wars and it was in the long-form TV format!

Mother will protect us. #HBOMAX launched this year with big-budget, bizarre sci-fi #RaisedByWolves creatively led by Ridley Scott.

Joe Exotic- another twisted parental figure! The eponymous #TigerKing from the #Netflix show that dazzled us during the first weeks of the quarantine

Stop the clock! Grandmaster Scott Frank returned to #Netflix with a series that somehow made chess captivating! Beth Harmon reigns as queen of the limited streaming shows. Checkmate in the Streaming War

The Crown returned with an expert political chess-player; Margaret Thatcher. However season 4 saw her out-maneuvered and ousted which means the amazing Gillian Anderson departs the show.

Another king.... Iorek Byrnison, King of the bears! His Dark Materials returned to HBO with an even more visually impressive second season

Primal returned with season 2 on @adultswim The Frazetta/Creationist fantasy show is stunningly rendered in traditional 2-D animation. Spear and Fang from 'Primal' round off my ‘2020 streaming TV chess war’.