Diversification

All of these are different yet similar.

I’ve wanted to do a post like this for a while. One of the things I’ve tried to do with my personal site is to create an artistic journey from where I started, to how I’ve developed, through what I’ve tried, and (finally) to where I’ve ended up. Or at least where I’ve temporarily ended up. If I know anything about myself with any degree of certainty it’s that I always change. I always look for something new. Be it a different material, a different subject matter, or a different style.

DiversificationI’d like to think this post will capture a glimpse of that journey. It’ll also highlight some of the older pieces that some newer readers may not have seen yet. As always, there’s a whole heap of creative posts over on the Art page so feel free to stop by and have a read! You might find something you like. (I hope you’ll find something you like.)

DiversificationOver the last ten years of traditional art shenanigans I’ve tried a wide range of materials. I’ve also changed my style(s) quite consistently, looking to keep each material unique and interesting. Trying to use each one in a way that would be instantly recognisable. Some of these pieces have influenced the development of my style(s), too.

DiversificationI’m glad I was able to fit in some fantasy pieces. I do, however, wish I could have included some scenic/landscape pieces. That said, while scenic/landscape pieces were prominent earlier on (2006-2009) they’re pretty scarce these days. If I’m entirely honest about it- I just really like trees. That’s all there is to it.

DiversificationStill, as is the point of this post, there’s quite a bit of diversity here, drawing from a range of different inspirations. I’ve certainly adopted more inspirations over the years. Can’t say as that’s a bad thing, though- more things to work with as I create newer and more interesting pieces. Which I hope to do for some time to come.

DiversificationIn any case, I hope this has been an interesting change of pace. I’ve never really done anything like this before. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you. I liked it, taking more of a curator approach to my own work and highlighting some of the things I’ve really enjoyed. We may see another post like this at some point in the (distant) future. It’ll take some time to work towards another collection of pieces like this. 2016 is certainly looking like the year for it, though.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Marvel Comics.
Dead Space, Necromorphs, Isaac Clarke, Plasma Cutters, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Visceral Games.

Slasher – 2016 – Ink – click for full view on site!

Even a sign offering free hugs wouldn’t make this any less intimidating.

It’s been a while since we’ve been here. Aboard that rickety ol’ hunk of space junk, infested with the newly risen dead, and surrounded by corpses who probably would have survived a little longer if they hadn’t hidden everything useful. Seriously, who disassembled the control system for the ship and hid the parts all over this space station? Why would you do that?! What are we going to do now in the event of an alien-biological-parasitic-zombie-like outbreak? Die. That’s what. Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate it.

Necromorphs have always been an interesting enemy.

What’s better than regular ol’ zombies? Alien space zombies! I also enjoyed how they chose to go about putting precision over power, requiring precise strikes, and disarming the opponent (quite literally) was necessary to put them in the ground (again). Keep an eye on those vents. Walls, too. I don’t trust that ceiling, either. Keep an eye on everything.

When revisiting this piece I used the original as a very loose reference. It might seem I’m overly negative about the result of the original piece- which in some ways I suppose I am- but I do believe it has redeemable qualities. Which is a funny part of creating anything. Sometimes, while you don’t like the overall result, you will like parts of it, and you’ll want to preserve those parts in the next attempt or future compositions. I don’t revisit as many pieces these days as I used to, either. I enjoyed going back to some of my older pieces and improving them, but some weren’t worth the effort, and while you’re doing that you’re not creating any new work.

Slasher – 2016 – InkDetail was always a key consideration in the composition of this piece. As was using some recently acquired anatomical references to make sure that it’s more realistic than I’d previously aimed for, or could achieve, due to a lack in technical skill. Even with the progress made in this piece I still have a ways to go. That said, I believe that the improvements (in several areas) are pretty clear to see. Especially in comparison with the original piece which is only two years old.

However, things have changed quite substantially in the last two years.

While the progress in this piece is quite considerable- I can do better. I know I can. That said, I have to appreciate the progress made, as these results are not inferior, and I shouldn’t feel like they are. It’s an ongoing struggle. One that a considerable portion of creative people are likely going through.

It’s a tenuous balance of believing in what you’re doing just enough to keep going and always looking to improve. I dare say these improvements have been staggered for a while, what with the events of the last few years, and other things in my personal life, and we’re only now seeing them. Probably because I’ve reached that point where I’m experimenting with just about everything, and throwing all my conventions out of the window. I figured I’d have to start doing that at some point. In any case, I hope this is an interesting insight in my current creative tendencies and not a whole bunch of waffle. We’re out of maple syrup for waffles at the moment.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Dead Space, Necromorphs, Isaac Clarke, Plasma Cutters, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Visceral Games.

Groot – 2015 – Ink – click for full view on site!

Did that sprout in the pot just start… dancing?

As a semi-formal disclosure before I begin- I have no idea what Guardians of the Galaxy is (besides a film and a comic series), I’ve not watched it, and I only know of the existence of Groot thanks to my sister. I can’t really say I’m much of a TV and films person at heart. I am very interested in strangely detailed anatomical organisms (which pretty much describes Groot), though.

There were ideas abound when it came to approaching this piece.

I was thinking about a full digital piece, or an ink and digital combination, or watercolour (with or without ink), or just ink, or even graphite pencil. But which would give the best results? While watercolour would have definitely suited certain aspects- ink had a few strong points, too. While I try to refrain from immediately reaching for pencil with future pieces as I’ve done a fair bit of pencil work recently. Still, such careful details were required.

I settled on ink as I’ve yet to really fully become comfortable with an ink style. That and I have those really awesome Copic Multiliners in everything from the ridiculously small to the average brush nib. Which, in all honesty, were probably one of the reasons this piece came out as it did. I don’t think I could have achieved the same results with my old ink pens.

Groot - 2015 - InkAs for composition… that was a bit looser than usual. I didn’t want to constrain too much or try to fill out a particular amount of space.

As I usually do, as I can’t reference realism for coffee beans, I took a stylised approach to the finer details. Adding perhaps a little more of a woody, rough, dry texture than Groot would actually have. It’s also a massive bonus he’s basically a walking tree- I love trees. Been drawing them for years. I also tried to influence a little structure and form in his face. Make him look more like a person- or at least humanoid- while maintaining the chunks (of bark?) protruding from his head.

The eyes and eye sockets were a particular challenge, however. I didn’t want to fall back on heavy blanket shadows with no detail. I didn’t want to make all of the eye sockets dark, either. So finding the fine line (liner pen puns) between adding some shading, but not overdoing it, and also not falling back on old habits, was a task I came back to several times.

It was a fairly comfortable experience, though. I felt like I knew what I was doing the entire time- which is rare at best- but also tells me that I’m probably getting a little back into the swing of things. I remember days when I could just transfer thoughts to paper no matter how complex, different, or strangely composed. Those days are somewhat behind me but pieces like this give me hope that I can at least catch up to them again. It’s nice to have a clear goal and see that come together without any real difficulty to a desirable result.

In any case, I hope you enjoy Groot! I also apologise for the lack of wood puns in this post.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Marvel Comics.

Knosass – 2015 – Pencil – click for full view on site!

“The monsters have tooth and claw! But, you- you have Zeus like bolts you can throw and I have things to sell you.”

The voice acting is definitely one of the highlights of Titan Quest. Y’see, often in ARPGs, it’s like watching one of those 50s science fiction movies where the lead character is a rocket pilot called Chad Daring or somesuch. Where every other word is combobulator this or astro that. Where every possible science fiction trope is thrown in and you are half way between laughing yourself silly and cringing with every other line. Titan Quest raised the bar to actually provide themed, well delivered, interesting, and emotional dialogue. Where NPCs like shop keepers aren’t mute gold sinks. It’s cool. Well, at least I think so.

That said I will never forgot Gharbad from the first Diablo. “Gharbaa~ad no kill!” Great, great times.

But! I digress. This is not what we’re here to discuss and discuss it we shan’t! Even though we kind of already did. During my time playing Titan Quest with my newest character (in a push to actually finish the game this time) I became slightly enraptured with the character design. Well, what character design there actually is.

I broke the tradition of playing every game for the first time as a warrior to switch to a magical character. However, in a way, the tradition still holds as this isn’t my first character per se. This meant I saw the world in a whole different light- spells, pets, light armour, really big sticks referred to as staves- all this wonderful stuff. Though I’m not too green with mages in ARPGs as I had many a successful Sorceress in Diablo II, I’ve tried a few in Grim Dawn, I’ve played around with the ones in Sacred, and so on. Still a nice side step from fully armoured and stabby.

Knosass - 2015 - PencilOne really funny thing about this character is his name.

I was thinking about what I should call him. I didn’t want to pick any particular kind of name like Roman, or Greek, or the like which is why I chose as I did. Yet it was always in the back of my head that I’d heard that name- or something similar to it- before. Turns out one of the places you go is called Knososs. So, uh, yeah- I guess I had heard it before.

I would say that this piece is probably coming back into the kind of level of work I want to produce. I’m probably running at 80% capacity as it were. Not entirely going as I wanted but it’s close enough that I can patch up the problems as I go and experiment all the while. Which is something this piece features quite a bit of as I wanted to try some new shading styles for the anatomy, for the clothing, and generally everything. Posing and the composition therein is a bit shaky but I can’t have everything. Not yet, anyway. Then again the posing and composition issues are purely down to the fact that I kind of leapt into the piece.

I should have really played around with the angles and the options I had before committing to any one thing. Still, can’t say I don’t like it. It’s also the best piece I’ve done in months.

The second in a short while, too. Couldn’t be more opposite in terms of subject matter! Aliens and ancient warriors with mythical powers who slay dangerous Telkines. Though, again, I’m not complaining about this- it’s like my brain- all over the place!

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Titan Quest, Telkines, that guy who sells you things before the first Act boss, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Iron Lore.

Highlight – Grotti v2 – 2011 – click for full view on site!

Though the fish in question has gone to that great fish tank in the sky she was always a beautiful and friendly girl.

I do art. You know that, right? I would forgive you if you had forgotten after how long it has been all about gaming and not so much about the creative side of things. I think this piece was the first one that really allowed me to see the potential of watercolour in a style that I could manipulate. For some reason, most likely due to detail, I figured that the combination of ink and watercolour would be a good idea and I wasn’t wrong about that. I continued to develop this style in a myriad of ways with The Sacred Cow (highlighted previously) and others.

I had done the first version in pastel (and no you may not see it) and it wasn’t really hitting the quality or the result I wanted. I was thinking about other things I could use and how I could get the desired result and I narrowed down that I needed bold, flowing, expressive colours. What did I have that could do that? Watercolour!

In my usual way of doing things I started by dissecting the colours and trying to find a collection of colours that allowed me to achieve the desired result. Of course, until you added the grey and black markings, this was just the oranges and the light pinks. While the addition of the darker markings was the point where I thought I’d be scrapping this piece and it would never see the light of day again. However, the brushes were in my favour and I managed to pull off the desired result without destroying anything in the process. Oddly enough, as noted above, that was the entire reason I wanted to use watercolour- but it was also the reason I didn’t feel it would work out as I didn’t know if I could do it. My brain is a strange place. So strange.

Grotti v2 - 2011 - WatercolourThe original line work for this piece was pretty much an outline which was also an interesting aspect in hindsight.

Given my inexperience with watercolour at the time I was relying on the ability to fully create depth, textures, markings, and many other things purely with watercolour as the line work wasn’t really adding any. I mean the concept made sense. It was a logical idea. But I was relying on my ability to do something I’d never done before with a desirable result the first time out.

But, I think, when all is said and done, that is what makes this such a great piece for me. I tried to do something new and unique and I wanted to achieve something which I did. So, even though it’s a bit older and a bit rough ’round the edges it’s a rare example of how my experimentation led to something amazing. Something which I’m proud of. It’s also odd that this, The Sacred Cow, and Wisdom (three pieces I am notably proud of) are all animal portraits.

Maybe that was a calling I missed in life? Or maybe I just needed something new and different and that wasn’t fantasy or what have you to really get to grips with the limits of my ability. Back then I was of the mindset that I didn’t have limits and I could do whatever I wanted. Maybe that was a good way to be?

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Cut off a Length – 2014 – Pencil – click for full view on site!

I figure now might be a good time to lay this piece to rest. Then again, given his noticeable resilience to death- I don’t think it’ll be staying there long!

I know it seems like an odd decision to make six months after the piece was started but I feel that it’s probably better to bury (pun intended) some of the pieces that were being worked on before. While trying to sort everything out earlier this year I was thinking about some of the concepts and how, repeatedly, and annoyingly, they would just keep coming back up. Mostly ’cause I wasn’t happy with just dropping them but they weren’t complete… so I went around in circles. Hilarious for anyone watching, I’m sure.

Of course, this piece still isn’t “complete” but due to the amount of time between the original work being done on it and now and how everything has changed since- that’s probably a good thing. I did clean it up a bit and generally bring it up to standard but it’s still going in the Sketchbook section as a “nearly complete but not quite” piece. As, really, it doesn’t matter where they end up on the site- just as long as they’re there. Right?

Cut off a Length - 2014 - PencilThis allows me to draw a line under all of that work from back then and start with the most recent concepts. There are still a few things hanging around from earlier this year but they were never actually started or developed so they’re just miscellaneous concepts (thank fluffy kittens) and so I can just start them whenever. They’re not actually sticking out like a sore thumb and making me wonder what I should do with them, whether I should bin them or send them to that folder which once something enters it is never seen again.

But that would just be tragic for all concerned.

Cut off a Length is something that I liked all those months ago and I still like now. I would say it probably laid the foundations for the work you’ve seen since as it was one of the first pieces I’d started using such heavy shading from the off and decided that would be the style from the very first sketches. This is actually a throwback to way I used to do things but didn’t really enjoy how dark they were as I didn’t have a great understanding of the technique back then. But now I do. So, woo! More lines and graphite and tone than you can shake a reasonably sized stick at.

I have to say I am surprised by this piece in some respects. I didn’t think that anything from earlier in the year where everything was such a mess would actually be as good as this, so, hey, maybe I wasn’t such a mess? Or maybe I’m just awesome? Or (most likely) I have some of the best luck at the worst times.

I don’t really know where I’m going next at the moment. I’ve been thinking about some The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim work or maybe something with watercolour. I have a fascination with ink at the moment thanks to the heavier shadows in my pencil work and I did just play a trilogy of Batman games… it really could be anything I suppose. Been a while since I’ve been in this position and it’s as comfy as a dozen pillows while someone makes you coffee and you listen to music from before you were born. By the way, if that sounds good to any of you ladies I am sort of on the dating scene.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Highlight – Wisdom – 2012 – click for full view on site!

This piece is a personal favourite and always been a bit of hoot! Get it? Hoot? …Oh why do I bother.

I could write pages of text covering the origins, inspirations, techniques, frustrations, and successes behind this piece. Yet, even with all the information I can give in hindsight- it was once nearly never finished. After doing as much as I could with the beak and the eyes I had become frustrated with how the rest of it was progressing. Naturally so as I feel confidence is a big part of art. You have to know your materials, how they work, how they mix, how they react, what they can do, what they can’t do, how they do it, and what not to do with them. Faber Castell Polychromos? Never used them before. Bristol board? Only ever used for ink and marker pieces. Everything here was new and there was a certain amount of hesitation. I’d also picked one hell of a reference photo for the first time out- there was nothing simple about this piece.

Still, one of the primary reasons I chose to do this the way that I did is because I wanted the challenge. I wanted to push myself. At the time I’d felt I’d become lazy and complacent with the kind of pieces I was doing and despite having many different materials they were hardly used.

The other major reason was that there are some really incredible pieces of art out there. Oozing with the blood of the artists that made them through their style, or their use of colour, or unique approach to form, or the use of negative space- there are so many reasons- but I had never done a piece like that. I was once told a long time back that I had a very angular style (it’s true) and I notice that’s a part of my style. But the other big thing that I’ve always had about my art is the graphic quality. I’ve never really been one for realistic or smooth shading. It just doesn’t have the same impact as the graphic style which feels sharp, edgy, crisp, clean, and has a lot of uses which is the way I tend to do shading these days.

Wisdom - 2012 - Coloured PencilSo this was to be something recognisable yet unique, graphic yet soft, unique enough that it could be recreated but never exactly, and something that I hope would be one of the best pieces I’d done. Or would ever do. Kind of like how some musicians have a long and successful run but they always have those key hits from earlier in their career. If it was unique enough then there would be no way to realistically compare this to other pieces and therefore it would stand, alone, but proudly alone, as the key unique piece I’d done.

I mean, realistically, I could recreate Wisdom- I could make it more realistic or with more accurate colours or even bigger so the composition is looser.

But would I? No. It is what it is and there’s no point in changing that for the sake of finalising or perfecting the last bits here or there. Perfection is as ever-changing as your own motivations and you’re never going to reach that point where you know everything and can do everything. So, Wisdom kind of sits, shifting around time, bringing something fresh to everyone who looks at it but representing a very specific part of my artistic journey.

Finally, Wisdom was featured in the Winsor & Newton Ink Exhibition as one of the pieces entered into the competition. This was a defining moment for me as I felt so proud of myself, but I really appreciated seeing the public and hearing their views while having people coming to see my art and talk to me about it? There’s nothing like it. It’s a really gratifying feeling. Luckily it was in London so I was able to attend personally and was probably one of best moments of my life. Actually there was no probably about it- it was the best moment of my life. Maybe one day something like this will come around again so I best keep my skills sharp and my pencils sharper, huh?

Have a nice night, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.