Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooks For Haloween

 It's Halloween so lets have some ghouls and ghosties! Always a favorite subject for me and some of these character illustrations are actually very old. I've been meaning to put them online where people can see them for some time. You of course have to have pumpkins for Halloween but also skeletons so why not put the two together? Add a dash of pirate and that's about as good a mix of ingredients as I can think of.

Here is a creepy demon gargoyle affair with glowing red eyes for good measure. I have recently been doing lots of sprite renders for a game I'm working on. This means I basically set off batches of character renders and then wait to set the next lot off, rinse and repeat. It's not the most exciting job so to keep my brain busy I decided to work on some characters for a Halloween blog post and that's why this beaky fellow came into being.

The ghost pirates come from the pre-production of an Eyetoy game I worked on. It eventually became Astro Zoo so no ghosts no pirates and definitely no ghost pirates. There were squirrels in space suits but at that stage of production I was back to building and animating not painting. I did really like the characters and would have liked to have built them but that's just how it goes. There was a lot of game built and some quite cool characters before Sony decided they wanted a zoo in space instead. As far as I remember the game was a Ghostbusters sort of thing where you played the agents that dealt with the ghosts.

Some sketches of the ghost pirates in different positions.

Lastly another one I did while waiting on my renders, a cartoon wolfman. I was thinking about this the other day, it used to be that I would constantly doodle. When I started out in 3d animation I would have a sketch pad next to me and I would sketch my key poses out but also just doodle, because well.... there was a pad there. These days unless it's something really difficult to animate I don't need to sketch my key poses so I don't have a sketch pad on my desk. I've got my tablet of course but firing up Photoshop just to do a doodle just doesn't happen (unless I'm rendering of course). Doodles were most of my creative output when I was at school. Drawing was what I did to take my mind off things. These days I occasionally  draw something for my kids but doodling has hit an all time low and I didn't even notice.

I think part of it is that I'm very critical of my own work and I think about what I'm going to achieve with my next project. What's it for? what will I get out of it? This may be obvious but the trouble with my approach is it slightly sucks the fun out of it. I always aim to take on work that will be fun for me because it's hard to do a good job if you aren't interested in what you're working on. I know that from experience and always keep it in mind. However doodles are just thinking out loud. They serve no purpose, that's what allows them to be so free and fun. You can't doodle wrong because how can something be wrong if it serves no purpose?

What's it for? what will I get out of it? That is not what you ask yourself as you doodle on a scrap of paper, but you can get an awful lot from doodling. For starters it's good drawing exercise, but also if you are doodling while you're mind is focused elsewhere (talking on the phone, in a lecture etc) it allows your subconscious to take the wheel. This can lead to some great ideas. I think I need to get back to my doodles.


  1. These are great. Your kids must love them. The gargoyle looks like he's been lifting weights for years. Purposeless activity can be so liberating. That's how I think of my aphorisms, as a kind of doodling. Nothing profound, just fun.

    1. Thank's NP sorry I missed this comment as it was sent to spam. As I said trying to empty your head and think nothing seems a good way to find ideas.


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