Introduction

I'm a freelance illustrator/designer/art director and if you think I can help with your project, want to offer words of encouragement or simply say hi, feel free to get in touch.

I'm also on Twitter and Facebook. Follow me to find out every time I haul bits of imagination kicking and screaming into reality.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Who do? You do? Pandoo!

Pandoo Nation is a forthcoming game that blends virtual entertainment with real life by allowing its community to have a direct impact on a number of charitable causes. To learn more about this original concept, check out the teaser trailer.

I had the opportunity to develop the look and feel of Pandoo Island along side a number of its inhabitants. The brief was to use South-east Asia as inspiration.

The first character I developed was a member of the mountain tribe. I drew inspiration from traditional tribal face-paints and head-wear.


Once he was locked I was able to create a female equivalent and then the other races that would compliment their diminutive stature and build on the notion that Pandoo is populated by several unique cultures each with their own rich history.


Having I'd previously visited Borneo I had first hand experience of the rich colours, textures and cultures that make up this diverse part of the world. One of the first elements I created was the Pitcher tree which incorporated themes that were used throughout the world of Pandoo which was that it seemed to simultaneously feel familiar, yet alien.


Developing architecture I was inspired by traditional buildings found across the region.


I also wanted to create a world that reflected the ramshackle nature found in the rural areas without presenting this a negative element so the colours from the local fauna were included to break up the texture and make it more picturesque.


Boats were going to be a strong element of Pandoo Nation so creating believable yet fun aspect of the game so incorporating the same themes from the architecture I produced some concept art for these modes of transport.


The islands that made up the world of Pandoo were situated in a lush tropical seas and building the current civilization on top of temple ruins delivered the idea that there was a rich history to the islands.


So over to you. With the game almost done, Pandoo Nation is currently undergoing an indigogo campaign for that final push to completion. So get involved, learn about Pandoo, bag yourself some limited edition merchandise and begin to make the world a better place in the process.







Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sith are red and Wookies are... blue?

So in order to placate your frothing desire to learn about the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII (no?... Just me then?) here's some previews of the next characters to get the 'Destiny' treatment, Little Vader and Little Chewy. Both will be receiving limited print runs, fully certified by Lucasfilm, in the near future.

Keep an eye out on here or on my facebook or twitter feed for details of when the prints will be available.



The images depict Anakin/Vader unleashing his early desire to become a pilot and the not so Mighty Chewbacca at home on Kashyyyk (Pronounce it? Not a clue.) momentarily distracted from his playful rage

While the first three Destiny images were conceived to work as a set, these two have been designed as companion pieces to Luke and Han respectively, with Anakin/Vader running to collide with Luke against a foreboding red sunset and Chewie, like Han, is distracted by a glimpse of his destiny.

ADVERTISEMENT... well... promotion. Of sorts.
In the meantime, in order to grab the other images in the series head over to my store where there are still some remaining from the limited stock I have. And remember folks, exclusively, each image bought on my store is signed and will include a hand drawn sketch of that character.

Be sure to get your ordered now to beat the Christmas rush!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sketchbook Medley

Ok. My time has been elsewhere as of late but despite being AFK I've still found the odd moment to meddle in my sketchbook. Here's a small selection of what I've done over the last few weeks, mildly
enhanced to ease me back to work.

I'll possibly colour a couple of these up.

One day.

 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Welcome to the official GRAND OPENING!

Due to popular (and unpopular) demand, I can finally announce that my new on-line store is open for business.

To coincide with the opening, I'm happy to announce I'll be taking orders for the full set of Destiny prints, officially approved and certified by Lucasfilm. Exclusively to my own store, each of these prints will be signed and include a small original sketch of that character.


There is also a selection of my other work available. I'll be adding more items to the store over the coming weeks but in the meantime and I'm happy to answer questions about these prints or any other pictures on my blog or website.


Go on, treat yourself, you know you deserve it. And after all, its practically Christmas.

Sort of.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Lets get ready to rruuumble! - Part III

(Part I)

The primals are a colourful bunch of characters, Colour is a simple yet successful way of differentiating between environments, and certain hues immediately bring to mind certain geographical regions. Because of this its easy to dream up surroundings such as ice, desert and jungle levels as they're easily associated with a specific hue.





However, alongside these staple elements I wanted to illustrate some less familiar scenarios that drew from dino mythology explored in decades of popular culture. Environments such as the tar pits, or a night-time landscape lit by the unearthly glow of the comet that brought about the end of the age of lizards. Or birds... whatever they've decided today. Fish?

Anyway, enough science! Congratulations to all at Rivet on their hard work and go see for yourself as Rivet Studios' title Primal Rumble is out very soon! Get rumbling!

Home

Friday, 6 September 2013

Lets get ready to rrruuuumble! - Part II


With the characters and the style of Primal Rumble taking shape, I felt it was important to deliver a series of concept images that would promote the rich colour palette and the kind of humour that should be present in the game. You know, dinosaurs calmly assaulting on each other. In lavish environments. For profit.

With the T-Rex being the most iconic of all the dinosaurs I felt that our Primal equivalent, Big Rex, should be the focus of these images.





The expressionless faces of the Primals were perfect to deliver dead pan humour, be it stuck fast in a gloopy tar pit, being hit by a snowball thrown by a cowering foe, weeping quietly at the sudden revelation of the catastrophic events that are about to unfold, or engaging in balletic martial arts most unbecoming of a bottom heavy Primal.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Lets get ready to rrruuuumble! - Part I

At the beginning of the year I worked on a project for Rivet Studios that featured dinosaurs. Which are cool. FACT!

Primal Rumble required cute, colourful and iconic characters that couldn't look out of place kicking seven shades of dino doo-doo out of each other and after a couple of days of intensive sketching I produced a bestiary of characters that met the criteria.














Once the characters were hatched (... hatched! Get it? 'Coz they came from eggs! Right?... Sheesh! ), I took key motifs from their designs and produced some illustrations that formed the foundation for the arenas in which they would do battle.












































Part II

Rivet Studios' title Primal Rumble coming soon

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Well, here we are.

With the fresh theories of Martian Panspermia, I guess today would be an appropriate time for me to post this follow up to my Steps, leaps and bounds image.


































I recently re-read Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. It being a fairly weighty book, I spent several weeks engrossed in and thereby inspired by our ongoing desire to visit our closest neighbour.

Its looking more and more likely that a private initiative will put someone on Mars within the next 25 years but in the meantime I have to get my space travel fix by following the astronauts currently orbiting our speck of dust, who are constantly working towards goals like this.

Three cheers for people in space!

Hip hip...

Thursday, 15 August 2013

All new!

So first of all, LOOK! What an exciting new look blog! And WOW! What an exciting new look website (all updated with shiny new art)! You'd better show this to all of your friends! (waits for applause...)

OK, now that's out of the way...

It's been a long time coming but I always intended the Little Luke's Destiny image to be the first in a series, so I can finally reveal the next two characters that I've worked on.

Without further ado, may I present, Little Leia's Destiny and Little Han's Destiny.

















Leia is leading an imaginary charge into battle, whilst Han has distracted from target practice by a famous ship roaring over head. The colour palettes have been carefully selected to compliment Little Luke's destiny meaning they'll look great as a set.

Both will soon be available to order as a limited edition run and there along side their predecessor Little Luke's Destiny (currently on sale) and would look great on the wall of your kids bedroom... oh who are you kidding, your wall.

Watch this space for more info.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

San Diego 2013

Well having my work on sale there is the closest I've come so far to getting my geek on at San Diego Comi-Con. If you weren't able to make it along then my 'Shadow Of the Hunter' picture is now available on Acme Archives website so if you're a fan of Fett, swap the family photos for this. They'll probably thank you.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bayou 2112

OK, enough ranting about the fate of comic book movies...

I wanted to produce a hot, lazy, hazy evening on a calm bayou, but a futuristic image of somewhere that is almost unchanged despite huge advances in technology.


I think I was inspired when watching a documentary about cultures who are so far removed from the modern world and live in the same way they have been doing for hundreds if not thousands of years and I wondered if there were modern lifestyles that would exist for as long.

Either that or from a recent re-watching of Disney's Princess and the Frog.



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

An open Letter to Warner Bros

I needed to air my desires for the continuation of the DC universe on screen following recent statements suggesting that the Dark knight trilogy won't be part of the cinematic canon.

This seemed like the best place.

 
As with the recent Dark Knight Trilogy the following ideas take plots form key DC comics weaving them into a new pattern to fit alongside the recent cinematic outings showing that just because Bale has stepped away from the role, there's still room for the DC franchise to embrace the recent films rather than starting over.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to wipe the slate clean after such a critical and financial success of the Dark Knight trilogy, and recent franchise entries of both Trek and to a lesser degree 'Bourne' have displayed its possible to re-invigorate a franchise without resorting to a total 'reboot'.

The Dark knight trilogy has also shown that with a deft hand, film makers can stray from the source material on some key aspects of a franchise and still retain the loyalty of the original fan base.

So with that in mind, here are a few ideas.

Man of Steel 2
I imagine that well underway already, but Lex. All Lex.

Batman 4
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robin begins his role as Gotham city's new crime fighter Nightwing. Younger and quicker, he makes light work of smaller crooks, but realises it was the cowl of Batman that delivered the fear required to tackle the ever increasing trend for supervillains.

Batman: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended.

The films should introduce a new Batman, a new origin story for a new character taking on the mantle of the bat, being guided by JGL's Nightwing who, we begin to understand, has a creeping doubt as to weather the new batman is fit for purpose after a few over enthusiastic skirmishes. However, the new batman completes a heroic act and takes his place as the Guardian of Gotham.

Wonder Woman
Deep in the jungle a young Wonder Woman meets a young Bruce Wayne as he travels the globe learning ass kicking off different peoples. the first man she has ever seen, she is curious and enquires as to his nature. She learns that her tribe of female only Amazons were 'grown' by a technology long past their understanding.

A few years later and with curiosity burning away inside her, she sets off on her own journey of discovery, all the while looking for Bruce Wayne, finally arriving in Gotham to find him gone. Out of place and confused by the modern world she spars with Batman/Nightwing and ends up escaping in the batwing, now improved with a cloaking mechanism in place. She meets superman who helps her learn of her heritage, that she is a descendant of an ancient Kryptonian outpost. Finally understanding her place in the world she joins the good fight using her abilities in the fight against evil.

Man of Steel 3
Doomsday. We all wanna see it, though I don't know how you'll top the Zod fight for sheer destructive chaos, but it would be fun to see you try.

Batman 5
In the next film Batman begins to lose sight of his goal, Night wing will try to stop the new Batman as his methods become much more akin to the foe he's previously try defend the city from. He fails.

Enter Kal-El, last son of Krypton, the man of steel, the Superman. The only person with the strength for the Smack-down that the world has wanted to see on screen since their inception. Batman Vs Superman.

The darkest of knights resorts to dirty, underhand, and downright ungentlemanly tactics, that put him on an even keel with Superman. The most prevalent being the rare 'Kriptonite' that sits in the labs of Wayne Enterprises.

Unable to defeat each other the two characters, exhausted, part ways, warning each other that they should never cross paths again. Superman unwillingly leaves Gotham under the control of a borderline psychopathic Batman.

Batman 6
The battle between Superman and Batman would leave Gotham in ruins. Batman is forced to begin saving the population from the cataclysmic event, leaving room for the more nefarious types to rise up, taking over territories and gaining control of what's left of the city.

Torn between saving the city and stopping the corruption he resorts to murder and violence, finally crossing the line and becoming what he always fought against.

Then the missing presumed dead Nightwing returns with an old acquaintance. Bruce Wayne, (just imagine the hype when they convince Bale to return to the role in 10 years time) back in his batsuit after 10 years away, brings his decades of training and expertise back to Gotham City. Here we get to see two batmen, one suped up 'bad' batman, and one 'classic' meditative warrior go at each other through the crumbling ruins of Gotham.

Justice League
With Batman holding contempt for superman over the destruction of Gotham, wonder woman holding a flame for batman, and superman unable to trust batman, we have the beginning of some dynamics on which to base a Justice league film around.


The gritty real world feel of the DC titles would allow a fan base to flourish along side the already established Marvel franchise, allowing the uninitiated audience to tell them apart and prevent the two juggernauts from stepping on one another's toes and allow them to co-exist without direct competition.

Regardless, if you like the direction, there's a decade of films to be had here.

You're welcome.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Svensk vol. II

Anticipating a bit of time off this summer I got to thinking about last years trip to Sweden and I realised I hadn't done the planned follow up to last years wind farm painting 'Svensk' despite knowing exactly what I wanted to do. So I did it.

 
Although based heavily on the picturesque inlets around the island of Orust just north of Gothenburg, the lighthouse was inspired by the one that sits next to the ├śresund bridge that joins Sweden and Denmark.

The result is a splash of colour in the overcast inlet that was damp with the rain that had made the area so deep green and lush. But in reality, who'd put a lighthouse in a bay.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Scarlet

Following on from my recent Robin of Loxley picture, depicting Robin Hood and Little John, I present (a slightly rushed) Will Scarlet.


Throughout Robin Hood lore, several references are made to Scarlet being the finest swordsman in the merry men so I thought it would be fun to have him as some kind of martial artist, wielding two swords and able to fight multiple assailants at once.

Drawing on themes of the templar knights also gave him that cleaner edge than some of the grubby woodfolk who make up the Merry Men, and compounded the idea that he was a highly skilled and trained fighter.

To me it felt natural that the image be tinted with reddish and autumnal hues to reflect the name Scarlet.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Fine art?

Promise I'll post some more art soon, but for now I'll continue pimping out this. Little Luke's Destiny available on the official Star Wars fine art website. Get to it!















 
http://www.starwarsfineart.com/product/SWOTLTD233P/Little-Luke%27s-Destiny.html?cid=

And yes, as people have been asking, I'm working on others in the series ;-)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Imagine that!

Just a quick one to say that I just noticed the nice people at Imagine FX made my recent Loxley picture their image of the day. Very kind of them :-)

Follow the link to see Nicola's kind words http://beta.imaginefx.com/image-day-69098

And here is my original post http://nscurfield.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/robin-of-loxley.html

Or just scroll down a bit :-)

Saturday, 4 May 2013

SchkwzzzZZZzzzZZZzZZZzzzzzicht*

Its May the fourth so its only fitting that I announce (in a frothing fit of rabid excitement) that two of my recent Star Wars pieces have been officially approved by Lucasfilm an will shortly be available to order via www.starwarsfineart.com/

As a life long fan Star Wars has been a constant source of inspiration and its an honour to be able to pay tribute to the franchise with these pictures, and hopefully others to follow.

Here's the information I've received regarding each print.

Little Lukes Destiny
Type of Art: Giclee on Paper
Edition Size: 150
Size 13 x 19 paper dimension
Retail Price $89.00 (£58 €68)
















Shadow of the Hunter
Type of Art: Giclee on Canvas
Edition Size: 50
Size 16 x 20 paper dimension
Retail Price$250 (£160/€190) Rolled Canvas /$295 (£190/€224) Gallery Wrapped


































Both of the prints will be on sale in coming days. Watch this space for news or subscribe to the mailing list at www.starwarsfineart.com/ to be updated on future announcements.

OK, I need to go and stock up on provisions in order to watch Empire. Have a good one.

May the fourth be with you.

*Lightsaber hum

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Littlejon

So here's the Littlejon character design I did for my recent picture. I wanted to make him, not only tall but built like the proverbial 'out' house. Giving him the neck of an ox weighted him really nicely, resulting in a powerful looking figure who would calmly bat away even the most aggressive opponent with barely a second thought.












A concern I had was making him seem powerful and simultaneously playful without him appearing incapable, like a medevil version of Steinbecks ill-fated Lenny. The sterner expression on the final pose was added to address this issue.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Robin of Loxley

I was looking for a small project that had enough mileage for me to be able to produce both characters and also a rich environment for them to sit in. Enter, Robin Hood. I selected the famous moment when Robin hood encounters Little John for the first time, described below in one of the 17th century Robin Hood ballads.


'Thou talkst like a coward,' the stranger reply'd;
'Well armd with a long bow, you stand,
 To shoot at my breast, while I, I protest,
Have nought but a staff in my hand.' 

From The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
by Francis James Child, 1888.

Despite its popularity the Robin Hood mythology has only spawned one notable animated adaptation so I felt there was room for me to explore new versions of the characters without treading on the toes of previous incarnations.

The reverence that has been built up surrounding Sherwood forest allowed for a nicely atmospheric depiction without feeling too far removed from the English countryside.

Friday, 1 March 2013

The Evil Queen Bavmorda

I've harked on about Star Wars more than once on here, but there is another film that I used to adore as a kid. Willow. I LOVED it.

It was on one Christmas and recording it I proceeded to watch it as often an humanly possible to the degree that I can still recite vast portions of it almost word for word.

It felt grounded and, as with Star Wars, it hinted at a world beyond what was on screen. It had Little people, dragons, trolls, great warriors, drunk brownies, faeries, sorcerers, love potions, princesses, witches, bar brawls, a troll skull wearing bad guy, armies, magic and sledging. What's not to love?!

The Evil Queen Bavmorda ruled, sitting in her looming, slate grey castle, her robes clearly inspired by the garments of catholic nuns and Jesus' thorny crown, whilst her willingness to stab a baby to death was testament to her being a fully qualified nasty piece of work. Jean Marsh played this off brilliantly against the gentle and somewhat paganistic 'nature magic' of the simple country folk personified by Warwick Davies' perfect turn as the titular, naive Nelwin.

Twenty five years later its arriving on Bluray (11th march kids!) and I cant wait to sit down and watch it in shiny HD. I'm half tempted to order hundreds of copies in the hope that Disney are gauging if there's a market for a sequel.

I'm pretty sure there is. Right? RIGHT?!



OK. Love letter over. Move along.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Next Link

Not been able to throw myself into my personal work as much as i'd like as of late so I set myself the challenge of doing a picture in just one hour. I managed to complete this in just under.

Inspired by watching a documentary showing that primates have now been recorded using a number of tools I imagined what they'd be up to in the future if we left them well alone. It was tempting to put the ruins of our civilisation amidst the trees in the background but it became a little too distracting and interrupted the serenity of the scene.

Having learned of the brutality chimps are capable of when hunting or patrolling their territory, the fact that we have always been a pretty temperamental species is hardly a surprise.

Put it this way, they don't just eat bananas.



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Boba Fett

Despite any official Announcement its looking likely that along with Han Solo, revered Bounty Hunter and fan favourite of the Star Wars saga Boba Fett is to be the star of his own film, so this seems to be as good a time as any to put out this image:-)

Last year I did an image of Judge Dredd, a character that bares some similarities to Mr B. Fett so I was encouraged to revisit the image with a Star Wars take on it.

As with my most recent Star Wars image Little Lukes Destiny, this is also part of a series featuring  armoured characters from the Star Wars universe, as they all posses such iconic designs and can be easily recognised from the bare minimum of information.

Hmmm... Perhaps I should do an accompanying Solo image? 


Lets hope that these new films will build on the best Star Wars has to offer and like the outstanding Clone Wars series, really deliver what was missing from the prequels.



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Return of Space Jane

Its not the first time I’ve drawn space Jane but this is definitely a new approach. I wanted to retain the 60s inspired elements of her space suit (the miniskirt, boots, Afro-esque helmet and that eras utter lack of political correctness), yet give the image a more updated feel with a richer palette.

Deciding on an 'animated' style I looked towards the likes of Shane Glines and Bruce Timm for inspiration whilst avoiding their more angular lines. The half-tone texture and weathered landscape poster format were also supposed to retain a 60's feel despite the more modern approach.


In a side note, I've noticed that the last few posts have all contained 'widescreen' pieces. Too many movies perhaps? Too few? Answers on a postcard.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Destiny

Happy noo yeah!

I figured I should start back after a holiday break with something fresh and exciting! Star Wars! Bah, OK, so not fresh. Comfortable? Definitely.

Regardless, this image is the first in a series of pictures depicting key characters from the series as 'younglings', engaging in acts that reference key moments from their future. Despite being completed before Disney took over the Galaxy, the style isn't out of place with their mantra, representing the childish outlook of the subject whilst drawing on and exaggerating the colour palette of the films worlds.


I also liked the idea of Luke playing with his toy Star fighter just like many of us did in our youth.

The 'wide-screen' format gave the image a more cinematic quality whilst making the colours seem more vibrant and the text added to generate a more positive, motivational and life affirming blah blah blah blah blah...