Thursday, 29 December 2011

Magic Studio...

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. As a belated present my sister got me 'Machines and magic Vol 1' an art book mentioned before, put together by Craig Musselman, and featuring a couple of my images, among much other splendid stuff.

I have a lot of stuff planned for the coming year, and have a few interesting projects in the pipelines. Having completed a number of commissions, I have been taking some time to finish off a mermaid painting that I started a while back.
On a related note, I saw online a former church for sale, which is very me, and would make a great studio. It is in Brixham in Devon which would be a very inspiring place to live and work, and where I spent some great childhood holidays. I need to sell a few more paintings before I can afford it, unfortunately...

One can dream...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Stuff and fluff snuff.

Sadly the rabbit Charlotte Scudamore died yesterday (the white one), which meant digging another hole. That's three lagomorph fatalities this year (the other male Poppy died while I was in Italy). RIP Scuda-no-more. What with the cat going last year, our little menagerie is rather depleted. Six beasties down to two.

Work wise I've just completed a painting for a book cover, featuring an under-dressed female sticking it to a Grey alien, in the Amber Room, with a broadsword. Lined up I have some more medievalism, some sci-fi and some Arabian mythology, which should be interesting. Also Christmas is coming and we are all getting fat-skinny. I'd really ought to get some shopping done...

Monday, 12 December 2011

Some less well known great artists

Went to London today, hoping to visit the 'Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan' exhibition at the National Gallery. Unfortunately tickets were sold out, so we just looked at the regular collection, which is worth the train fare in itself. I scribbled down some names of slightly less well known (to me at least) historical artists whose works are well worth a google. Here are some of them (in no particular order):

Francesco Hayez (above)

Salvator Rosa

Christopher Wilhelm Eckersberg

Pierre Subleyras

Elizabeth Louise Brun


Guido Reni



Johann Liss

Cornelis van Haarlem

Simon Vouet

So the day was far from a dead loss. Also had a new experience at a steak house restaurant, when the beef steak was brought out still sizzling on its own red hot slab where it could continue to cook until it had stopped going 'moo'. The world still has things to show me, clearly. Also had a poke around the stalls at Covent Garden market where there is some interesting stuff to be found, including things for securing curtains that look like witch-hunters bodkins, gas masks, telescopes, and marbles (which people from Birmingham call 'marleys', apparently).

Sunday, 11 December 2011

My list at the moment...

I have been quite nicely bust of late. Commissions that I have completed over the last couple of months include apocalyptic and Gothic artwork for a couple of Heavy Metal album covers ('As Empires Decay', which is digital, and 'Brutal Temptress', which is oil on board). I have also completed 'Lioness of the Stars' , a fantasy painting of a lioness-centaur (oils), 'Retours', a book cover for a French author's novel featuring a group of warriors (digital), and some borders and illustrations for wedding invitations with the look of medieval manuscripts (mixed media).

I picked up my 'Blackguard' visual story a while back, and have been reworking that, but it has come to another stand still due to commissioned work.

Jobs I am presently working on include two interior pieces for Cubicle7. I had been planning to do some master studies of historical works of art, but one of these illustrations involves something more interesting, a ghoulish reworking of a certain Dutch Masterpiece. The other involves a monstrous version of a certain sound-making device (considered by some to be a musical instrument), which shows the influence of a more recent, but in his way equally influential master (arguably). These I am doing digitally. I am also doing an oil painting for another fantasy author, featuring a woman slaying an alien, so as I say I am nicely busy. I also have a few things in the pipelines, including interior work for Battlefield Press, (hopefully) the good people who commissioned the cover I did for 'Midway Between'.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Dragonmeet and V & A

I went to Kensington for Dragonmeet this saturday. My portfolio generated a good response, so hopefully there will be a few things to follow up. After that went to the V & A to look at the cast of Trajan's Column, having been at the real thing earlier in the week...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Rome Trip

Have just got back from a little vacation/research trip to Rome. Saw a sunrise above the clouds as flying out last Monday. Arrived in time to see Trajan's Column, the Forum and the Colosseum, among other things, the ruins bathed in luminous evening light. On the Tuesday (which was a bit wet) we did the Vatican- St Peters (which had visited before a few years back). Still very grand needless to say. Also went to the Castle St Angelo, the views from the top of which justified the entrance fee. Yesterday we saw the Pyramid of Cestius, the walls, the river, the Temple of Hercules, the British WWII cemetary, the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon with its impressive dome, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. This morning we did the Roman museum at the Therme di Diocleziano, and S. Maria Magiore.

I highly reccomend the Restauraunt Aquila Nera on the Via Principe Amedeo, 49/51/53, by the way. Nice nice nice!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Fantasy Book Cover Process

I've made a YT video giving a peek at my latest project, a cover for the fantasy novel 'Retours'. It gives an insight into my process.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


I went to 'Witchfest' in Croydon today, chiefly to check it out as a possible venue for selling pictures that might appeal to pagan and wiccan types. It was an interesting day and I met a few outher artists who do stuff comparable to what I do, who had stands there, including dark777fairy whose work I'd long admired on deviantART and Chris Down, whose work I'd only recently come across on there.

It was also interesting to learn more about paganism, with various lectures and demos going on, though they've not made a convert of me. Another highlight was the talk by historian Prof Ronald Hutton on ancient religion and monuments in Britain up until Roman times.

I have quite a lot of work on presently, hence my neglect of this blog. One of my more recent works has a witchy flavour, an album cover commissioned for heavy metal band 'Brutal Temptress'.

Brutal Temptress by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Friday, 7 October 2011

Grimshaw Exhibition

Went to the exhibition of John Atkinson Grimshaw at the Guildhall Gallery in London today. Very impressed with the intricacy, draftsmanship and atmospherics achieved by this painter. He had a tragic life despite being successful, as only 6 of his 16 children survived to adulthood. This goes some way to account for the air of melancholy present in many of his works. He himself died at only 57, so I read, of cancer. His productivity was impressive, as well. Some people have to deal with much tragedy, and those that can overcome it and go on producing things of beauty are indeed to be admired.

Also saw some other great Victorian paintings, including 'Israel in Egypt' by Poynter, one of my favourite Ancient-Egypt themed paintings.

Then looked in St Paul's Cathedral (saw Lord Leighton's monument having earlier seen one of his paintings) and crossed the river to Tate Modern, though C was mortified to be dragged into such an unholy place. She had a point...

This is 'Untitled VII Bacchus' by Cy Twombly.
Surely any sane person can see this worthless rubbish for what it is.

We were confirmed in our low opinion of 'modern' art. Also went past Globe Theatre and Golden Hind to Southwark cathedral, then away from the city 'suits' to Camden...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tablet blues

My Graphics tablet seems to have died on me. Shaking and bashing the stylus seemed to give it temporary leases of life, but whatever it had seems at last to have proven terminal. I don't think dropping a Stanley knife on the tablet a while ago would have done it much good either, but it seemed to survive that! I've ordered a new one of the same make, so hopefully that will work and it won't prove to be a problem with the computer itself. Fortunately the remaining projects that I'm working on all involve traditional art, and getting back into oil painting in a big way may be a good thing in the long run. Sometimes I can identify with the Luddites.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Machines and Magic book

I was honoured recently to have two pieces selected to be featured in a soon to be published art book called Machines and Magic. It's a collection of sci-fi and fantasy imagery (mostly digital) that has been put together by Craig Musselman.

The pieces of mine that are included are 'Thalestris', an Amazon warrior, and 'Bone Head Explodes', a burning skull design. I've seen a preview and there is some wonderful work by other artists, and it's well worth getting your hands on. Thanks and congratulations to Craig for organizing it!

Here is a youtube vid on the book.

Saturday, 27 August 2011


I went to 2011 BC, aka. Birmingham Comic Con today. First event of that type I've been to apart from Dragonmeet in a previous year, (although that was more gaming oriented). As expected there were people dressed as super heroes and as sexy cave girls. There was a lot of artwork to enjoy, and real live artists with tables. And comic books, obviously.

I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Warner and Mark and Amy Adams from Hellbound Media, for whose comic 'Kiss Me Deadly' I did the cover.

I Made a few other contacts, got some nice feedback, and had a very constructive portfolio review from David, editor at Titian.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Blackguard promo vid

Work progresses revising 'The Blackguard'. Here is a youtube video showing the before and after state of the first couple of dozen scenes...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Blackguard reworkage

I am currently reworking and expanding my visual story 'The Blackguard'. Some of the new scenes can be seen here on

Friday, 15 July 2011

The Cult of Beauty

The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900.

I went to the above mentioned expo today, at the V & A, and it was fantastic, well worth the effort. I think I prefer the later 'art for arts sake' paintings over the early preraphaelite pieces, which can be a bit earnest, preachy and over-wrought.

Some of the highlights:

Whistler 'Symphony in White (nubers 1, 2, and 3)

Thomas Armstrong, 'The Hay Field'

Burne-Jones, 'Beguiling of Merlin', 'Laus Veneris' (Much more impressive in the flesh than in reproduction, the detail is stunning)
The Golden Stairs

Lord Leighton, 'Bath of Psyche'

Albert Moore 'Midsummer'

Lawrence Alma-Tadema 'The Tepidarium' (this one is tiny, yet such detail and convincing texture...)

Harry Bates, 'Mors Janua Vitae' (This was a damned impressive thing in real life, can't find a photo that nearly does it justice. It's made of bronze, ivory and mother of pearl.)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: 'The Day Dream'

Albert Gilbert, 'Perseus Arming'.

And much more besides, often featuring peacock feathers.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

True Pirates app

The 'True Pirates' game, by Disruptor Beam LLC, is now up on Facebook. I did some arrrt for this, including ships, a couple of the icons, the hideout scene and the maps. Nice to see it all coming together.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Getting Flash

I've been playing with flash, and have had a go at making a character appear to blink and breathe... I think she likes you!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Reworking Old Pieces.

I have been looking through my old drawings, from a more than a couple of years ago, and faults which I could not see at the time leap out at me. Most look under-worked, and too light in tone, owing to my phobia of pencils softer than HB, which I've found very prone to smudging in my hands. I made a mini-mahlstick to counter this problem not long ago. I've been very tempted to rework my older pieces and bring them up to something like my present standard. This I've started to do on such drawings as this:

White Ribbon by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Which now looks like this:

Black Ribbon by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Whether this activity is a good idea I don't know. It's alright when it involves minor changes, the correction of missed faults and general finishing off, but there probably comes a point after which it would be better to start again. This is especially the case when one is doing things that change the character of the original picture. There is also the consideration that it might be better to leave old works as they were in order to have a record of your progress!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Death of Cleopatra

Old news, I know!

Actually this is the theme of my latest drawing, which I was inspired to do after my visit to the Petrie Museum in London- or at any rate I had a mind to do something on an Egyptian theme.

The Death of Cleopatra by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

I was also inspired by the Egyptian-themed paintings of Sir Lawrence-Alma Thadema, the Victorian artist who was so unjustly maligned in the decades following his death. John Collier, Alma-Thadema's pupil who also did a nice line in Egyptian subjects, was so dismayed by the modernist-leaning critics who slated Alma-Thadema exclaimed: 'his fame will survive their attacks. And when I recall the pictures that they admire I am glad that they have not praised my dead friend! This I gleaned from a book on Alma-Thadema that I picked up on my last trip to London (I have been up since, meeting my father and sister).

Saturday, 18 June 2011

BP Portrait Awards 2011 and Petrie Museum.

Went to the BP Portrait Awards, yesterday, at the National Portrait Gallery. A bit crowded as just opened. Very high standard of work, and some striking images. The enormous painting of a chained nude called 'Holly', by Louis Smith, was the most unusual thing on view. I also liked Daniel Fooks' series of paintings of Peter Capaldi, and David J. Eichenberg's 'Jade'.

Afterwards we went to Petrie Museum and looked at some dead Egyptians.


That dog was still in Camden, in exactly the same place!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Speaking of Lagomorphs...

I've finished my 'Three Hares' painting, which was on the go:

Three Hares painting by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Saturday, 4 June 2011

RIP Lofty

Yesterday saw the passing from this world of a little black bunny called Lofty, no more to turbo across the lawn or hide in the shadows behind the hutch, nor to bite sticks nor to have his ears nibbled by Charlotte, who is now his widow...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

On Stranger Tides

I went to London today. Got this photo of the ship in a bottle in Trafalgar Square, which was a fitting precursor; for afterwards we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides. I hadn't been too impressed by the last two films in this franchise, and hadn't expected much. I was pleasantly surprised, it was very enjoyable, and it had mermaids! One was played by Astrid Berges Frisbey, who looks very lovely, and makes up for the absence of Keira Knightley in some measure- as does Penelope Crus who looks like she's already found the fountain of youth. All the cast were on good form, including Ian McShane as Blackbeard, who finally shakes off the shadow of Lovejoy! And of course Depp charmingly roguish as Captain Jack Sparrow...

Good film, although not one for historical accuracy sticklers. Amusing to see well known London locations jumping around, the Greenwich Naval Hospital and the Old Bailey combining and finding a new home in front of St Paul's, for instance, or the interior of Hampton Court turning into that of Greenwich. (I also noticed that the navy/privateer ship had a post-1801 union jack at the rear rather than an ensign- the Union Jack actually belongs on the jack staff at the front!) Anyway, it was all good escapist fantasy, and very much up my street. Shouldn't hurt interest in the pirates-related illustration project I've been involved in until recently, which should shortly come online as a facebook-based game. It may also inspire me to paint some more mermaid paintings, or at least off the one I started a while back. Maybe some more sailing ships, too...

After the film we had a potter around Camden Lock, where I patronized the bookshop and bought a book on Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema. I also saw this awesome dog:

Then went to Worlds End.

A nice interlude.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Terse dream descriptions.

I definitely agree with the cartoonist in the latest ImagineFX that peoples descriptions of their dreams should be restricted to five words or less, so: 'Rainy street. Horse. Saturn looming'.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Original Oil Paintings for sale

I have added a section to my website listing oil paintins presently available for sale, along with prices (with or without frames when there is the option). I also include the frames in the photos of the works, to help customers decide. They can be seen here:

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Mayflies, Morris Dancing and headless horsemen

I was out at the pub earlier on watching morrisa dancing. How English is that? Actually it was somethign different, and quite entertaining. I nearly got roped in, but I remembered a solemn oath I had sworn, many years ago, to try anything once except incest and morris dancing. There were two troops of morris men doing their thing, one from Whitchurch, the other from Towersey. The Towersey lot had a badge of the headless horseman, which I assumed must be a referemce to Sleepy Hollow, but apparently there is an alternative explanation.

Came away with a present of some rosemary which was nice.

Nothing much else to report. Last week there was a crisis which turned out ok, and this last weekend we had a family visit which went well, and the dog was well behaved. Ladt week I found myself in the midst of a mayfly orgy, by the thames in Bourne End, which was another novelty. An ugly beast is the mayfly. Apparently the live but one day, mate, spawn on the water, and die.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Eowyn and the Nazgul

The latest Art Order/Muddy Colors challenged provided me with a pretext to get the old oil paints out. The scene where the shieldmaiden of Rohan confronts the Witch king of Angmar is one of Tolkien's most evocative, and I had it in mind to paint my take on it at some stage anyway.

Eowyn and the Nazgul Painting by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Eowyn and the Nazgul.

I'm planning to do a painting as an entry for the Eowyn and the Nazgul themed contest on The ART Order. I've already done two initial drawings:

Eowyn and the Nazgul drawing by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

The Nazgul strikes back by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

One more pirate ship illustration to do, out of a batch of 12, and then I can make a start.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Sci Fi Cover and Feature

I've recently worked on a sci-fi book cover, which is a bit of a change. It's for a reissue of 'Midway Between' by Warren Norwood, to be published by Battlefield Press.
Midway Between cover artwork by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

I'm also in line for an artist's feature in a couple of magazines, one of which will showcase my sci-fi output, which is an genre in which I'm always happy to do more. I'll say more about these features when I know more. Other recet projects have included a pirates hideaway and some vamped up Egyptias, which is all good.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Worrying things in Egypt

Funnily enough I was planning to go to Egypt this year, to research a mooted book on the Mameluks and the Crusaders, which however I'd put on hold so that I can catch up with other projects. I might have found myself in the middle of a revolution. I have mixed feelings about what I've been hearing from that country. On the one hand it is good to see the people achieving self determination (if indeed they do) and being vigilant to defend such heritage sites as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. On the other hand there have been shocking and distressing events such as attacks on Coptic Monasteries, apparently with the connivance of Islamist elements in the Egyptian army, which is presently running the show- promising to hand power to a civilian democratic government in due course. One hopes they will, but juntas have a rather poor record in such scenarios.

The situation for Egypt's antiquities is also rather worrying. Dr Hawass has resigned, clearly distressed due to his inability to prevent armed looters from raiding various stores of archaeological finds. Most shocking was the sight of the damage done to some of Tutankhamun's treasures by looters who got into the Cairo museum. I saw some of there very objects in London a few years back, at the Tutankhamun exhibition at the dome, and was impressed by their quality and pristine condition. Little did I think that they would suffer such vandalism within such a short period. It seems much of the damage may be reparable, and a missing Akhenaten statues has meanwhile been returned, which is good news, but still it is a worrying time.

I wish Egypt well and hope a democracy emerges and a theocracy or military dictatorship doesn't materialise. Egypt has so far got off relatively lightly, as the events in Libya reveal what can happen when a repressive regime digs its heels in.

I look forward to going to see the Afghan treasures currently on show in the British Museum. I hope these artifcacts have a safe future, too, although that seems less than assured.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Laugh for the Lemurs

I went to a comedy gig yesterday at the Hammersmith Apollo (with Dara O'Briain 'and friends') in aid of the Tropical Zoo, which is apparently in the grounds of Syon Park. Apparently they have lemurs, so if you're a fellow fan of lemurs it may be worth checking out. I've not been to Syon Park, but am aware that it's a historic house with some beautiful classical interiors, formerly an abbey dissolved by Henry VIII. Now I know they have lemurs that's an added lure. Got to love lemurs (platonically). A good place to take a sketchpad sometime, maybe.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Bouguereau's Nympha and Satyr.

Just a quick post to show some love for William Bouguereau, and admiration, in particular, for his painting Nymphs and Satyr (1873). Apropos of nothing in particular, except I was put in mind of it discussing the perfect female figure with a learned associate. It's indeed a beguiling, joyous, luminous picture. By all accounts the original has the power to stop people in their tracks, a power that clearly transcends its subject matter. My friend happens to be a surgeon, well placed to comment on the nigh-miraculous anatomical perfection of the figures in Bouguereau's paintings. He also commented on the light that is in the painting. As a humble artist slowly achieving incremental technical improvements, I can only hold this up as a gage by which to measure awesomeness, and a distant goal to aspire to. It shows what human hands are capable of creating.

Subject matter wise the image is somewhat echoed by J. W. Waterhouse's Hylas and the Nymphs (1896), though obviously Bouguereau's piece is more lively (despite being more finely rendered). Waterhouse introduced a wistful, intense, slightly sombre tone (common to many of his works). The way one of the females grip's the solitary male figure's arm is very similar in both these paintings. Waterhouse's hero is being lured to his doom; there is nothing, meanwhile, to suggest that anything more untoward than a dunking awaits Bouguereau's satyr. Fortunately his female companions are nymphs of the wood rather than the water, and they are more interested in teasing than entrapping.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I should blog more.

I have this blog, so really I should blog more- for the entertainment and edification of my bakers dozen cherished subscribers, and to let the world know that I'm still doing stuff. I've heard a horror story, I think emanating from horror maestro and blogging stalwart Christopher Burdett (who was recently interviewed on the WIP Podcast), that if art directors and industry professionals come across an art blog that has not been recently updated, they presume the artist is no longer operating.

I do have projects on the go. I've recently been doing some preparatory work for a sci-fi book cover, which will be an interesting development, all being well. This last couple of days, meanwhile, I've also worked on a design for a Christmas card, which hopefully IBD Licensing will be interested in taking up. (A New England style church in winter, which should hopefully be popular with American customers). It's entailed me snapping out of the Adams-family mindset and activating the cosy/ friendly side of my imagination, and that can't be unhealthy every so-often!

I've also been making some headway with the flash modules of the home learning course in web design, and it will be nice to get that behind me. It may even prove useful at some stage. Personal project wise, I was fortunate enough to find a buyer for the most recent mermaid painting- before it was even finished, so that was nice. I've also done a few more beasties for my animal a-z, namely a fat lizard called an Uromastyx and a Wolf (a wold which looks slightly like a polar bear). I started the animal series ages ago as a means of getting myself out of my comfort zone, and to inject variety into my output. (The poor old cat is no longer with us since then). I've also had a commission to design some medieval style seals (not the animal kind, although horses and humans feature). Aside from that I also have a few things to follow up from the Spring Fair, involving licencing of artwork.

I wonder if I should update this blog with daily sketches and doodles, but to be honest most of the stuff I do that's worth showing goes up on, my oldest haunt on the net. I have a life drawing class coming up in a couple of weeks. I need to do more anatomical studies.

Best regards to everyone who's reading this. Good luck in whatever you're doing besides, as long as it isn't too naughty. Peace.

Friday, 18 February 2011

New Facebook Page.

Hi all. I've made a facebook 'fan' page, to contribute to the promotion of my artwork. It will be an additional place for posting news, views, works in progress and a wider selection of artwork than there is on my official site. Bless your hearts if you go there and click 'like'.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mermaid of the Deep.

Mermaid of the Deep by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Finally got one of the mermaid paintings done. In the course of this I discovered the importance of painting a unified tone in the background, and this has to be done before adding other features. I made a rod for my own back painting the masts of the shipwreck and parts of the mermaid before I'd sorted the background, and had a devil of a time eliminating patches of yellowy green. The digital camera exaggerated the differences, but also helped me to identify places that needed repainting. A more dynamic/less static pose and more consistent lighting might have made this painting better. It could also have done with some more narrative elements, but it's done now.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

To the NEC again.

I went to the Spring Fair at the Bermingham NEC again. Doesn't seem so long since the last one. Did a fair amount of promotion for freelance work and licencing, and hopefully it will be productive.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Star Wars Art Visions.

I found myself walking past a book shop in High Wycombe today, and treat myself to a pretty lush art book called 'Star Wars Art Visions'. I loved the Star Wars films when I was little, and had lots of the plastic figures, plus a wooden ATAT that my dad made.

The paintings in this book transcend the sci-fi genre of the original inspiration, and are themselves very inspiring. Some of the artwork is really exquisite, produced by such artistic luminaries as Ed Binkley, Donato Giancola, Boris Vajello and H R Giger, plus offerings from a good number of amazing painters that I'd not heard of before. One of my favourite images after an initial skim through is 'Vader's Dream' by Kirk Reinert, which recalls the Symbolist movement. Many artistic styles are represented, and there's something for all tastes (from cartoons and manga to epic fantasy, romanticism and classical realism- even cubism!). Even if you're not remotely interested in Star Wars per se, you should find something that's up your street. Indeed sometimes the references to Star Wars are very subtle and oblique.

It can be found on here.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Revised version of Kiss Me Deadly

I was given some advice on Kiss Me Deadly, and have produced this revision. Not dramatically different but there are more contrasted tones in the forgreound and the vampire is raised higher so that their heads are not on the same level.There is also a very faint blue multiply layer added.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Bustini (TM) and a bookshelf

I've invented a cocktail, I call it the Bustini, because it's orange coloured like my dog (Buster). It's basically Martini and Lucozade: an effective pick me up after a hard day revising CSS and general web design stuff.

I'm in the middle of a Dreamweaver revisathon, ahead of commencing the next part of the home learning course: Adobe Flash. The day was punctuated earlier on when my dad came over to help build a book case. So at least I'm not quie so surrounded by unmanagable stacks of books anymore. Actually he made the shelves himself and it's a rather nifty bit of handiwork, worthy of a photo.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Kiss Me Deadly

Yesterday and the day before I was working on this piece for a comic cover, which the client has graciosly allowed me to share ahead of publication. It depicts a feisty red-head called Dawn Keenan who hunts vampires in Dublin. Dublin (where I had a break in 2008) has some good alleys for hunting vampires in (not that I encountered any vampires, so Dawn must be doing a good job), and some quite nice gothic architecture too. The backdrop is loosely based on the Synod Hall Bridge, a nineteenth century gothic revival feature attached to the medieval Christ Church Cathedral in the city.

Monday, 17 January 2011

New look website

I have been giving my art website an overhaul. It now has its new look, check it out!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tattoos based on my pictures.

I was sent a photo today (by 'Jabbajay on Deviantart) who had my Cernunnos design tattooed on the back of her neck. This was done by Warren at Avinit Tattoo in Orpington, UK.

My original:

Cernunnos by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

This is the second time someone just went and got an image of mine tattooed, and then let me know, and obviously I have no problem with it. It's flattering, actually. The other one was a Knight Templar based on a drawing of mine.

templar by ~bigalalal on deviantART

I've also had a couple of people commission tattoo designs from me, including an epic Crusader battle back piece, but I don't know if they went through with it. This is a mock up:

Crusader battle tattoo by ~dashinvaine on deviantART

Feel free to get in touch if you would like me to produce a personal tattoo design, and also if you have already had one of my pictures done as a tattoo. It's always interesting to see the photos.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Still Alive

Hi All. Sorry it's been a while since I posted here but I am still alive. Chriatmas was good apart from several of the family getting the flu over the holidays. One of the rabbits had to go to the vets yesterday, too, as he's dragging his back leg around. (It bit the end off a syringe, earlier, which is a bit worrying). Seems to be a bit better now, though, having moved back indoors into what was my painting studio in the back kitchen... The bunnies survived all the snow but the damp that has set in now is no good for them. My painting area had sort of shifted back into the living room anyway, so it's no great bother. (I prefer painting within sight of the computer as it's easier to google reference images than to trawl through all my books and cuttings). I've been doing more digital stuff than traditional of late, that said. Commissioned work has included more maps and ships for a pirate game project, and a wedding invitation decoration in the style of an illuminated manuscript. These and a couple of newly coloured old drawings can be seen on my deviantart site.