Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Lionel Messi

Latest addition to my gallery of footballing greats, it's Mr Messi. More to come- at some point!

Tools: Sketchbook Pro & Photoshop

Friday, 24 July 2015

Hutch again

Back in 2012 I did a bit of fan art for YouTube good-guy, Hutch @z0mgItsHutch - COD hero, Chess master, life coach(!) - 'cause I love his uploads. I tweeted him with it, though didn't hear anything back, but that was cool. Seems like he must've recently stumbled across it and now retweeted it, ha, ha! Am made-up that he likes it enough to show. If you like YT gamer content then check him out. Cheers, Hutch!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

When Scarlett turns Black!


Good fun with Natasha: Sketchbook Pro & Photoshop illo

BB King

 

My tribute to the recently departed king of the blues guitar, BB king. Click image for larger view

Monday, 4 May 2015

Manny x2

Manny Pacquiao: a couple of quick rough sketches of the Filipino fighting champ.

Ben E King

April turned out to be not a particularly great month as far as mortality was concerned. Here's my tribute to Ben E King - another great face and voice.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Back to Machete...

When I created my caricature of Danny Trejo as Machete I wasn't sure from the outset which way I was going to go with it in terms of the style: traditional inked look or a clean digital blocked look - couldn't make up my mind. More often than not I pick a style, whichever it may be, and go with it without looking back. But now and then it sometimes goes that I start down one particular route and there comes a gnawing doubt that perhaps a different approach would have been better...so I end up putting the image I'm working on to one side and start a new version with a different approach. But with a certain inevitability I end up glancing back at the original version and it's now looking quite good, better in fact than the second version that, by this time, I'd also put a fair amount of time into. And so a maddening vacillation between two versions starts and I can't make up my mind which is better; at least, not without doing lots more work on the image I end up forsaking for the the one I actually do go on to finish. Therefore, there are half-formed versions of certain caricatures that never go anywhere or get finished and it seems to me - even when I'm trapped in the middle of it - a ridiculous waste of time! As it often happens, some time later when I've finished the artwork (taken sick leave, received counselling, partially recovered) I go back and look at the version that I ended up abandoning and, of course, still yet see a worth in it. And the inevitable thought starts to form: 'perhaps it would have been better if...'

I don't know why it can often be like this. Some kind of inability to knuckle-down to one style, married with an easy fatigue, plus a bit of the 'grass looks greener on the other side' thrown in for good measure. Agg!

Below are some outtakes of the whole brain-busting process. I like 'em all!


Above: A version with a traditional ink look, where I thought I was going to keep the lines black.

 
Above: An abandoned digital version with blocked, clean colours - I even had big trouble deciding which type-style to opt for.

Above: Thought about abandoning the line work and keeping just the colour flats. Also tried adding a bit of grit for effect. It all came to nought!

Above is the rough that started it all...

Percy Sledge

Here's my tribute to Percy Sledge - great voice and a great face.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Richie Benaud

Farewell Mr Benaud. Had a mate at art college, many moons ago, who did a spot-on Benaud impression. The two characters have remained inextricably linked in my mind ever since...anyway, this was a quick-'un - keeping it loose with a heavy 'ink' brush in Sketchbook Pro. Ps for background, as per usual. To view a sped-up version of the caricature creation then click on the thumbnail below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85VffAKY2FI

Thursday, 9 April 2015

David Sowerbutts (aka Steve Pemberton)

Tools:  Sketchbook Pro + Ps

The mighty fine comic creation of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, from hit series Psychoville. As promised, I've finally posted another speed caricature/process drawing - over a year after my first dabble with demo software - so if you want to see the creation of this then click on the thumbnail below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQdvOVZg454

Monday, 6 April 2015

Jeremy Clarkson

 

I've recently purchased some video-making software to upload more speed caricatures and processes onto You Tube - and the production of the above image was my first attempt at trying to make something a bit slicker than the Keith Richards vid I produced a year ago on free demo software. However, previewing the Clarkson vid  was a bit of a tough watch as it had what I thought were to many zoom in-and-outs which left me feeling a bit nauseous. The zooms are normally part of the drawing process: zoom-ins to work on details and zoom-outs to see how the image is shaping up. I may post the video yet, but in the meantime I'm going to try and capture something that doesn't leave the viewer with a headache! For future videos I'll endevour to keep the page at a static position as much as possible.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Spock


Ah, the great Leonard has left us. Probably remembered by most for one role only - but what a role! There can't be many people in the world familiar with western culture who do not recognise the iconic character of Spock. I can't confess to being a trekkie but I've always loved the first groundbreaking series so it was good fun to do this tribute to him.

Tools: Sketchbook Pro + PS

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mario!

MARIO BALOTELLI

This is my third Mario...why always him?

Click on image for larger version.

Tools: Sketchbook Pro + PS

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Jamie Hewlett


...talking of heroic comic book artists, here's another homegrown great: Jamie Hewlett. Creating and posting the image of Brett Ewins a couple of days ago jogged my mind that I hadn't got round to caricaturing his comic star cohort. Remember, without Hewlett: no Tank Girl! - or not as we know her now. This pic was long overdue but good fun to make.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Brett Ewins RIP


Sad to hear of the death of artist Brett Ewins this morning - one of the true 2000AD originals. His artwork on 'The Haunting Of Sector House 9' still disturbs me to this day! Weird, macabre and brilliant. Thanks for all the great art, Brett.

Here's a sample of one of his great spreads from that series:


Friday, 6 February 2015

Lance Armstrong

Not too chemically enhanced to get caught by a digital pencil! Got a great idea for a full colour image with him and Walter White that I'd love to make the time for...

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Website Updated!

http://www.russcook.co.uk/

My caricature website has been updated and expanded with a whole new look. I liked the design of the old one but it needed reconstructing and future-proofing so I took the opportunity to give it a cosmetic overhaul as well. New galleries have been introduced and many more caricatures have been added to them, so it should provide easy access to the best images from the archives. Still got a bunch of faces to add to various galleries (at the time of writing) but I wanted to get the thing up and working as soon as was possible - so hang tight for a bit if a specific image you're looking for isn't there. Like all new sites there have been teething problems and there still may be glitches that need addressing, so if you discover any links or elements that aren't working then feel free to drop me a message and point out the error(s).

Thanks for viewing!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mick Jagger

 Sketchbook Pro + Cintiq

Marvellous Mick! This was a pleasure to create as it was a bit of a leap forward in experimenting with using software in a different way to improve ease of application as well as increase the speed of execution. In the past, a caricature like this would have been created by me entirely in Photoshop, but this one was created almost entirely in Sketchbook Pro (with only a bit of touching up in the background with PS). SBP has a very intuitive layout for adjusting palette colours as one works. When combined with ease of tool adjustment it makes for a very speedy process. I'll be carrying on trying to hone the process in order to gain faster and more pleasing results.

The image is based on an old acylic painting I had knocking about which was never completed as it didn't seem to be working. So, not exactly a 'finishing-off' of a languishing work (like my recent vector-based Slash portrait) but I'm glad I managed to complete the image, albeit in another format...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Slash!


Had this image of Slash uncompleted on my HD for the last three and a half years! I was originally going to expand it though I always liked the letterbox-crop I'd started off with. After looking at it again after so long I thought (in the persisting absence of a better idea) to go with my original plan. I've got a bunch of images in similar states probably going back just as far. Maybe 2015 is going to be the year I finally clean out my cupboard...

btw: who knew 'slash' meant something else in the art community? Ha ha! Boy, am I behind the times - too many sub-genres for me to keep up. If I make a caricature of Slash & Duff being friends does that make it a Slash slash? Guess so...

Monday, 12 January 2015

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I Publically Condemn...


Support freedom of expression, spending whatever time you can give, wherever it can be given.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Eddie Redmayne

Sketchbook Pro

Happy New Year! I'm kicking off 2015 with a digital pencil caricature of 'actor of the moment', Eddie Redmayne, who I've managed to make look quite skeptical for some reason.