Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My greatest creation...plus portrait commission info

Graphite on Bristol 8 x 10 inches
This is my greatest creation.

No, not the drawing, but the two little boys - my boys - depicted in it.  It was done as a Christmas gift to my lovely Wife (their Mum) and it got the exact tearful reaction I was hoping for, which is often the best confirmation of a good likeness.  :)

I rarely draw portraits, in fact this is my first one in over eight years, but it was such a satisfying piece to work on that I've decided to start accepting portrait commissions!

So if you, or someone you know, might be interested in an original, one of a kind piece of art featuring a loved one, themselves, or even a pet, meticulously rendered in graphite - I'm your man!

A few extra details;

  • I work from photos, so no need for lengthy sittings in person
  • I'm able to combine elements from different photos (for example, five images were used for the drawing above)
  • Can work to a size of your choice (if you have the perfect frame in mind this is often a good starting point for a quote)
  • Include as many people/animals as you like
  • Can ship internationally
"How much will it cost?" you may ask.  Well, it's always difficult to provide a universal answer to this question as there are so many variables with each commission, so the best thing to do is send a message to Shane@ShaneMadeArt.com listing all of your requirements and we'll take it from there with a free, no obligation, quote.  If you're not a fan of good old email then you can always get hold of me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shanemadeart.  

When you consider the cost of a professional photography shoot and prints, I like to think that my portraits are very good value when you take into account the time and care that goes into each one.

Get in there quick before the waiting list gets too long!  And even if you're not interested at the moment, a share would be very much appreciated.



P.S. The drawing looks better in real life (my scanner isn't exactly state of the art), but you'll just have to take my word for it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I can finally show 'Retrocave', my illustration for art book #EVERYDAYISPLAY by @Gamepaused


Super proud to have this painting included in the stunning coffee table art book "Every Day is Play", now available on Gamepaused.net.

From an early age I've been pretty obsessed with video games, and this painting has several meanings (as well as a bunch of game references - can you spot them all?);

1, It depicts how a single controller (in my case my first time was with a NES) can be a gateway into another world for a highly imaginative kid.

2, It shows how often, when we revisit the things we remember fondly from our past (especially old games), they haven't aged too well and don't live up to the amazing memories we have of them.

The kid dangling from the wire is me in the early 90's at the height of my obsession - a simpler time when games were 2D, all multiplayer was local and the most important thing in a game was how 'cool' the mascot was.  Ahh, good times!

Below are some shots of the book itself;

You can order your own copy from www.gamepaused.net/books/everydayisplay and it's well worth the money.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

PSA regarding some recent artwork requests...

I'm getting a lot of people asking for hi-res versions of my Blue Nose Friends scenes for use as a printable mural, canvas print or other products for a baby's nursery.  These might be genuine requests for personal use, but as most of them are similarly worded ("I'd like this for my future child's nursery" etc.), ask for very specific document dimensions and are of South African origin, I have my suspicions as to their sincerity.

So, to clarify, I no longer work for Carte Blanche Greetings and am therefore unable to provide (for free or otherwise) a high resolution version of these images.  You can try your luck directly with the copyright holder at www.CarteBlancheGreetings.com, but they're even less likely to fall for your stories than I am.

If you're a company or individual genuinely seeking to commission a piece of artwork (which doesn't include Tatty Teddy or his Blue Nose Friends) I'm more than happy to discuss this with you (email me at Shane@ShaneMadeArt.com), but please don't pretend to be a parent as a way of obtaining high resolution artwork to use for manufacturing and selling copyright-infringing products.  

It's hard enough for artists to make a living as it is, so to cut financial corners in such a dishonest way is a major jerk move.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monster digital painting demo

A (very) brief video showing some digital painting techniques that I commonly use.  This was produced for a recent visit I did to my old school.

Painted in Photoshop CC, real-time painting time was just over an hour.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Skylanders elements digital painting #skylanders

Sometimes it's good to leave characters behind and experiment with painting different materials.  This piece was great practice as the different elements allowed for a broad range of subjects to cover.  Plus it allowed me to learn more about the game my Nephews are obsessed with!

This was originally painted for an internal presentation about the Skylanders brand for the company I work for.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Orca/killer whale traditional caricature sketch

I was obsessed with whales and sharks when I was a kid, I really should draw more of them now I'm supposedly grown up.


Monday, August 04, 2014

Introducing Whittle Mill, plus cover illustration for 'Progressive Greetings' magazine

In January this year my sentiment driven card range for Gemma International, Whittle Mill, launched into Clintons stores nationwide!  It recently featured on the cover of Progressive Greetings, the number one magazine of the UK greetings industry, which was really satisfying to create and see in print.

Whittle Mill is a cute sentimental range centred around two wooden puppets. There’s a sweet little story to accompany them which tells of how, long ago, a couple carved a heart into a tree which sealed their love inside it forever. Years later a branch falls from the tree and is carved into two puppets who, imbued with the love once sealed in the wood, come to life to be reunited.

This range is very much a love letter to my Wife, who inspired the relationship based illustrations as well as the background story (below) and the verse inside—which in its self was a whole new, and very rewarding, experience to write.

The story on the back of every cards reads (get ready for the feels!);

"A long time ago, before you and me,
A happy couple sat under a tree.

Into the bark they each carved a heart,
And swore to each other they never would part.

In leaving the hearts their promise was kept,
And for many years in the wood their love slept.

Then on one windy day a branch snapped and fell,
Landing next to a sculptor, who said with a yell...

“This wood is perfect for the toys I’ve drafted!”
And from the branch two puppets were crafted.

The sculptor examined his work, delighted,
The happy couple at last reunited."

But my illustrations would be nothing on cards without the expert graphic design skills of fellow Gemma creative Adam Martin which frames them so perfectly.  

As previously mentioned, Whittle Mill is currently in Clintons stores across the UK, and will soon be sneaking into Tesco and WH Smith.

This post contains excerpts from a recent interview I did for Tuts+ which you can read here.


Friday, August 01, 2014

Noah's Park, my card range for Gemma International, has been nominated for a Henries award!

I'm pleased to announce that Noah's Park, my children's card range for Gemma International has been shortlisted for a Henries award in the 'Best children's range' category!

The Henries are pretty much the Oscars of the UK greetings card industry, so to have my first ever card range nominated for one is something I'm super proud of.  To check out the other finalists head over to the article.

I'll be talking a lot more about Noah's Park in future posts, but in a nutshell the range centres around a group of animals (Noah is the lion) who live on an island zoo which is smack bang in the middle of a theme park.  Eventually the plan is to have them leave their island home to explore the various regions of the park.

The illustrations are heavily inspired by CG animated characters, but are actually painted in photoshop (which takes a while!).

Can't wait to share more about this fun little character brand!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Death meets his number one fan...

I like to include elements of story in my illustrations when possible, and this little idea had been floating around in my head for a while so I thought I'd use it as a chance to experiment with a simpler style than I usually use.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Blue Nose Friends toy environment concepts

This will be my last post of artwork from my time at Carte Blanche Greetings.

I think the forest image above was actually the best thing I did whilst at the company, so it's a good one to close this chapter of my artistic career on.

Below are some concepts for other such worlds, along with the 'magical doors' which lead to each one.
Seems like a lifetime ago I did these, but it was a really fun project.

Images courtesy of and copyright Carte Blanche Greetings

There was a whole new character sub brand I worked on whilst there that I'm dying to show, but as it never made it to market I'll probably never be able to.  :(

Next onto some newer stuff!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tatty Teddy / Me to You card illustrations

I got my start in the industry drawing Tatty Teddy (the Me to You bear) for cards back in 2007.

I believe all of the illustrations are digital now, but back when I was working on the brand everything was done in good old graphite pencil and watercolour.

This guy is surprisingly difficult to get right, and the small size of the originals (a bear would be drawn at about 3 to 4 inches tall) meant you needed a steady hand and eyes like a bloody hawk in order to get all the tiny 'ticks' of hair right.

I'll be honest, it was a painstaking process which I don't miss, but it did teach me a lot about drawing characters for greetings cards.  I still see them in stores occasionally, which is strange considering some of them were drawn nearly seven years ago.

Above is a mega sheet of every Tatty Teddy card image I drew during my time at Carte Blanche Greetings, if you spot one in there you want to see in more detail let me know and I'll add it to this post;

One more CBG post to go!