It’s been almost 20 years since I last created a portrait of Tony Montana (Scarface), surely one of the most iconic characters ever to have blasted their way out of a movie screen.
Since its less-than prestigious reception in 1983, Brian De Palma’s blazing gangster epic has become even more famous than its illustrious genre forebear, The Godfather, and remains one of the most influential (and oft-quoted) films of all-time.
As part of my 30-minute Portrait series I decided, once again, to draw a man of senior years and created this vector sketch of Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet Samuel Beckett.
Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Strongly influenced by James Joyce, he is considered one of the last modernists. As an inspiration to many later writers, he is also sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists. He is one of the key writers in what Martin Esslin called the “Theatre of the Absurd”. His work became increasingly minimalist in his later career.
Keep a look out for a special edition print run of this illustration in the BRUTE! shop.
Of all the Illustrator artwork I’ve done over the years, this cover for new band Night Surgeon proved to be so intense and complicated that I had to go out and buy a new PC (each brick in the left wall has between 3-6 different layers and the RoBoHo took almost a week to complete). While the story concerns the antics of Britain’s most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper’s shadow is the only evidence of his presence in the scene.
I was heavily influenced by my research into the crimes of Jack the Ripper and spent hours poring over some of the lurid lithographs of the period, trying to somehow convey the flickering effect of old gas lamps on foreground and background shadows. In addition to the lithographic research, I sourced early Kasimir Malevitch‘s paintings of farm workers etc. to convey the stiffness in the coats and uniforms worn by policemen of the period.
Of all the work I’ve done so far with Illustrator, this piece has had the steepest learning curve of the lot and the compunction to continue layering was hard to resist. In recent years, I’ve endeavored to minimalise my style to such an extent that I’d forgotten the power of detailing in telling a story. These new skills, plus the power of the new PC, will enable me to generate a more in-depth dimension to my work in the future.
More information about the new release and the band here
Back when I was working as an art director and writer for Zombie Games in Seattle, I came up with a, for then, revolutionary game concept called Messiah.
To play, you set out as a child and worked your way through eight quests, each one leading you further onward to eventually become a wise elder who unites and frees the enslaved populace.
As there were no weapons involved, the player had to use their wits, charm, stealth and cunning to get to the top. Unfortunately, it was such a revolutionary concept in 1998 that it was unable to be made into a game.
Maybe next time…In those days, my usual way of presenting an idea was in the style of a graphic novel which normally took me between a week and ten days to flesh out. The above illustration was hand-drawn in ink on A3 paper and represents a few of the levels contained in the game which would later be expanded on by the level designers.
I presented this concept to GT Interactive and Zombie shortly before I left the company to go freelance.
This original artwork is available for purchase. Offers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to choose an iconic female that would speak volumes about the women in my life and their best qualities: their concern and resolve, their nobility and beauty.
PS. I used the lovely Tina Louise (Ginger in Gilligan’s Island) as the basis for BIG RED.
The image is available form the Products shop as either a canvas or art stock paper print.