Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

If you're looking for a cheap gift for one of those smaller, less mature people that seem to be everywhere - children, I think they call them - then you could do a lot worse than giving them the gift of reading. "But Mark", I hear you cry, "kids don't want books for Christmas! They want technology and special effects and superhero origin stories!" You didn't let me finish! Jeez! This isn't just any book, this is an e-book, loaded with all the stuff kids yearn for, including that touchscreen interaction they seem to love so much. So pick up The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, adapted from the L Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) original and let the young folk in your life learn the story of Santa in revolutionary boredom-annihilating condensed form, interspersed with animated illustrations by yours truly!

Saturday, 23 November 2013


A hand-held panorama of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. Short of having a really wide lens it was the only way to get the whole thing in.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Subterranean T-Rex Blues

I love dreams; the weird events and logic that seem perfectly normal at the time. I replied to Miss Tunstall's tweet, saying that I'd love to draw that. After I got a message of encouragement back I felt I had no choice.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


There was more talk today about preventing people from giving the Duke of Wellington statue in Glasgow his official, period-accurate hat.

(Original painting by Thomas Lawrence)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Snap, Crackle and ArtPop

You may have heard Lady Gaga's new album has a app tie-in, but did you know it has an edible element?

No real meaning behind this, I just liked the title.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Friday, 23 August 2013


There's actually a petition to have Ben Affleck removed from the role. Some fans seem to think that they are part of the creative process.

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Brief Encounter with Death

I returned to a project Moleskine to do some work and found some sketches I'd forgotten about.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Small World

It's really hard to take a photograph of yourself in a reflective surface. It's proper framing vs. awkward pose.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

30 Movies #5 - Fight Scene

I passed on some grander and more memorable cinema fights in favour of this scene from TMNT. This rooftop fight scene made the movie for me. I don't know that I'd have given it a second watch if it didn't have this scene in it. It also gave me a good excuse to draw the Turtles. Despite being from the 2007 movie I decided to draw Leo the way I've always drawn the Turtles. I prefer the classic look to some of the more recent styles. I think the original live action movie was the high water mark for me.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Updates from the Train

Every kid in Glasgow looks like this, right down to that bag (long, baggy shorts interchangeable with tight, skinny jeans).

A few people said Trooper looked too 80s. I guess I just needed to make her clothes bigger/smaller (preferably the former).

Monday, 20 May 2013

Illustration Work

For the past few months I have been creating animated illustrations for a series of eBooks by Giglets. Unfortunately since the animations are part of the core content I can only share a one or two static images from each title, but hopefully I can show you some animation previews in the near future. Or, you can download the books to your strange touchy glass box device right now!

(Adapted from John Leech's original A Christmas Carol illustrations)

(Adapted from John Leech's original A Christmas Carol illustrations)

Animation Showreel

Saturday, 18 May 2013

30 Movies #3 - Scary Movie

No film has ever been scarier to me than the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Donald Sutherland. Granted I was only 4 years old when I saw it (I can't remember how that happened) but it's still a scary film. This end scene in particular has stayed with me. It wasn't just the horrific pose and scream, nor the idea of being surrounded by evil aliens, but - even at that age - I found the notion of being the only human left on Earth scary. The fear, the loneliness, the total isolation... terrifying.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Free Falling Anxiety

I had the sudden urge to do a comic this afternoon.

I thumbnailed it like this with a mind of drawing it sometime in the future, but I ended up just going straight in Photoshop right after.

Friday, 3 May 2013

30 Movies #1 - Animated Movie

The Sketchgroup is back together! Some of us, are at least. We've decided to borrow our weekly topics from Jeff Victor's 30 Day Drawing Challenge - Movie Edition (due to work loads the group have decided against trying it as a 30 day challenge). The first topic was "animated movie" so I've chosen Princess Mononoke, one of my all time favourite animated features and just a through-and-through beautiful film.

A Peaceful Oblivion

I wanted to reuse a panel from this old comic for something but wanted to rework it a little. It's something I still think about every time there's fog.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Positronic Brain Revisited

The Positronic Brain is one of my favourite pieces of work, however one bit has always been bugging me. The brain. When it came time to create the chrome casing of the brain it became apparent I'd need to actually create some kind of environment. I  came up with a slightly-futuristic room for the sake of creating realistic reflections, at the time not realising how prominent it would be in the final piece. At first it seemed to work, but when I really started to look at it afterwards I grew to dislike it. It really spoiled the scene for me. It detracted from the mood. The environment wasn't right. It was like seeing the sound stage and craft services table reflected in C-3P0. So tonight I finally got around to reworking it and spent a few hours crafting a more apt environment.

A picture tells and a story, and God is in the details.

To see the original version of this picture and where it came from, and read about what this picture means to me, check out this post.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Draw Something; Creative Obstacles

I'll soon get round to posting some of the work I've been doing lately, but in the meantime here's something I drew on my phone's touch screen that I'd like to tackle in Photoshop one day. Not very original, but it'd be fun practice.

Incidentally, if you play Draw Something, add me, Mark_H_ - I got back into this game last night.

One of the thing that inspires me in this game is the limitations. I can't get accurate brush strokes, I'm limited by brush thickness and I've not that big a colour palette. I find I thrive with such restrictions; where it's a sort of do-what-you-can-with-what-you've-got situation. It frees you up. I used to love Biro pens, MS Paint and Adobe Flash for that sort of thing, where as if I'm using Photoshop there's just too much choice so I end up over-working things - which is definitely something I've encountered with the recent illustration work I've been doing. I wonder if I just need more practice at it because I'm straying outside my comfort zone, or if introducing some kind of restrictions before starting would be a better idea, such as a stricter time limit, or picking a colour palette before painting.

It's maybe not a good example, but compare the first Star Wars film, which was fraught with production problems, experimental effects and a tight budget, to the prequels where George Lucas could basically do anything he wanted. Finding creative solutions of obstacles often seems to produce better results than just having the power  to do everything exactly as you see it in your head.

As for my own work, I next want to experiment with bold, simple colour. I shy away from it too often when given the choice, but I really do like some of the stuff I do in Draw Something that reminds me of the limited palettes and primary colours of old video games, which I mentioned in this post.

Any other artists/illustrators have any thoughts on this subject?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


I tried filming the moonrise tonight. The first shot is a little blurry (wide aperture), but the second shot is sharper. There's a little camera shake here and there too, thanks to a wobbly tripod, but overall it was a good experiment. Just need to wait until the moon rises just after dusk and try again. A couple of days ago would have been perfect.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I decided to try shooting some video with my new camera, as so far I haven't really done much with it. So last night I set up a tripod and filmed the moon as it rose in the sky. I'm quite happy with the results given that I only had a 300mm lens.

Best viewed in HD to see the detail in the crates: