Another early morning warm up sketch of Basil Fawlty. I just love his expression.
I am one quarter Sicilian on my mother’s side. I visited the island when I was a teenager and fell in love with so much of it; the food, the culture, the people and of course the sun & beaches. As I’ve grown older I’ve tended to look back at my heritage with some fondness and have become fascinated with the culture of Sicily.
As a keen cook I’m always looking for authentic recipes and on my travels around the web I found a picture of a fish salesman. It seemed to capture so much of what I remember about Sicily that I had to sketch it.
I fear I cocked up some of the perspective and I couldn’t seem to get the expression right within the eyes, so I left them blank! The fish laid out on the table was rather randomly thrown together on my part. But I do like the composition.
A huge part of the fun in writing adventure stories is creating the characters.
For my short stories about a young orphaned boy lost in a magical realm, I wanted to create rich, exciting and often bizarre characters.
Every young adventurer needs a mentor. (Gandalf, Ben Kenobi / Yoda, Dumbledore, Dr Brown etc) So I wrote a short piece that introduces Calem’s mentor as he arrives in the mystical realm.
I call him Milligan as in my mind I imagined Spike Milligan. A slightly eccentric and bumbling character with a laboratory full of gadgets and potions.
I later thought of Christopher Lloyd’s character in the Back to the Future films which helped enormously to explore the eccentricity I had in mind.
I think ultimately I’m more happy with the smaller character. I liked the idea of a Yoda character who babbles on and on to himself whilst he’s working. But of course this character has incredible skills with magic – something that my young hero will learn over time.
Here’s a few inked concepts.
Spent a little time just doodling my character ideas for The Kid Warrior.
I’m inspired by a great many things here. Fairy stories (real faeries that is), E H Shepard’s line art, simple cartoons and a little bit of Tim Burton.
The more I play with the style the more I don’t see the need for colour. There’s so much texture and tone to be had with a simple pen or two.