Tuesday, 17 March 2009

It's St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

Everyone shall be wearing Green.

Well apart from Crosshair, the creep to the left; he's already green.

Don't you just love really bad photoshopping :D

In other green news, check out this other creep: 'Mr. Green' from slaughterman's Creed. Can't wait to get drawing this guy. Cy's written one nasty bugger with that one!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

I gots some compliments

"the visceral, hallucinogenic art of Stephen Downey working in tandem with the hard-bitten script"

Thats what the legendary Bryan Tablot wrote about my contribution to Cancertown: An inconvenient Tooth. He wrote a very complimentary foreword for the graphic novel, but since I'm selfish and promotarious* I've only cut and pasted the sentence about me.

You can however read the whole thing over at Cancertown writer Cy's Dethan's blog or indeed Insomnia Publications Blog where the contributions of all Team Cancertown get their mention and there are also details on how you can get your hands on the trade for cheap.

If you're too lazy to do that, you can always pre-order straight from Amazon!

*Yes I did make that word up . Its an adjective describing one who is 'self-promoting'. Its not neccessarily a negative trait, but a too much of it can be bloody annoying!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Big Shiney Nose..

I have a thing about noses. All the shapes and sizes facinate me, but I'm really picky about which ones I like.

Found this little experiment I had done with digitally enhanced pencils, (or as some would call it 'digital inking', which it is not!) and stuck a big red nose on it.

Not much more to add than that :)


Saturday, 7 March 2009


Here's that piece I was talking about.

Cy Dethan's written a pretty gory and disturbing script for this project (and I mean that in the best possible way) so I've tried to match that in this little concept piece.

I'm stepping up and handling full art chores on Slaughterman's Creed and I had fun creating some 'blood splatter' and 'chain link' brushes in photoshop.

Its my first time doing full colours on a project this size so here's hoping I won't have a nervous breakdown somewhere in the middle. Hopefully you won't really notice, but I've gone straight from pencil for the image above and darkened it in photoshop (apart from the hooks which I drew with the 'pen' tool in photoshop). I tend to draw pretty tightly, so hopefully skipping the inks will make up some of the colouring time. I'll give it a few pages and see how it works out, if I don't like it I'll be whipping out the brushes :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Plan, plan, plan! Busy, busy, busy!

So I'm trying to finish the layouts for the first issue of Slaughterman's Creed. I've been so busy with workshops/teaching/mentoring for the last few days I've barely had to time to put pencil to paper. However, I will be cramming tonight to get them finished so I can start the actual pages asap!

Anyway this has reminded me of one of the first things I learned while drawing Cancertown; don't do layouts one page at a time (or at least read and re-read the script)! In the first few pages of the graphic novel, Morley falls out a window and finds his way up and back into the apartment again. Now I'd read the script a few times, but didn't think the type of window was important to any future panels. Turns out that it was meant to be a foldy-outy type window so that Morley could lean out by holding onto it later, while I'd drawn a slidey-upy type window.

Whats that you're thinking? "Thats the most trivial mistake an artist could ever make!" Yeah, I just drew him leaning out a little less, but considering this was the first 5 pages I'd ever handed into a publisher it annoyed me that I'd already made a little error. So i made sure from then on I'd do rough layouts for a bunch of pages at a time. I try to do whole issues, but sometimes I just get itching to start on the actual pages. I do make little notes though as I read the script, jotting down what props I need for earlier pages (which often changes the layouts).

It's come to be a good practice this week. One example; the opening scene and the 3rd scene of Slaughtermans Creed are set in the same place, but when we return to it, the slaughterman is washing his tools (don't be crude!) and in order to use the angle I wanted, I had to go back and make sure the sink was in the earlier panels/pages. I've had a reread of chapter 1s script again (terrible memory) and drawn a little layout of the abatoir that will help me keep things right.

See we artists are more than just character illustrators... we're fashion gurus, interior designers, and architects (just don't try to build anything I draw, it probably wont stay up!) :P

So yeah I guess the lesson was really just to plan in advance, its a whole world we're creating after all, not just seperate drawing on a page :)

Thats a little character sketch of the Slaughterman above. I've done another little prototype piece in colour that hopefully I'll be able to share soon.