digital cicada illustration

recently I have been practicing more and more on digital painting techniques, trying to see if I can emulate the look of traditional media in photoshop (which I am finding quite challenging!). I really don’t like the CG look, so its an interesting challenge, which I can tell is going to take a lot of practice to master.

Here is my first entomological digital “painting”, of a NZ chorus cicada (Amphisalta zealandica). As we move into the colder weather here in New Zealand, these guys have been disappearing.


This started off with sketches in real life, scanned in, then added digital paint over the top. The wings were also rendered with highlights, which you can only see on a darker background:

not quite sure what to do with the background yet...
not sure about this background, but you can see the highlights on the wings!

In other news, I was lucky enough to attend Chromaconnect (NZ’s only industry conference for creative fields like illustration, concept art, animation), last Friday. It was amazing, I took lots of notes and will be writing up a post with some stuff I picked up there to go up later this week for anyone who is interested!

Till then,



biology comic and a few other things

Its been a little bit since I last posted (hope you had a great easter!)- I have been a bit busy working on some different projects- including an awesome logo design project with a new local company- which I will post about a bit more in the next few days.

For now, I wanted to share an idea I have been thinking about for a while- but only really just started working on. Its a series of educational resources for biology students. This is my first attempt at a sort of ‘comic’ style of illustration, so there are quite a bit of improvements to be made.

I haven’t been asked to do them, they are just something I thought might be fun, as I get to use things I have learnt through my own degree (in biology) and practice some drawing (as well as digital editing)! The first one I have been working on is on Mitosis. I am thinking of doing a series on cell biology, but we’ll see how it goes.

Here is the first page (I haven’t added any colour yet- don’t know if I will):

My sister gave me the “my-toe-sis” idea

I did all the drawing by hand, using artline+rapidograph technical pens, then scanned it in at 600dpi, and used photoshop to clean up some of the images and add in the text. The little amoeba guy’s name is Alfred.

I found this information on Garen Ewing’s website very useful for information on digital editing of comics, if anyone else is interested.

I am also trying to get more digital practice in- even though I don’t really like it as much as traditional techniques. Now I have set up an old digital tablet I had and that makes things a lot easier, even if its just for editing purposes!

I have also updated my portfolio pages a bit more, and uploaded some older work as well as made a proper photography page (check them out here) and also the inspiration page.

That’s all from me! If you have a bit of time on your hands, I can’t recommend enough checking out this interview from BBC Desert Discs with Judith Kerr author and illustrator of the Mog books.

File:Mog the forgetful cat.jpg

Its a really worth a listen!

If there’s anyone out there reading this– tell me, do you do any digital illustration, or do you stick to traditional materials?