Thursday, 31 December 2015


Well, film production is wrapping up today - a film made in a month! The final film will be put online tomorrow at 6pm. I hope you've all had lovely holidays spent with people you care about and are looking forward to a great New Year!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas Eve!

Latest image from the film. I hope you're all well and have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

First Glimpse

I thought today, as it's now half-way through the month and therefore half-way through this production it was more than time to give you a first glimpse of my main character!

This is a shot I'm working on at the moment, so no background yet. We're on target though - keep anticipating January 1st!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Winter Robin

The film is continuing at a pace! Here's my little winter robin as a teaser.

I'm sort-of doing this film in the wrong order as I didn't design any of the characters before starting production - I've just been working off my storyboards. Today I designed and built my main character so I'm sure you'll see him soon! It's very exciting!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Film Countdown

Happy December everyone! One month exactly until I release my new film. First I have to make it though! The first still of the film:

And so the countdown begins!

Thursday, 12 November 2015


An update - my storyboards, of which I shared a few last week, are now an animatic with music. It's very exciting!

Shot list compiled, colour coding sorted, I'm ready to get to work.

I'll share more things about this project soon, I just don't want to spoil anything. My goal is to finish it for New Year!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Winter is Coming!

Autumn is the best season and November the best month as far as I'm concerned! A photo from my living room window yesterday afternoon - the first November afternoon of this year - may there be many more like it!

With it being November I feel that I can now mention the 'C' word - Christmas! I've started storyboarding a special festive piece of animation. I'm putting the other film on the backburner for a short time and concentrating on this one. More updates soon!

Monday, 26 October 2015

End of the Day's Work

I finally bought myself a copy of the incredible graphic novel 'Blacksad' this weekend - it's been on my amazon wishlist forever! Everything about it is totally amazing, and I've already started pulling what I like into my pre-production for this film. This background is heavily inspired by a panel! Anyway, here's Dad and Daughter going home at the end of the day's work.

Monday, 19 October 2015


A painting from the weekend - I was trying to see if I could draw myself in the style of the characters I'm designing for the film and I got a little carried away! The difference you see between this self-portrait and the one topping this blog is 10 months of artistic development and hair growth! I'm also continunig my inktobers. To the right is a study of the main character from Marvel's 'Daredevil' series that's currently on Netflix - I'm completely hooked!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Background Tests

I've been having some fun this week trying to nail a style for the backgrounds for this film idea. I know that I want shapes and colours to be the focus, but I need to decide how graphically I'm taking that as I do like the fluid style of animation that I used for the sneak test a couple of posts ago.

These would be stills from the beginning and end of the film - in the first still, she's just fallen in love with a boy who lives across the river. In the last still she has to find a way to get to him and maybe a barrel from her apple stall might do...

Monday, 5 October 2015

Inktober and Pre-Production

I'm continuing pre-production and using inktober as a part of it! Each of these sketches was done very quickly in pen in my A6 sketchbook. I'm really trying to work on the shape/pattern idea for the backgrounds at the moment. The era that I'm setting the film in had a lot of brickwork in its architecture and the brick pattern works both as a grounding element and because it's beautiful visually.

I went on a lovely trip to Hartlepool to see my brother this weekend and took the opportunity for some reference photographs. Above is a picture of the historical quay there, complete with masted ship in the background. It might give you some idea of the brickwork look that I'm going for.

We also went to the seaside and I took lots of photos of the water. The film will be set in a port town, so I'm looking at patterns in the water to offset the patterns in the brickwork. The first of my inktober sketches may give you an idea of what I'm going for!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Pre-Production and Style Tests

So, as I mentioned last week I have an idea for a new film. I've started some pre-production this week in the evenings after work and this is what I've got. Above is an influence map of what I'm looking at - on the far left are photographs of industrial revolution cities, where my story is set. As you move further right, the photographs change into drawings and paintings that are influencing me visually and stylistically. I really like the idea of emphasising colours and shapes in the designs.

Above is a quick animation test I did over a very rough concept background. The girl (as yet unnamed) in the shot is the main character of the story. In this shot she's sneaking around at night, avoiding the police who might stop her.

I'm playing with the idea of using variations of one colour over an entire background; this is a sunny day, versus the purple night in the animation test. I'm also experimenting with simplicity versus detail. I'm looking for a balance that leaves the focus as the shapes and colours but gives a bit more information and life than the above test.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Church Roof Fund

Recent cartoons to aid the local church repair fund. I had a play with the concept of the thermometer that's used to mark the money raised. Getting the building 'on the mend' was the idea!

Monday, 14 September 2015

News and Stuff

So, last week was the first public screening of 'The Keeper' at its first pubic festival! The Smalls festival is a festival for 'short films on small screens'. The awards ceremony was on Thursday and here are some pictures of the location.

Unfortunately Josh couldn't join me there because he was struck down with a cold, but I kept him updated with an ongoing commentary. The festival was held at Hoxton Arches in London in a unit made from the train bridge arch. It was a very cool event!

In other news, I'm thinking about making another film. I've started doodling storyboards and character designs and below is a quick rough walk cycle test of a character concept.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Canada Comic

Hi everybody, I hope you're all well and have had/are having a lovely summer! Since you last heard from me I've been to Canada, staying with my family and dear friends at a lake house in Quebec. It was totally wonderful and very needed after a hectic third year! Whilst there I produced a mini-comic in watercolours based at the lake. I thought I'd share a couple of panels with you today.

For the comic I used A4 pieces of paper which I divided into double-page spreads. Having thumbnailed the story I knew that by working on such a small scale the project would take very little time and I could enjoy painting without worrying about finishing. It's been a while since I last worked with watercolours and I loved using them again!

Since you last heard from me I have also graduated from university and started my new job at Fettle Animation! I started today and I love it already. Hopefully now that I'm back on a regular schedule and in the UK again, Monday posting can resume!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Annecy Festival 2015

Just got back from the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival with these lovely people! Just enough energy left to let you know that I'm back and had a lovely time - normal posting will resume next week.

Top row, from left to right: Sian Mills, James Stafford, Tad Davies, Saeed Ahmed, Laura Jones, Josh Cranton.
Bottom row, from left to right: Jason Evans, Ciprian Costas, Katie Green, Robyn Kelly, Hannah Evans, Gary Seto, Stephanie Howell, me.

All of their blogs can be found in the sidebar!

Monday, 8 June 2015

New Showreel

Recently I had to put together a showreel of my work from the last three years of university and I thought I'd share it with you today. You can also find it on the homepage of my website.

You may not hear from me for a couple of weeks now - I'm leaving for the Annecy Film Festival on Friday and so my posting for the next couple of weeks entirely depends on whether or not I find any internet connection!

Monday, 1 June 2015

End of Third Year

Well, as stated that it would be in my last blog post, since you last heard from me the film has been finished! We have also enjoyed our end of year show where, judged by A Productions in Bristol, the film won the 'Best 2D' category! This marks for us the end of University and it certainly feels odd...

I hope you enjoy the sneak peak posted above; the film in its entirety will be put up both here and on my website once it has completed the festival circuit. I'd just like to take this post to thank again all of those who were involved in the production of the film - you're all the best!

Some credits again and links to websites:

Soundtrack - Joe Barlow
CG Artist - Rhys Jones
CG Animator - Gary Seto
Compositor - Georgia Dutton
Super-duper special thanks to Jason Evans

Thanks as well to Ben Mitchell from Skwigly for taking these photos at our end of year show, 'Animotion'. Congrats to all the winners!

From left to right - Sian Mills, Saeed Ahmed, Josh Cranton & myself, Alice Parkes, Steph Howell

Monday, 18 May 2015

Variations, Moods, Compositing

Last week I posted the following image. It was the background of the very first shot of the film. It's sunset and the scene is bright:

Since last week, Josh and I started talking again about the colours of the film and the implied moods that they create. We agreed that at the beginning of the film we actually wanted a moodier/darker feel so that the relief and optimism at the end of the film is more pronounced. With this in mind, I created this new version:

A while back our tutor suggested that we could create a nice completing-of-the-circle feeling for the film by repeating the first shot of the film at the end of the film. We took this on board as it did provide a sense of emotional completeness and so here is the final background; the lighthouse at sunrise:

My wonderful friend and housemate Georgie Dutton has come on board of the project to help us composite the film. Very, very soon these backgrounds will have CG water in them! The final deadline is this Friday so next time I post the film will be complete. See you on the other side!

Monday, 11 May 2015

More Film Backgrounds

Less than two weeks to go! Eep! These are two backgrounds from the establishing scene of the film. I've almost finished painting them all, and the next stage is to composite everything together. The sea in this first shot will be CG, but for now I've put in a blue area to indicate the horizon. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Film Backgrounds

Well, terrifyingly, it's now less than 3 weeks until our film deadline. Everything is starting to come together now; animation is being coloured, compositing is going on and I thought today I'd share with you a couple of the painted backgrounds I've finished. The CG base of each and every background in the film was created by the ever-wonderful Rhys Jones and I then take those greyscale bases into Photoshop to paint.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Logo Designs

Lately we've been gearing up our end of year show - organising, advertising and what-not - and I had a go at some graphic logo designing. These were for a name for the show that in the end was discarded; 'Frame by Frame Cymru'.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Master Studies

Last week I visited the John Singer Sargent exhibition that's currently on at the National Portrait Gallery in London. It's an incredible exhibition that runs until late May, so if you have the time, I'd really recommend it! This is a study of Sargent's  'Madame X'. One hour, Photoshop.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Master Studies

Another master study, this time of a painting called 'Valley Thunderhead' by Renato Muccillo. Animation on the film is almost finished, so soon I will be painting backgrounds and I figured with Muccilo's dramatic skies and use of lighting his paintings were appropriate to study in preparation. Photoshop 30 mins.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Life Drawing

Keeping up the life drawing as a nice, regular break from the constant animating!

Monday, 30 March 2015


Having so far been using Times New Roman in our animatic film as we update and add credits, it is far beyond time to make our own bespoke font. I found a great site to turn my letters into a font and above you can see our current credits used as a test. We've also just had an influx of first years volunteering to help colour our animation, so they will be added soon too!

Monday, 23 March 2015

International Women's Day 2015

As some of you may have been aware, a couple of weeks ago we celebrated International Women's Day. A friend commissioned me to do a couple of quick illustrations of inspirational women and has agreed to let me share them with you here. These two lovely ladies fit the bill nicely I think!