Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Nailing Him Up.

This feels like a wee secret art class!
But it’s not.

Today I’m going to show you the ‘Behind The Scenes’ drawings of “The Crucifixion“, the latest installment of Al Cook’s “Necropolis”, my comic strip. Actually, ‘Behind The Scenes’ isn’t exactly what this is. It’s more like a collection of daft and drunken squiggles and the illustration panels they turned into.

First thing’s first. I doodle ALL the time! Doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. Whatever I’m doing, I’m usually doodling whilst doing it. I’ve been doodling images of Christ on the Cross since I was a wee boy and so it seemed like a good idea to use those as the basis for my next strip.

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I usually don’t like to plan things out as much as I did with “The Crucifixion” and I almost never do any ‘preparation’ drawings but here’s how it all happened…

* 2 scribbly drunken sketches done at a bar:

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* Planning for the layout of the first couple of panels:

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* The completed first and second panel illustrations:

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* Quick sketches to give me an idea of what should be in shadow etc…

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* The completed illustration panels:

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* Idea sketches for the look of the Roman headgear…

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* Halfway through applying the biro ink to the pencil lines of the final illustration:

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* The completed illustration:

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* A layout sketch done very quickly by the looks of it:

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* The completed illustration:

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* I found it quite difficult to illustrate someone removing a Roman helmet. The angle of it bugged me for a week. I must have drawn it 20 different ways before sketching out this idea:

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* The completed illustration (Which I’m still not happy with):

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* I wrote the comic strip as I went along and one of the main problems with that is that I don’t work in order. Like my brain, I’m sort of out of order. For instance, the first panel was first one drawn and then I worked from the middle panel backwards and then from the end panel backwards. It’s just the way that works best for me but sometimes, …sometimes I get stuck for a line of dialogue and have to improvise on the spot…

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* Note to self:

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* The final illustration before I drew over it with black biro pen:

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* Detail:

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* The completed panel:

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* I fished this out of the bin 3 days after I’d put it there. Sometimes the best ideas are the first ones!…

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* The finished illustration:

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You can view the fully finished strip HERE.

If any of this was of any help to you with anything drawing or illustration-related then please drop me a line.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test
* Album Artwork: “Love Lust Tales”
* Al Cook’s Marketing & Poster Improvement Service

Al Cook’s “Necropolis”:”The Crucifixion” Teaser Panel.

Sometimes life gets in the way of death.
…And the writing and drawing of my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis”.

Until it’s finished, here’s a teaser panel from the next installment, “The Crucifixion”…

The Crucifixion Teaser Panel 2

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You May Also Be Interested In…
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”
* Blood Test: Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”
* Home Decorating: Ed Gein Style

Behind Al Cook’s “Necropolis”: Blood Test.

Whenever I get an illustration commission I occasionally get asked to provide ‘idea sketches’ to show what the finished piece will look like. This type of request usually results in me turning down a lot of artwork job offers because I almost never ever produce any ‘idea’ sketches and if I do, they never really resemble the eventual illustration and I tear them up just as soon as I’m finished with them. Besides, I think that sample and ‘idea’ sketches could subliminally put someone off of your work.
Is that crazy and paranoid?

If it’s not crazy and paranoid it’s probably arrogant of me but I’d rather turn down an illustration job than waste my time churning out sample sketches just to please someone who doesn’t have the faith in me to just let me get on with things.

That said, sometimes I do produce ‘working’ sketches for my horror comic-strip to help me place where characters and objects will be in the panels and today I’m going to break my own rule and show them to you.

All of these working sketches come from the “Please Give Blood” installment from my comic-strip, Al Cook’s “Necropolis” and as you will see, these were never meant to be seen…

* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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* Working Sketch:

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* Eventual Illustraion Panel:

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* Working Sketch #1:

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* Working Sketch #2:

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* Working Sketch #3:

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* Working SKetch #4:

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* Eventual Illustration Panel:

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I decided to upload these scribbles because aside from my own, I like to see work in progress. Be it a building being built or a half finished song, I’m interested and so I hope those sketches were of some interest to you.
You can view “Please Give Blood” in full HERE.

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”
* Graham Humphreys: “Zombie Flesh Eaters” Artwork
* Sketches For Nobody #6

The Soundtrack To My Life. 02/09/2011.

I’m not dead!
…Although I am now almost 30 with a mortgage so, same thing really.
Heh heh.

This old blog will be back to normal in a few days but in the meantime, here are some of the albums I’ve been listening to whilst moving furniture over the past few days…

Bob Dylan’s “Theme Time Radio Hour”. Episode 3, Drinking (2006):

Gerry Rafferty’s “Can I Have My Money Back” (1972):

The latest from Lenny Kravitz, “Black And White America” (2011):

“Checkmate Savage” by The Phantom Band (2009):

Paul McCartney & Wings, “Red Rose Speedway” (1973):

“As Time Goes By …The Complete Schmilsson In The Night” by Harry Nilsson (1996):

The 2nd LP in Johnny Cash’s American Recordings Series, “American Recordings II: Unchained” (1996):

“Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!” by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds (2008):

John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s two way dialogue, “Double Fantasy” (1980):

“The Josua Tree” by U2 (1987):

Probably the latest record I’ve listened to is “Black And White America” from Lenny Kravitz and y’know what? It ain’t bad at all! -It’s pretty funky infact!
I like Kravitz but I’m an album guy and Lenny’s albums usually contain about 3 or 4 great singles with the rest being filler. “Black And White America” is a typical Kravitz album but his songs are getting better!
Maybe it’s ’cause I’ve missed him but I also really like the album cover photo.

I really enjoyed hearing that Gerry Rafferty album again.
Considering how much he’s loved here in Glasgow, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a Gerry Rafferty album for sale in the shops here.
“Can I Have My Money Back” was his debut album.

You’d do well to check out the rest of those records.
You’d do really well!

The blog will be back to normal in a couple of days folks!

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