Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little christmas tiger!

I'm trying to get into the habit of working on my own projects regularly. This little tiger is one such project that I want to put more time into. Here he is in Christmas style for 2010, also featured on various zazzle merch.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little dragon christmas freebie.

If you like dragons, cute things and are looking for an idea for your Christmas cards you might like the following image. It's free to download for personal, non-commercial use. It's funny how you can give your artwork new life and meaning just by adding a santa hat to it XD.

Creative Commons License
Lil Christmas Dragon by Elise Martinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun with Frisket and Funky Woof

This week I created a logo for my Aunt's 'brand' of colourful dog clothing "Funky Woof". It may have some legibility issues but here's what I have so far... I can't decide between them. Actually I think now I am leaning towards the right one, with the curvy front leg.

This earlier version had a blanket on, which I liked because it got across the idea of dog clothing but it doesn't get across the outrageous/colourful feel of the clothes my aunt is selling. I couldn't get this idea to work with the random colours and shorter legs (the descender on the 'u' is messing up the legibility especially).

In my other spare time, I'm not really sure what possessed me, but I decided to experiment with a bottle of liquid frisket I had lying around. I had heard a lot about liquid masks and this frisket stuff, especially from the airbrush magazines I have in my collection. I've never fully understood what it was until now.

It's basically just liquid latex, a lot like the latex I was putting on my face to create a dead skin for the zombie shuffle. Liquid latex is a bit like PVA glue only smellier and it doesn't bond to much except itself.

The horse skeleton idea came from a t-shirt design I was doing on the computer one day with a skeleton image borrowed from the web. I've always needed to replace the idea with original art so I thought this was a good way to experiment and be productive at the same time.

It was kind of cool, at certain stages it looked like a tar covered fossil and peeling away the frisket was fun, a bit like excavating my own little fossilised art piece.

In other news my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project arrived. Yay! I chose "Science project gone wrong" as my subject. I'm thinking of doing a series of little monsters and stuff whose designs will be based on warning labels, for example: not suitable for children, may contain traces of nuts. That kind of thing.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Sketchbook Project and other stuff

Wow it's been a while since my last update! I've been working on a new website and some freelance work, so that's been keeping me busy.

While I was looking around at some graphic design blogs I discovered a link to The Sketchbook Project which sounds very awesome. For a fee, each entrant is sent a Moleskine sketchbook and provided a theme. Finished sketchbooks are then exhibited around the US before finally being cataloged in the Brooklyn Art Library. Artists can track how many people viewed their book and have the option of offering the sketchbooks for sale if they like.

My only regret is that I won't be able to be there to see the sketchbooks in person! Thankfully though, some books will be scanned and available to view digitally. Now is a good time to join since our dollar is doing pretty well too! :)

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

Sunday, September 12, 2010

C.H.O.W #213 : 8 - Bit character redesign: Splash Woman

Another Character of the Week activity. This time redesigning 8 -bit game characters. Here's my version of Splash Woman from Mega Man 9. I quite enjoyed listening to the music of the level while working on this haha.

and as usual a post of irrelevant spastic scribbly.... goodness? No..

Official Strawberry Swing video

I'm kind of late to see this considering I'm a pretty big fan of Coldplay but I like to think anyone who's into animation or illustration can take something from this (even if you don't like their music). It's a crazy confusing combination of stop motion and traditional animation all drawn on a single rectangle of bitumen. It's cool, creative and you've got to hand it to them for the huge amount of work that went into it.


Monday, September 6, 2010

C.H.O.W #212 The Veteran

My entry for the Character of the Week just passed. The topic:

He has seen a thousand wars... Known as “the Veteran”, some say Battle was his father, War his mother… Scarred by battle, the Veteran is a legend on the battlefield!

I really rushed my entry, submitting it with minutes to spare. I went for a female orc because there were already so many graying men.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Military Unit: Hacker

Hacker Work In Progress

I finished off my hacker character. I imagined it to be better but I had to decide to just finish it at some point. Now I can move onto other things. Critique welcome.

I added a progress animation. I made a lot of changes along the way, I think it's a symptom of poor planning. Taking note of that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New coins released: Bush Babies - Australian Sugar Glider and Young Collectors - Backyard Bugs

The next coin in the Australian Bush Babies series, the sugar glider, was released earlier this month.The sugar glider coin is my personal favourite in the series and I had the most fun illustrating it. Sugar gliders have such beautiful fur patterns and are just all round adorable little creatures.

Image from Talisman coins

Also released in August, the Young Collectors Backyard Bugs coin collection. I worked on the coins and some of the packaging. This project was still in the works when I left the Mint and the other designers have done an amazing job with the packing and booklets. The new website looks great too.

Image from Downies

Hacker WIP

Just posting a work in progress on my hacker design.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sketches and C.H.O.W 207

I did a few quick sketches for CHOW this week. The subject is supposed to be a military unit- "the hacker" in 2090 but without wireless technology. My approach was to boil the character down to 2 words: they were "intelligent technology" and if I could create a character design that spoke those words it would be a successful one. Below are a few really rough sketches. Again I missed the deadline but the current topic doesn't really interest me so I'm going to continue to work on this one. I kind of like the guy in the bottom right, maybe with the helmet of the top right.

And now all the random sketches produced this week.

Monday, July 26, 2010

One-eyed sketch and father time progress..

Okay no more posts until at least next Monday. I will try to make this a weekly thing.

I'm constantly struggling with motivation and distraction from various sources (#1 being the internet argh! the irony...)... I'm busy organising another attempt to allocate my free time to drawing with a balance of learning, exploring and applying knowledge. I don't want to divulge too much because sometimes I get the impression that when I say things, I'm less likely to actually do them- I'd rather just do them and surprise people with the results.

Just a random sketch of an angry one eyed man.

And another sketch for father time. I tried to tell a story in this one but I realised two things;
1.) This is not a valid entry because half of the character is missing
2.) The challenge ended. What the heck? I thought we at least had until Tuesday mornings? I guess it changed... Oh well.

I wanted it to be a little creepy- old lady dies watching static on a tv, a spilt mug on the floor and a cat that seems to notice. My take on the myth is that father time guides old souls to bodies needing new souls, by then the souls have lost their forms and memories. Father times only collects souls which have died of old age.. the grim reaper collects the souls of people who have died before their time.

I was actually going to do a more character focused design but yeah, the thread closed. So now I'm looking forward to the next challenge "Military Unit: The Hacker".

Friday, July 23, 2010

Starcraft cutouts

Just got a quick (but bad) photo of the cutouts at work. I think later, once SC II is out I'll cut out the space marines face and let children ravage the cardboard :P It does look weird without a face though heh.

Can't wait for my collector's edition! :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hmm despite several hurdles I think I've actually been kind of productive in the last couple of days. Mind you it did take me until 4am to finish this space marine for the EB store. Again the concept/initial art doesn't belong to me (except for the weird legs and background I had to add to the torso). I've been working on it on and off since about 5pm.. I don't know why it took so long.. I think it's just a lot bigger and more complex than the hydralisk.. still the difference in time to do is huge.

Oh his head is blank because I'm going to cut a hole so people can get their photos taken in the suit lol. I've still got to cut him out and somehow get him to EB :P

I also want to participate in CHOW this round so hopefully I can work this concept for father time into something worthy. I'm going for a classical feel so I can practice realism and flowy cloth. His legs look bizarre.. hopefully I can make them more realistic later on. I think his upper body needs more movement.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Todays scribbles

A few things I drew today.. the faces were looking a lot worse. It's surprising how looking at a totally unrelated face reference can help so much in just getting the proportions right.. I always draw massive eyes >.<

The gladiator slicing someone's butt was unintentional.. but a nice touch I think. Happy accidents.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A into G

Wow over a month without posting. I get distracted way too easily... the little bumps in the road are seeming more like temporary road closures. I'm way behind on emails but I'm getting through them now... I'm sorry!

I haven't really done anything portfolio worthy (since starting this whole endeavor) and I think even though my skills aren't anywhere near where I want them to be... I have to get some portfolio pieces going, because some of the stuff I still have in my portfolio is from 2005 which is more than just terribly embarrassing.

Fortunately the time of year has come where the sale is ending at the game store I work at and it will soon be open to redecoration. As part of that I'm painting a bunch of cardboard cutouts of game characters from existing games and from my own imagination. I'm going to use this as a chance to design some characters that might be worthy portfolio pieces. I had probably better try to do a makeshift redecoration of my website and some business cards in the hope that maybe the cutouts might generate some interest.

Here is my first, a Hydralisk from StarCraft for the upcoming release of the game. This is copied so the art isn't mine.

And I've acquired even more I have all of these random sizes and formats now..  Some of these are really embarrassing. Sometimes I wonder if posting /everything/ is a bad idea.... I guess I have been doing a fair bit, but not learning... just redrawing the same mistakes over and over.