Friday, 31 December 2010

Eve Muirhead portrait

Last week I was asked to do a painting of top Scottish curler, Eve Muirhead, for a fundraising campaign.
The painting, as seen below, is watercolour-on-card and measures roughly 205mm x 190mm (unframed).

Exciting news about the fundraising campaign and the painting itself will be coming soon, but I won't reveal these until full details have been confirmed: So stay tuned!

Thanks go to the commissioner (to be revealed at a later date), and to Bob Cowan at the excellent Skip Cottage Curling blog [] for providing the reference imagery.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

'Alternative' outdoor curling photos

Visitors to Loch Leven this past week may well have witnessed a rare sight - Scottish curlers playing on the frozen waters of the Loch: But there have been some more peculiarities on the ice recently, as you'll see from some of my images below.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Curling-inspired artworks

I started working as an ice-technician at Kinross Curling Rink at the end of September, and have since created a few unusual curling-inspired artworks, as I'll showcase below...

It all started with this year's early snowfall and my first snow sculpture - a rather crude little curling stone that I built with my bare hands at the end of my evening shift on Saturday 27 November.

But a couple of weeks and much more snowfall later, I had a second, and much more successful, attempt at sculpting out of snow. This time I had much more snow at my disposal; as well as a snow shovel, teaspoon, and gloves - all of which made the sculpting much easier than before. After spending about two hours spread throughout my evening shift of Thursday 9 December, my second attempt at snow sculpting was completed to a much better standard. As you'll see below, I had now created a much larger snow-sculpted curling stone, which raised a few eyebrows over the following days!

Onto my more conventional artworks, and earlier this week I created an amusing photoshopped-image of the curling rink manager involved in an unusual ice accident...
...Since I published this image on the Kinross Curling Rink facebook page, it has received a terrific response and attracted several new 'facebook fans': It has even been spread across other social networks by the management at the Green Hotel (which owns the rink).

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Some landscape practice

Here are some quick landscape sketch/painting tests that I made late last month, but forgot to upload.


Hamilton Mausoleum

Edinburgh North Bridge

Monday, 29 November 2010

New terrorist threat in UK

Al-qaida have claimed responsibility for the latest terror attacks to hit Britain: SNOW!

Days after the first strike, it is clear that this could become the most devastating terrorist attack in British history, with another 2 weeks of trouble expected to come...

But of course it's just a joke.

I got the idea last Winter, when London came to a standstill after a pathetic little layer of snow fell on the city. After watching the news about that story I sketched a wee cartoon strip, however it didn't convey my comic message too effectively, so I abandoned the idea like a car on the snow-closed M90.

This year, having had less than a week of intermittent snow (but now almost a foot of snow in the past 4 days), the country is again shutting down; so I have revived that old comic idea and turned it into the image you see above.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

This week... In caricature

Here are some new caricatures that I've completed in the past week or so. I've not done much drawing or painting in recent months, so these are pretty crude warm-up sketches, but they should be good practice for a more regular series of artworks that I aim to be doing over the coming months.

Craig Levein, Scotland football manager.
Scotland played a friendly match in Aberdeen against the Faroe Islands mid-week. Levein's starting line-up was rather experimental with many fringe players making their debuts in the wake of a vast number of call-offs. Despite that issue, Scotland won 3-0, meaning that they've still lost only 2 international matches at Pittodrie stadium in the last 100-odd years!

Harry Potter stars.
The penultimate film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One premiered in London just over a week ago.
In an attempt to gross more money from the box-office, producers planned on releasing the film in 3D: However they couldn't complete the post-production 3D process without delaying the films' release date, and therefore had to shelve those plans at the last minute.

Prince William gets engaged.
News that the second in-line to the throne, Prince William, is engaged to Kate Middleton has finally reached us lowly members of public: Apparently the Royal Family have known about it for months, yet last weekend we had to endure an entire evening of altered TV scheduling to accommodate their old news.

And finally...
Here's a caricature of Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie, which I made in October after Europe beat USA to win the Ryder Cup:
...It's an old artwork that doesn't really belong here, but I'm posting it anyway because I hadn't put it online at the time of completion.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

"Easier-to-see" versions of Project Onomatopee "Future" image now online

I've just uploaded a sequence of "easier-to-see" images that gradually reveal the hidden picture from my submission for Project Onomatopee's "Future" theme [my original submission is below].

These new "easier-to-see" images can be found at the bottom of my previous blog post [there's a link included below]. But if you are going to check out these new images then please scroll down slowly so as to not spoil the surprise of the hidden picture. (The new uploads are relatively small and as you scroll down the hidden picture will become more and more obvious).

If you want to check them out then please click here to go directly to the blog post with new images.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Project Onomatopee: "Future" (October 2010)

For October's Project Onomatopee theme of "Future" I decided to try something really conceptual; but before explaining what it is, here is the image that I submitted:

[Addendum - 18/11/10: If you can see NOTHING other than text in the image above then please read the rest of this article before investigating the "easier-to-see" images that I've added to the bottom of this blog post... I've added these new "easier-to-see" versions of the image in order to compensate for the contrasting colour/brightness settings of different computer screens. Please scroll slowly between each image so as to not spoil the surprise - because the hidden picture becomes more and more obvious the further down you scroll!].

What you should see at first glance:
You should be seeing a black page with some white text at the top and bottom, as well as a very dark grey rectangular box surrounded by a thin white outline.
If you cannot see the very dark grey box you may need to adjust your computer monitor slightly until the black/grey colour difference becomes vaguely visible.

So the image suggests that the future is a big black hole?:
Nope, it's a bit more complex than a simple image like that... To discover the message you will need to click on the image for the full-size version, and then, depending on whether or not the dark grey box is completely visible on-screen (or half hidden off-screen) you may need to scroll down a bit. Once you have the dark grey box completely visible on-screen simply stare into it for a few seconds and all should slowly be revealed!

What should happen?:
As you stare into the dark grey box you should gradually begin to notice various grey dots appearing out from the darkness. As your eyes get more accustomed to the darkness, you should begin to see some patterns forming from the grey dots, until eventually you see a little drawing appear on the right-hand-side of the box alongside a short message on the left-hand-side of the box.

How is this relevant to the "future" theme?:
This is where the image gets conceptual. Rather than being a simple image where the picture displays a clear message, this image is more experimental and requires both interaction and a bit of time to become understandable... So in this regard, the "future" theme of the image is not simply that the future is a mysterious black hole, but rather that you have to look into the image and wait until the near future [in real-time] before you can see the full image!

How was this image inspired?:
It was basically just a quick experiment (which wasn't quite as quick as I originally anticipated) that I was curious to discover whether or not would work.
It's based on eye sight, the night sky, and optical illusions. For example when you look at the sky on a clear dark night you originally see only a few bright stars, but as you stare into the dark sky for a longer time your eyes slowly adapt to the darkness allowing you to see more and more stars.
With the creation of this image I wanted to test whether or not a similar effect could be achieved digitally on a computer screen. I had thought about creating something similar to the Ishihara Test for colour blindness (the circles made of coloured dots that contain a hidden number or shape), however the success of such an image would depend greatly upon a number of variables including: the colours used, the colour calibration of different computer monitors, and the potential colour blindness of my audience. Therefore it was very likely that such an image would be visible to most - if not all - people, and require no time at all to become fully visible, which misses the point of the future-themed image.
For the simplest, and hopefully best result, I stuck to simply using black and grey tones (similar to the night sky and stars) to test my theory about whether or not the experimental image would work.
The image was easy enough to create, and certainly on my own computer it seems to work, however I still have my doubts about whether or not it works properly: Is it too dark/hidden? Is it too bright/obvious? Can other people see it all or only part of it? How long does it take to see it? Is the end result worth the time?
Perhaps this style of image would work better when printed - where it looks relatively consistent for everybody; rather than on a computer screen where the brightness/contrast, surrounding lights, and viewing angle can all affect how the image appears.

I don't know if I'll try doing more advanced work with this technique, but it'd be useful to hear whether or not the image worked properly for you and what you thought of it.

Sorry if it hasn't worked and it only wasted your time!

[Addendum - 18/11/10]
Here is the "easier-to-see" sequence of images that gradually reveal the hidden picture within the original image. Please scroll down slowly so as to not spoil the surprise:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Stopmotion test

Yesterday I tried creating some 3D stopmotion for the first time in years, and below is a video of what resulted:
The video above features a plasticine fish, filmed from several angles, moving tail and fins. It was made as research for an animated music video, however I've since discovered that this won't be a suitable technique for the final video...

While working on that animation test I also filmed a live-action video sequence of myself animating the fish, which has since been edited as a short time-lapse style documentary of the animating process:
The time-lapse style video starts with a playback speed of 4x the original footage, and quickly "ramps-up" to a playback speed of 200x the original footage, before coming to a sudden conclusion at real-time speed.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Commission: Machrihanish Beach

Here is a painting commission of Machrihanish Beach (near Campbeltown) that I completed earlier this week:

Not only is this my first painting since July, but surprisingly it is my first acrylic painting in 12 months (according to the blog history)!

I can understand why I've not done any major paintings in the past 3 months, and I'm aware that I've not painted on a regular basis since my Film-inspired Painting Series exhibition last December, but I still find it hard to believe that I've not touched my acrylic paints in 12 months.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Mr Spin at the Edinburgh Festival (part 1)

On Thursday I finally got time at work to finish editing some of the footage that I shot of Mr Spin performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival way back in August:

The video above is the first part of Mr Spin's wonderful street performance: Consisting of amazing hat tricks, devil-sticking, and one-ball manipulation.

I got to film the full 30/45 minute performance, which includes more devil-sticking and hat tricks, along with some crazy juggling and extreme unicycling! I intend on making a second video to showcase those tricks too, however the footage appears to be missing from the work computers, so until someone locates & re-loads the original tapes we will just have to wait...

Related links: 

Monday, 27 September 2010

First filming of a live gig

On Friday night I was at Mucky Mulligan's in Perth to film metal band Kill The Commodore as they played their first home gig since appearing at Bestival a few weeks ago.

I used my [very] recently purchased Sony DCR-SR58E Handycam; which is a big step down from the kind of camcorder I have
access to at my day-job, but it'll do for now until I discover whether a bigger camera would be worth it...

The little Handycam is very much just a point-and-shoot type of camera, which is simple enough to operate, but its manual controls (via touchscreen) are dreadful compared to the high-end camcorders that I have been used to at work. As a result of that issue (along with the short time I had to get familiar with the camera) my footage was rather hit-and-miss with numerous automatic controls conflicting with my manually-operated intentions. I also found, as per the warning in the operating guide, that loud noise (ie: live music) can interfere with the camera - to such an extent as to automatically cut the recording process after only so long on several occasions!

My above video, We Will Not Be Moved (live), should hopefully become the first of several to get edited from Friday night's gig footage; with the rest of the videos getting posted as they are finished.

To hear more from Kill The Commodore check out these links:
Kill The Commodore on Facebook
Kill The Commodore on Myspace
Kill The Commodore on Reverbnation

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Bridge of Allan tunnels

At work this afternoon we went for a location-scouting walk along the old railway line (and tunnels) near Bridge of Allen in Perthshire.
The old line runs almost parallel to parts of the M90 motorway, which I regularly travel on, yet until I conducted some research last week I had no idea that the line was ever there... One of the random facts I picked up last week is that part of it was bombed by the Nazi's during World War 2!

After parking our cars on a farm road in the middle of nowhere we went across an over-grown railway bridge and then walked the trail for about 1.5 miles; during which time we had gone through two very long, pitch black tunnels and encountered numerous decaying objects (of the mechanical variety).

I had never encountered a tunnel that can compare to these (while on foot), so thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I think it would be a great location to film all sorts of things... Indeed I was actually asked last month about filming a music video there for a metal band! So now that I know what it's like I can't wait to push ahead with that idea.

On another note, I used my digital stills camera to experiment with some time-lapse photography & experimental stopmotion (similar to Pixelation) on the way back to the cars. I haven't really done much time-lapse or pixelation before, but I am planning another music video (for a different band) that uses this kind of filming technique, and so thought this would be a good opportunity to experiment with the process.

For this experiment I basically just took a photo every 2 seconds (roughly) while walking along a short part of the trail leading up to the second tunnel. 
I had a good idea of what the footage should look like when played back as an animation sequence; but because I was photographing while walking (and without a flash) I had no idea whether or not it would turn out any good... To be honest I expected that the footage would be all blurry and randomly jump all over the place, but I think it has turned out surprisingly readable. You can judge for yourself by watching it in the video below:

And to conclude, here are some other photos from the day...

(This final photo is more or less what you see without a torch - and that's relatively near the entrance!)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Project Onomatopee: "Culture" (August 2010)

Project Onomatopee's theme for August was "Culture", and below is my submission.

This image was more-or-less made at the last-minute, and if I had spent a bit more time on it then I'd probably have made the layout more minimalist in order to make the message clearer. But you learn from your mistakes I suppose...

From the moment the theme was announced (at the beginning of August) I always planned on doing something about the death of culture by making something like:
- a collage of corporate logos;
- a picture of the solar system with a massive McDonald's sign sticking out from Earth;
- a photoshopped picture of people from less-developed countries fighting over second-hand designer clothing;
- or simply a text-based poster saying something like "Kill Culture - Just Do It" to portray how big corporations and the rise of the Internet have made almost everything seem local in the 21st Century.

Despite all those ideas, I never felt entirely happy about what the finished image might look like, so I constantly delayed the project until the last couple of days - at which point I felt as though I just had to get something, anything, done.

At that late stage I decided to see what a Google Image Search made of the term "culture"... The results seemed very random and not at all like I had expected, which actually turned out to be quite useful!

It seems as though Google, for the past decade or so, has had the answer to anything you could ever think to ask: But if an Image Search for "culture" didn't produce the results I had expected then perhaps I was correct to think that culture is dead (or at the least is dying).

From this I remembered about the infamous Racist Google picture that appeared last year showing a Google search result for "White People Stole My Car" returning the query "Did you mean: Black People Stole My Car?"

I decided that for my Project Onomatopee submission about culture I could create a similar Google picture, whereby a search result for "What is culture?" asks if you meant "What WAS culture?"... The theory being that my "culture is dead" statement from earlier would now be 'proven' by an omniscient Google that doesn't recognize the present tense of the question "What is culture?" because culture has been dead for a long time and would therefore be correctly asked in the past tense of "What WAS culture?".

I probably prefer that final idea to any of my earlier concepts, however my rushed execution of the imagery has resulted in a poor final product - one where the message gets lost within a bunch of random images from the Google search result.
Were I being boldly artistic, I would have made my submission a plain white page with only the Google logo, the search box (containing the phrase "What is culture?"), and the Google query ("Did you mean: What WAS culture?"). However as usually happens, I was not brave enough to stick with that bold image, and ended up keeping the realistic image of the full (albeit cropped) screenshot from my Google search.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Demoreel from "Dancing In The Dark"

I've just uploaded onto YouTube a short demoreel of my camerawork from the music video Dancing In The Dark by Lady Miss Emma.

It is the first live-action music video that I've worked on, and was produced by YMCA Multimedia in Perth - who I started working with towards the end of July.
The full music video, directed by David Forsyth, can be viewed by clicking here.

We filmed from the top of Kinnoull Hill (Perth, Scotland) during the sunrise of Friday 13 August, between the hours of 4am and 7am. Below are some photos from that day:

The first footage we shot (at around 4:30am) was in darkness.

Dawn began at around 5am.

And here's the full sunrise at around 7am.

You can watch more of my videos on YouTube at:

You can listen to more music by Lady Miss Emma at:

And you can watch more Lady Miss Emma music videos at:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Project Onomatopee: "Summer" (July 2010)

Here is what I submitted to Project Onomatopee for July's theme of "Summer".

Having kinda mocked England and its World Cup hopes for my June submission, I thought it only fair that I mock the stereotypical summer weather in my home country of Scotland. Therefore the caption (which I decided to write in Dutch because Project Onomatopee is from the Netherlands) translates as: "In Scotland even the sun goes away for a summer holiday".

The image that I've drawn is a portrayal of Edinburgh, looking from Waverley Station towards the National Gallery (with the Royal Mile on the left hand side and the Castle in the background). But unusually for me I composed the entire image from my mind/memory, while using reference material only for the green Waverley Station pillar. As a result all the buildings look a bit wonky, but I expect that they are still recognisable saying as that part of Edinburgh is full of rather unique architecture.

I had originally planned on painting the image with Photoshop to continue developing my digital painting skills, but due to being short of time I decided just to whip out the trusty old watercolours. Unfortunately the painted colours did not turn out as I had intended: Although they're not too dreadful...

After submitting the painted image at the end of July I found myself with a lot more free time, so I've spent a fair bit of this month working on an alternative version of the image within Photoshop (below).

I'm much happier with the darkness of the sky (as caused by an absent sun) in this version than that which I achieved with my watercolour version; and Photoshop worked a charm for creating the lighting effects as caused by the lamp atop the Waverely Station pillar: Overall the Photoshop version is just a much more atmospheric image, which I'm chuffed with!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Filmmaker Looking For Bands (& Other Folks)

If you are (or you know someone who is) a musician, actor, comedian, or sportsperson; and would like to have professionally-created footage for demo reels, promo material, DVDs, and/or websites, please get in touch with me and we’ll sort everything out.

I’m a Filmmaker and Artist from Kinross, who gained a BA (Hons) degree in Animation from the world-renowned Edinburgh College of Art in July 2009. I’ve worked on many film productions (both live-action and animated) over the past 5 years, and amongst my 20-odd credits are several films that have screened at international film festivals and won prestigious awards.
My own YouTube videos have received over 53,000 views and some of them have been:
- featured on the Max Power [car magazine] website (D1 Drifting At Knockhill);
- invited to be shown on MTV Europe (Die Skateboard);
- commissioned for a professional theatre production starring Abi Titmuss (Macbeth Vision 4);
- and included as a Bonus Feature on all UK-release Paranormal Activity DVDs and Blu-rays (Pigment of Imagination).

Following these achievements I’d like to begin working on a wide variety of projects that will help to both develop my creative skills and promote local talents.

Whether this involves recording you live; in practice/rehearsals; or taking part in a narrative-based video / documentary / promo / or something more experimental: I am willing to work with you to create original and exciting material at a professional standard.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer not to appear in the video footage, but would like to have your material sampled and/or featured as a soundtrack to demo reels and short films please let me know and I will see what we can do.

I live in Kinross but have my own car, so if you are in Edinburgh, Fife, Stirling, Perthshire, or Dundee, you are perfectly placed to work with me.

I own a Sony Handycam camcorder; digital stills cameras; a laptop with audio, visual, & video editing software (Audacity, SoundForge, Photoshop, Vegas Movie Studio HD); and DVD publishing/printing equipment. So I can deliver top-notch work as long as you are willing to participate in one form or another…

If you are interested in this opportunity please get in contact with me, or if you know someone else that may be interested in it please send this message to them.

You can view a sample of my work on:
- Facebook at:
- YouTube at:
- My blog/website at:

And you can contact me by e-mailing: AndyRMacpherson (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Monday, 26 July 2010

Commission: Andy Murray caricature

A couple of months ago I was commissioned to create a little caricature of Scottish tennis star Andy Murray for someone's birthday gift.

The image above was my second attempt at caricaturing Andy Murray because I felt that my first attempt [below] had a questionable likeness to the international tennis player, and I wanted to improve it...

...The first attempt was a nice enough image, but in my opinion the resemblance to Andy Murray was just a little too vague: At least the second attempt [top] is wilder and more like his on-court personality (complete with trademark reaction).

Sunday, 25 July 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup caricatures

Here's a few wee caricatures that I made during the FIFA Football World Cup earlier this month...

My pre-tournament caricature of the England World Cup squad [for Project Onomatopee].

Landon Donovan (USA footballer).

Diego Maradona (Argentina manager).

James Cordon (TV personality).

Fabio Capello (England manager). 

-  The caricature of the England World Cup squad was based upon English media reports that suggested England would win the tournament.

- James Cordon may not be a footballer, but for the entire month of the tournament he was on ITV1 and ITV4 hosting his World Cup Live nonsense and showcasing his "comedy" (if you'd call it that...)

- Fabio Capello was drawn as his doppleganger, Carl Fredricksen, from the DVD cover of Disney/Pixar's UP (2009). The text reads "If Fabio disnae fix'er he'll be hanged up" in relation to the terrible performances by his England squad at the World Cup. "Disnae Fix'er" is written as a pun on "Disney Pixar" meaning "doesn't fix her", implying that the England fans will seek vengeance on Fabio if he doesn't improve the team after getting a stay of execution.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Project Onomatopee: "Nightmare" (June 2010)

To expand upon my previous post about Project Onomatopee, I'm now gonna write about the production process for my submission to the "Nightmare" theme from June.

Looking at the drawing above, do I hear you asking what the English Media and the World Cup have to do with Nightmares?
No!? In that case I guess you must have seen how much of a laughing stock the team were at the World Cup, and therefore think you understand this drawing completely - but you are wrong!

- I came up with this idea long before the England team arrived in South Africa;
- Had drawn David James as the goalkeeper several days before Robert Green became America's favourite English comedian;
- And had began the digital colouring process way before sections of the English media began subjecting Germany to even more unwarranted racial hatred.

From those statements it is hopefully clear that I had no intention of insulting the English people (if they take my drawing that way), and that I began this project with no knowledge that England would play so poorly... The actual intention of this drawing was to take a light-hearted dig at the England-based media that for many weeks has been suffocating the entire United Kingdom with its non-targeted, overhyped output about the chances of the England team this summer.
There's nothing wrong with the media getting behind its team, but broadcasting its hysteria so regularly not only isolates the non-English population of the UK; it puts us off their products; becomes very repetitive; and ultimately frustrates us even more than when we see our own teams fail to qualify for major tournaments as a result of last-minute cheating by the opposition. (Here's looking at you France! And Italy...)

In the weeks leading up to the World Cup (the same time that the "Nightmare" theme for June was announced) it seemed as though every English newspaper and every advert on British TV was united with England in the belief that they could win the 2010 World Cup: And certainly with the team having had such a strong qualifying campaign they had every right to believe they could be potential winners again. But what I found frustrating about it was that they wouldn't stop referring to Bobby Robson; 1966; THAT goal; Geoff Hurst; this being the last chance for the golden age of English international football (which I think was at least 4 years ago!); and their group stage being full of really easy opponents!
As such, the media seemed certain that England were going to be unstoppable in storming through the tournament to collect the trophy - and this is what inspired my "Nightmare" drawing for Project Onomatopee. (My nightmare being the hysterical media rather than the prospect of England winning the tournament!)

If the media was to be believed at the start of June, then it was guaranteed that Gerrard et al. would become national heroes just like Hurst and his gang 44 years ago. I therefore thought it would be apt to portray the 2010 England World Cup squad in a picture that imitates the 1966 squad: But for a bit of artistic freedom I decided to try caricaturing the players.

I started drawing the caricatures as an initial sketch on cheap printer paper (expecting to require several attempts at getting the caricatures half decent). But after partially rendering most of the characters with pencil I realised that tracing the initial drawing onto good quality paper (in order to paint it using watercolours) would be too time consuming - so I stuck with the initial drawing and altered my plans for the colouring stage.

I had to rule out traditional painting techniques as a means of colouring my drawing because I feared the printer paper would just crumple and distort when paint/water touched it. However I was intrigued by the prospect of attempting some serious digital painting for the first time (previously I've only ever done flat digital colouring for animation), so I scanned my drawing into the computer and got cracking with Photoshop.

After testing a selection of base coats [above] to give a rough idea of the colour schemes, I decided to scour the internet for some relevant digital artist research/influences/resources. My first port of call was to Charlie Parker's excellent Lines & Colors blog where, amongst many other types of artists and art forms, I've discovered a lot of interesting digital artists, notably:
- Francois Baranger
- Tuomas Korpi
- Jason Seiler
- Michael Kutsche
- David Jon Kassan (painting from life on an ipad).

I downloaded a number of digital brush sets for Photoshop from, which was easy to use and very useful. And Finnish artist Tuomas Korpi [listed above] has made his extensive Photoshop brush set openly downloadable from his website (on the sketches page), which I've appreciated using so far.

As this was my first attempt at digital painting I was quite content to simply test out different brushes and use a rather basic 5-tone colouring technique so as to not get caught up in realism or little details.
After laying down a mid-tone red colour for the England kit that all the players are wearing, I worked my way through the painting process in little stages:
1) Starting with Steven Gerrard (the central character who holds the trophy aloft), I filled in his skin & hair using personalized mid-tone colours, before working my way outwards to all the other players. (A minor note of interest here is that each player in the drawing has his own individual colour scheme based upon my photographic research).
2) After laying down all the base coats, I went back through every player and coloured relevant areas with a dark tone of each base colour.
3) After the dark tones were down, I again went back through all the players, this time colouring relevant areas with a light tone of each base colour.
4) Once I was happy with the range of tones in my digital painting I went back through it all and added in-between tones wherever necessary.
For the whole painting process I used a relatively small selection of brushes (always at varying sizes), and I usually had the opacity set to about 20%-50% in order to build up subtle layers of colour that would help add to the overall tonal quality of the image. I was also painting entirely with my computer mouse because I don't have access to a tablet pen.

When I was happy with the colouring on all of the footballers I turned my attention to the stadium in the background.
Working on a separate Photoshop layer from the footballers I initially scribbled various patches of colour to reflect the real colours of the Soccer City stadium (host of the World Cup Final on July 11). However this looked rather garish and troublesome, so I desaturated the stadium layer (to turn it greyscale), and as a replacement added an orange filter of varying strengths over the whole image [the experimental images below].

After I had chosen my favoured image (from the four above) I considered the drawing/painting to be finished and ready to submit to Project Onomatopee... But having forgotten that images need to be in the portrait format rather than landscape format, I added the black surround and golden-coloured text [as seen at the top of the blog post] to make my artwork compatible with the submission guidelines.

...Then days later England got knocked out of the tournament, and the potential reaction to this image completely changed!

You can see all the submissions for the "Nightmare" (June) theme of Project Onomatopee by clicking here.