Gareth A Hopkins
email: gareth@grthink.com

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Thursday, 2 October 2014

'After Wainwright' for Lakes Comic Art Festival 2014

picture courtesy of Jonathan Petrie
Update 22/11/2014: Just a quick note on top of what's gone before (which is below) -- a competition was run on the Window Trai on a bunch of categories, and I was extremely humbled to win 'Best Professional Artist'. I'm still a little blown away by that, as well as all the great feedback I've had on these pages. I'm in the process of arranging prints right now.

Also, the pages are STILL on display, as part of Kendal Mountain Festival, at least until tomorrow (the 23rd November). So, yeah... Go Team G!
........................

I've been extremely fortunate in securing a spot on the Window Trail associated with this year's Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in Kendal. The festival itself runs from 17-19th October but the trail starts on the 3rd. My work's on display in the window of Petrie Design. (as pictured above)

The idea of doing reinterpretations of the work of A Wainwright came from Jonathan at Petrie Designs during our introductory emails. I'll admit to not being very familiar with Wainwright until that point, but a quick search on the internet made it clear what a great idea it would be.

For any others reading this who're unfamiliar with Wainwright, he was a fell walker who took it upon himself to record the Lakeland fells in the 7-volume Pictorial Guide To The Lakeland fells. The guides are an incredible achievement -- the entire collection was done by hand in his notebooks and reproduced directly from them. I'd recommend visiting the Wainwright society's website for further information, as they've got it down far better than I'll be able to.

The pages I've presented for the Trail are re-interpretations of three pages from The Pictorial Guides (Bowfell 16, Blencartha 26 and Grasmoor 16). The pages themselves are laid out very much like pages from a comicbook, although I'm not sure Wainwright had that in mind when he did them. Each of his pages represented different facets and views of the fell he was describing, exquisitely rendered in ink. I've approached them as I've done with comic pages I've reinterpreted for The Intercorstal, as well as using lessons learned from working on the mummy I did for Secret 7 and the birds I did as giveaways recently, where you take the contour and movement of a shape and redefine it, and twisting it at the same time. 

Scans of the pages are below -- if you are in Kendal for whatever reason, please take a look and let me know what you think.



Monday, 22 September 2014

2014 "Birds In Card" Art Giveaway

A little while ago I won a pack of greetings cards in a giveaway from the remarkable Lizzie, of Clay Dissaray fame. Due to a bit of a mix-up, I ended up with TWO packs, so 14 in all. And in an effort to share the love about a bit, I decided to draw inside them and send them on to anyone who sent me an email with a postal address. Despite me constantly miscalculating how many cards I had versus how many requests I'd got, I was able to get them all out without a hitch.

I went with a 'birds' them because of the success I'd enjoyed with the illustration I'd done of Ochrebeak for the Save Three Trees campaign. I was working much faster and looser on these, but I'm happy with them in general. Also accompanying each bird was a pretty broad, unsophisticated personal message, the idea being that you could happily lose that, cut the card down the middle and display both Lizzie's original design and the bird at the same time.

Here they all are, in varying qualities of photograph (I didn't give myself time to scan them). They're presented here in no particular order.







I was so tired when I finished this one that the first typo (HADR) happened by itself. The second one (RDAW) happened despite concious effort to not make any more typos.

My typos continued on.



The next three are screencaps of tweets from where I was in such a rush I forgot to take a photo before sealing up the envelope...



Lastly, I did a dog and a cat for my pal Kate, because we're working on a comic together which is about a dog and cat. Keep your eyes peeled for that, the script's something special, even if my drawing's not.


Friday, 19 September 2014

#quickdrawlive Sep 18th

Last night I went back to the House Of Illustration down by Kings Cross for the second of OffLife's Quickdraw Live events. I think the first one was last March... I could look it up but am preeeetty lazy. The event was a continuation of the Quickdraw that Offlife runs every Thursday night over Twitter where they give a topic and people at home come up with an image for that topic which they share back with the hashtag #quickdraw -- the difference being that on this occasion a bunch of people were in a room together, all working furiously away.

The one drawback was that where the lighting was dimmed for a cozier atmosphere, taking photos of pictures was difficult. And adding insult to injury, the Twitter app on my phone cropped my photos in weird ways. So here are my responses to the themes (paraphrased below...again, I could look them up but...). There's photos of the event all over Twitter -- got to Offlife's Twitter account for a good selection.

How I'd Get My 5mins Of Fame

What's Really Down The Back Of The Sofa

My Dream Job That Doesn't Exist (yet)

What I'd Do On My Last Day Alive

Technology Has Ruined My Ability To... (as displayed on the big projector)
Forget Scotland, I'd Vote Yes For...

By chance, I met fellow Amelia's Magazine Alumni Jenny Robins there. We both took selfies together. This is my attempt, and as you can see I'm not very good at taking them.


Monday, 8 September 2014

Submission to Offlife 10

Click the picture for a version big enough to read the writing

I've been a fan of OFFLIFE for a while now, and have toyed with the idea of submitting something Intercorstal-ish for the past few open submission periods, although have usually backed down, pretty much convinced that I didn't stand a chance of getting in, down to the fact that The Intercorstal is like nothing they've run with before.

For their 10th issue I just went for it, though. I produced a brand new comic, which rips off its panel layout from a Ditko Amazing Spider-man page (which I have been reliably informed by Andrei Molotiu (here and here) that it's his best ever page).
What I instagrammed when I started on the page. Click the picture for the rest of my Instagram, which at the time of writing is very bird-heavy.

Knowing all along that the comic would be a longshot as it was, I decided that for the first time an Intercorstal page should have some text (I'd tried on previous pages to include text -- stuff about flapping listless and beacons dying and teeth teeth teetch, that sort of thing, but it never really worked). As Offlife is loosley based around subversions of real-life, I went with autobiog-comic style moaning, and chose the Internet as my target. I moan about the internet a lot, so it wasn't hard.

My attempts at lettering were WOEFUL and I said so on Twitter, at which point the extraordinary Jim Campbell offered to take a look and give me some advice, which I was bowled over by -- not least when he returned a completely lettered page, which he did, in his words, "in as close an approximation of Tom Frame's old school 2000AD lettering as I could manage." iceI'll be honest, I was amazed by how good it looked -- it had turned a page of swirly swirls into an 80s cosmic space battle. Even now I'm confused by how good it looks.

But long story short -- it didn't make it in. As you'll know if you've followed a link from Twitter or somewhere, because I'll have said so. But I knew it was a long shot, and I'm really looknig forward to reading the comics that did make the cut. And of course looknig forward to the next QuickDraw Live on the 18th, where I'll not have anywhere near enough time to do anything even remotely Intercorstal.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Art giveaway! As in, free art by me. And Clay Disarray.

A little while ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway by the exemplary Lizzie Campbell (aka Clay Disarray) who sent me some very, very lovely greetings cards. Because of a balls-up with postage, I actually got two lots, and so now have a fair few of Lizzie's greetings cards.


And I thought it would be nice to share the love a little bit. So what I'm doing is this: email me at gareth@grthink.com if you'd like a free greetings card by Lizzie which contains an original likely-to-never-be-reproduced drawing of something (dunno what yet) by me. You'll need to include a postal address, obviously.

You should know what my drawings look like -- if not, scroll up and down here for a little while or go somewhere like my Deviantart pages.

Um, that's it.

Go.

Monday, 18 August 2014

ThePopUpBarberShop.com at V Festival


This past weekend I was asked my Jordanna from The Pop Up Barber Shop to paint their web address onto one of the walls of the pop-up barber shop that they run in the VIP area of V Festival.

Doing this type of thing is entirely out of my comfort zone, being more at home with my face pressed up against a piece of paper and scratching away with ink, but I'm really proud of how it looked when I'd finished. It started off a bit shaky, to be honest, but once I'd realised I could just hold the paintbrush like a pen I felt much more comfortable. Here's some photos...
After making the template, the paper I'd used to rest the tracing paper on had the text sketched on, albeit all on top itself ad backwards. Spent 10mins with an ink brush picking bits out, and was therefore able to convince myself I could pull the same trick, on a wall, with paint.

The tracing-paper template (2m across) taped up on the wall.



Me. In action. (Photo nicked from https://www.facebook.com/PopUpBarberShop)

Me, still in action, reflected in a mirror, probably accidentally. (Photo from  https://www.facebook.com/PopUpBarberShop)
Here's what it looked like when I'd finished, with some Instagram filters chucked on.
Again, the finished article, ready for the next day.

The barber shop in full swing on Saturday morning. (photo again courtesy of  https://www.facebook.com/PopUpBarberShop)


Photo of the banner for the Popup Barber Shop, which features a drawing of a dog I did a few years ago (Photo nabbed off Facebook from some chap called Patrick Forster, who I don't know)



Friday, 23 May 2014

Dreddcorstal


While I was volunteering at London Super Comic Convention I started to think about putting a proper Intercorstal comic together -- a single issue, 30-odd pages, of pure Intercorstal comic work. And I realised that the Intercorstal, on its own, as proud as I am of it, would be a VERY hard sell to a mainstream comics crowd -- the sort of people who spend money at cons and shops.

Figuring I'd need to anchor The Intercorstal to the rest of the comics world with something, I fell on the idea of doing Intercorstal-style portraits of comics characters, and making a small book of them -- buoyed up significantly by how proud I was of the mummy I did for my Secret 7s entry.

Here's the first step toward that -- everyone's favourite fascist lawperson, Judge Dredd. I'm still not entirely happy with this -- I think it works in its own way, but really I'd like it to be more dynamic, which will probably involve finding a more dramatic angle and pose. I'll have another go once I've done some Crosby & Syd pages and had a punt at Batman. Here's some photos of how I went about the finished image, in case you're interested.

First pencil draft. Had a few books open as reference, in particular Henry Flint's work on Trifecta. Carlos Ezquerra is always a constant influence whenever I try to do Dredd, too. But I suppose that's the same for everyone.

Corrected pencil draft - shaved a bit off the helmet, tidied a few other bits up. Was also very unhappy that I'd gone with (what I consider) a rookie Dredd mistake, which is to hunch him all over, and you can see here where I drew his shoulders back in where a normal person's would be. That decision was also informed by Flint's drawing of him in particular Dredd strips, where he's in meetings with senior Judges and stands silently, statue-like.

Jumping ahead a bit -- I traced over the pencils onto A4 Bristol Board, losing all the work I'd done on the eagle but that's how it goes sometimes. At this stage I really wasn't feeling it, because the bits that haven't been filled in yet throw off the composition. Was working on faith that once the rest had been done it would look alright.

I'd worked some swirl into the helmst to stop it being too flat, and had been very careful not to overwork the mouth/chin bits. When I cam to fill the body, I was aware that just going in without a plan would make it look too layered and, again, flat, so broke it up into sections which (very) loosely described the abstract shapes that make up his chest.

Bit more filling.

Um, more filling.

Final furlong. Once I'd cracked these bits, added a little texture to the metals left over (eagle, shoulder pad, zipper) and scanned. Then bumped levels, paint-potted the line work to make it look fuller -- IRL the inks are enough, but even with the contrast bumped the inks look too thin and reedy after scanning) and did a few touch ups, and voila, the finished image that's up the top of the page there.