The blog of David Michael Wright - Freelance Illustrator

Hello, and welcome to my humble blog!

If you too like the drag of Graphite on Paper, can appreciate the flick of a well executed Brushstroke, and like I favour subjects of the Dark and the Monstrous, the Weird and the Wonderful, the Abominable, Diabolical, Fantastic, Dramatic, Adventurous, Ghastly, Nightmarish and Phantasmagorical!

…Or like myself, seek to devour all sources of the Technical, Practical, Methodical and Inspirational!

Then perhaps this blog is for you.

It is (I hope) to become a progressive ongoing account of my endeavours as a Freelance Illustrator specialising in mainly the Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Horror art genres. As is always the case (except perhaps on Sundays) I will do my very best and veritably strain heart and nerve and sinew to write a faithful accounting of all my latest Discoveries, Resources, Technical Explorations and Inspirations, in addition of course to featuring regular posts of my current Creative Exploits and Works in Progress.


Monday, 26 July 2010

Dragon Project

Having recently read the fantastic new book Imaginative Realism by James Gurney. I've been inspired to try and use models and modelling a lot more than I do as a means to solve illustrative problems. I was very into modelmaking when I was younger and would regularly play tabletop wargames where just about all the terrain used to support the painted miniatures was hand made, so felt I already had some basic starter knowledge in this respect which could be built upon and utilised. This probably sounds slightly odd but I almost feel like reading Mr Gurney's book has 'legitimised' that kind of approach to illustrative problem solving for me, as seeing someone proffesionally work in this way is an affirmation of the approach itself. So I'm currently all fired up at the moment modelling this and that and randomly painting all manner of bits and pieces from around the house grey (to check out the lighting, textural qualities, and natural form in absence of the distraction of their local colours) and I've also started to create a new '3D box' full of small interesting textured objects, modeled aids, simple forms and such, which is to be an additional 3D facet of my reference library.

Anyhow. Dragon Project! I decided to make a rough model of a dragon last week, and then use it as a tool to create a painting from. Here are a few photos I took along the way...

Might make some miniature weapons soon, so I can use them as visual aids when working on extreme forshortened views, I think a mace would be handy, and a poseable ball and chain could be pretty cool too.


James Gurneys blog -

Saturday, 10 July 2010

My reference finding procedure

Over the last 15 years or so I've sort of incrementally horded all manner of random stuff that I had thought at this or that time might be useful as reference for a painting. This is all well and good, and although over the more recent of those years I have healthily discovered and fully embraced the incredible and extraordinarily wonderful merits of self organisation (Prior to this point I regret, I was a fine art degree post graduate messy person unwittingly living in my very own Jackson Pollockesque 3D oblivion and rummaging around a room not entirely unreminisent of one of those flat picture sliding square slot puzzles you can get at the seaside, and as a consequence spending ages and ages looking for bits of equipment my room ate :) I'm still not 'quite' there yet. Sure, my little studio is now relatively tidy, and sure I now try and keep just the equipment I need right at hand. But there is this one particular recurring thing which currently bugs me at the moment. It's this - I do a piece of painting, and although I always incorporate referencing into my practice, I often find that after I've finished a painting I seem to then promptly experience a sort of almighty reference epiphany (oooooo! ping!), and shortly after lay my hands on what would have been the perfect piece of reference for the piece now completed. Arrrgh! Anyhow, rambling on as usual, this here below is a personal attempt to rectify the problem, I'm not one for writing down hard and fast rules (as they can inhibit), but Notes, Principles and Procedures, I feel can be mighty useful and beneficial. Especially when you've a brain like mine that seems to slosh and spill its contents everywhere even as I make my best if somewhat futile efforts to fill it. So without further ado, may I please introduce to you, the revolutionary, all new, handy dandy, David Michael Wright 2010 Reference Procedure! (take it away bob...)


My Reference finding Procedure (2010)

Ask and answer myself the following each project…

1. Are there any Objects available to me that are similar or exactly as I require, in form, appearance or texture that could aid me in solving the problems this assignment presents?

2. Are there any Photographic opportunities I might capitalise on to capture images of the elements I require within the assignment, that are similar or exactly as I require, in form, appearance or texture, and that could aid me in solving the problems the assigned work presents?

3. Are there any Constructive approaches I might take (Modelling perhaps, or combinations of found objects to be used representationally) which would aid myself in solving the problems the assigned work presents?

4. Have I searched my Reference Libraries (book, film, and computer based) for solutions that could aid or enhance my approach to this project? (Internet?)

5. Have I collected Material or Photographic samples/examples of all the Textures that I will be required to represent within this assignment?

6. Do I need to research any Specialist Knowledge (Technology, History, Fashions etc) to complete this assignment?

7. Do I have access to any media that echoes a similar Mood to that which I wish to create? (e.g. – Dark lavish sword and sorcery fantasy might equal John Boorman’s Excalibur or such like) .


It's not the ultimate solution, I know, but at least I'll I can now be certain I've given all the various reference possibilities some thought before I begin painting.

Any comments or further suggestions most welcome.

Dave :)