Tag Archives: characterisation

Mad Experiments with Blobs

Now I know how Dr Frankenstein felt… It’s all good fun until you create a monster.

This is surely the Weirdest Blob Ever.

Firstly, I don’t know what this blob is made of… While the kids were doing their homework (boo!) and I was cooking dinner (actually it was cooking itself) I found a piece of paper in the kids’ art and craft drawer with this mysterious stain on it. It had no odour, nor any bloody fingerprints, so I assumed it was safe to use without notifying the police.

weird thing stage 1 lores

The first thing I saw in it (although I was looking at it rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise) was the shoulder, face and tiny wings of a beast. He had strong haunches and was clearly crouching on top of something (invisible) and looking down.

weird thing stage 2 lores

I drew him in. But what was the fragmented blob beneath him? He was not crouching on it. It might be something fighting him for the whatever-it-was in between them. Then I saw the woman’s face with the veil over her head. The woman was confronting the beast. So I drew her in. I decided she was some kind of Earth Mother figure and they were fighting for control over the Earth. So I drew the Earth in… and some decidedly weird explosions….

By this time the dinner was no longer cooking itself and needed some help, and the kids were asking questions and giggling and pushing each other at the homework bench. (That’s my lame excuse for the state of the Earth Mother’s hands… or claws.)

So I beat them all soundly and sent them to bed.

No, I mean I fed them, played Trivial Pursuit with them and sent them to the shower. (I lost at Trivial Pursuit of course.)

‘Now I’ll fix this weird blob with a bit of discreet colour’, thought I. ‘The colour will work its magic…’

weirdest blob ever lores

I have no scan of the first coloured phase. Sorry ’bout that. But you’ll have to take my word for it that the colour made the blob look even weirder. Especially since the space fight was going on (at that stage) in a completely white environment.

I’m not sure why they are fighting as the Creature looks quite amiable and isn’t even raising a paw against the Earth Mother. Maybe He is trying to protect the earth and She is the one who wants to destroy it with storms, hurricanes, asteroids and plague. I would ask them if I could, but they wouldn’t hear me.

Then I added watercolour to create dark space around them but it wasn’t dark enough and the contrast became so low that the effect was one of a brownish blob surrounded by a larger greyish blob. I added some Prismacolour black pencil as a quick experiment in increasing the contrast. It succeeded to a small degree. Too small a degree.

I scanned the whole blobby mess.

In an act of insanity (given the amount of work I have to do right now!) I added a further layer of tone (purple) in PhotoShop which more or less addressed the contrast problem, and added some stars and magic sparkles. (How low can you get?)

Finally, as if to confirm that I have lost my grasp with reality, I wrote this post about the history and evolution of a nondescript and very weird blob.

However, now that it has been so thoroughly described, it can no longer be deemed nondescript… at least in the 17th Century sense of that word which is to say ‘not previously described or identified scientifically’.

I feel there are still some holes in the scientific nature of this blob though, so perhaps a thesis?

Bird Blobs

blob birds lores

Lunch break bird blobs.

Felt tip, watercolour pecking and white acrylic flecking.

Mood Blobs (experiments with blobs – part 5)

I could’t help noticing that these blobs painted late last night when feeling tired and a little low, all have one thing in common.

Despite the fact that they all were generated from random colour blobs, they all look downward to the bottom right of the page.

contemplative cassowary

contemplative cassowary

Scott pointed out that this fellow looks Muppetish. A compliment :-)

pondering purple  person

pondering purple person

preoccupied parrot

preoccupied parrot

Ptentative Pterododal

Ptentative Pterododal

No wonder this Ptreposterous Pterododal is Ptentative… His wings are ridiculously inadequate for his size. I’d stay on the ground, if I were he.



Experiments with Blobs (part 3)

Well here they are! Some mixed results. drama colour blobs comp levels I will include a few close-ups of the more interesting ones. suitcase lady B4after girl on buffalo B4after People blobs! Can you believe it? smiling creature B4after seamonster B4after Assorted terrestrial and aquatic monster blobs. sad rabbit dad A sad rabbit blob round bird B4after predator B4after  flying handbag bird B4after flecked duck B4after elephant bird B4after And a range of birds in varying degrees of preposterousness. Including the rare elephant bird. Are you sick of blobs yet? I don’t think I am quite. Here is a sheet of blobs done during the kids’ drama class on Wednesday evening. A ran out to the car with a page of still wet blobs to play with when we got there. It is quite a stimulating way of spending a few minutes, and more fun than sudoku for me :-) blobs from drama lesson comp levels lores The dogs were the things that worked best here I think. I extrapolated a lot more than I have previously too. Because some of the blobs suggested just part of a face.

Experiments with Blobs (part 2)

Here are the ‘second pass’ blob creatures. There are also a couple that didn’t make the grade with the first pass and are now so much improved that they are going up after the second pass.

dino 2

This dino is as corny as ever :-)


elephant trousers 2

Little Elephant is messier but richer for his second layer of colour, I think.

little bird2

I like Little Bird much better for his red head and little tail feathers.

stork seaside 2

Stork looks much better now to me. He’s having a ball at the beach.


Thoughtful bunny was not a success to my mind. The patches were a mistake, but you never know until to try.

windy creature 2


I like this guy now he has some autumn leaves bothering him. Lots of movement now. I could have painted his coat actually…

beckoning dog 2

This funny little beckoning dog didn’t go up first time. He’s better with a bit of shadow. (Do you recognise the cloud over Stork and the autumn leaf here? They are all close neighbours on the same page)

parrot 2

Finally, a parrot who didn’t make the first cut. I like his feathering now that he has a bit more colour. Ticking in feathers or fur really does something for me. I love it.

grey blob creatures composite levels lores

And here, to finish up, a whole page of weird new blobs. We shall see what happens when I add a touch of colour to some of them. It’s a different effect of course, over grey; the colours are subtler, less pure. But this is what I did with the bookmarks originally.

And now it’s back to my Thunder work for the day.


Experiments with Blobs (part 1)

Naturally, after playing with the grey blobs on the weekend, I was tempted to whip up some colour ones late last night to squeeze some in for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge – week’s theme ‘Colour’ before the new theme today. (Themes change each Wednesday.)

It really was late at night. So these were ‘one pass’ illos. I nearly didn’t bother scanning them because I wanted to go to bed, but the photos were too awful. Here they are in their scanned, and unedited state.

beach swimming stork

Stork on holidays at the beach.

drama queen creature

Dramatic bear… koala… creature?  (someone suggested music conductor)

elephant pulling trousers on

Elephant unsuccessfully pulling on trousers.

little bird

Little bird


sentimental dinosaur

A sentimental dinosaur. I actually thought this was a bit too corny. Don’t know what came over me. Maybe Facebook-Peer-Pressure!

thoughtful rabbit

A thoughtful baby rabbit. I love the way the fuzzy edges and curves of the blobs can just summon a character into my head… if a character doesn’t appear fully formed in my mind’s eye beforehand, it generally doesn’t turn out well on the page. Of course the fuzzy edges on this coarse watercolour paper are quite suggestive of animals because they look a little hairy. But let’s admit it… there’s a bias there anyway!!

Today, I spent half an hour doing a second pass with more colour to enrich them… and to experiment of course. Some were improved and some were ruined by the second pass. I’ll see if I can find time to scan these and post them tomorrow or the next day.


Skunkyskunk 1

These are some little skunky fellows sketched for somebody’s skunk-loving child. I drew these while we were watching (or in my case semi-watching) Disney’s Frozen on DVD last night.

It seems as though Disney’s latest favourite animation trick is to make all the hoofed animals into pretend dogs, tapping into all the most recognisable and well-loved behavioural characteristics of man’s most popular pet. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. The characters are fantastic. The brilliant white horse in Tangled, was really a horse-shaped hound. (Completely hilarious.) In Frozen, the minor horse character is treated in a similar way, but also the reindeer Sven. Having said that, one of his most endearing moves is to cavort through the icy danglies in the forest in a stiff-legged, pouncy, playful way and getting his antlers all tangled up. I have seen playful cattle make this same move on many occasions so that may well be a uniquely ungulate urge :-)

Do people realise fully grown cattle can be playful?

Well that was a bit of a side-track… No wonder my skunky sketches ended up being stuck in the spiral binding. I clearly had my mind on other things….