Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Hip on your desktop...

I've been working on a series of Tragically Hip desktop wallpapers (obsessed? Moi?!...) over the last few days for the Unique Motel. It's been quite a nice exercise in honing my Photoshop skills as well - Always a pleasure...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life Drawing - Pt.3

I went Life Drawing again last night. I missed the week before, and I think it really showed as I was a bit rusty. It didn't really help as we went straight in at the deep end with some really quick poses. Starting with 30 seconds, then a minute, then two minutes. After the break we did some longer poses (10, 15 and then 20 minutes.) I think the quick ones were a good warm up, but I was finding it hard to get anything down on paper that resembled a human being.

Anyway, here are a few of the longer poses:

I'm quite pleased with the above sketches, but I'd still liked to have worked on them a bit more. I made his head far too big in the last one as well. D'oh!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The winner by a nose...

I was presented with this sketch on the Illustrators forum today! It seems that I've been given the Jonathan Cusick treatment! I feel honoured!

Apparently I reminded him of a young Pete Townshend, which isn't the first time that comparison has been drawn (no pun intended!). If you're a fan of charicatures, then check out his blog/website.

Thanks for the laugh, Jonathan.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bens' Ten...

A couple of Fridays ago, I was issued an challenge from Lisa at work, to compile a list of my top ten albums for her to listen to (she actually said "Top five..." but there was no way I could do that! Anyway, I had a week to agonise over my choices, but here they are (in alphabetical order by artist - I can't put them in order as well!!).

Death Cab For Cutie
Year: 2003
This album took a while to grow on me, but I'm glad it did! A great musical, and vocal performance from Mr. Gibbard and co. It also seems to flow really well which is always important.

Highlights: Translanticism, Title and Registration, We Look Like Giants.

Make Yourself
Year: 1999
My first perfect summer album. I can listen to this in the middle of winter, and still feel like I'm walking around in shorts and t-shirt with the sun on my face. Incubus seem to be a pretty consitant band which is good - even the new album 'Light Grenades', which I was initially disappointed with has grown on me loads within a couple of listens.
Highlights: Stellar, Make Yours, Pardon Me.
Jurassic 5
Power in Numbers
Year: 2002
If someone told me when I was 17 or 18 that by the time I reached the grand old age of 23 that I'd have a Hip-Hop album in my top ten, I'd probably have laughed them out the room. But, it's true! I reallt love this album.
Highlights: A Day At The Races, What's Golden, Freedom

Manic Street Preachers
Everything Must Go
Year: 1996
They had to crop up at some point... This was a really tough decision, but in the end of the day, it was Everything Must Go that first made me notice the Manic, so I guess it has to take the top spot.
Highlights: A Design For Life, Enola/Alone, No Surface All Feeling.

(What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Year: 1995
Possibly not considered their best, but certainly my favourite. I remember getting this for Christmas in 1995, and listened it to death (I had it on cassette, and I actually wore it out!!) If it wasn't for Oasis, who knows where my musical interests would lie?!
Highlights: Some Might Say, Don't Look Back In Anger, Champagne Supernova.

Rilo Kiley
More Adventurous
Year: 2004
A relatively new album to me, but a great one! Jenny Lewis's voice (especially on this album) could melt anyone's heart. The beautiful melancoly lyric writing is marvelous as well. Reminds me of being in upstate New York.
Highlights: Portions for Foxes, More Adventurous, A Man/Me/Then Jim

The Postal Service
Give Up
Year: 2003
Linking Ben Gibbard (DCfC) and Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) together, other than them both having albums in my top ten, are The Postal Service. My first real outting into the Electronica/Pop genre, but an absolute gem! I swear this album gets better every time you listen to it.
Highlights: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, Such Great Heights, Sleeping In

The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream
Year: 1993
I kind of missed the SP boat the first time round, but since going to Uni, I developed a belated love for them - Siamese Dream especially. I think it has a lot to do with the happy memories attached to it.
Highlights: Disarm, Mayonaise, Today.

The Tragically Hip
Fully Completely
Year: 1993
This was another hugely tough choice. I can't get enough of the Hip at the moment, and they have such a huge collection of really strong material that it made it very hard to choose! I think in the end, I settled for FC as it has (but only just) the most consistant collection of great songs from start to finish.
Highlights: Courage, Pigeon Camera, At The Hundredth Meridian.

Year: 2001
Last but not least, some 'Prog-metal' (or whatever the hell you want to call it!) Again, I got into Tool a little later than a lot of people, again, it was being at Uni that really turned me on to them. All of their albums are so well crafted and full, but I think for me Lateralus just has the edge with the stronger songs. It was close though!
Highlights: The Grudge, Parabola, Lateralus
Well, I'm certainly no music critic/reviewer, but I hope you enjoyed my list! It really was an agonising choice. I know that certain people that may be reading this will be wondering why I've left many albums that I claim to love out - Trust me, all the albums and bands I rave about, I do genuinely love, but it's not easy trying to condense it down to just ten.
I think I'm going to tag some others to do their lists as well...


Monday, March 19, 2007

My Banners At Work...

After some rescaling, recropping and resizing - my banners now have pride of place on I know I'd get there in the end! I have to say, I think I prefer the new composition.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007


In addition to the Hipfans banners, I also made a start on a graphic for the HipTracker. I'm really pleased with it, and I think the simplicity of it works well considering the space I have to fill...

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Hip Hop - Pt. 2

I've done it!! I've finally finished "the set". Yes, it's true - The set of six Hipfans banners are done. I have to say, I am really happy with them as a whole (especially the purple Gord one, and the Red, Rob one.) I think I may have to make some alterations to the original three so they fit together better with the new ones, but I think they should work quite well.

I just hope Chris likes them!...

What say you, blog fans?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Smithfield Sunset...

Here's a couple more shots from on the way home yesterday. I love the silhouetting of the (almost gothic) Smithfield Meat Market against the sky. I'm hoping for a lot more nights like yesterday in the near future!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


There was an amazing view of the sunset across the Thames from Blackfriars Bridge this evening! I thought it deserved a post all of it's own. It was enhanced loads by listening to 'Stay' by Onelinedrawing at the same time - Beautiful song.


Ben's London Adventure - Pt. 7

I was fortunate enough to be allowed out again today, and therefore spent most of the day in Hyde Park! It was a beautifully warm afternoon, and great for taking photos. I also got to see the Diana Memorial, which is quite interesting (in a water feature kind of way...) I also went down at St. James's Park, and along the embankment (where I had a little "run in" with the law! - Oops!) Anyway, some photos.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Life Drawing - Pt.2

Some sketchs from Life Drawing last night. I don't think it was as successful as the first week, but I still produced some work that I'm happy with...

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Ben's London Adventure - Pt. 6

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, so Snoo and I took the opportunity to get out and about in it, which we enjoyed immensly - Especially since I spent all of Saturday doing freelance work. We went for a long walk along the embankment, past the army of 'living statues' and to the Tate Modern where we went down the slides! It was great fun! I also managed to get a load of new shots for the ever increasing image library.

Possibly one of the most exciting things we saw though (for me anyway - I don't think Snoo saw the appeal so much) were the flatland BMX and Trails riders. I can watch displays like that all day.

Roll on summer!
(Oh, and we also went and saw Nine Inch Nails again in the evening. After a tense half an hour or so trying to get tickets, we finally got in and it was amazing again!)

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Life Drawing Experiment...

I've been experimenting with one of my sketches from my life drawing session last week. I'm quite pleased with the outcome on the whole. I think I'm really starting to get to grips with getting a real convincing 'weathered' look in Photoshop.

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The Hand That Feeds...

Snoo and I went to see Nine Inch Nails at Brixton Academy on Wednesday night - It was a superb show! I had no idea what to expect, but they certainly put on a great show!

I taped the show as well. If anyone's interested you can get the mp3's here.

Life Drawing - Pt. 1

Last Monday myself and Hazel went to a Life Drawing drop in class, at the Candid Arts Trust Centre, in North London. It was a really nice, informal affair with help on hand should you need it, and more importantly, free reign on the sketches you produced. Here's some of mine:

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

The London Experiment...

I've been experimenting with different ways of getting worn and screen printed effects in Photoshop. I'm really pleased with the way this image has come out (despite the fact I look like I'm wearing eyeliner...)

Ben's London Adventure - Pt. 5

Here's come more photos from my journey home the other night. I honestly think that the first one is perhaps among the best I've ever taken!

This may seem like a hugely arrogant and protencious comment to make, but as I was walking along towards Waterloo station, and looking up at the surrounding buildings towering above me, I felt a real swell of fortune to be able to see (and probably more importantly appriciate) all these structures as not just buildings, but for their shape and composition. Especially at night when many of them are doused in all different shades of blues, purples, pinks and greens, they seem to take on a really fascinating abstract quality. I reckon I could do that walk every day for a year and still find something new and interesting to look at every time.

It may have its dirty and dangerous areas, but I have to say - I love London!

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