Thursday, December 10, 2009

Animated Avatar tutorial for Advanced Photoshop magazine & The Roberto Blake interview

This little guy is a Grogling, and he's the star of our latest tutorial for Advanced Photoshop magazine (issue #64) where we tell you how to make animations in Photoshop. It's really easy so it's well worth a look!

Also Roberto Blake's interview with me is on his website now. Go read it! :)

Have fun,

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

You should follow me on Twitter - it's official, says so!

Just a quick post to say thank you to the lovely Karen Mc Dade who featured me on as the first on her list of "10 Fresh Digital Artists & Designers to Follow on Twitter" alongside other artists such as Henning Ludvigsen, Brand Nu and Roberto Blake.

So it's now official; you should follow me on Twitter:

and while you're at it follow Karen too!

Have fun,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Appearances on other sites, a new image and go buy our wallet now!

The image on the left was made for our good friends at Thunderchunky's Blog action Day: Creative climate change last month. (Actually, just the bottom right square was, the other three parts of the image were added afterwards.) We're just sharing it now because we realised we hadn't shown it on our blog yet!

Speaking of appearing on other sites, we're currently being featured in Creative Boom's latest Christmas themed gallery and my ramblings will soon be featured on Roberto Blake's website as I've just been interviewed by him.

Oh and did we mention you can go and buy our Boreal wallet NOW!

Have fun,

Monday, November 09, 2009

The latest Boreal wallet: Rexx Unleashed!

Christmas is drawing near (or at least that's what the adverts on TV keep telling me) so to get with the spirit of the season (i.e. commercialism); we've teamed up with the people at Boreal to bring you the brand new "Rexx unleashed" wallet. Cheaper than buying an Xbox and much cooler than a pair of socks! Plus way more practical than socks; have you ever tried to keep your credit cards in your socks? Not comfortable in the slightest...

Have fun,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Painter X Sketch

Another recent warm up sketch, created in Painter X and drawn from reference using an image from the superb photographer Marcus Ranum.

Have fun!

Sarah and David

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rom redesigned: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo

This is my redesign of Rom for the upcoming charity tribute book for comic book writer Bill Mantlo.

Here's a bit more info about Bill Mantlo from Wikipedia:
"On July 17, 1992, Mantlo was struck by a car while rollerblading. (The driver of the car fled the scene and has never been identified.) Not wearing a helmet at the time, Mantlo suffered severe head trauma and spent over two weeks in a coma. He has since been institutionalized, and is not expected to fully recover.[9] Mantlo now resides in the Queens Nassau Rehabilitation & Nursing Center,[10] where he must have 24-hour assistance. His care has long since used up his health insurance. In 2007, cartoonist David Yurkovich released the benefit book Mantlo: A Life in Comics, with all proceeds from the book donated to Mantlo's brother and caregiver, Michael Mantlo, to help toward the costs of maintaining Mantlo's care. In addition, Floating World Comics sponsored Spacenight: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo, an art show made (almost) entirely of various artists' interpretations of ROM, to help raise funds for Mantlo's care."

You can see more artists renditions of ROM at the SpaceNite 2 blog
Have fun,

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Mosh

Unless we're on a deadline day, I normally try to make a warm-up image before work starts. I'll vary what I'm getting from the warm up; sometimes it will be some quick pose sketches, sometimes concepts and occasionally it will be a ref study. Here I've once again been inspired by a photo from a good friend of Cool Surface; Marcus Ranum and the amazingly versatile Mosh.

Unlike our previous work for Digital Arts that featured Mosh, I wasn't going for an exact likeness, this was more just for the fun of painting.

A shout out also goes to Caleb Kimbrough who runs the excellent Lost and Taken a great royalty free texture resource for supplying the wallpaper for the background. Thanks Caleb!

Have fun,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Passengers- Advanced Photoshop Tutorial

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a woman perched precariously atop a balloon-suspended, rocket-propelled tortoise? Erm, well yes actually, it is...

And if you pick up issue 61 of Advanced Photoshop Magazine you'll find our most recent tutorial on how to colour this image yourself, with some free custom brushes and the image lines to start you off.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cool Surface Shop Open for Business!

At long, long last we have finally opened the Cool Surface Shop, where you can purchase your very own Cool Surface prints. Hooray!

We've started off with a small selection of limited supply prints, so you'll need to move quickly. And keep checking back, as we will be changing the prints that are available from time to time! So go to now to see what we have on offer at the moment...

Or, if there's an image of ours that you'd love to own that isn't available at the shop, just let us know and we'll see what we can do!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Painter Reference Study

It's both busy and exciting here at Cool Surface Towers, with several interesting projects on the go...
Unfortunately we aren't allowed to show you any of it! Well, not yet at least. So in the mean time, here's a reference study that David did in his spare time using Painter X.

Now, back to top secret Cool Surface activities...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anna Character Concept Design

Way back in March we posted a character concept design; a lovely female called Tricia. Now we have another concept design from the series. We still can't give you any more details on this project, other than to say that this character's name is Anna and she's a bit of a bad ass. If we tell you anything more we'd have to kill you... ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Broken Link" slideshow

For those of you who didn't see our Broken Link tutorial over at PSDfan (shame on you...), here is a nifty little slideshow for you so you can see how the image was taken from sketch to finished artwork. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"Broken Link" - A Photoshop tutorial based on the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

If you head over to PSDFAN right now you'll be able to see our brand new Photoshop tutorial: "Broken Link" where we take you through the steps of how to make the image in this post based on the Nintendo game "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask".

You may already know that we're big fans of The Legend of Zelda series (I even made a Zelda themed birthday card for Sarah a while back) so when PSDFAN asked us to make a character based tutorial for them, the idea of redesigning Deku Link and pushing his mutated tree form even further jumped straight into my head.

Plus it's not just the tutorial files you can see there, you can also download some free custom brushes too!

Have fun,

Monday, June 29, 2009

"The Dogs"

Welcome to the slightly re-vamped blog; now with added blue! Next in line for an upgrade is the official Cool Surface website; we'll keep you informed of when that will be launching. There have also been murmurings of a Cool Surface shop appearing in the not too distant future, so you could soon be able to adorn your walls with prints of sexy ladies, flying rats and more sexy ladies (we like sexy ladies). Hooray!

If the excitement hasn't all been too much for you, take a peek at this latest image, imaginatively titled "The Dogs"...

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Rising Starr", Advanced Photoshop Tutorial

Issue 58 of Advanced Photoshop Magazine is out now, and in it you will find a tutorial which will take you through how we created this image, called "Rising Starr". It starts off a little differently from our usual method, using photo reference to help generate an initial sketch, to help readers who aren't that confident with their drawing skills.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Fractured Beauty"

We're not yet able to show you some of our recent artwork until it's been published, so for this week's post here's a personal piece that David made whilst playing around with Painter and Photoshop.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Graffiti Tutorial in Photoshop Creative, "First Dance"

We've had to sit on this image for a while, until the current issue of Photoshop Creative Magazine was released. But now it's out we can show you "First Dance", starring your 2 favourite illustrators! ;)

If you want to find out how we created this graffiti effect, pick up issue 49 of Photoshop Creative.



Monday, June 01, 2009

"Photoshoot" Digital Arts tutorial out now!

The current issue of Digital Arts magazine has just been released, so we're now able to show you this tutorial image, called "Photoshoot". It was drawn from reference using a stock photo by Marcus Ranum of the lovely Mosh (be careful if you're little faint-hearted; her images can be a little racy!).

Pick up a copy of the mag to see how we made it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

But why is the rum gone?

Well, we promised you a while ago that there would be more pretty ladies again soon, but we've gone one better and have a pretty pirate lady.

This is a quick sketch from reference (a lovely photo by the talented Marcus J Ranum), made using Manga Studio 4 Debut and little bit of Photoshop too.

Have fun,


PS. Speaking of pirates, have you tried changing the language to "pirate" in your Facebook options...?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

10 Kings and Queens; a preview

A slightly older image today; this is one of the illustrations which we provided for "Ten Kings and Queens who Changed the World". It seems like so long ago that we made this, but the book has only just been released!

Oh yeah, did we mention that you can buy it from Amazon by clicking on the book cover in the sidebar? We did? Oh ok...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love Birds

Wow, yet more animal artwork! Seriously, what's going on? This week it is the feathered variety, and it's called "Love Birds". Don't worry, I'm sure there will be some pretty ladies on the way soon!


Monday, May 04, 2009


It might seem like we've gone a bit animal crazy here at Cool Surface what with all the animal themed art we've been posting lately. This weeks blog post is an image we made for our very good friend Carol, with the aim of capturing her eclectic style and bright personality, and also immortalising the lovely Shiver, who sadly passed away recently.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Tilly Tag

Well, it's been a bit busy here at Cool Surface; we've just finished a few fun commissions for some international magazines. Keep an eye out for the next issues of Digital Arts and Photoshop Creative for some Cool Surface tutorials, but in case you miss them we will of course be posting the results on here once they're released into the big wide art world.
For now, here's a work in progress which we've been playing around with in our spare time, featuring the adorable "Tilly".

Have fun!

Friday, April 24, 2009

10 Kings and Queens is Out Now!

Last week we received our complimentary copies of the 3rd installment in the "Ten" series of books which we illustrated for Kingfisher/ Macmillan Publishing.

Go to the sidebar and click the book cover to buy "10 Kings and Queens who Changed the World" from Amazon. We think it's the best one yet! ;)


Friday, April 17, 2009

Advanced Photoshop's latest website wallpaper is..."Dark!"

...that is to say "Dark"- the tutorial we did for the magazine over Christmas, not just the absensce of light! Forgive the awful joke, I'm just very tired this morning!

It was a very pleasant surprise to log on and see our art staring us in the face! Looks like it will be there for around a month or so. Thanks to the AP team for choosing our art ot represent the magazine, we're very flattered.

Have fun,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Reg the Cat

Yesterday was the Birthday of a friend of ours, Clive Gifford. Clive is a fantastic author who we had the pleasure of working with on the "Ten" series of books for Kingfisher Publishing. As a birthday surprise, we drew this portrait of his lovely cat, Reg. Reg has his own web pages on Clive's website here.

Have fun,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

More Cool Surface artwork on the Beeb!

If you tuned in to "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" on BBC2 last Saturday morning, you will have seen these 4 posters (created by your friendly neighbourhood art duo, Cool Surface!) presented to the kids. We were really pleased to see how thrilled the kids were with their posters, and even more pleased by how much screen time our artwork got! ;)

Have fun,

All artwork Copyright of BBC

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday WoW!

Fans of the wonderful World of Warcraft should recognise this cute little fella. "Murky" is the star of this image which we created to celebrate WoW's 4th birthday.

Have fun,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Comic concept sketches

Concept sketches for a comic book proposal written by a good friend of ours. Unfortunately, other than telling you this character's first name, that's literally all we can say about this for now as it's far too early to start spilling any beans just yet!

Have fun,

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hyde in the Shadows

This is an image that we produced for an upcoming book about all things monster related, which is due to be released in 2010. We can't really say much more on it, but once the book is released we'll be revealing more details!

For now, enjoy...


Monday, March 02, 2009

Cool Surface Hits the Small Screen!

Copyright: BBC

Currently showing on Saturdays at 9am on BBC2 is a brilliant series called “Who Wants to be a Superhero?”, featuring a group of children who are competing as their self-invented superhero characters to win the opportunity to star in their very own comic book, written by the legendary Stan Lee. And if you tune in and watch carefully, you’ll see some of Cool Surface’s artwork popping up every now and again! We’re really pleased that we were able to contribute to this show, as we have great fun watching it. But secretly we wish that it could have been made about 15 years ago so that we could have been on it ourselves!

Have fun,


Monday, February 23, 2009

A sketch from reference

It's been a busy couple of months working on the "10" series for Macmillan publishing (see the "Highly recommended" section in the sidebar for current releases!). But now that we have book number 4 under our belts, there is some free time for random scribblings and the like. Here's a sketch David has drawn from a reference photo. Can you guess who it is yet...?


Monday, January 05, 2009

"Dark" Advanced Photoshop Tutorial

If you happen to pick up a copy of Advanced Photoshop Magazine this month you'll find our in depth tutorial on creating depth in a 2D image, and you can have a go at colouring the image opposite. We've created several Photoshop tutorials over the past few years, and we always like to see what other artists' versions of our artwork turn out like. So if you've had a go at the "Dark" tutorial and wish to share your work, head to the Advanced Photoshop forum and post your artwork here. We've provided the lines there, in case you don't have a copy of the magazine (aren't we thoughtful!). We'll be keeping a close eye, and are always happy to give feedback, so get colouring!