Friday, December 12, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 6: Careers Day

Episode 6 is a whole heap of fun, as we discuss our current views on how our careers are going and where we want them to go in the future, both near and far.
Here are the all important show notes:
  • Gord and Jay both talked about how their renditions of the mighty Slaine have fared. Gord's wins by not only being awesome in all sorts of ways, but also by actually existing!
  • Jay mentioned his plans for the Realms of Faerie, an accompanying blog post (because he can at least sometimes be organised) can be found here.
  • Jay talks a bit about his favourite all-round artist, Rien Poortvliet. You can see Jay's Poortvliet Bibliography here, and there are some images here, and some info here.
  • Here's the DeviantArt jobs forum. It's great for entry level gigs.
  • Concept Art has great weekly challenges that can be good for creating portfolio pieces. ImagineFX seems to have stopped doing them?
  • This is John Bauer, Troll artist extraordinaire! Jay said that he and his family died in a train crash by mistake, it was actually a steam ship.
  • And that's actually about all there is in the way of notes. We must have been talking about ourselves even more than usual.
You can right-click here to download the episode.

Or you can go to our iTunes channel (be kind and subscribe, rate and comment!).

We used music and sounds by Setuniman, venicesurf, northern87 and indigosierra. We thank them.

Monday, December 8, 2014


As part of what will hopefully become a regular segment on the podcast we asked for our listeners/followers to suggest via facebook an illustration for Jay and me to do.  We narrowed it down to a choice between Slaine, Wolverine or Marv from Sin City.  The unanimous decision was for us to do a picture of Slaine the character from 2000AD.

I had a particularly tough time with this, I intended to try painting my version and the combination of inexperience and trepidation about using paint had a negative impact on the initial drawing.  I fell back into a lot of old bad habits and was not terribly happy with the result, the pose was stiff and the anatomy overworked in some areas while unclear in others.  I did attempt to paint it but have decided not to post this as it was not great.  In an effort to salvage the whole project I did a new illustration, just a sketch this time.

The main thing I have taken from this is that I still have a heck of a lot to learn, particularly when it comes to painting.  I will continue to work towards learning to paint, while this project was overambitious for my current skill level I am trying to use it as motivation to work harder. hopefully I will get my painting to a level that I would be happy to share with everyone.

I have posted below the initial sketch before I painted over it and the redraw that I did afterwards.

1st attempt

2nd attempt

I know which one I prefer.  This was both frustrating and rewarding and I know I am looking forward to the next one of these. We will be posting the next shortlist for things for us to draw on the facebook page soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 5: Anatomy

We're back with Episode 5 of the Gord & Jay Talk Art Podcast.
In this episode, we get our hands grubby in the details of learning human anatomy.

Here are some things we mention:
  • Jay mentions the mighty Alphonse Mucha, in particular his Figures Decoratives (must be said in a french accent for full effect).
  • Gord mentions the big two anatomy instructors: George B Bridgman and Burne Hogarth. Basically, if you're going to learn anatomy, these two instructors are the masters.
  • Jay mentions Andrew Loomis. He's not known for his anatomical knowledge, but he will always be the 'go to' artist for learning to draw faces.
  • Jay talks about the workshop that he and Patrick Gavin attended hosted by the fantastic artist, Eva Widermann.
You can right-click here to download the episode.

Or you can go to our iTunes channel (be kind and subscribe, rate and comment!).

The music we used for the background in the intro is provided by Setuniman. There's some little interludes by northern87 and indigosierra, and the outro is by Setuniman too. (because that person does some great stuff!)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 4: Materials

Welcome back for another round of hijinks and jocularity in the form of the Gord & Jay Talk Art Podcast!
The theme of this episode is the subject of materials. Here's some of the stuff Gord and Jay mention in the podcast:
if you don't know the drill yet...

You can right-click here to download the episode.

Or you can go to our iTunes channel (be kind and subscribe, rate and comment!).

The music we used for the background in the intro is provided by Group_1. There's some little interludes by FreqMan and indigosierra, and the outro is by Setuniman.

Jeepers that's a lot of links!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 3: Getting stuff did!

Can you believe that we're back with another podcast for your listening pleasure so soon after the previous one? Sure, it may have something to do with us trying to sync up the time between when we record the episodes and when they are released, but we're also trying to get some momentum going and have plenty of content right off the bat. And with this episode, we're a little bit closer. Still not quite there, but we should be into a proper system with episode 4.

Anyways, here's episode 3's show notes-
  • Jay went on about The Circle again. Some people may want him to stop doing that, but he isn't going to. He isn't particularly sorry about that either.
  • This is the life-drawing class Jay goes to in Galway, Ireland.
  • And this is Gord's one in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Jay mentioned his 100 Heads in 100 Days self-challenge. Here's the video, here are the blog posts.
  • Gord mentioned Akira's Tetsuo Shima, Jay talked about the great and rather attractive artist, Rebecca Guay.
  • Jay talked about the little comic that Gord wrote and he drew a bunch of years ago, called The Void.
  • Jay pretty clearly talks too much and is fond of name dropping. He IS sorry about that.
As usual, you can right-click to download the episode here.

Or you can go to our iTunes channel (be kind and subscribe, rate and comment!).

The music we used for the background in the intro is provided by Group_1

And don't forget to visit our Facebook page! We'll be having the poll we mention in the podcast in the coming couple of days, so go check it out and get voting on what you want us to draw.

We'll be back soon with episode 4 very soon. It's Jay's turn to pick a topic, and he's leaning toward talking MATERIALS. See you then (or, you know, sooner, if you come chat with us on FB....)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dark Souls by Gord

I talked a little in the last couple of podcasts about this picture.  It is of the characters Ornstein and Smough, two notoriously difficult level bosses from the game Dark Souls.  Here is the final piece as well as a couple of work in progress pictures, please excuse the quality they were taken on my camera phone.

Rough Pencils, I have tried to be more conscious of the initial construction of the figures, using simple forms, Jay talks about this in the 2nd podcast.

Starting to add a little more detail and shading.  I didn't leave enough space to include the hammer so had to cut the original picture and put more paper behind it.

Finished inks

Tidied up in Photoshop and the composition adjusted.

It didn't really end up how I had hoped but nevertheless much was learnt (I hope).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 2: Foundations

We're back with Episode 2 of The Gord & Jay Talk Art Podcast.
This time, we discuss the importance of FOUNDATIONS.

Firstly, though, we talk about the things we've been doing (Jay not so much to show, but Gord's
Dark Souls piece will get its own post here very, very soon).

And then we get right into the topic.
Jay talks about the importance of basic structure when drawing forms in space, and the magic of the three basic shapes- the sphere, the cylinder and the cuboid.

Gord then discusses the basics of tone and value, how they are kinda the same thing and why exactly it is important to take them into consideration while working.

We finish with a quick chat about what we have on the drawing board for the next little while. Jay has/had the 24-hour Comic Day and a long life drawing session, and Gord has that pesky Faust piece to finish, along with some pixel art stuff on the go.

Apologies about the fuzzy audio, we're still finding our way with the technical stuff. As usual, the music we used for the background in the intro is provided by Group_1

We'll be back in about a week with Episode 3. Look how we spoil you! In the meantime, come chat with us on our Facebook page, we'll be having challenges, polls, discussions and all sorts of fun stuff. Come be part of the new cool gang in town.

You can download Episode 2 by right clicking here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gord & Jay Talk Art Episode 1: Beginnings

The entire universe can breathe a huge sigh of relief now, because The Gord & Jay Talk Art Podcast is finally here!

We would like to welcome all of you that make your way to our little slice of internet-land and hope that you enjoy your stay.

The Gord & Jay Talk Art Podcast is exactly that. It is a simple podcast where two artists discuss their artistic journey with each other. We talk about the things we are working on, what we are learning, how we improve, how we have failed... Every aspect of our artistic pursuits is covered.
But before we start to get too waffley, let's introduce ourselves briefly-

My name is Gordon Mackay, I am an illustrator from Edinburgh in Scotland.  I draw pretty much anything that takes my fancy.  My goal is to carry on improving as an artist and have fun along the way.  You can find some of my work at Gordon Mackay Illustration and I will be selling the odd thing on

And my name is Jay Penn. I'm a freelance illustrator dealing mostly with fantasy, faerie and comic art. You can find my work over at Realms of Faerie. I also have an Etsy store, so go buy all of my stuff right away!

So anyway, here is the inaugural podcast episode- Right click here to download it.

We're on iTunes, too! There's a few kinks to iron out still, but if you have an iTunes account, you can go download the first podcast here. Don't forget to rate the podcast and subscribe to it too!

And we have a Facebook page too! You'll not forget to 'like' us, will you?

Finally, here are the show notes (links to stuff we talk about on the episode):
  • The Will Kemp 'How to Paint a Portrait in Oil' online lesson that Jay mentioned is right here.
  • The artists that Jay mentions are: Brian Froud, Rien Poortvliet, Dale Keown, Erik Larsen, Bart Sears, Frank Frazetta, Larry MacDougall, Alan Lee, Justin Gerard and Andrew Loomis.
  • Gord mentions Frank Miller and Geof Darrow, Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell.
  • Jay mentioned his old 8-page illustrated story called The Circle.
  • The Tortoro picture Gord spoke of can be seen over at his own blog here.
Oh, and the music we used for the background in the intro is provided by Group_1

We'll be back soon with the next episode very soon. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or marriage proposals below.