Twitsketch Forum is live and getting a color update.

My new Twitsketch forum is fully live now and I've just finished another round of style tweaking. I want to start encouraging doodlers, sketchers, twitter-fiends, modelers and general art types over there. I've upgraded the forum to a Premium account from Free and got the ability to edit the style. I've matched the colors to this blog and SGFX although I chose to keep the background very light. If you can help out and spread the word please do. The main idea behind the site is a place for doodlers to find a topic and post their work. I've added a speed modeling section for 3D modelers like myself) and I'll be starting some speed sessions later this week.

I should be able to start up the Silo Forum weekly sessions again soon so if you've missed them over the summer get your polygons ready for round two in October!


Josh designs and builds his Warmachine suit

The SouthernR&D team have been working day and night on a secret project, a project the lead designer can now share with the world. Josh wanted me to interview him so he could tell everyone about his new battle suit that he calls 'WarMachine'. He has picked up lots of my habits during his 5 years and one that really makes me laugh is his addiction to making things with Duct tape! Whoeverinvented Duct tape needs some form of medal or award.

Anyway, take a listen to my little designer explaining all about his battle armour.



Twitsketch gets its own forum

This week I’ve been working on improving the look and feel of my website. I have felt for sometime that it needed a once over and now is the time. I've redone the basic page structure starting with the info page and now I'm working on the new gallery pages. I need to get some help as I need to re-hash this blog to match the new graphics

This week saw the launch of my new Twitsketch forum. Twitsketch started as my doodle website where artists can get a daily topic to inspire their doodling. If you like to doodle and want to join us then hop over to the forum. I've been meaning to start a Twitsketch forum since the spring of 2009. I started using Twitter at the start of the year and very soon after that I started to post daily sketch topics called Twitsketches (crap name but it fits the purpose). After a few weeks and a seeing a few great little sketches being posted I decided to register the twitsketch domain (just in case) and parked a single webpage on there to explain what Twitsketch was all about. The next stage for me was to get hold of a forum. It took 6 months for me to get round to it.

I didn't set out to start up a new forum, of course, like most projects it just evolved. I sketch every day and I often run out of ideas. I normally turn to my inspirations folder on my hard drive (something I'm sure we've all got) or I go and wander around Google images for half an hour. I love visiting and taking part in `Creature of the week` or the `Daily sketch group` and if you need sketching topics there is no place better.

I wanted Twitsketch to be less involved. For example. I'm in a meeting and bored (regularly).

1. I check out twitter on my Iphone and search for #Twitsketch.

2. See the daily topic.

3. Scribble my interpretation down on paper or even on the Iphone.

4.Snap a picture or screen shot and fire in onto the web with twitfire or twitpic and tag it #twitsketch

Now with the forum I can see all the Twitsketches in one place and see how other artists have interpreted the subject matter.

So, that's a quick overview of why it's here.

Sign up and join the fun!


Switching to Mac and Snow Leopard from PC and Vista.

So after many years of debating it I finally decided to give an Apple Mac a try as my main Laptop solution. I very nearly upgraded to another Toshiba as I've had such great service and reliability out of my Tecra M7 Tablet but after a few conversations with fellow artists I made my mind up and took a trip over to Apple at Liverpool 1. I suppose it is a lie to say I was a complete Apple newbie. My life is littered with Apple products and as an early adopter I've been buying Ipods on a regular basic since the first version for the PC back in 2001. I bought an Imac some years ago (A 21" G5 powerpc version) and I have to say it put me off using Macs for a few years. I didn't like the Tiger OS and I found it much slower than my current PC's when using Photoshop and ZBrush. I ended up using it as DVD player which really is a bit old waste of £1500! AS 90% of my computer time is using graphic applications I have always felt like I should be a a mac fan but for some reason I just wasn't getting it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a PC/Windows Fan either. I'm not even an OS fan really. I find that I spend too much time messing with skins, themes, settings, backgrounds, icons etc. Windows has always been painful in one way or other and for years I was plagued with viruses. Windows 95 was always OK for me. ME was a waste of time. Windows 2000NT restored my faith a little and I don't think XP and Vista have brought anything new to the party in recent years. Security has never been an issue to me in terms of people seeing/using my data but as mentioned viruses have cost me money and time almost every year. In the past three years I've managed to find a way to work around this and that is by having lots of external hard-drives and keeping everything I own on them. I use MaCafee virus software and I upgrade my Windows OS or just re-install every 6 months or so. I had an awful time with XP 64 and and even worse time with Vista 64. I hasten to add these are all legal upgrades so I've spent a lot of money with Microsoft over the years with my latest purchase being Windows Vista Ultimate (64 and 32 versions).

So all that said I finally took the pluge and headed off to Apple. I had already decided on a MacBook Pro. I bought my Son, Jack, a white Macbook and I didn't like the look of that so it had to be the aesthetically pleasing aluminum 15" MBP. The native screen resolution is 1440x900 which matches my Toshiba and is about right for my eyes and needs. The look and feel of the laptop is awesome. It is sexy for want of a better term. The sleek aluminum body is clean and high tech and unlike Windows machines sticker free!. I am not a gamer (clearly, or Mac would be a no no!) but graphics performance matters to me. I went for the twin graphics card option which along with Snow Leopard I am hoping I have all the power and graphic umppphff I need. I'm happy so far and all my art apps are playing ball. I've read a few reviews that seem to suggest I've come to the Apple party late and there is no real advantage for an artist to use Macs these days.

So far so good. I upgraded to Snow Leopard on arriving home as it came with the MBP but was not installed. I do use my Toshiba for business so the MBP needed to meet all them same needs and the first issue I came across was the lack of Outlook on a Mac. Bummer!. I have to say of all the programs that Microsoft turn out I love Outlook best of all. I use Mobile Me and like all that connectivity between my Iphone, Mac and Web calenders but Entourage is not Outlook. In fact, it's crap. I would prefer to use ICal, Contacts and a bloody cheesy Note apps rather than Entourage. I find mail is slow to download load and the Rules process is tosh. My solution is a temporary one as I read that Outlook Mac is on the way next year. I decided to use BootCamp and desecrate my MBP by putting Windows Vista on it! I printed the Bootcamp instructions and ignoring the reviews by people who have screwed up their machines with Bootcamp I went ahead and made mine a Dual Boot Macbook Pro. It worked. Like a dream actually.

Now, Apple purists will think I'm cracked for making it a dual boot. For me it means I keep the functionality of my old machine and get the benefits of OSX and some of the cool mac software. Silo doesn't work 100% under Snow Leopard. There are color issues making it hard to use the materials functions. Modeling seems fine though.


Ren and Stimpy unmade episode in storybord form

I was looking up some information about an old Loony Tunes cartoon character called Bosko X when I stumbled on an unmade episode of Ren and Stimpy. As I'm a massive fan of the show I thought I'd embed the clip right here. Shame it was never made.


The Frunkies

The Frunkies
Originally uploaded by SouthernGFX
I seem to have been in lots of situations this week where only my ears were needed; freeing up my hands to litter the pages of my latest Moleskine sketchbook. I started doodling some little creatures and they evolved into these two little tailed beasties called the Frunkies (Frog Monkies!)

I want to do a few scenes this week with this pair and some of their animal friends getting into difficult and awkward situations.