Monday, April 9, 2012

Digital Illustration Master Class 14 & 15 April

Hi all - just wanted to give those if you in the Wellington area a heads up regarding the White Cloud Worlds 2 day Digital Illustration workshop coming up this weekend, at Massey College of Creative Arts. Paul Tobin and myself will be teaching the fundamentals of creating illustrations using Photoshop, and giving away a few of the secrets we've both learned from many years in the business.

It's a fun, informal way to get some one-on-one tuition from a couple of seasoned industry professionals, and there are still a couple of spots left. You can enroll here!

Also this weekend, Ben Wootten is taking a 2 day Traditional Sculpting for Creature Design workshop, also at Massey. There are a couple of spots available in this class, too, and it should be a blast for those of you who'd like get to grips with the entire process of creating a design maquette.

Might see you there!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Prints For Sale

I have a selection of limited edition giclee prints available to purchase. They are printed using archival inks on 100% cotton Hahnemühle Photo Rag archival fine art stock.

Please email me at if you'd like to purchase a print, or for more information. I will ship internationally, and you will be advised of the shipping costs when you make your enquiry.

The actual prints do not have the Cranky Machine blog address or the copyright on them.

Here are the prints!


Image size 290mm x 410mm 
Edition of 50, hand numbered, titled and signed
$150.00 NZD


Image size 420mm x 594mm
Edition of 10, hand numbered, titled and signed
$320.00 NZD

Inghram's Approach

Image size 425mm x 260mm 
Edition of 50, hand numbered, titled and signed
$150.00 NZD


Image size 1200mm x 735mm
Edition of 5, hand numbered, titled and signed
$550.00 NZD

Victori and Ash

Image size 584mm x 800mm
Edition of 10, hand numbered, titled and signed
$380.00 NZD


Monday, February 13, 2012

White Cloud Worlds Exhibition comes to Auckland

White Cloud Worlds is a first-of-its-kind popular culture exhibition, which showcases the diverse and unique work created by New Zealand science fiction and fantasy artists.

16 February – 15 April  –  Free Admission

Come and check it out!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Armageddon Expo

Hey folks

I'm going to be hanging out at the White Cloud Worlds booth at Armageddon Expo in Auckland this Friday and Saturday with Claire Hackett. I'll be doing some digital painting demonstrations while I'm there, and we'll have art prints from the White Cloud Worlds artists available. We'll also be selling and signing copies of the book and WCW postcard sets, plus doing an art portfolio review if you're interested in getting some feedback on your work.

Stu Thomas will be joining us on Saturday, and Ben Wootten and Kate Jorgenson will be taking over for Sunday and Monday.

Should be a blast! So drop on by Booth # 76 if you're at the show, and say hi!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Farewell My King

Hi there

This is a concept piece I did recently for my good friend Christian Gossett. Christian is making a short film titled Farewell My King, about the death of his father. It's a great project, and he's currently raising the funds necessary for production on the website Indiegogo. Go check it out!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Hey all,

Here's a digital sketch of Inghram. He's hanging off the side of something, while looking earnest. Always important to look earnest, don't you think?

By the way, had a totally fab time in San Diego, hanging out with the rest of the White Cloud Worlds gang, and the Weta crew. Signed lots of books, met loads of wonderful folk - and it was warm.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Heading to San Diego

I'm flying out tomorrow to attend San Diego Comic Con. I'll be joining a bunch of my White Cloud Worlds team mates at the Weta Stand (booth 2615 with Dark Horse), and we'll be selling copies of the WCW book, selling prints and doing signings everyday.

If you're going to be there, drop on by and say hi!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just got these...

...back from the printers.

Yet to be numbered and signed :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

World of Warcraft!

Hey - here are a couple of pieces I did earlier this year for the World of Warcraft TCG, The War of Elements:

Fun stuff! Thanks to Doug Gregory for his t'rific art direction.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Crop Face

Hey! Just a little something different for a Friday afternoon :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Morning Visitor

'The crowds thin, and the open spaces of the market place divide into narrow cobbled streets that climb steeply from the docks, as the Chéneschal rider follows its course through unfamiliar, alien territory.'

This is a piece I completed last year, for inclusion in the White Cloud Worlds anthology. For me it's a first look at the city in which the bulk of my story will take place; a port city of steep, narrow streets with dwellings and commercial buildings stacked precariously on top of each other.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Hi all - just a quick sketch to show, a bit of fun...

Happy New Year :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

White Cloud Worlds

Hey Folks - on the 1st of November White Cloud Worlds goes on sale. This book is an anthology of science fiction and fantasy art by artists from – or who are currently residing in – Aotearoa New Zealand, and is the brain-child of the tenaciously talented Paul Tobin.

I received an advance copy of it recently, and I have to say it's a gorgeous book – I feel very privileged to be one of the contributing artists. There's a whole bunch of extremely talented people featured besides me, and we were incredibly fortunate to have a foreword written by Guillermo Del Toro, an introduction by Richard Taylor, and afterwords by none other than fantasy art legends Alan Lee and John Howe!

Paul and Kate Jorgensen have done a superb job of bringing this book together, and their commitment to the project shows in the quality of the final product.

Go check out the book's website for a list of the featured artists, and some previews of the outstanding art that it showcases.

There are some book signings coming up to celebrate the White Cloud World's release, the first being at the Weta Stand at Armageddon in Auckland on Saturday October 23 and Sunday October 24. Then in Wellington at Unity Books at 5 pm on Saturday October 30, and again in Wellington at the Weta Cave at 1 pm, Sunday November 14. So if you're in the area, drop on by and say hi.

There will also be a White Cloud Worlds exhibition, featuring art from the book, coming up in December! Details are on the website.

You should really probably buy a copy of this book – if not for yourself, then for someone you love (or deeply admire at the very least). It would make a great Christmas present! Especially the special slipcase edition that includes a limited edition, signed art print by Christian Pearce, Gino Acevedo, Gus Hunter, or me :)


Friday, October 15, 2010

So, anyway...'s been quite a year really.

Unfortunately, time for personal art and blogging has taken a distant back seat to the frantic craziness that is my family life, these past few months.

Earlier in the year, my little boy turned one year old, and the day before his birthday, we got some pretty upsetting medical news about him – news that's going to have a continuing impact on him throughout his life. Initially this sent us into something of a tail-spin... it took some time to absorb the enormity of the information, and really, I guess we're still in that process.

At about the same time, a rather large freelance illustration job came my way, which has kept me pretty busy for a few months. While my amazing partner has taken on the lion's share of attending the many therapist's and doctor's visits related to my son's condition, still there has been little time left for anything other than hunkering down and concentrating all of our energies on the small but engrossing circle that is our family.

While thoughts of my graphic novel surface every now and then – proof that perhaps there is some spare creativity bubbling quietly away in the depths of my subconscious – I have had little chance to get anything down on paper, or in pixels. In truth, I guess the importance of the project has faded in comparison to the other aspects of my life, for the time being at least.

Hopefully I will be able to show you some work from the aforementioned freelance job in the next few months. In the meantime, here's a picture of one of the biggest projects of them all:

My beautiful son, and in the background my equally beautiful daughter with their granddad Barkie on a warm April evening on the shore of Lake Taupo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inghram's Approach

Hey again

Here's one I finished recently - another study for my graphic novel. The driver character I've posted sketches of previously, and of course his car, also from a previous post.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Engineer redux

Hey there, and happy new year!

I couldn't help myself – I've always disliked the way I rendered the face in this painting of my engineer character, and lately it just got too much to ignore. To me it always made her look a bit severe, or undernourished, which wasn't the look I intended with the original line drawing.

So – as if I didn't already have enough to do – I went and changed it, didn't I:

I padded out her cheekbone, softened the jaw-line slightly, gave her a little more colour, and did another pass over the whole face with a brush to smooth things off a bit. I think the new version is definitely an improvement. She now looks more like the character I've had in my head for so long.

For interest, here's a comparison of the original pencil drawing, the original painting (centre), and the new version:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zoo Critters

Hey Folks - I was lucky enough recently to be involved in designing and illustrating the visitor experience for Wellington Zoo's new state of the art animal hospital The Nest - Te Kohanga, which had its official opening yesterday.

The Nest - Te Kohanga is quite unique in that it has a number of treatment and recovery rooms that are glass walled and so able to be viewed by the Zoo-going public, and integrated in and around the building is an educational visitor experience, conceptualised, designed and built by Locales, a company with whom I work.

People can rock on up and watch procedures and treatments be performed on zoo animals and native wildlife that have been rescued within the region - pretty cool! It's a great, worthwhile project to have been involved in, and I got to do a bunch of fun animal illustrations!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Victori and Ash

Hey all - I know, it's been ages since I've had anything to post. I've been up to my ears in sick kids and contract work and, well... life, really. You know how it goes.

This piece is of a couple of the major players from my story - one's a dude, and one's a robot, just in case there's any confusion (the robot is the taller, shinier one at the back).

You may recognise the foreground guy from this painting I posted back in June. He now has a purpose in life! And while that purpose might put him in the line of fire more often than not, I'm sure he's much happier to have goals.

And I'm happier too - because now I have closure with a painting that always seemed a bit lost.

Thanks for coming over!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spectrum Exhibition

Hey there - I was a bit chuffed to be told on the weekend that one of the pieces (above) I painted up for Christian Gossett's The Red Star: Sword of Lies has been included in the Spectrum Exhibition, currently on at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City.

Pencils by the inimitable Chris Gossett, digital paintin' by me.

Image copyright Christian Gossett.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Character Sketches

Trying to find my main character... I've been avoiding this for quite some time now, having done some initial sketches and paintings a while ago. I guess because it feels like the stakes are higher - like doodling just won't do.

But, jeez - got to start again somewhere, right?

Thanks for coming along and having a little looksie!

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Friday... it's fat... and it's a dog.

Hey there! Following a brief work-enforced hiatus, Fat Dog Friday returns to thrill you with canine obesity...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Special Haul

Hi there - this drawing is of the car driven by the character I posted sketches of a couple of weeks ago - the rugged dude with the goggles.

This is why he looks so beaten up - he has to try to keep this thing going in a straight line while picking bugs out of his teeth.

Built for long-haul travel, customised for the special delivery service...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fat Dog Friday...

Hey all - I've had a pretty full-on couple of weeks with freelance work, so in the absence of any decent self-driven project work to show you... here's another fat dog.

Awww - go on, give'im a scratch...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fat Dog Friday!

So it turns out, I like fat dogs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Random scribblings

Hi there - nothing to see here...

move along.

(unless you like fat, surprised dogs, that is.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some dude

Hi there - this is a piece that I've never really finished, and at this point I'm not really sure that I ever will. It started life as a pretty awful pencil drawing, progressed into quite an average digital painting, and then enjoyed a new lease of life when some time later I worked back into it, adjusting proportions, repainting surfaces etc.

I now quite like it as an image, but I'm still not really sure what it is... I guess just one of those paintings I did along the way...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Character sketches

Hey all - here are some sketches of a secondary character from the graphic novel, but hopefully someone who will be appearing a bit more here on the blog - in his own strip. Hopefully... that's the plan anyway. And we all know what they say about plans...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I used a pencil!

For various reasons I have pretty much stopped doing pencil drawings over the last few years, and have almost exclusively worked straight into Photoshop using my Wacom tablet, and I've been relatively happy with this situation. However, in an effort grab some more time for the development of my graphic novel, I've started using a PENCIL to sketch up ideas and designs in a book, when previously I may have been staring slack-jawed at the television, or crying into my pillow, or eating pies, etc.

Here are some initial ideas for an alien species from my story. They're by no means 'approved' designs, just early indications of what has been lurking in my head for some time now.

Thanks for having a look!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gnoll Marauders!

Hey all - here's an illustration I did a while back for Wizards of the Coast's Dragon mag. As is true for most of my work these days, I did a quick sketch in Photoshop for client approval, and then proceeded to block it out in black and white. Once I was happy with that, I layed in the colour, and continued to paint (still in Photoshop) into it, pretty much until I ran out of time... that's often my signal to stop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Red Star: Sword of Lies wins IPPY gold medal

That's the 13th annual Independent Publisher Book Awards! Me and some of my former Weta colleagues handled the digital painting on this book, and had a blast doing it. Nice to have taken part in such a high quality publishing venture... Congratulations, Christian and The Red Star!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hello Internet - it's me, Stephen.

Hi there. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome myself to the ancient art of the blog.

Welcome, Stephen.

Better late then never, right?... or maybe not? Why waste what little time I have on posting my stuff up here where people may or may not take time out of their own busy lives to glance at it?

I don't have an answer for that yet... mayhap I never will. So, I'm just going to go ahead and do it anyway, and see what happens. Suck it and see, as they say.

Here's a picture I made quite a while ago now... The first illustration I did based on a character from my graphic novel concept:

Those that know me will be going "Jeez - he's STILL thrashing that painting?"

Well... yeah.