Gareth A Hopkins

These pages will be kept updated with forthcoming gallery shows and news on completed artwork.

Pages from my ongoing surreal/abstracted comic 'The Intercorstal' can be found here: The Intercorstal

My deviantart gallery, chock-full of my art, can be found here: grthink

Stories from my (old) walk to and from work can be found here: Trolleys In Odd Places

Friday, 23 May 2014


While I was volunteering at London Super Comic Convention I started to think about putting a proper Intercorstal comic together -- a single issue, 30-odd pages, of pure Intercorstal comic work. And I realised that the Intercorstal, on its own, as proud as I am of it, would be a VERY hard sell to a mainstream comics crowd -- the sort of people who spend money at cons and shops.

Figuring I'd need to anchor The Intercorstal to the rest of the comics world with something, I fell on the idea of doing Intercorstal-style portraits of comics characters, and making a small book of them -- buoyed up significantly by how proud I was of the mummy I did for my Secret 7s entry.

Here's the first step toward that -- everyone's favourite fascist lawperson, Judge Dredd. I'm still not entirely happy with this -- I think it works in its own way, but really I'd like it to be more dynamic, which will probably involve finding a more dramatic angle and pose. I'll have another go once I've done some Crosby & Syd pages and had a punt at Batman. Here's some photos of how I went about the finished image, in case you're interested.

First pencil draft. Had a few books open as reference, in particular Henry Flint's work on Trifecta. Carlos Ezquerra is always a constant influence whenever I try to do Dredd, too. But I suppose that's the same for everyone.

Corrected pencil draft - shaved a bit off the helmet, tidied a few other bits up. Was also very unhappy that I'd gone with (what I consider) a rookie Dredd mistake, which is to hunch him all over, and you can see here where I drew his shoulders back in where a normal person's would be. That decision was also informed by Flint's drawing of him in particular Dredd strips, where he's in meetings with senior Judges and stands silently, statue-like.

Jumping ahead a bit -- I traced over the pencils onto A4 Bristol Board, losing all the work I'd done on the eagle but that's how it goes sometimes. At this stage I really wasn't feeling it, because the bits that haven't been filled in yet throw off the composition. Was working on faith that once the rest had been done it would look alright.

I'd worked some swirl into the helmst to stop it being too flat, and had been very careful not to overwork the mouth/chin bits. When I cam to fill the body, I was aware that just going in without a plan would make it look too layered and, again, flat, so broke it up into sections which (very) loosely described the abstract shapes that make up his chest.

Bit more filling.

Um, more filling.

Final furlong. Once I'd cracked these bits, added a little texture to the metals left over (eagle, shoulder pad, zipper) and scanned. Then bumped levels, paint-potted the line work to make it look fuller -- IRL the inks are enough, but even with the contrast bumped the inks look too thin and reedy after scanning) and did a few touch ups, and voila, the finished image that's up the top of the page there.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tallulah Rendall for Amelia's Magazine

Recently I got back on the horse and did an illustration for home-away-from-home Amelia's Magazine, for an interview with the very talented and inspiring Tallulah Rendall.

The finished, polished-up version of the illustration can be found at the article itself, but as is my way I wanted to share the original scan, because I think it just looks pretty nifty. The illustration itself was done on a St Bride's Foundation notepad because I liked the grain of the paper and the fact that it wasn't brilliant white (which is what I'd normally favour for this sort of thing). Then when it came to scanning, the scanner wouldn't detect the size, so I put behind it the nearest A4 piece of paper I could find, which was a scanning test sheet.

The approach I took was similar to the one I took for my Lorde Secret 7s entry, except I did't have a fortnight to source images and play with textures and spend hours really digging darkness into the page. Also, Tallulah Rendall has blonde hair, so the amount of detail in it needed really lifting off. And then in keeping with the pattern of the hair, the background work became more about movement than density, meaning I could really fill-in the patch of body and arm in the foreground.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Secret 7" successful entry

I have been very remiss in not adding my winning Secret7s image to the blog, and here it is! It was entered for Massive Attack's Karmacoma, and is based on a photo of a Peruvian mummy I found on this excellent travel blog: I think from a drawing stand-poit, it's the best single piece I've done to this point. I really, really love it, and it looked great printed out.

As I did for my Lorde piece, here are some process images.

First thumbnail sketch. At this point, I was going to do most of the work to the shawl, and leave the 'flesh' more or less blank. 
Photo of progress about 2 hours in. The first 2 hours are always the quickest... wait, that doesn't make sense. I mean, I get the most done on this type of image in the first 2 hours. I suppose it's because at that stage I'm setting up the rules that the work will need to follow, and so can be a little experimental. After this point, I'll be constantly referring back, to make sure it's coherent.

About 4/5 hours in, with the source photo and my carpet in shot for good measure.

To keep this neatly in a square format, I had to extend the 'shawl' area, but in working on A4 Bristol Board did not give this a thought when I started. So I taped a piece of A3 printer paper to it and carried the line out. You can clearly see where I took a wrong turn on the first go. I sent this original to James Mahan.

Here's the final scan. A little bit of Photoshop after scanning (removing the paper fold from the middle, increasing the contrast, scrubbing that stray line from the right hand side and paint-potting the shawl, then whacking in a very orange background colour) and I'm done.