Friday, 25 February 2011
Chris Weston - Quick on the Draw!
Chris Weston has been gracing the pages of 2000AD for over twenty years. The meticulous artist, taught by the legendary Don Lawrence, is a firm favourite with readers for both his amazing attention to detail and his mind-bendingly trippy visuals.
I am a huge fan of Chris' work, but admit that I was blind drunk when I emailed him to ask for the commission - in fact, the first I knew about it was the next day when he emailed me back to say he was available!
Unlike myself, Chris was the model of professionalism, with this superbly detailed prelim sent within a day of that initial drunken contact..
Naturally I agreed with the image straight away (alas, this was before the days of the fabled 'Pete Wells Block') and I was surprised to receive this 'detailed rough' shortly after...
Chris says "All my roughs are drawn A4-sized paper, then, once I've been given the all clear, they are blown up and inked on A3 paper. For some reason I find it easier to compose the picture when it's smaller."
As if I was thrilled enough with the detailed image then wallop, the intricately painted A3 art was finished and delivered in little more than a week! Amazing!
I love this commission, the work that's gone into it is breathtaking. Furthermore, my commission made a cameo in Chris' excellent Future Shock 'Counts as one Choice' in Prog 1645 which was a nice surprise!
I can't recommend Chris highly enough. Super fast and professional with constant communication throughout, if only all artists were like this! His prices are more than fair, especially considering the level of detail and the amount of work he pours into your piece.
Another satisfied customer is Eric Moore, who got Chris to do him a commission of a character they both love, The Spider!
Over to Eric "Dunno quite know how this came about, think it was Chris talking about British boys comics he grew up on his Blog, coupled with my decision to try and collect modern artists takes on my favourites from that time, prompting me to email him to see if he could do his version of the Spider. He said sure, when he had a gap in his schedule."
"A couple of months later he got back in touch to say that he was free and was I still up for it? Sure was, so just like with Ian Gibson we established just how completed a piece I was after. Again, I went with B&W with a touch of colour."
"Just what the fella would look like i totally left up to Chris. Stunned and well chuffed to receive this while later..."
"A brilliant take on the character, with clever use of red to make the background of the web. Top work!" Thanks to Eric there for contributing to the blog again!
Here are a few more commissions from Chris, firstly this brilliant Judge Death commission for Chris Caira's esteemed Trophy Wall series. Chris gets very highly artists to depict a character (generally classic villains) with their kills behind them. Chris obviously asked for good old Judge Death...
Of the prelim he says "This is, if can believe it, a PRELIM by Chris Weston. Amazing attention to detail even in preliminary form. Chris and I discussed the elements of this piece once he finished the prelim and changed a couple small things..."
Below is the beautiful finished piece, can you spot the different victim?!? Chris says "Here's the final finished piece. Just amazing detail level by Chris. Judge Dredd's Sinister Villain and Chris Weston was the perfect choice for this piece. He filled the piece with wonderful bits everywhere and a couple little jokes."
Another famous set of commissions for which Chris has contributed is Michael Finn's 'One Minute Later' series showing famous covers erm... one minute later! Michael commissioned Chris to do a 'What happens next' on the golden age Captain America cover shown below:
Here's his freaking amazing inks (all logos etc, were hand drawn, not stuck on!)
And finally the digitally coloured image.
When asked about the his colouring methods in Photoshop for the above image, Chris said "I have a catalogue of home-made textures (scanned in bits of paper, photos of gravel, peeling paint) and I merely overlay them as a seperate layer in Photoshop... and "Multiply" the layer. I have a theory that the human eye doesn't like looking at flat, smooth surfaces... probably something to do with our primitive brain that's always looking for hand-holds to help us climb. Anyway, I like to chuck in a bit of grain and dirt... make it look weathered somehow."
A fan of early heroes, Chris got the chance to do a commission of popular character The Shadow for collector Alan Henderson. Again, his 'rough' is amazingly detailed...
With the finished piece being mindbogglingly good!
And finally, back to familiar 2000AD territory for me. Again, at the risk of repeating myself, here's the bloody amazing roughs for BSC's Dredd, Rogue, Archie and Dan Dare spectacular...
And the cracking final image, simply brilliant.
You can see more of Chris' fantastic work on his excellent blog and site. Go on, contact him today!!!