Monthly Archives: May 2011

TROLLLLLLL!

A few nights ago I watched the Norwegian horror film “Trollhunter”.
It’s been done in the style of a mockumentary (horrible word) and obvious comparisons have been made between it and The Blair Witch Project.

I still haven’t seen The Blair Witch Project all the way through, though I have tried.
It’s not that it scares me witless, it’s just that the camera work makes me motion sick. It jumps about like the guy operating it is on a pogo-stick.
I feel ill spinning around on a swivel chair. If someone calls my name and I turn my head too quickly I immediately fall to the floor…(well not really, but you get the idea) so it’s no surprise that the only time I tried to watch it I had to stumble upstairs for a lie down after only twenty minutes.

I am a wuss.

Anyway, Trollhunter is an enjoyable movie though it could do with losing fifteen minutes or so, as it begins to drag after a while. The Trolls however look great, especially the Giant that appears at the end.

So, inspired by a low-budget, independently made horror movie I decided to dream up a Troll Hunter of my own.

Click on me.

When I design a character I like to keep the image pretty rough, as I usually end up painting right over it when I begin to work in Photoshop. As you can see though, this image is a bit more detailed than normal so I decided to keep the line work visible in the finished piece.

Here he is.

The Troll Hunter. Click on me too.

Initially I didn’t have a clue about what kind of environment to put him in, or whether I was even going to add a Troll at all. I played around with the idea of making the final image very closely cropped with a giant Troll hand reaching down from the top, but it just didn’t look right. In the end I pretty much made it up as I went along and did the landscape without doing any initial rough designs at all. I think it works though.
There’s a bit more I can do to the picture before I’m happier with it. Some goats scattering in the path of the Troll, perhaps?
I’ll sleep on it, then post the final piece as soon as it’s done.

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Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky…

Typical of a Brit; my first proper post and what do I want to talk about?
The weather!
Not just any old weather though, I’m talking about top of the range, lock yourselves indoors, tornado alley, “There’s no place like home” sort of weather. In the past week the west coast of Scotland has been hit by 80 mph winds and rain that comes down like pool cues. Trees were uprooted, the sea outside our house bubbled like hot water in a pot, and little old ladies were spotted spinning past the windows.
All around town olive-skinned tourists from warmer climes wandered the streets like the undead. Their bulging, frightened eyes staring out from over the upturned collars of their designer jackets, because they had come on holiday to western Scotland…by mistake.

A few days ago I watched two men stand on the jetty and watch helplessly as the wind tore into the sail of their moored yacht. The canvas sounded like thunder as it ripped to pieces.
Then, in a fit of desperation I suspect, the two of them stripped naked, dived into the waves and swam toward the boat. Luckily they made it across safely and then hauled themselves on board.
What did they do then? Well they just sat there, huddled in a corner, and watched the sail tear even more!
Perhaps they swam out to it because they had made a pact to go down with the boat.
Perhaps they had nothing to do with the boat at all, but were just a pair of eager spectators who wanted to be a bit nearer to all the action. Perhaps they had a little picnic and everything!

Luckily the boat didn’t sink, and they made it back to dry land with nothing more than a green complexion and a great story to tell the grand-kids.

The yacht “Drum” (once owned by fat-necked eighties crooner Simon Le Bon) was wrecked on the island of Kerrera, just opposite us; and this beauty found itself on dry land just down the road at the sailing club.

Badly Parked Boat

I had two reactions when I saw this.
Firstly I whinced when I thought of all the damage that had been done to this beautiful thing, and when I thought about how much it would cost to fix it.

Secondly I thought “Hahahahahahaha”…but I haven’t quite figured out if this makes me a bad person.

The reason I thought “Hahahahahaha” is because it stirred up a similar feeling to the one I get if ever I’m driving down the motorway and I see someone who has broken down. I feel happy that it’s not my car that’s broken. I feel happy that it’s some other poor schmuck that’s standing there in the cold and the rain, and not me.
I feel so happy that I have to stop myself beeping the horn and giving a jolly little wave as I zoom past them toward my destination.

Well, when I saw that yacht I felt exactly the same. I felt happy that it wasn’t my boat that was wrecked! I felt happy that it wasn’t me but some other poor schmuck that would have to foot the bill. I felt happy that my boat was still seaworthy and waiting to take me in search of high adventure on the seven seas.

This is my boat!

HMS Unthinkable

Hmmm…..perhaps I am a bad person after all.

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Hello world!

Hello world!

My name is Andy Elkerton, and I’m a children’s book illustrator living in Oban on the west coast of Scotland.
I specialise in bright, colourful illustrations for picture books, advertising, t.v. and character design.

After many years working in the field of computer games, I decided to go back to my illustrative roots and do what I’d always wanted to do…draw children’s books.

Once I get my head around the ins and outs of blogging, I hope to make regular updates to keep in touch with the big wide world.

Fingers crossed!

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