Driving into Ely this sunlit Saturday morning to take part in TINDALLS Three Artists' Workshop weekend, I knew it was going to be a good day. I'm not sure when I realised this, probably not when I was stuck behind a 'Sitra' 40 mph tanker for 20 minutes, more than likely it was when Emily and Emily came into Tindalls and told me how they wanted to design their superhero from - well, the boots up.
A- shaped boots with a deep tread, cow dot trousers, utility belt for mobile, ipod and...well...superhero stuff. Screwdriver? A - shape gloves, more cow dots for top, capital 'U' chest emblem - of course. Angular eye mask.
'Anything else? Sorry - what did you say? Unicorn horn? - Coming up.'
'What's your character's name going to be?
'Brilliant - of course it is. And what are your names?'
...and so a new superstar is born...
|'UNICOW' by Emily and Emily.|
And this was pretty much how the day went.
James came by next with his family and volunteered to create the JAGUAR replete with corinthian Magneto helmet, Wolverine claws and spiked boots!
|'JAGUAR' by James.|
I think it was James' sister Kate that asked me to draw WONDER WOMAN,
I wasn't quite sure what her costume looked like, but with a little help from Kate's mum we got there in the end.
|'WONDER WOMAN' BY Kate! |
(Created by William Moulton Marston - a long time ago).
A heroic thank you to James' dad who when asked to take a picture of me in action at the easel, took plenty of great photos. Cheers!
Here's one of them...
|Prompted by James - I create... the 'JAGUAR'!|
Just when I think it's all quiet on the western front - in walk Josh and Jenson - all ready to conjure up their inimitable superhero. Plenty of magnets, stripes, metallic boots, shiny knee and elbow pads and an inverted double magnet chest emblem. Watch out McDonald's -
Here comes MAGNET MAN!
|'MAGNET MAN' by Josh and Jenson.|
I take a short break for lunch and return in time to meet Daniel. I go off template and modify the characters left hand and foot - and with Deadpool's eyes, Iron Man's repulsor rays and the Flash's trademark lightning bolts we give birth to none other than ...
|'IRONFLASH' BY Daniel!|
Normally I work from my design template - more speed and less fear. It's a good thing I drew a handful of freehand superhero sketches before I went to lunch and got my confidence up. 'Cause that's just what Josh wanted me to do - draw a freehand Hulk picture.
OK - with a pencil I quickly scribbled in a few layout lines starting with the outstretched fists, growing back to his shoulders, barrel chest and then a crouching knees out position. Straight back in with a Winsor & Newton chisel tipped Promarker and before you know it I'm spelling out 'GRRAAAR!' by JOSH in the background, logo style!
THE INCREDIBLE - and quite angry - HULK!
|The 'HULK' by Josh -|
(after Stan Lee & Jack Kirby of course).
Joe's seen what I'm up to and asks me to draw a picture of SHIELD boss NICK FURY! Being a little bit older than Joe - and a comic collector from the 60s - I have to ask Joe if he means the original Sgt Nick Fury from the 1960s or does he mean Avengers Assemble's Mr Samuel L Jackson?
And yes he does indeed mean - Mr Samuel L Jackson.
...and laser pistol in hand, here he is - the Director of SHIELD - NICK FURY!
|'NICK FURY' by Joe - (more Lee & Kirby).|
It's been pretty much heroes all the way today, but here comes Christopher to change all that. He only wants me to draw one of Spider- Man's baddest bad guys from the late 80s. Almost the very opposite of Spidey himself - the unforgettable VENOM!
Originally a new costume Spidey found on Battleworld back in the original seventies Secret Wars, the costume turned out to have an evil will of it's own, and finding a host of it's own has given Spider-Man a run for his money ever since.
Same as before - a lot of frantic scribbling starting with the claw like hands, down the arms to the chest and then the angular legs and clawed feet.
The demonic (one-eyed...oops?!) VENOM!
|'VENOM' by Christopher - |
(by Marvel again - not quite sure who...).
I was right it was not only a good day, but a great day!
Thanks a lot to all the kids (and superhero fans), that took part and helped me create an unbeatable team of TINDALLS TITANS to rival the Avengers.
Many thanks also to Matt and Mark for inviting me along to take part, and to all the Tindalls Ely staff for their hospitality throughout the day.