John Rainsford

Pencils to Pixels

This article was posted on Wednesday, 25th January 2012

When I was in my teens, I was an avid comic book reader, specifically the British 2000ad. It always seemed darker than it's American cousins. Around the mid-to-late-1990s, there was a surge in computer-aided comic art. Artists were not just using computers to colour their art, they were using Photoshop, Poser, Bryce and Color It (remember those latter apps?) to apply textures and arrange artwork. One such artist, Mark Harrison, was a sort of pioneer in the movement, he created the artwork for Durham Red and co-created Glimmer Rats and used a Macintosh heavily, to create his art.

MacFormat, my Mac magazine of choice at the time, ran a series about comic art and Macs, and part of this was two tutorial movies created by Mark Harrison.

I found these movies so inspiring that I felt I simply must become a comic book artist, using these techniques. So taken by these movies that I have kept them safe since about 1999, moving them from computer to computer (about eight different machines and at least five different storage mediums, I reckon) and it was only today, when I was trying to explain to my nephew how to create realistic gore using Photoshop (long story) that I decided to post them to YouTube.

I did a search and they don't seem to be online already. I also did a search for contact details for Mark Harrison, to ask permission to upload them. I didn't find any, so he'll have to accept my apologies for going ahead anyway. I've embedded the two parts below.

Sadly, shortly after trying, I realised that this wasn't the path for me- I just didn't have the artistic ability. What was becoming a stronger influence on me though, was the design in 2000ad- especially the typefaces, which were created by a guy called Rian Hughes, who was a big influence on me and is still one of my favourite designers today.

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