All images © Dale Newton 2011 unless specified otherwise.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Hogsmill Sewerage Treatment Works

It's odd having been making pictures most of my life - and never once having attempted a landscape - I guess if you exclude things I might have been doing as a child that's not technically true. So here's an attempt then. My lovely wife Aisling bought me a fancy big set of watercolour pencils for Christmas.

Christmas 2016

For what seems to have been a grounding year for many. With rather a lot going on around the world. I found it hard to be overly smitten by robins, sleighs and images of cozy warmth.

Secret Santa at the office

Lovely idea from one of the guys this year. We draw names out of a hat and draw / make a card or present for the name you draw. We also had to put a theme of some kind next to our names. The theme for the young lady whose name I drew was witchcraft and polar bears. Anyhow - this was the illustration inside the card I made for her. Roughly 2-3 hours on ArtRage.

A note to self.

Monday 21 March 2016

Self portrait with Craig.

So my big boet. Happy birthday, you would have been 45 today! 19 years this year since I last saw you. Could you see me today you'd laugh, my age is catching up with me a little. Beginning to feel like though you were my big bro, you're now feeling like my younger brother, well, you will of course always only be 26! Anyhow, I thought this would make a nice theme for a painting - here's a sketch of one I began a couple of nights ago. To be completed at some other point. A nice idea I thought. Perhaps I'll revisit it from time to time.

Also, please excuse my expression and my distance.It somehow felt right. I would give anything to give you a hug again Craig.

Addendum to this. Worked up a little.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Big Issue Seller

It's amazing I found time to do a painting / sketch while I'm in the middle of a show. But remarkably I did. There's this Big Issue Seller on the walk to the Thames from Waterloo Station that I see every morning when I catch the train to work in the weekday mornings. Always struck me that he cut a heroic sort of figure. I imagined a figure looming large over the London skyline. Here he is I think still a proud figure, perhaps weather beaten and resilient looking. 

Reference is as ever critical. I really do need to come out of my shell and talk to people if I'm ever to do these portrait sketches. Thought he might think I was some kind of middle class wierdo. Took these on a long lens from across the street one morning. Ultimately they dictated what the sketch would be. The area is full of these Victorian era rail bridges and the arched tunnels. Used on to frame him and set him off the background.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

What I did for my Missus on VD

Never having been a proponent of the greetings card industry:  I spent a couple of hours this last Saturday afternoon knocking up something by way of a Valentines gift for my lovely wife Aisling. Long overdue I'm told! I had fun stylising her a little, she inherited child like proportions along the way, not sure what that says about me, nonetheless! I think a nice exercise for something more ambitious next time.

The three blossoms represent, in no particular order, our three beautiful sprogs, Finn, Ruairi and Daisy - Aisling's gift to me, most treasured in this life.

Thursday 24 December 2015

More Christmas drawings...

And so not to leave out my other two wonderful children, I asked Finn and Daisy what drawings they would like from me, Finn asked for a dragon:

And Daisy a rainbow ghost (!!?!)

Kinda feel bad for the kids that didn't ask for a dragon. I do like drawing dragons. Ah well, you live and you learn! Perhaps someone will ask for a short film and I'll get off my sorry ass and make one!
Merry Christmas my wonderful family!

Christmas 2015

Oh my! It's been a full year since my last post! Well, after Pan, The Martian and Beauty and the Beast, it has really been busy!

This year my son Ruairi asked for some drawings for Christmas, and so I was really pleased to have an excuse to bring out the watercolours.

These stars represent love. Three stars for the children in our family, two for Aisling and I and the star in the centre is the love we share. And then lots of smaller stars in our lives together.

Saturn is for peace and quiet. Yes peace and quiet (as well as love above!) made it onto Ruairi's Christmas list!

And well the gumball machine is just a gumball machine. I have to express indebtedness to the marvelous painter Wayne Thaibault.

And this is how I gave them to him:

Merry Christmas my darling boy!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas All!!

Ruairi at the Sea

Ruairi clambering over the rocks at La Trinitie Sur Mer in July this year. A sketch I only got so far on, so here is where I got with it.

Saturday 30 August 2014

Trinity-sur-Mer Lady

So. Finally on holiday with my family. Been aching to do a little painting just for the exercise. Then this lady appears at the campsite pool. Aisling later points out how wierd this was of me later on, but I surreptitiously take a few pics of her. she reminded me of how women used to dress poolside when I was a kid. Thought she'd make a cool subject for a character study painting.

Got these back to my tablet and did a preliminary sketch in ArtRage. Mostly based on one photo but drawing a hand detail from another.

Working against a neutral grey for this study, I drew colours straight off the photos. A little lazy I know but it helped to quickly establish the temperature of the skin tone, especially given the cool light from the pool below. First pass went under the line drawing.

I knew I did not want an outlined illustration, so I worked over this embellishing details in a very rough way, painting over the drawn lines and erasing them, adding rim lit edges and tonal edges that worked better against the neutral background. Added some context which I eventually pushed back.

To photoshop where I added a little grain and gradient to the grey. First stab as seen below is always too much. Slept on it and knocked it right back to the study as it stands image at at the top of the page. Took about fours in total.

Saturday 28 June 2014


Guess who's coming to the cinemas later this year? I did these very enthusiastically during development, I was not actually on the show, and these weren't at all used - but keen to do some sketches. Kudos to Pablo and team at Framestore on such a great job.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Festive Feline Mayhem

Well here we are again. Another Christmas is upon us. The last few years have been busy now working in film vfx full time, it's been hard to find time to make pictures. Perhaps one day I can cross doing this pencil and paper stuff with film animation which is now becoming my waking life focus. So I managed to squeeze one out before I squeeze my family into our Volvo for an cross country drive and spend the festive season in Ireland.

Scout and Boo are new additions to our household. They are six month old Bengal cross breed kittens. I noticed Scout giving the Christmas tree angel a hard time one night and thus the inspiration for this.

Friday 19 July 2013

celebrating 95 years.

A wip photoshop painting.

In honour of the great man. Happy birthday Madiba.

This is very serious and sombre. And I suppose reflects my feelings right now while he's in hospital. I'd like to do a joyous one later - something that reflects the emotions he stirs in me and many others, reflecting the way he's affected peoples lives.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Mclaren letter racers

A little high speed car concept I did the other day.  I was pitching an idea I had where cars that were also letters were racing around a track and formed a logo. It was for these folks:

They didn't like the idea and went for something more cartoony. But hey. It was fun turning around an idea in a day!

Monday 2 July 2012

Home Territories

I have started a new blog. It is called Home Territories and its a junkshop for a personal project. It's intended as a short film, a sort-of-semi-auto-biographical story which exists all of the place and I will be using the blog to collate bits of artwork and references. 

Sunday 6 November 2011

Rabbit Madonna

Thought I would update with a strange old picture I did between jobs in 2004. It was a personal thing and as I recall I had a thing for rabbits back then.

Sunday 2 October 2011


My wife and I have long associated each of our children with animals. Kinda silly I know. My second son Ruairi, adorable as he is can be quite a contrary little bugger. Magnanimous and cuddly, but do not cross him when he's grumpy - like a bear! When he was a baby he had a cute lil bear eared hoodie. And so he was Ruairi Bear.

Now Finn, our eldest son seems like a fox. Wily, smart and lithe, his cunning intellect will leave you wondering. He likes to play on the edges where he constructs fantastic worlds. And also, he is a bright shining light with a heart of gold. There ya go - above is my vision of this Fox, perhaps there will be more.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

2011 sketchbook pages part 1

Ok. Some sketchbook pages from earlier in the year, I think around May or June.
A little concept sketch (just realised how much he looks like the Fat Bastard from Austin Powers "Ooooh eeeeh, ah got a turtle 'ed comin'" something like that :) )

some guy in the park while my boys played tennis one Saturday afternoon:

my lovely, watching telly:

and there's always a sprinkling of these:

Sunday 24 July 2011

Self Portrait sketch

Have been wanting to do one these for years. It's my first stab at a self portrait painting. Used the computers' camera rather than a mirror - which, if you'll excuse the pun, upon reflection, was not a great idea. Colour values kept shifting which made me constantly second guess observations - and the auto-exposure did the same for tones. Still, I enjoyed the exercise. Did this in ArtRage and took around an hour.

Saturday 21 May 2011

new toys...

...which I am very excited about. Thanks James Gurney for letting me look "what's in your bag". I thought those fill-able brush pens looked nifty and they are! Here they are and some late Friday afternoon doodles in my sketchbook. There's some animators from Framestore (Arda, Vincent and Karl) - a doodle reminiscent of my son Ruairi who has a very cute little form right now - and a fellow from the train on the way home.

Thursday 5 May 2011

Animators vs Earthquakes

This is a 290 x 260mm watercolour, colour pencil and acrylic painting on watercolour paper painting that I made to contribute to the "Animators Vs Earthquakes" exhibition organized by: Paul Nicholson & Sylvain Marc in aid of 'Artists Help Japan', a charity created by Pixar's Dice Tsutsumi.  It is being hosted at Cafeand in Shoreditch. 07 - 22 May 2011 Cafeand 77 Redchurch St London E2 7Dj OPEN 10am-7pm, Wed-Sun. Closed Mon/Tues.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Daisy Lola

My daughter Daisy Lola O'Brien Newton. Born 18th April 2011.

Monday 11 April 2011

ancient spider god

A rather dark drawing around my current insect obsession that emerged while playblasting turned into something even darker...

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Insect Life

Well, some spaces have finally opened up in my work schedule and for the first time in many years, I'm able to do some constructive work in a loose sketchbook! Hoorah! We'll see how long this lasts though...

Here's one from the train journey this morning. A very amenable subject who never glanced up from his paper in 15 mins!

Saturday 20 November 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Three Brothers animation. Death's design.

The Three Brothers animation was directed by Ben Hibon and executed with the Framestore London commercials team. I worked with Ben and supervised the project for Framestore. Ben Hibon, concept artist Alexis Liddel, and myself brought designs to the table. Here's the Framestore PR.

Here's a progression of designs for the Death character. The three explorations below are quite different in their fundamental parameters. Bony and gaunt hands found even at this early stage.

The following drawings found the overall idea - how his robe would work, a little about his transparency / ethereality and facial structure and detail ideas.

and there was something about this one that we liked that spoke loads about his character. He became even creepier than this in the end. We took him far away from human characterization, he was a much more primal creature than this image suggests.

Here I tried to nail down more of the specifics, the hood etc. and started to touch on the all important look.

These were the final concepts which laid out in more detail the lighting and look, textures etc. Also how exactly shadows were to suggested and create forms.