Stark Reminder Original by Craig Davison


Stark Reminder – Craig Davison, Pencil Sketch

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Original Pencil Sketch

Image Size

13" x 10"




Stark Reminder – Craig Davison

I was born in 1965 in Sheffield and have enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember. Art was my favourite subject at school, but once I left I took it no further. In the late 80’s I managed to get a job as a cartoonist, working on pre-school comics. I drew comic strips of a variety of characters including The Shoe People, The Wombles, Huxley Pig and Bangers and Mash.

Drawing every day improved my skills and after a few years I moved on to work at a computer games company as an animator and games designer. During this period I worked on a wide portfolio of games, including Zorro, The Hulk and The Hurricanes, as well as the game concept and characters for Johnny Bazookatone

It was there I began sculpting reference figures for 3D animation, which I loved. This ultimately led to becoming a freelance sculptor, sculpting dragons to teddies, animals to action figures for ranges such as Me To You, Enchantica, Harry Potter and Doctor Who.

Years passed and sculpting work was getting harder to come by. But something else was around the corner: in late 2007 I noticed a contest in which Washington Green hoped to find Alexander Millar an apprentice. I had always wanted to try my hand at painting, but had never got around to it; here was my opportunity. I quickly painted and entered a picture, and, to my surprise, I finished in the last three! That was it, the life of an artist beckoned.

I began to paint seriously from that point and local galleries started to sell my work. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Ideas come from everything and anything. Everywhere I look images and ideas are lining up to be used. I stockpile these inside my head where they fight to be used. Once I start one painting, I’m already planning the next.

Many artists inspire me. Amongst them are the comic book artist Mike Mignola, the simplistic still characters of Yoshitomo Nara, the energy of Goya and the superb illustrations of N.C. Wyeth. For the paintings I’m currently producing with Washington Green, the inspiration is obvious; my childhood! I try to capture the endless summer holidays spent out on my bike with friends, rescuing Mexican villages from bandits!

I would love to say that each painting begins with a set of detailed sketches and colour studies, but for me that isn’t the case. As soon as I have a rough doodle, I want to start – I can’t wait to get stuck into the painting.

I begin by getting rid of the white canvas, painting the surface with a wash, usually a brown or orange. Then, with a rag, I sketch into the paint, and once I’m happy with that I will block out the shapes and shadows in a dark brown. I usually start this process again with another picture until I have five or six paintings ready for the next stage.

I make any changes that are needed and add colour and definition. When this is dry I add glazes of colour over the whole canvas and then paint over the figures again to “loosen” them up.

I like the finished paintings to have a slightly naive, grubby look with lots of energy – which, when I think about it, sums up my childhood!

I live in the beautiful countryside of County Durham so walking the dogs each morning is never a chore. Then it’s off to my studio, which luckily for me is a walk over the road.

I arrive for 9.00am, turn on my music and start work. I have an hour for lunch, and finish between 5.00pm and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday – just like any other working week. On the weekend, the local pub is always welcoming, and I enjoy seeing as much live music as possible.