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Saturday, 23 July 2016

How an art piece comes to be, my "Mother Nature" drawing...

Hey there friend, I thought I'd do it again.

That is, take you behind the metaphorical curtain of my mind's studio, with your invisible laminated backstage pass, and give you a behind the scenes look at my piece with the working title "Mother Nature".

It's a working title because a title that doesn't work is lazy and I'm just not going to continue to support its lavish lifestyle with no responsibility. Everything in my imaginary studio has to work - no exceptions - there are no free rides on the highway to creative expression.

Anyway, back to making sense.

I chose this art piece because it really highlights how the many developments a piece can go through in its gestation period.  

Hmmm... I think I've got pregnancy on the mind, but let's go with it.


Conception is always fun. Well, it should be, or you're not doing it right. And art is no different.

For this piece I really drew from my subconscious, almost automatic drawing. I knew I wanted to draw a figure and do something a little different with it, and then this happened.

So yeah, a lady about to give birth to the Earth.  Ouch.

Does it mean that our mother's are birthing tomorrow's world?  Maybe, subconsciously. 

Is it to do with Mother Nature?  No, despite the working title. 

Is it a huge monster of a lady who has eaten the planet?  No, but very creative thinking reader.

Truth is, part of it was subconscious, and part has my own personal meaning, which if I tell you what that is, then you are less likely to find your own meaning from it.  And where is the fun in that?  I don't know.  Somewhere.

But I wasn't done.

The First Trimester

So now looking at the picture I noticed a fault.  The face wasn't quite right.  

Mainly because I had just started drawing and hadn't lightly sketched it out like one should to ensure the proportions and positioning of eyes, nose, mouth and ears were correct.  

I had just jumped right in with no planning.  I guess the passion of the moment just got the better of me ;-)

Anyway, I wasn't going to abort this living breathing drawing despite its faults.  I mean I think every artist has the right to choose whether to scrunch up that paper and start again, or persist and try to make it work, and this time I thought I would persist.  

Make it work like a working title.  (That doesn't make sense, I know, just read on and forget I wrote it.)

Mind you, I was feeling very lazy, so erasing the entire face and starting again didn't sound appealing.  So I came up with a solution.  Hide the problems in shadow.

Perhaps, I thought with a sneaky smile and a cheeky glint in my eye, shadow like the shadow Earth has on the side facing away from the sun.  Boom!  A good idea just happened like that.  She's not only birthing the planet, she's got the same lighting set up.

I could even put the far side a little blurry and out of focus with smudging.  So that is just what I did, and here it is with a little photoshop contrast increase added in afterward.

Second Trimester

Now it was time to add colour and accentuate the light and shadow in Photoshop.

Now, that could be the final piece there.  

But I thought, maybe...

... just maybe ... 

... a background could make it pop even more.  




Third Trimester

So, painstakingly, I drew a background in Photoshop and managed to fail big time.  

And no matter what I did, it just didn't look as good as the simple version above.

Here is the best of my attempts, but really it detracts from rather than adds to the image.  

The reason being the background fails is that art needs a focal point, and here the background and figure compete for your attention.  

There are too many focal points!!  

Maybe given that knowledge, the shooting star and high saturated palette I chose weren't the wisest of ideas I've ever had.

Giving Birth

However, I soldiered on passed the ugly background phase and was able to give birth to a beautiful picture with a background message that I hope celebrates how wonderful mothers are the world over.  

I mean, not all mothers obviously.  Some mothers suck and should have had to been made to get baby-making licenses before having children.  

But a message that celebrates most mothers, like my mother, my sister, Anabel and all the other wonderful mothers out there and mothers to be, who deserve all the accolades in the world.  

They truly are the most wonderful people on Earth.

Plus having text behind the image seems to make the artwork really pop! :-P

On second thoughts, maybe the one without the background is better.  I don't know.

Yours in art, stories, fun and madness,


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Batman and Wonder Woman romantic drawing by Daniel Grant Newton

Holy romance, Batman!  Last night I finished a sketch I had been working on. A romance between my version of Batman and Wonder Woman. I think it looks pretty fly like ice-cream pie, see below.

Wonder Woman and Batman sketch by Daniel Grant Newton.

Then, just before sharing it with you, I decided to put it into Photoshop to colour it in, used part of a painting I did back in 2014 for the background (painting linked here), and added rain with some good old Photoshop magic.  The Photoshop magic da Vinci and Michelangelo used on their digital images.

And it turned out like this (hope you like it) ...

- Dan

Wonder Woman and Batman drawing with Photoshop magic by Daniel Grant Newton.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Dragons and Batman - My Artwork Exploring Mythology

Recently I was asked to create an art piece to represent the mythology of my cultural background for Harmony Day.  Below is what I created.  Below that is the explanation I gave for the painting.

The myths and legends of days of old were well-known to the people who originated them; retold and expanded upon throughout the ages, teaching wisdom and attempting to explain the big questions, growing and developing with each civilisation, and mirroring a core element of humanity each successive generation could see in themselves and relate to.  

Some of these tales have now receded into the obscure textbooks or been forgotten, while others thrive in further modern retellings like the heroics of Thor, the betrayal of Seth, the cheekiness of Sun Wukong the Monkey King, and the fierceness of the monstrous dragons (as pictured).  

Building on from these epics, a modern-day global mythos is emerging, which like the stories that came before, strike a chord in generation after generation, while being retold to reflect the popular tastes and environmental factors of the time.

Because of the constant retelling across multiple mediums, you can cross the globe and talk to people of all generations, and they can tell you Sherlock Holmes is a detective who lives on Baker Street…  

Or Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are Darth Vader’s children…  

Or Batman’s parents were murdered, leading him to dedicate his life to fighting crime (pictured here in Crime Alley, inside the silhouette of my head).

These are the new myths that in this “global community” have become a shared history.  Stories that connect us all together, and are a lens for us to see and contemplate ourselves through.

... Well, either that, or I just wanted to like paint dragons and Batman because they're cool and stuff!

- Daniel Grant Newton :-)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Freaky Freaky Fridays Weekend Funnies Edition: Throwing Paper

Hey there Friday Freakster :-)

Comic at bottom of post...
It has been a little while since we've seen our friends Thea, Selena and Friday, so I thought I'd share with you what they've been up to. 

Well, at least Thea and Friday. I think Selena might be on some sort of soul finding journey.

I once went looking for myself, and lo and behold, did in fact find myself. 

Here I am taking a selfie with myself.

Selfie with myself.

Or perhaps that is a really quick and bad photoshop job. I don't know. I always get that mixed up.

Oh, and before I forget!! If you're in Brisbane and going to the city's Comic Con this coming weekend, I'll be there. So look for a face that looks a little bit like the two faces above, and come say hi.

Okay, without further jibber jabber, here is my Freaky Freaky Fridays Weekend Funnies Edition: Throwing Paper comic (CLICK TO ENLARGE):

... oh, and as a technical explainer, a comic's "gutter" refers to the space in between the panels (the boxes).

Freaky Freaky Fridays is created by Daniel Grant Newton, DGN Productions

Friday, 28 August 2015

Portrait of a Mermaid by Daniel Grant Newton

Scroll down to see pic!
Hey friend,

Hope you've been good. I have just come back from a lovely stay at the beach, and for some reason when I'm there, my imagination runs wild.

For example, I look at the pelicans and think they absolutely must really be aliens planning an invasion.  I see two side by side and I imagine this conversation.

Pelican 1: "I cannot wait for the mothership to arrive. These humans have no intellect like ours, but they are good with rudimentary tools. They will make fantastic slaves."

Pelican 2: "Zorg, you are not seriously still talking about the invasion. It has been thousands upon thousands of years, just accept it - we have been abandoned."

Pelican 1: "That is preposterous, Gidmmel! We are the finest of the royal scouts. The king clearly feels that we must spend more time in surveillance mode."

Pelican 2: "They are not coming. The king mustn't have forgiven us for using the wrong setting when we were terraforming Mars. This mission was a ruse to punish us for our mistake."

Pelican 1: "Why not instead of being such a wet beak you continue noting the humans and looking for their weaknesses, hey? For example, look how they come and lay on the beach soaking up the sunlight. They are clearly solar powered. Block out the sun, then they all fall onto those bed things, and it is all too easy."

Pelican 2: "Maybe you are right, but it would have made sense to have invaded this planet long before they had discovered electricity and gunpowder. I'm getting impatient with this mission."

Pelican 1: "Oh look, one of the humans is going to share some of his greasy salty potato bounty, let us beat the seagulls there! Quick."

Waddle waddle... And that is pretty much what I think is going down in pelican language.

And at night, looking at the stars and the water, I can just imagine a mermaid surfacing. So I thought I'd sketch a picture of one such mermaid that I imagined agreed to be my model in the moonlight, before submerging to never be seen again.

Although the authenticity of this image is debatable: if you're gullible, then yes, this pic is actually real, and the only real portrait of a mermaid in the world... and if you're not gullible, then by real, I mean not real.

Hope you like it!

- Daniel 

'Portrait of a Mermaid' by Daniel Grant Newton

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Freaky Freaky Friday Crossover Time with Nik and Mike!! (Part 3 ... for anyone counting)

Hey there, what's wrong?

This is me, Daniel Grant Newton. And you're
currently on my blog levelling up your cool.
Why are you crying?  You're not crying? 

Then have you been cutting up onions?  Are you making a pasta?

Oh, I know why you're sad!!  You miss Freaky Freaky Fridays.  I know, me too.

But guess what?!  You can now cry the sweet tears of awesomeness because I've got the next Freaky Freaky Fridays Crossover Episode for you.  This is when our favourite and freakiest friends travel to the world of creator Pebbles, and bump into her zany characters Nik and Mike.  

Oh and because my characters come from a different comic, they look freakier than usual to Pebbles' characters and they get mistaken for aliens.  But then because they come from an alternative world, perhaps they are the aliens, asking deep existential questions like: who are we?

Actually, that question doesn't come up.  Mainly because our characters prefer to ask questions like: would an elephant who had an iron for an ear be able to hear well considering he still has one large flappy ear?

That question, although much more relevant, was too powerful to answer however.  Too powerful and bares great responsibility, just like Peter's uncle warned.  

I hope any Spiderman fans or mothers of Spiderman fans got that joke.  If not, I'll give you a clue, it's got to do with Spiderman.  No, that isn't a spider who gains the power of a man after being bitten by a radioactive baby.  That doesn't even make sense.

You don't know Spiderman?  Well, then you probably have missed the 20th and 21st Centuries, so welcome, and you've possibly also never heard of Freaky Freaky Fridays and can't just scroll down to pick up where we last left off, so...

You can read last week's episode here: http://thelastkingofshambhala.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/freaky-freaky-fridays-crossover-episode.html

Of, if you missed the first crossover episode, you can read it here and catch up to today's epic episode: http://thelastkingofshambhala.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/freaky-freaky-fridays-crossover-episode.html

Or, if you'd like to go old school and read the Freaky Freaky Fridays from the very beginning when it brought Freakiness to you every Friday... then read it here: http://thelastkingofshambhala.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/freaky-freaky-friday-episode-1-web.html

P.S. It was fantastic to work with Pebbles.  She's lots of fun and creates some funny cartoons.  You can check her out at: https://www.facebook.com/niknmike?fref=ts

I hope you enjoyed the penultimate episode of the Freaky Crossover Event.  So what will happen in the finale?  Will Selena, Thea and Friday be experimented on?  Will they be kept in an underground bunker?  Or will they get the spaceship working and escape?

Keep your eyes open for the next and final exciting crossover episode.  Oh, and subscribe above if you haven't already otherwise you'll no doubt miss it and then be labelled that one who was crying in their pasta, didn't know who Spiderman was, AND wasn't subscribed to the coolest blog in the multiverse.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Spies, Lies and Mysteries - Part 2

This is Part 2 of 'Spies, Lies and Mysteries Episode 1', for Part 1 click here.

Hello there!!

Today is the second part of Spies, Lies and Mysteries Episode 1.

Part 1 Recap

From Part One.
Last we read, Aleksandra, the Russian spy, was being told to lay low by her superiors because of a notorious nazi spy killer had taken out all the other Allied Spies in Paris. 

However, despite her best efforts, this spy killer has come upon her and taken a liking to her, or perhaps he is onto her secret... either way he is giving her a little bit too much attention.

Then, after having a chat with a friendly artist in the park on the way home, she comes home to a nazi raid... and what's worse, she has her suitcase with all her spy stuff out from under the bed!

We join her as she tries to somehow survive this situation.

Weekly Shout Out!

I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who has shared this story on Twitter, Facebook, email and just telling their friends to check out this blog.  Sharing my stories and art with those who enjoy them is what I live for!

I would like to especially thank (and give a shout out to) ...

Mini, Russ, Knight1986, Kauis, Pebbles, James, Rocio and Anabel!  

I appreciate you checking out my work, spreading the word and being my VI-peeps in my corner :-)


I hope you enjoy the end to this story! And if you like it, let me know and I'll make Episode 2 soon.

Daniel Grant Newton
DGN Productions

P.S. Handy tip.  If you are having trouble reading the text, you can click on the images and scroll through them like an e-comic.

I hope you enjoyed the first episode of this series.  As with all my stories, if you - my favourite person - and my other readers - my other favourite people - like the comic, I will make more for you.

I have some interesting ideas about what will happen as our spy hunter tracks down his last target, and falls in love with her alternate identity at the same time...

As well as what will happen with the growing rebellion in downtown Paris.

Until that episode is ready however, you might enjoy reading my first novel, and the first book the character Aleksandra appeared in.  You can check it out here:


Or read a preview by clicking here.

That was Part 2 of 'Spies, Lies and Mysteries', for Part 1 click here.

Friday, 24 July 2015

New Comic! Spies, Lies and Mysteries - Part 1

Hello :-)

Today I wanted to share with you, since you're one of my awesome subscribers, a comic I created last year.

This comic is the first issue in a series I am planning to redraw and develop further, depending on the response I get from you.  I have broken the issue into two parts, sharing the first part today, and the second next Friday/Saturday.

At this stage I won't say too much before you read it, but for those who have read my novel The Last King of Shambhala, you will recognise Aleksandra, the Russian spy from that book... 

And so in a sense, this series serves as a prequel to her adventures in that novel.

I hope you enjoy.


P.S. If you enjoyed reading part one of this comic, you are welcome to share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter, or write me a message in the comments section below.

Oh no!  Is this the end for Aleksandra?  Is she going to get caught? ...

CLICK HERE to read part 2!

You also might like to read the book the character Aleksandra comes from.  You can do so by clicking here.

Or, if you'd like another comic, and ever wandered what would happen if the doodles you draw in your notebooks ever came alive... well, then click here and go on a funny, freaky, fantastical adventure!

P.S. If you enjoyed this comic, remember to share it with your friends and leave me a message below, or on Facebook/Twitter-land.