Sunday, November 22, 2009

Devil's Son...

What’s happening people?

I trust all’s well with everyone. Life here has been hectic to say the least. My Daughter, Marley Marl, has grown so much since I last posted, and we’re now attending regular swimming lessons which are keeping our weekends busy. My day job has been flat-out too, with mad amounts of overtime, and I’ve had a few DJ gigs lately, so finding anytime to draw, or even blog, has been hard work.

Fortunately, this weekend I finally managed to find a few spare hours to dedicate to some more drawing. With both Marley and my Wife, Corrie, enjoying an afternoon nap, I sharpened my pencils and flexed this Big L (RIP) sketch.

Check it out below and let me know what you reckon.Cheers,

Mark 563

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DJ 563 & Run The Line Present: What's Real? Mix CD FREE DOWNLOAD...

I finally got around to uploading my Mix-Tape from a few years back.

Download via zhare here
Download via megaupload here

It's a collection of Mid 90s Remixes, B-Sides and Promo only tracks all mixed together that was distributed through Boombox Distribution and received pretty decent reviews in Hip Hop Connection Magazine and Blues & Soul Magazine.

Here's the review it got in Undercover Magazine:

What's real? I'll tell you what's real. This mix CD is real. You know the shit is real, you can't front, kid. Composed entirely of unadulterated, purest mid-90s lost classics, rare joint, remixes and underexposed b-sides, this mix is ineluctably destined to be one of your stalwart favourites, should you ever be so lucky to get hold of one. Percee P dropping a verse for the intro is real. Brand Nubian providing a drop at Dedbeat before that is even realer. Large Professor is definitely real, and so are Diamond D, Lord Finesse, and OC. Once you're at a level of realness as uncontestably real as that, it's only things like the Pharoahe Monch verse from Bring It On or Show and AG on the Next Level remix from Premier that can possibly make things any realer. Though admittedly a forgotten Raekwon, Nas and Havoc cipher or some rare BIG action could real things up even further, and Common Sense with his Ice Cube diss could hardly make things much faker. Once you're talking about a level of reality as undeniably real as this, you will of course be a connoisseur of realness au fait with the finest in real: Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Alkaholiks, Redman, Craig Mack and Kool G Rap. Possessing such refined taste, you have probably languished for many years, thinking that a mix of such post-platonic realness could never be attained or manifest as other than a fantasy in our flawed world. But you have been misled. Realer than granite, death, or the love you have for your mother, this CD is so real that it will probabky remain playable when the planet eventually falls into the sun.

Anyways, check it out for free here:

Download via zhare here
Download via megaupload here

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Woo Ha...

What’s going on everyone?

As promised, I managed to squeeze a couple of hours of drawing in over the weekend while Corrie was out and Marley slept. I threw on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party DVD and got to work on this Busta Rhymes portrait.

Check it out below (click image to see larger version) and let me know what you think.

All the best,

Mark 563

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Insane Macbeth...

What’s happening, people?

It’s been a while since the last update – I’ve been away travelling with my Wife and Daughter – we caught up with our friends and Family back in the UK and hit New York for a spot of shopping on the way back.

As a result, I’ve not had much of a chance to put pencil to paper, but I intend on trying to steal a couple of hours over the weekend to flex a new sketch.

In the mean time I’ll hit you up with this commissioned sketch I had been working on for the past few months. Basically, UK Hip Hop Legend / Veteran, Insane Macbeth hit me up a while back asking for a sketch. He sent me some images to work from and some guidelines to follow and I got down to work.

During our UK stay, I took the finished sketch to Brixton and caught up with the man himself and had a yarn about the good old days of UK rap. Biggups Insane Macbeth, it was an absolute pleasure both working with and socializing with you – and thanks for the records.

Check the sketch below, and peep Insane Macbeth’s Myspace page here:

All the best,

Mark 563

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Liquid Swords...

Once again, this weekend Corrie and Marley were out with the girls giving me some free time to do some more drawing.

I’ve had this image waiting to go for a while, so was happy to finally get around to sketching this illustration of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Gza / Genius. I put The Show & Rhyme & Reason on the DVD player for some inspiration and flexed this picture.

Click to see the full size images and let me know what you think.


Mark 563

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Chronic...

Continuing on the West Coast tip, this weekend I found time to flip a sketch of G-Funk pioneer and all round production legend, Dr Dre.

With Corrie and Marley out for the morning I sharpened my pencils, bunged CB4 in the DVD player and set to work on capturing the NWA members’ likeness.

Check the result below (click to enlarge) and let me know what you reckon.


Mark 563

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eazy Duz It...

What’s happening?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been on an uncharacteristic West Coast tip – those that know me will tell you I’m a closed-minded Golden Era East Coast fanatic, so bugging on some Gangsta ish really ain’t my regular bag. Lately I’ve been bumping the likes of Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Snoop, King Tee, MC Eiht, WC & The Maad Circle, Westside Connection and I guess that has influenced this week’s portrait.

On Saturday, while Corrie and Marley were out shopping, I slung classic West Coast Gangsta flick, Menace II Society in the DVD player and flexed this drawing of NWA member and Gangsta Rap icon, Eazy-E (RIP).

Check it out below (click to enlarge), and feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time,

Mark 563

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Long Live The Kane...

Yeah yeah.

Another slow week at work that’s allowed me some time to do some more vector artwork.

Here’s an illustration of Juice Crew legend, Big Daddy Kane. Have a look (click to enlarge) and let me know what you think.


Mark 563

Thursday, July 9, 2009


What’s going on?

Once again, apologies for being slack with the updates on Run The Line, but, as some of you’ll know, being a new Dad doesn’t leave you with much free time. Not that I’m complaining - Marley is awesome - just making an excuse for my few and far-between updates.

Anyways, I’ve been working on a commissioned sketch for a moment, which is nearly finished. I’ll be posting that once it’s done, and the client is happy, so hold tight.

In the mean time, my day job (Graphic Designer) has been kind of slow of late, which has afforded me some time to play around with some digital artwork. On a day to day basis, I work heavily in Adobe Illustrator, and for a while now I’ve wanted to output some vector illustrations. Whilst listening to some classic Snoop and Dre, I started out with some pen and pencil sketches, scanned ‘em in and set to work in Illustrator.

Below is the finished Snoop Doggy Dogg-inspired character. Check it out (click to see full size) and let me know what you think. More to come as and when I get the time.

All the best,

Mark 563

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Diabolical Biz Markie...

What’s going on everyone, I trust you’re all well and surviving this Swine Flu drama. All’s good here – busy as ever, but still getting things done.

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, but just hadn’t found the time for whatever reason. Quite a few months back I began work on a canvas I had wanted to paint for years. Basically, while I was still in London I painted a Hip Hop Legend, Biz Markie, (if you don’t know: ) canvas. I completely messed up the composition, and in an effort to compensate for that I ended up thoroughly overworking the painting. While I was pretty happy with the actual Biz Markie likeness, the finished painting just didn’t work and had never been hung.

I’d always wanted to revisit that image, and set about redoing the whole thing. I opted to keep the colours pretty much the same, but switched the composition, and this time worked on a much larger canvas.

It has taken me months to finally finish the artwork, but I’m actually extremely happy with it – it should be noted that between painting and coating the canvas, I had a nightmare moment when I thought I’d ruined the whole thing, which lead me to hours of painstakingly fixing my problems.

Check the picture below (click to see the full painting) of the finished piece hanging in our hallway. It’s a 36” square canvas, entirely hand painted (not stenciled or screen-printed) using acrylics and coated with a gloss varnish.

I have since started work on the next canvas, but at the speed I work I wouldn’t expect to finish it before the end of the year.

Feel free to leave a comment.

All the best,

Mark 563

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Great Adventures Of...

What’s happening, people?

Over the weekend I managed to find a couple of spare hours to do some more drawing, and finally got round to doing a sketch of one of my personal favourites, Slick Rick.

There’s not too much that needs to be said about Slick Rick, The Ruler – He’s a certified legend, so was happy to rock this illustration of him.

Check it out below (click to enlarge), and feel free to drop a comment.

All the best,

Mark 563

Monday, March 9, 2009

Survival of the Fittest...

What’s going on everyone?

Life at home has changed dramatically since the arrival of our new Daughter, Marley (born at 00:12 on Wednesday 25th February). Corrie had a gruelling 29 hour labour introducing this whopping 9lb 11 baby into the world, and we’ve since been doing our best to get into some sort of a routine based around Marley Marl’s demands.

All this baby tending has left little time to get any drawing done, but with a long weekend just passed, I was lucky enough to steal a couple of rare hours, while Mother and Daughter caught 40 winks, to flip this Mobb Deep sketch.

Check the image below (click to enlarge) and feel free to drop a comment.

All the best,

Mark 563

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You Must Learn...

What’s going on?

With Corrie’s due date looming, I’ve been doing my best to make the most of the time I have without a baby to worry about. Countdown has been in motion for a minute now, and if everything goes to plan, this kid should be born within the next fortnight or so.

With that in mind, I’ve been as active as I can with my drawing. This weekend I broke out the pencils and rocked a KRS-One sketch. I had initially intended to draw a 'Criminal Minded' era KRS, but stumbled across this great image of the Teacher from the mid 90s.

I’ve long been a fan of KRS-One and BDP, and even though his releases from this century haven’t been amazing, his earlier material is all certified classic.

Anyways, have a butchers at the sketch below (click to enlarge) and feel free to let me know what you think.


Mark 563

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yes yes y’all.

We managed to survive the heatwave for another weekend thanks to the wonders of air con (though Friday night was a struggle when he got hit with a powercut), and considering that it’s been too hot to do anything outside, I had time to rock another sketch.

Notorious BIG has been one of my favourite emcees for the longest and I had wanted to do a Biggie drawing for a while. It seemed kind of fitting to churn this one out now, considering the ‘Notorious’ movie opened the other week.

Check out the sketch below and feel free to drop a comment.


Mark 563

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nobody Beats The Biz...

Crikey, it’s hot in Melbourne. For those of you who aren’t living it, we’re experiencing a heatwave here, and it isn’t pretty. As an Englishman in Australia, my body just ain’t built for this type of climate, and I’m struggling.

Fortunately, our house is fully air-conditioned up, so we’ve been putting that on blast, and, well, doing very little else.

With not much on our social schedule, I’ve had some more time to dedicate to my drawing, and on Saturday I got around to sketching one of my favourites, Biz Markie.

I’ve wanted to draw the Biz for ages, but have been too caught up in the Biz Markie painting that I’ve been flexing over the festive season (I just need to add the finishing touches and then I’ll post it up), so was stoked to get this done.

Check it below (click to enlarge) and let me know what you think.

Until next time – trying my best to avoid this heat,

Mark 563.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You Got The Juice Now...

What you saying, folks?

I trust you all had a great weekend. For us, things have slowed right down – Corrie and I have become social misfits while we wait for the kid she’s carrying to be born (6 or 7 weeks to go), and have been pretty much confined to our house. On the plus side, it’s given me a chance to knock out some more artwork.

I know it’s been done to death, but I had an urge to flip a Tupac sketch – run a google image search and you’ll find a whole heap of fan drawings of 2Pac (ranging from the decent to the down-right abysmal).

Now, I can’t claim to be a 2Pac fan (give or take the occasional track), but Juice is a cracking movie, and his portrayal of Bishop is bang on point. So, with Corrie out shopping with her Ma-dukes, I threw Juice in the DVD player and rocked a sketch straight from the DVD cover.

Check it below (click to enlarge), and feel free to drop a comment.

Until next time,

Mark 563