Friday, October 30, 2009


Q. What's On Your Easel?
A. Two little oils!

Both unfinished tiddlers (oil on board) at 20x40cm.

Just for fun.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jus Sketch'n

A quick post with a couple of recent sketchbook pages. Above is a little spread from my moleskine notebook. On the left, a combined effort drawn early Sunday morning when it was my turn to get up with Lola (aged 3.75). We took it in turns to add elements - and I think Lola delivered the masterstroke with the un prompted red boarder outline. Wasn't sure what to draw next - so flicked back to a page given over to Lola where (she claimed) she drew (amongst other things {Santa, a rocket and Daddy}) a Ghost Holding A Snail. Good idea I thought.

This is a page in the medium mole. Warming up for some painting exercises. FIGHT!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Digital Silo-Bot

A recent digital piece showing process and development.

Prep sketches showing initial idea and variations on a theme. One looked kind of child friendly - the other looked like a Wellsian nightmare. Uncharacteristically - I went for the first option.

Planning in more detail - some quick value and composition studies and some vector art.

Final production drawing in (A3). Black pencil crayon on marker paper.

Flats for digital work.

Final. I'm big into Arther Rackham at the moment. Thats obvious huh?


An A2 drawing of Chris from the Newton Solney Life Group. Quite a complex pose this one - particularly with Chris's totally LOTR staff and generally Magus looks. It occurs to me how much work I need to do on hands and feet - so I'm mentally tagging this for working on. This was about 1hr 45mins work (I was on tea duty).

.... And a rare spread from my mini moleskine (9 x 14 cm [closed]). I usually just use this as a notebook - but have started super quick doodles during any rare moments I'm not doing anything (other than watching telly - which is becomming an increasingly boring option). It's a nice way of pinning down the fleeting little ideas and absurdidies, which would otherwise flutter into the ether never to be seen again.

I'm reading a few books on keeping sketchbooks at the moment and one contributors opinion was that if you keep a nice place for ideas to stay - then they will come.

I like that.


Have been hammering the sketchbook in the evenings now the nights are drawing in (no pun intended). Most of these are drawn from an initial arrangement of loose lines as I try to eark something from my imagination (with no pre-conception of what I'm about to draw). It's nice to go with the flow and see where it takes me. These are all either (or some combination of..) pencil, gouache, pencil crayon, fineliner, dipping pen, fountain pen and biro.

They're not supposed to be super finished or anything - just a nice way of spending the dwindling hours of the day after Generation Kill and before bed. All in a 21 x 13cm moleskine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knackered and Covered in Graphite

Saturday 17th October brought a workshop via The Melbourne Art Festival (that's Melbourne - Derbyshire, not Melbourne Australia). The festival itself is fantastic - with an Art Trail that encompasses several historic buildings and a [collective noun here] of interesting local artists.

I put together a workshop looking at breathing life into pencil portrait drawings. Having worked extensively from both life and photos - I know the latter can easily lead to static, stale and one dimensional images. So the one day cohort worked on strategies to reduce the chance of making a tired flat image - and produce something with a bit of, well... ooomph.

I had a wicked time and met some really nice people AND some good work 'done got made'!!! Everyone, myself included, staggered out knackered and covered in graphite - which is a sure sign of a day well spent.

Keen local observers might recognise a face or two. Local Art Teaching Legend Roger Charles kindly lent his mug to the proceedings as a fine example of photo source material with a broad range of tonal value. Rog - I'm assured, used daily, Oil of Olay can dramatically reduce broad ranges of facial tonal value.

If you're interested in workshops - contact Melbourne Festival, who'll probably have a mailing list.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hideous amounts of work are currently troubling me away from my life group - so less to post than usual. Here's an A2 piece (above) from Septembers modest yield. Also - a few sketch book pages from the last few months.

You're right of course. There should be more (slinks off in shame).

Sketchbook Bits and Bobs

Currently falling in love with keeping a sketchbook journal.

It's sheer self indulgence - and has no financial margin - but it's pushing my buttons BIG time!

Open page - let imagination run riot - turn page - repeat.


(An ipod rammed with Boards of Canada, Broadcast, Sigur Ros and Sinoia Caves is also mandatory)

Fresh Paint!

Book cover imminent!

A nice little project over the summer kept me well out of mischief and busy at the easel. Below is the first visual put together for the publisher....

And the final result...

Which is mostly Oil on Canvas. We were going for a really romantic feel to this one - with ethereal notes in the mix. More details an publishing dates to follow...

And, of course a BIG FAT THANKS to Sarah-Jane Byrne and James Barton who made it all possible. SJ was a paragon of professionalism, lying very patiently on her lawn for the thick end of an hour while I snapped away (despite the occasional faint whiff of mystery cats biz-niz). Despite making a cruelly cutting comment about the size of my reflector, James quickly redeemed himself as Key Grip... so all's well that ends well ;-)

Cheers you guys!!!!