Monday, April 30, 2012

for we're like creatures of the wind

Yesterday the weather was crazy. The rain was chucking it down and the wind was wild. Not the best day for a sketchcrawl. Or so you'd think. But we are hardcore Up North. We weren't going to let a little stormy weather stop us. No siree. So we went to the pub and drew there instead.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Just a quick note to say that I have added a selection of little original drawings, that I am calling Titbits, to my Etsy shop. They vary in price but all are under $100. Well under in some cases. Some of you may recognise the little blue bag above. It's an old one but has been refreshed (loads more layers of cross hatching) for the sale. There are ten drawings in total, although a few have already gone. More will be added over the weekend. Don't miss your chance to grab yourself a bargain. See what's on offer HERE. Cheers, my dears.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

what it's like to walk amongst butterflies

Here are the drawings that I made at SketchCrawl North's last meeting at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. Well, to be honest, I made sketches and outline drawings at the museum and then crosshatched them to buggery (as they say Up North) at home. I'm not sure what it is about these journal spreads (the composition? the subject matter?) but I feel quite proud of them. Plus, I really enjoyed bringing them to life at home. It give me some time to meditate on the lovely day with my drawing friends and the powerful imagery and heartbreak of war. How can you fail to be moved by, for example, that little whistle? Maybe that's why these pages mean so much.

Monday, April 23, 2012

and we remember

On Saturday our lovely Sketchcrawl North group spent the day drawing at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. Well, Salford to be precise. It's a brilliant place for sketching. There are drawing opportunities around every corner. I absolutely must have visit again.

At the end of our sketchcrawls we gather to share our sketchbooks with each other. I was surprised how little I'd done (too much chopsing) but when I got home I pimped up the line drawings I'd sketched at the museum and produced two of the best journal spreads I've made in a long time. In my opinion, that is. This is not one of them. I'll post them together tomorrow. This Trabant is just a little taster.

To balance it out I also produced one of the worse drawings I've ever made, too. Funnily enough, I won't be posting that.

Friday, April 20, 2012

it ain't necessarily so

Previously I mentioned that I thought that end-paper artist would be one of the most the perfect jobs for me. Here's another; font designer. I couldn't be happier than when I am playing around with words and letters.

One of the reasons it's taken me so long to post this drawing is that, as some of you may know, Blogger have been making changes. And, apparently it's now much easier to make posts. Apparently so.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

with a sleeping roll

Another from my new travel journal. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's not quite as all singing all dancing as some of the other spreads in the sketchbook but sometimes I think you need the quieter moments. I see these kind of drawings as the commas in a sentence. A moment to pause for a second.

The handwriting's pretty rubbish to be honest, but corrugated cardboard is a new texture on me. Oh well back to the drawing board.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

here comes the sun

Here's one from the series I am doing for a stage production of James and the Giant Peach. These drawings will be used as the backdrops (is that the right word? Despite having lots of gay friends, I'm not much of a theatre goer).

I actually did this one this afternoon whilst watching Bondi Rescue. I was obviously watching it to study the colours and textures of the water, skies and clouds. I was definitely not watching it to study all those hot lifeguards. Definitely not.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

how do you stop?

This is an example of one of those drawings that pisses me off. Actually, it's myself that pisses me off. I cannot blame the drawing. I piss myself off for not knowing where to stop. Originally, I set out to draw a nice piece of lined paper, a pen and a little bit of a brainstorming doodling session. That was it. But part of the way into it I started seeing a brain, and then the sea, and some land, and I just kept adding layer upon layer until I ended up with what looks like a bloody pirate's map. Not that I've ever seen a pirate's map. Then, I was so annoyed I smudged it all with my sleeve. Purposely, I should add.

I don't know what else to say.

Monday, April 09, 2012

the things that i will do

In quite a few of my drawings I have used notes, letters, lists and bits of paper, that other people have written on, as subject matter. Sometimes they are the scribblings of strangers but more often than not they are people that I know. I have no idea if anyone else does such things (do you?), but what I've found is that copying somebody else's handwriting is really really difficult. It almost always ends up looking like my own.

In this note, from my niece, I tried to do something different. I copied the writing but did not look at the page I was drawing onto. I looked only at her writing as I blindly copied it onto the paper. Although it's not an exact replica there are moments where I captured it. It was quite a nice little exercise actually. I think I may try more of it. Give it a go!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

just love

Quite frankly, there won't be much drawing going on around here over the Easter weekend. There will be lots of eating and drinking and laughing but not not much drawing. So I dug out this little portrait I made from a picture in a newspaper. It's one of those upside down portraits and although it looks nothing like the lady it was meant to be (Wallace Simpson!) I kind of like it.

Anyways, have a good weekend whatever you are doing and I'll be back with lots of drawingness next week. Tra!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

hold on

A little commercial break here, folks.You know, as uncomfortable as I find doing this kind of thing, I HAVE to.

Today, I am offering a unique little piece of art. Well, two actually and a special edition of the zine How To Draw Like A Nut. I have just put these two little drawings above for sale. Also, included in the package is a version of the said zine, jam packed full of extra handwritten notes. So pop on by my shop for a better view HERE.


Monday, April 02, 2012

she's in my head, she's in my mind

This is an X-ray of my head right now. That's exactly what's going on in there at the moment. I get into a project and I live and breathe it.

I was hoping to post this drawing over the weekend but it took far longer than I'd anticipated. I reckon there's, at a guess, around 16-20 hours work in this spread. I suppose in the grand old scheme of things that's not so long. When you think of how long people take making books or albums then it's a drop in the ocean.

I often think about such things, like the making of an album, when late at night and the world is dreaming and I'm scribbling away creating this crazy stuff. I suppose it's a way of comforting myself. Have you ever seen the film about the making of a Springsteen album ('The Promise; The Making of the Darkness at the Edge of Town')? It's all about that crazy obsessive manic compulsive demanding compelling destructive beautiful creative drive. I bloody love that film, mainly because it reminds me that I'm not alone.

I also think that if I were making an album I would not want to listen to it for at least a year after it's completion. I'm just putting this sketchbook away for a couple of days now.