Saturday, July 28, 2012

on a magic carpet ride

I was out delivering some art work a couple of weeks back when I found this place; Eccles Pike. It's one of those places I've heard being talked about many a time. One of those places that is on your doorstep but you never get around to visiting. This is the view over Combs reservoir. from this spot, at the top of the Pike, I could easily have done a 360 and drawn the whole view. Maybe that's a project for another day. When it's less windy. This was not easy to draw.

It is one of those drawings that seems to be crying out for colour, though. I might just have to get the pencils out.

Update; I got the pencils out. But I still think it needs MORE.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

songs are like tattoos

I think this was my favourite sketch from last Friday night's Dr. Sketchy. The scaling is all wrong; the hands, for one, are way too small but I don't really care. I'm a little bit obsessed with tattoos at the moment. I'm loving drawing people too. So what could be better than drawings on people? Not much.

Monday, July 23, 2012

and we were rolling, rolling, rock and rollin'

Saturday the 14th of July was International Sketchcrawl day and whilst most of the world's sketching population were in Santa Domingo some of us (Sketchcrawl North, specifically) were out on the mean, and equally exotic, streets of Tideswell.

Well,actually that's a bit of a fib.

No, we weren't on the streets at all. We were mainly in the church where some (amazing) musicians were practicing for a concert. So we spent most of our time there. I did, however, sneak this little drawing of some architecture. Just to prove that we did actually go out sketching on the big day.

The rest of the day we just spent in the cafe eating. Now, that's one thing Sketchcrawl North are VERY good at.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

does anyone know?

Where does the time go, eh? I've such a huge backlog of stuff to post; drawings from one of Lynne Chapman's workshops; the International Sketchcrawl day illustrations; an exciting new collaboration; a step by step update; details about an exhibition in France I've been invited to participate in (SO very excited); a couple of secret projects that I am definitely NOT allowed to mention (can I keep my mouth shut?!);  and all manner of other bits and bobs.

For now here's a couple of sketches from a Dr Sketchy I attended the other evening. These are always such fun events. I hope that shines through. They are just a great excuse to play with your pens.

Back to regular posting tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

i light the fire

Should anyone be interested, Dr. Sketchy Sheffield are holding this little event in co-ordination with Tramlines festival on Friday night at Sheffield's Millenium Gallery. I'll be there. And, yes, that is one of my drawings on the poster!

Monday, July 16, 2012

time passes

For one reason or another I have found myself spending quite some time in various cafes and tea rooms over the last couple of weeks. It, of course, is no hardship. I am not complaining. In fact, it's passion of mine. I love food. Good quality food, that is. I just don't usually get enough of an opportunity to eat out being a poor artist.
I like to think I have high standards when it comes to these types of eateries. For me a good cafe, or tea room, must have good homemade fare, locally sourced ingredients (wherever possible), good coffee and a laid back vibe. These drawings are from a couple of the local cafes I've been hanging out in recently. As you can see, for one reason or another, some experiences have been better than others.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

and dream of sheep

I've been a little distracted of late. By this amongst other things. Yes, this week saw the production of James and the Giant Peach at Buxton Festival. It was very sweet indeed. And, a real treat to see my drawings so BIG (they were the backdrops to the performance). I do hope I can get some photos of the event to show you but I'm not so sure - you know with all those rules and regs about photos of kids.

Anyway, lots of new drawings to post, including some from today's International Sketchcrawl Day. I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail. But for now I need some sleep.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

motorcycle emptiness

This is a pretty rotten drawing. I wasn't feeling it from the moment I started it. I just saw this bike, at the Crich 1950s day, and thought it looked interesting. I wanted to do something interesting with it. But I didn't. Then when I got home and started cross hatching the hell out of it I was still not feeling it. So, I just got it finished and wrote some nonsense on the page. You can tell by my hand writing I wasn't even feeling that.

However, despite the fact that I've just slated it, there is one moment in this drawing that I like. You see when I've made a drawing that makes me cringe I feel that as long as I create a little magical moment within it - whether that be a line or a texture or a detail - I can forgive it. So, yes, there is one moment that makes me smile. Can you spot it?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

slip inside the eye of your mind

I haven't done one of those step by steps for ages, so here goes. This is a really big piece. Way too big to scan - which is why I'm posting these pretty rubbish photos. It's my biggest piece yet. And, without being dramatic (here's where I am going to be dramatic) I do believe this is probably the most important drawing of my life. So far.

It is a commissioned piece. And it's really very personal. Maybe I'll talk about all that as the drawing unfolds. Maybe, I will. I haven't decided yet.

Anyway, this is step one. I want this drawing to be Pre Raphaelite in it's attention to detail. And, here's the thing, it's not just a drawing. Oh no. I'll be cracking out the paints for this one. It told me it should be a painting and I'm listening to what its got to say. All the way.

So as I said, here's step one. Over the next few weeks it'll come to life. Please come back and see it's progress.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

many dreams have been brought to your doorstep

Over the years I've heard many people say that they find starting a new sketchbook the hardest part. They become frozen with the fear of messing it up. Especially, it seems, when it comes to Moleskine sketchbooks. Why is it that they are so intimidating? Is it because of the history of Moleskine? The prestige? Or is it just 'cos they are not cheap that makes you want to take extra care? Funnily enough, I never have that problem. I LOVE to start a new sketchbook. I (almost) cannot wait until I get home. I'm scribbling my name in it in the car (almost). No, I have the opposite problem.

This is the last but drawing of my travel themed Moleskine. There's just one more little page to fill. It's a travel sketchbook with a bit of a twist as I've created all the drawings at home with the souvenirs and memorabilia that I have brought back from my trips. Actually, not just my trips. This book also contains souvenirs from my friends travels too. That's the good thing about being a memorabilia artist; people always seem to bring me bits and bobs back from their trips. For example, a friend brought this back from the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery, London, earlier this year.

I started this Moleskine on the 29th of April 2009. I cannot even begin to think of how many hours work, and love, have gone into it. I think that it is my favourite sketchbook so far. In fact, it most definitely is. I am very proud of it. And now there is just one more page to go. Will I ever finish it?

You can see the whole of the sketchbook (minus that last blank page) HERE.

Monday, July 02, 2012


This has been in one of my sketchbooks for a while. I had no intention of posting it, but with The Stone Roses being all over the news this weekend (well, they are in this neck of the woods) I dug it out. Some time back I found this great photo, in old edition of Q magazine, of Ian Brown. The photo is by Jamie Beeden. I wasn't really looking out for anything to draw but as soon as I saw it I wanted to have a go.

I drew it using the upside down technique - no, I wasn't upside down, I turned the image upside down, see below, and drew it that way up (down?). Everytime I see a great balck and white portrait I want to draw it in that way. Black and white seems easier. With a colour pic it becomes too confusing, too distracting. I know it doesn't look like him. The eyes are huge (they always are when I use this technique. I don't know why?). The mouth is wrong too. Perhaps I shouldn't have even mentioned who it was supposed to be. But hey ho.  And, anyway, if you think this is bad then you should have seen what I did to poor Richard Ashcroft.