Sunday, 2 November 2014

October portrait studies

Some charcoal portrait sketches done recently.


30 minute sketch, A3

A3 tonal

A3 - charcoal and white pastel

Sunday, 31 August 2014

#DrawingAugust: the last 9 days

And so to the last 9 days - drawings 22 through to 31. This has been a really good thing to do - I've started (and finished!) a lot of 'drawings', and also returned to ones I'd dropped for whatever reason. 

The best thing has been though has been seeing the highly skilled, exciting and beautiful work of so many people on Twitter, and 'meeting' them. Next up is #PaintingSeptember which I shall try, but it is a more demanding month so we'll see..











Monday, 25 August 2014

#DrawingAugust 2014 Week 3

My 7 drawings for days 14 to 21 of #DrawingAugust 2014 - somehow involving China, France, Switzerland, Greece and Yorkshire this time.. I didn't realise.

It has been wonderful browsing through all the other #DrawingAugust contributions on Twitter - over 200 new drawings per day but worth the time! - and there are many, many exceptional and exciting artists and pieces of work. 

I have been very surprised, and delighted, by the responses to my efforts - my confidence has grown. I still feel that there is a chaotic variety in style, but was today told that 'the style is certainly consistent'. I really cannot imagine what that style is, or see it myself - except perhaps in colour palette. 


Ink, dip pen and curtain threads/frayings - ideas about the Longji rice terraces that we visited

Revisiting of a pencil sketch of an old French door done August 2013

Preliminary sketch/drawing

Stabilo pen sketch

Stabilo fineliners sketch - Damouhari, Greece

Life drawing - Inktense crayon on A2 cartridge paper 

Revisited pencil sketch of Shanghai lunchtime stallholder - Inktense, soft pastel added




Monday, 18 August 2014

#DrawingAugust Week 2

My 7 drawings and sketches for days 8 to 14 of #Drawing August over on Twitter. What a joy this has been on every level - wonderful drawings by others, much interaction via 'favoriting' and retweeting and tweeting replies and responses. And what a ragbag of styles I manage!










Thursday, 14 August 2014

#DrawingAugust Week One

My first 7 drawings and sketches for #DrawingAugust 2014, taking place on Twitter, for a second year. This has been a useful and needed push to make me give more time to unbegun or unfinished ideas and intentions. These are all related to sights and impressions from my China visit in April, except the poppies. Some I altered or coloured or embellished later..

1st August



August 2nd







August 3rd


August 4th




August 5th


August 6th



August 7th


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Secret 7" 2014, Entry 2: Jake Bugg's 'Strange Creatures' - and SUCCESS!

I decided to submit a 2nd single cover design, in addition to the Elbow one in the previous post. This was for Jake Bugg's 'Strange Creatures'.

The lyrics and music seemed to me to be both minimalist and slightly eerie or disturbing. I have enjoyed doing some collage / altered image work in the last few months and had come across the image of a young girl (actually a mugshot) and found her posture and expression very compelling. With the crow as well I hope there's a feeling of 'Strange Creatures'.

Both images were layered/collaged on to a gouache and ink background and some linework added digitally - this was to suggest both telephone wires and a guitar's strings and frets.

Final Jake Bugg design:

So there then followed the nail-biting wait of a couple of months to hear whether either the Jake Bugg or Elbow entries were chosen by the Secret 7" judging panel, but in March I had the wonderful news that the above design had indeed been chosen as one of the 100 unique Jake Bugg cover artworks!.There were nearly 4000 entries overall so I feel very pleased!

So once again I have been successful and the single cover was printed and exhibited at Mother London, and then sold on Record Store Day. Unfortunately I was abroad by this time but my daughter went along and took some photos:


This year there was a photobooth of the buyers, so for the first time I have been able to see the person who bought my design and here he is - clearly a man of excellent judgement! The buyers have no idea of which single they have bought or which illustrator has done the cover design until they pay for it.


Finally, I was asked for a larger print of the design and here it is, all ready to go:






Friday, 9 May 2014

Secret 7" 2014 submission 1: Elbow 'Grounds for Divorce'

This year I entered two 7" single covers for Secret 7" 2014. As ever, there were 7 singles/musicians to choose from. This time the charity being supported was Warchild.

My first choice was Elbow's 'Grounds for Divorce'. The lyrics to me suggested disapproval and being ostracised, being in the doghouse. So I did some doggy sketches, mainly lurchers and greyhopunds:





























I also made use of this sketch I had done a couple of months earlier - although not suggesting disapproval originally, it seemed to convey that if it was presented like an ancestral portrait on the wall:


This is the Elbow final piece that I submitted:



Thursday, 1 May 2014

Shanghai sketches 1

Some oil pastel sketches from the first few days in China, in Shanghai. I used a tiny Chinese A6 journal, with hemp/bamboo pages, and clumpy oil pastels - not only clumpy but cheap, poor quality ones that I think are about 20 years old. BUT I found this unexpectedly liberating as I had to be bold in a small space and had no fear of wasting expensive materials.