Awaiting a brief…
Some sketches from the last fortnight.
The view from near the cottage we stayed at in Northumberland. This is no. 2 out of three attempts to draw it. I wasn’t feeling very patient that day, rockpools are a pain in the ass to be honest.
Elsie was permanently asleep, must be the sea air.
Some marble sculptures in the V&A; trying to take the burn off my London re-entry.
We spent the weekend in Oxford seeing Cabaret and wandering about the city, trying to devise ways we could move there. We did a walking tour on Sunday on a perfect autumn afternoon.. chiselled shadows cutting across gentle yellow brickwork and a glowing blue sky, set against the tones of our softly-spoken guide who seemed as in awe of the place as we were.
I have started using my sketchbook again. I’ve gone for perhaps a year not really doing much of it; I just didn’t want to, so I took an intentional break rather than feel guilty all the time. Which worked really well because for no apparent reason I feel like it again. It’s interesting as well (for me) as my technique has changed from all the storyboarding and illustration I’ve been doing in the interim. Gone is any self-flagellation about using felt tips to shade or drawing too fast. I just got back from a family trip to Aldeburgh in Suffolk (we stayed in Room 101; you know what’s in there) so here are a few sketches.
While sorting through some stuff over the weekend I came across all the roughs I did while trying to work what picture, out of all the possible pictures in the universe, I was going to put on my business card. My starting point was that I wanted a person to be in it, and if possible an animal, and I wanted it to be quite vibrant.
One idea I had was to have the business card as one frame of a storyboard – everyone would be sent different frames and you’d have to visit my website to see the whole thing. I was using moo.com so I could have up to 50 different images on one side of the card..
..the middle column of a woman and a bird was the idea I eventually went with.
Lots of faces with different backgrounds.
I kind of liked this playing card idea using a man and a woman..
..and one of the last stages before I got to the finished product. The bird is a Cock of The Rock, a slightly comedy Andean cockerel-type creature.
I’m drawing a comic for a lovely lady I met at the Kapow! comic con – her name’s Yen Ooi and she’s a writer (you can see her stuff here). It’s completely new territory for me, I have no idea if it will work or if I’ll be able to do it but I read a lot of comics these days, I’ve been reading up on the artform and I’m really enjoying the opportunity. We’re having a bit of a trial run on a couple of pages to see if I/we like it.. anyway here are some character sketches for two of the main characters, the Grey Gentlemen….
Without going into too much detail, they’re VERY TIRED and have essentially worked so hard they’ve wasted themselves away.
My fancy Richard and I went to Berlin last week, for a friend’s wedding. I’d never been and found the whole thing totally fascinating – it’s mad to see the Luftwaffe HQ and the Berlin Wall inside of one walking tour in one city centre. There is so much to think about. We weren’t in the city long but here are a few sketches.
Doodling while waiting for Rich at Gatwick. I get quite bored of always drawing people from behind but now I’ve realised it’s a good time to do hair studies. Yes!
Rich trying hard to relax..
The Berlin wall memorial at Bernauer Strasse, which is the place you must go to to really feel what it was like – Checkpoint Charlie is manned by part-time strippers and nothing there is authentic. The sketch is of the outer wall, on the border with West Berlin. They made many ‘improvements’ to the wall over the years, one of which was the cement tube on the top which made it very difficult to get over. I’m standing drawing in the deathstrip, or no man’s land, and behind me is some remaining inner wall (bordering East Berlin). I think it’s the only place you can still see both walls. It’s such recent history, and now here we are wandering around it as tourists.
I went to a private viewing of the Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery last week – my first visit to Buckingham Palace after ten years living in London. To wander around Leonardo’s drawings getting a bit drunk on white wine, on one occasion with only one other person in the room, was an amazing thing. I got to stand right in front of the pictures, rather than in that awkward leaning position you usually have to adopt, and study them closely. Did a little sketch at the end perched haphazardly on a bench.
A couple of bits and bobs – here’s a scrawl of Jesca Hoop at a recent gig (love her)..
..and our friends’ baby, Sylvie. Drawing children from life is almost an impossible task, I think the secret is to make bits up.