Category: Sketchbook

Kapow! (or in Costa outside)

Posted by – 21 May, 2012

I went to my first comic con, Kapow!, this weekend, mainly out of curiosity.  I wanted to see what it was like to hang out in that world; storyboarding obviously isn’t far removed, and I’m wondering where else I could go with it.  I was hoping to sketch some fan boys/girls but there wasn’t really a quiet corner, so I ended up drawing a statue outside Costa Coffee instead.

I also bought some stuff from the Nobrow stand.  They’re a small publishers in East London who I’ve got a bit in to; their books smell amazing and everything looks like it’s been handprinted.  I really like the quality of their colours.  This is from The New Ghost by Robert Hunter:

Mm love that space observatory.  The below is from Pebble Island by Jon McNaught, a wordless look at life on the Falkland Islands. It’s small, about 15cm squared, but the tiny frames manage to evoke the space and solitude of life there.  I really love it.

Elsie asleep

Posted by – 14 May, 2012

Dog sleeping.


Posted by – 25 April, 2012

Various things including lots of work, getting engaged and trying to address the garden before it takes over Hackney have kept me from my blog.  Here is a picture I just did of the latest thing to occupy my time – our puppy Elsie, who is meant to be a Jack Russell/Shih Tzu cross but looks nothing like the latter.  This is her favourite spot, against the radiator in my study.  Peace comes at last.

Topiary in the afternoon

Posted by – 21 February, 2012

The topiary garden at Levens Hall in Cumbria, one of my favourite places.  It’s straight out of Alice In Wonderland, you half expect the Queen of Hearts to come stomping round the corner.


Liverpool win on aggregate

Posted by – 26 January, 2012

Rich watching the match last night.  His posture during Liverpool games alternates between this, tense and waiting to spring, to sprung and screaming at the TV; this applies to both good and bad results.  He felt it was important the score was added to the picture but I’m not sure it would be there if Man City had won.


Posted by – 18 January, 2012

Wow I haven’t done any sketching of stuff in front of me for ages.  As a treat/break from current task of designing business cards, I visited the V&A this morning.  I wandered through the Asia rooms and popped out in Sculpture, hence..

Some netsuke – tiny Japanese carvings, very popular post-Hare with Amber Eyes.  These ones are all carved from ivory – such detailed craftsmanship.

And a Lord Chief Justice from the 1700s – I liked his profile, kind of Roman.  Possibly his face fell victim to the sculptor’s classical aspirations.



Richer V Loomis

Posted by – 14 November, 2011

I’ve been trying out a new method of getting people and heads down quickly, so there are a lot of figure drawing sketches lying around at the moment and not much else. Here are some androgynous folk..

I think I’ve found the perfect teaching combination in Andrew Loomis and Paul Richer, two great artists who wrote some classic texts on life drawing. Loomis was an illustrator of the 30s & 40s whose republished book Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth is full of advice for nailing the foundations of a person/picture. Richer was a 19th century doctor who put together Artistic Anatomy, a classic study of bones and muscles with the artist in mind.  Loomis’s advice can get quite specific to his time (women should be drawn with wide shoulders, narrow hips etc.) so I’ve adapted some of his techniques by cross-referencing with the more accurate Richer.

A couple of pages which pretty much represent what my sketchpad looks like at the moment..

I’m even more pleased with my combo having discovered they’re connected.  Richer was a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where George Bridgman studied; Bridgman went on to teach many illustrious students, including Loomis and Robert Beverly Hale, at the Art Students League of New York.  Hale (whose books I also use) became a renowned life drawing teacher himself and in the 60s translated Artistic Anatomy into English, ‘not only the most complete but the most accurate of contemporary works on artistic anatomy.’ I love the way this story demonstrates the legacy of a good teacher, influencing not only future artists but future teachers too.

It’s love

Posted by – 2 November, 2011

I discovered some amazing marker pens today, which would usually be the sort of thing I can’t justify spending the money on, but I was armed with a voucher from my v. generous ex-colleagues so it seemed the moment had to be seized.  They’re Tombow double-ended pens (brush/fine tip) and both the cut of the nib and the zinging colours make them awesome to draw with.  I’m definitely using them for storyboarding.

This is the page I was testing them on in the shop; at least two people tried to have a go as well when my back was turned thinking it was the communal pad of paper.. er no.  Anyway I like the confusion of colour – if I tried to plan a jumble like this it wouldn’t come out the same.


























Some more doodles once home (something about the blue girl reminds me of Tom Cruise).

Blue Star

Posted by – 2 June, 2011

A couple of sketchbook pages, the first one from the Blue Star ferry on the way from Athens to Paros..

..and here is the lovely tortoise who lived between our flat and the neighbour’s on the island.

Return of the blog

Posted by – 15 April, 2011

My blog’s been broken for a couple of weeks but is now fixed, hurrah.  I’m quite busy with a couple of commissions at the moment (will post when completed) but in the meantime here are some sketchbook pages.

This is the dining room of the hotel we went to for Mother’s Day – pretty middle-England, overlooking a dual carriageway.

And a couple of sketches from the recent Book Of The Dead exhibition at the British Museum.