Thursday, 29 April 2010

Feeling your behind

Blimey I'm getting behind this month. Will need to do a massive catch up when this job is over.
Just been swamped by all the odd little things you end up having to organise, ( getting rear seat belts fitted into a 1986 Allegro, getting a chimney swept, ( £40 - bargain ) working out how to change the colour of the walls in a working maternity unit without damaging the wall surface in any way whatsoever. ) And running dangerously low on spare people sketches, now I'm knee deep in doing this. Will aim to get some fresh subjects this sunday, will be out and about, so will make it my mission.
As for this couple, look at them, all trussed up in their thick winter coats that seem so long ago now we are enjoying the big fresh days of April. It has been beautiful this past week. All memories of that long cold winter banished to the deepest recesses.

Where they should be.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Glasgow trip

From the Glasgow trip, waiting at the airport with Ewan. Did a few sketches to decompress, after the day. Then added the colour at home the next day.
The whole experience was brilliant, and learnt so much, so even though it was the end of the line for me, it has never felt like that, and I have been unpacking my head ever since, and now see what I was doing wrong all along.
Anyway, we went for a coffee ( bottled water for me ) in the cafe, and there were several people sitting around me, so out came the sketch book.
This woman was reading through A4 pages of notes, obviously been to something work related.
There is another sketch of other people I was going to pop here as well, but I cannot find it and must have not scanned it yet, and the scanner is at work, so that will have to wait.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Blue beard - the sequel

As a sketch this veers very close to caricature. But I do like how the body works on it, the arm held back like that.

Another quick post - will do a proper catch up at the weekend.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


That girl, who said her life was long. I know how she feels today. Still at the office, into my 13th hour at work today, been to so many places, had my head stuffed with so much information.

So a quick sketch...

This woman was in the cafe at the V & A, ages ago, enjoying some culture and a damn fine coffee with her friend. A memento of a time to stop and take it slow, for a day that hasn't stopped for one second.

And, having made the posting today, I am packing up and going home.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Trafalgar Square

There seem to be so many Tourists here at the moment, floods of students, EF backpacks.
( And no-one is leaving any day soon thanks to Eyjafjallaiokull. - Hope I spelt that right ! )
This girl was one of many sitting on the steps in front of the National Gallery. Taking in the glorious spring sun, and the view down Whitehall. And just looking, maybe fixing the moment in her mind, a memory for future days.

And you realise how much a privilege, a pleasure it is to live in such a great city. I love London. and every second I have spent in it. And for others it might just be a memory of a good trip, or a place they want to visit one day, as I think of other places, other cities. But for me London is always here. Just down the street, on the end of a tube line, just over the river. Everywhere. My city.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Darwin - the city, not the man.

Unusually, the train the other day had seats that ran down the length of the carriage. Heaven only knows where they dug that one up from. Must have had a rolling stock emergency of something... ( maybe that guy from the february post was involved ? )
So... anyway... sat opposite this guy, and really enjoyed the letters across his t-shirt.
And I assumed him to be Australian on no other evidence.

Do words so quickly, unconsciously dictate to us how we read our world ?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Intent at Channel 4 ( 134-135 )

Was waiting in the offices of Channel 4 Scotland, and should have been concentrating on what I was doing, ( or rather was about to do ), but nervous as hell, so distracted myself by drawing one of the office girls as she typed up a dictated letter.
She was so focused on her work, and oblivious of us three sitting, fretting, like anxious toads on the sofa in the corner.
I was told her name, but have forgotten it. I should have written it down.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Ouch !

Okay, this one is not about the sketch, or the subject ( neither of which I can think of anything to say about. )
This one is about what happened to the sketch yesterday.
We were out on a recce of a dilapidated wooden shed we will be filming in, but the only way to get there was through a barbed wire fence !
So we used my sketch book, opened out, to cover the bottom strand of wire, and thus offer some protection to our more vulnerable areas, whilst we held the top strand up for each other.
A very successful operation for all concerned, except the sharp wire spikes punctured a hole through several drawings, and is here circled in red for your delectation.

When it comes to the well being of my neither regions, I would sacrifice whole galleries of my work.

For certain.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

131 - 132

Sat watching a group of people having a picnic in the sun ( last year )
This sketch of one of the couples is one of my favorite from that day.
The woman was very animated, and I caught her in several poses.
When she tucked her knee up under her arm it was irresistable, and I was glad I got it before she tired of the pose and moved again
Although it's a tiny thing, I love how her hand splayed out as it took the weight of her leaning across onto it.
They all got up and played frisbee shortly after this.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Bit of a catch up - 3 in 1

Three more from the old sketch books.
Always liked the way this one fills the square of the page, his outstretched arm and ramrod straight back. This man possesses his world.
Getting behind on the postings a bit. Alway knew it would be a challenge to keep this up when work started to get more insistent.
And for the life of me cannot remember anything about any of these people worth writing about. So bang goes that boast.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Cheating - but admitting it.

So this one, right, I drew about four different versions of this guy reading his book. It was a beautiful day, it's like someone switched summer on overnight, everything is moving in the gardens, everything has that almost fresh green feel, and everyone have left their coats at home, hurrah !
So sketching with a weird energy, and it shows, and drew this guy again and again, but not one drawing I liked. Liked bits of this one, and the head of that one...
So have photoshopped them all together into this amalgam of a drawing.
I don't think that's cheating, and anyway I make the rules around here. But in the spirit of total disclosure befitting a time of political election...

Not a lot to say about the subject though, he was so lost in his book, turning the pages back on themselves. I was grateful for his stillness, but gleaned very little of his world.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

126 - Wasabi soup

Tried Oxford Street as a sketching venue the other day. Big mistake, so many people, all wanting to push past exactly were I was, even though I had ( I thought ) tucked myself well into the window gap of Holland & Barretts.
For every 1 second I had a clear view of my subjects, sitting at a bus stop, there were at least 20 seconds when the view was blocked by frenzied consumers.
And carrier bags, so many carrier bags, banging and flapping around people's knees. How many of them ship out into the wide world on an average day I wonder ?
Anyway, this guy was spooning his Wasabi miso soup and noodles down at a rate of knots...
And is the most finished sketch I managed.

He dematerialised right in front of me as well. One second he was there, and I was poised to draw his knees in, then two blokes stood RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, ( the old invisible thing again ) and when they walked on, he had vanished, and I never saw him leave or anything.

So there is a slim possibility that he was a visitor from outer space, who loved Wasabi noodles enough to risk traumatizing a few saturday shoppers.

Although I doubt it.

Beam me up, Scotty, and don't slosh me miso !

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Elbow patches.

From the same time as the previous woman, Soho Square, next bench along.
A group of guys were standing around, drinking beer, and laughing a lot.
But up-market, with his elbow patches and edwardian whiskers, not your usual London square meths drinkers. Had the feeling they were warming up before going to a wedding or something.
You don't see many elbow patches these days, not outside of Universities anyway. Not such consciously styled ones.

But then my finger was never on that particular pulse.

She moved.

Was taken by this woman sitting on a bench, chatting to her friend...
But every time I started her in one position, she shifted her whole body into another one, and again, and again. She was so animated, leaning forward, then back, smoking, fiddling with her bag... finally waving to someone across the square who joined them, before they all left.
Hyper-something I'd say.
Thought I would have to abandon her, but then caught this one pose. Did have to close my eyes and complete it by memory as she was up and halfway down Dean Street before I could finish.

Liked her boots.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


This girl slumped into a seat on the train back home last week with a deep sigh and said...

" My life... is long.'

And proceeded to tell her friend that... " if she wants to get rid of it she'll just have to look on their web site. "

She was kitted out, head to toe, in black Adidas, so, if her life was long, she was at least dressed to run every second of it.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Another train, another day.
This guy was on his i-phone, looking up where Leipzig was. How out of left field is that ? And he had a real boxer's nose, flat and blunt. Brilliant.
Like the Lacoste logo croc just backing out from behind his coat.

Friday, 2 April 2010

End of March

Damn it ! Missed the deadline for the March posts, this should have all been done two days ago, so marking the moment for my own purposes.
Just imagine this was posted on wednesday.
So, quick sketch... quick sketch...
That one will do....
And it's attached itself upside down, brilliant. You know what, I'm leaving it like that. Big fan of Baselitz. And it makes the line more abstract, more of a line.
It removes the face from the drawing. Like that. Like that a lot.

You know what they say. When life gives you lemons...

... exfoliate your elbows.

118 -120 Let sleeping sketches lie.

You are feeling sleeepppyyy.....veeeryyyyy sleeeppppyyyy !!!!!

People asleep in public places are weirdly vulnerable creatures. Showing a side only their closest family usually see. And remarkably absent from our world. It always intrigues me that they are off in their minds, seeing and feeling stuff you could never fathom in a million years. And if they are anything like my dreams that's a mighty odd place.
And that slight removed feeling you get when you have fallen asleep on a train, or in the park, and you wake and look at the people around you with a mixture of sheepishness and accomplishment. ( and a drooly damp patch on your shirt )

This last one is a guy who was fast asleep on the train, and I went for it with the shading, and it is a hideous drawing in many respects, but I kinda like it...
The line is so dark it feels to me like it should snore, even if the real guy didn't.

Sorry just got to...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Incidentally, and apropos of absolutely nothing other than writing the phrase just reminded me of it... only Google the words 'damp patch' if you have a cast iron constitution.