Thursday, 15 December 2011

Secret Standby

We are doing secret Santa and I have the standby prop man. So this is part of his present.

I caught him checking continuity photos on his camera, just before a take.

A good standby prop man need the foresight of a clairvoyant, the patience of Job, the fixing skills of a NASA engineer, and the attentiveness of a Mother hen.

And, of course, a good camera.

So, K, if you aren't mortally offended by this and would like the sketch. It's yours. If not it stays in the sketch book.

Either way... Happy christmas.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Can there be too many lines ?

It's like the joke about the critic who looks at a drawing and says there are too many lines, but in this case.... This sketch makes the subject look agitated, but I don't think she was.

It's just how I ended up drawing her. Apologies Lady. For the lines and for the unsettling.

Friday, 2 December 2011


It's all just marks on a page, random and meaningless until you ( yes, you ) look at them.

Ponder that Mister.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Happy advent.

Have you opened your first window yet ? Eaten that first chocolate ?

Kids have got it so much better, when I was a youth all you had to look forward to was a manky picture of a jack in a box, or a robin on a log, and the climax was always the baby Jesus, not a scrummy Mars mini treat.

Anyway. A quick sketch for the 1st of December, and... the start of my third year of doing this.

Friday, 11 November 2011


This guy stood reading on the tube, and was so lost in the story he shifted, stepped and maneuvered past the passengers who got on and off around him without ever taking his eyes off the page.

He was reading WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, which is a great book, and his engrossedness is totally understandable.


They mentioned on the telly the other night that young people ( in your best quavering, judgemental voice ) use their thumbs to point to things more than usual, and that this was seen as evidence that we are still evolving.

In this spirit I sketched a Guy's hands as he worked his iphone into oblivion.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


She is sleeping.

On the 12.18 from St. Pancras to Bedford. Last night.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

2 Ps ( not in a pod or anything )

Still in my posted - not posted uncertainty.

So apologies if these have been out already, but I think not.

P1 = Profile.

Took me a few lines before I decided on the correct one. 

P2 = Paper

Something to read on the journey in.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bugger it.

I've messed up my sketch folders, and have some sketches I don't know if I have posted or not, so apologies if I double up for the next few posts, until I get my bloghouse in order. I know my blog adjudicator out there will jump on my case like a sack of proverbial if I do. ( You know who you are - don't make me say it )

Anyway, I will trust my own memory will tell me which one's have already had their moment.


This guy was an actor. I knew his face from stuff but not so much as I would know his name.

No matter, in the book he goes.

For some reason I see him playing either college professor types, or in 20's shooting gear... either way it's tweedy.

And can I just add I am, as I write, eating a seeded onion bagel that I got from the 'reduced for a quick sale' shelf in Morrisons last night on the way home... and it is fantastic. I know the minutiae of other's lives is at best, boring, but this is so good it deserves to go on record.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Here they come.

The scarves are out in abundance again.

Sigh !

As we head into the long dark tunnel of an English winter.

Pray for us.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Another movement sketch. Trying stuff out, letting the person tell me how the drawing should be.

This girl didn't move much so it has kept the drawing more compact, more comprehensive. Then reinked over the final line, to make it more predominant. Give it the main task of telling the story.

Have to think on this more. Interesting thoughts. Hmmmm. Maybe combine the last movement one with this...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Quick, bright things

Okay Sam, here's another quick look and then draw without thinking sketch.

Quite like it even if it does feel like something is missing.

She was on the platform at Kentish Town, the other weekend, when the weather gave us one last golden bubble-burst of being alive.

"So quick bright things come to confusion"

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Not Adrian

I called this one Adrian when I scanned it as he reminded me of an old school friend who was called Adrian. Which makes sense.

What do you think the chances are his name really was Adrian ? Is there a mathematical formula to calculate that one ?

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Just waiting to see what happens.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Big buttons

It was the buttons that caught my eye. Lined up with military precision, 

All work and no sketching...

A mate asked me the other day if I had stopped this. No I assured them, I just haven't had a lot of time lately.

"So you're not drawing at the moment ? "

Ha, on the contrary, it's because I am drawing too much. Plans, elevation and the lovely thing that is the detail. And funny but I don't think of this kind of drawing in the same way as sketching. But I shouldn't, because this is still about making sure the correct information is all there so others can do their part. And it is about the most information you can get down efficiently without distracting lines and extraneous stuff.

So they are both more alike than I would have considered.

It's just that a sketch takes moments, and a construction drawing can take days.

And there isn't a chippie at the end of the process, pointing an indignant finger at something and asking me what the fuck that was supposed to be.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


This guy kept shifting about so I gave up trying to pin him down and just drew over and over until it felt right.

There is a bit of the girl he was talking to as well.  A sort of gestalt sketch, like a borg.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

2 bags

Saw two women with the biggest bags. No doubt full of things they find essential, money, pefume, i-pads, other pads, drills, spare Amazonian warrior kit. Just in case.

All decked out in black leather with studs and zips and more bling than the Bank of England. ( Although come to think of it a church mouse has more bling than the Bank of England at this moment in time ) 

It's a wonder they don't do their backs in lugging them around.

You think I'm exaggerating, but I have just been working with a girl who kept the hugest canister of Butane gas in her bag. And a small can of deodorant.

Let's just pray she doesn't get them mixed up in a night club.

Friday, 30 September 2011

2 phones !

Hey, Lady, enough already !

She had one tucked to her ear in her left hand, and was dialing on the other with her right, then she transfered the current call to her right hand and kept an ear out for the other one as it rang.

No one is that busy, surely ?

And she was in the garden of the British Library to boot. Someone should have popped out and shushed her with a stern look.

Very pleased with how her legs and shoes turned out. As I am sure she is too.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Have I posted this one ?

Must have missed it. It was at the bottom of the sketch folder.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Gan awhey a metro centre

Of all the cultural places I got to see during my stay up North; Durham Cathedral, Hadrian's wall, the Baltic, the sea front building seen in Winslow Homer's Whitley bay watercolours.... By far my favorite place was the Gateshead Metro centre. All life was there, buying stuff. There was a shop for ever conceivable human need, places to have your feet nibbled by fish, bungee jumping for the reckless, chocolate fountains, giant gnomes and more phone accessory booths than a soul could ever need. I now know I am not a complete person until my phone has a bejeweled, fake fur jacket.

And the most comfy bucket seats to rest your consumerist arse in.

Sketched a guy explaining life to his wife in one.

Or at least explaining why he couldn't afford for her to have her feet nibbled by fish, one or the other.

Didn't get anywhere near enough sketching in whilst I was there, but now I am home I can at least get back into the rhythm of posting again.

And I have new drawing materials to play with, and an inclination to push the boundaries of this a bit more now.

About bloody time too.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

2 profiles.

Another bloke's profile. Many questing lines.

This gets me thinking about where to take my sketching next. It points in a looser, more fluid direction.

Where as this one...

...implies more speed and a sort of brutalism, just chop it out, gouge it out of the paper. 

The pen as blade.

The pen as pick-axe.

The line as scar.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The start of something beautiful

Haven't been by for ages, but work load easing off now, so swinging by.

Was on the tube a while back, and this guy got into a conversation with a girl who had sat opposite, and there seemed to be an attraction, and I wondered if this was the start of the great love of their lives.

I would like to think so.

Can you feel the chemistry ?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Commuter and itch.

I have spent the afternoon, ( well a chunk of it ) replacing suspended ceiling tiles, that had fibre glass in them, and was sweaty and dirty, and am now itchy and scratchy, ( not the sadistic animated Simpson characters.... - although they should try ceiling tiles as a form of torture ) running the whole gamut today. The glamour of it all.


So a quick post as I have a few minutes. Sketched this commuter on the tube a while back, like the legs, always good when you get the legs right.

Ah, happy days, when I wasn't so damn ITCHY !!!

Going home to shower now.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


I like your hair.
So neat and simple.
And I had to sketch you.

I hope you don't mind.
So neat, ordered.
Your hair.

( Channeling William Carlos Williams today we are )

Monday, 25 July 2011

The art of recording art.

I should be detailing up doors, but am taking a bit of time out to post.

Was in Tate Britain just before this job started, to see the watercolour exhibition. And sketched this guy who had been photographing sculpture, and now sat to check his camera.

Thus this is a sketch of someone looking at photographs of art. 

Somewhere in there the Universe folds in on itself, and those fluorescent marker pens come into their own.

Incidentally, last week someone told me a story about how their dog ate a highlighter pen whilst they were out, and when they got back it stood, wagging it's tail and greeting them with bright glowing teeth.

That makes me smile even now.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Copper band

Sat opposite two London transport policemen, so had to sketch.

The one I sketched was unaware, ( so much for eagle eyed keeness ) but his mate clocked what I was doing.

And then I remembered that new law about being an offence to record the image of police officers when they are working.

Was I about to be arrested ? My sketch book impounded as evidence, bagged and labeled exhibit A my Lud.

No... just dull, brilliant life as always... they just carried on discussing their work shifts, and who was on after them, and what Tom had done with the work rotas.

So I sketched more.

He leant forward and started turning his cap around and around in his hands as he spoke, like checkered worry beads.

It deserved a sketch of it's own.


Nipped home for the weekend, to check for unpaid bills, water leaks, dead plants, etc...

Instead a nice little package awaited me.

A sketch book from my mate Tiff, over in Ohio.

Thanks Tiff. It is brilliant. Look...

The cover is an old cut down 45 record. And it says LONDON. How neat is that ?

Can't wait to start filling it.

Thanks Tiff. Love it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


...guess where I was the other saturday ?

Or even better.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Ga Ga goo goo.

First day of shooting, have spent whole day responding to other's requests and got nothing done of my own work. Need to regroup my head and get on with the next block...

But enough of that.

About a month ago the new Lady GaGa album came out, and she screamed in black and white from every magazine and bus shelter in town. Liked this mild looking guy, ignoring her siren cry from the cover of the Metro paper.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Sorry, Busy in Durham at the moment, haven't posted for days.

So a quick one to assuage my guilt.

This guy spent the whole journey telling his mate about computer programme writing. Which is not dissimilar to string theory, or the fluorescent pen thing. I admire it, but don't expect me to repeat it.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Knuckles - 2nd attempt

This guy was all in black, and his hands, or rather his knuckles stood out like eager landmarks on a simple map, so was glad to get the whole of him in the sketch before he moved.

He had a heavy gold wristband which added to the weight of his hands.

This is the post I was going to do a week ago, until I realised I hadn't scanned him yet.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Man you are hammered !

Coming back late on the tube the other night. This guy got on, and he was soooooo drunk he could hardly stay upright.

He slumped in a seat, and checked his phone, but fell into a coma before he had even looked at any updates, and just lay there, unheeded phone in hand.

Then he roused, rubbed his forehead shakily...

Then hunched forwards, as though suddenly nauseous.

But didn't hurl. Thank heavens.

The train pulled into a station, he looked up blearily, stood, and wobbled his way off into the night.

Whereupon another guy in the carriage asked me why I had let him get off there ? I shrugged and he said, "oh, I thought he was with you."

Had I somehow taken ownership of him by sketching him ? Was I the designated sketcher ? A graphite version of In loco parentis ?

I like that, like my line is a lasso, and I'm rounding you all up, taking care of you all. 

( In your best creepy League of Gentlemen voice ) You're my sketch now !

Thursday, 30 June 2011

An unrepeatable answer

So I asked James why fluorescent markers don't scan, ( you'd like James, he knows EVERYTHING )

And it is because they contain.. oh bugger, I've already forgotten it. Something about fluorescent stuff that reflects back as many protons as it absorbs, and you would need a scanner with a black light source to read them, but then it would only read black and white as it couldn't reflect back any colour.

I had to highlite something just for the sensation of seeing the protons do their thing. But now I feel like they are cheating my eyes, and I don't understand why.

Have a sketch. I know were I am with a sketch.

Exactly !

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Bikers on trains

No where near as scary as 'snakes on planes'...

...but the fluorescent yellow gear still had my attention.

And, as always, the colour didn't scan. I used my best highliter pen as well. Someone explain that to me. It's like the Emperor's clothes. Maybe it just tricks us into seeing it as bright, when in fact it is mass hysteria, and one day the scales will fall from our eyes and we will see that it's just another ordinary yellow with a degree in psychology.

Can a colour do further education ? How do they pay for their digs ? A weekend job on a fruit farm ?

I'll shut up now.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Cats and jokes and barrel scrapings.

Ha ! The sketch I was going to post, and had the writing to accompany it all sorted out for.... I haven't even scanned yet !

And as there is currently about 400 miles between me and my scanner, that's not gong to happen soonish.

So what have I got you haven't seen yet ?

Have you seen this guy taking his cat somewhere ?

Poor kitty.

Or how about this guy laughing ?

That's quite an old one, that one.

How about this one ?

The return of Bluebeard ?

Now that made me smile.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Lady in beige

Is sitting next to me ( not quite ) cheek to cheek. There's nobody here. It's just you and me....

... and your handbag.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Didn't that hurt ?

There are a few places I can think of where having a tattoo scores high on the 'ouch' factor, and on your neck has to be right up there.

Although we can all, or course, think of worse. 

But seriously Mate, didn't that hurt ?