Friday, 31 August 2012


Went to the Globe to see Henry V the other night.

There were, of course, people to sketch.

This guy had been to the earlier playing of 'The Taming of the Shrew'. I liked that he had the essentials for a Shakespeare viewing - a programme and an i Pad.

Once more unto the apps dear friends.

That was weak, wasn't it ?

Thursday, 30 August 2012


As in anything you do consistently, you occasionally make little alterations and refinements to the way you do it, and gradually, accumulatively, you get better. So it is with sketching, I find I will make a mark, or a way of dealing with something that works well, and I use it again until it becomes part of the whole.

This is often just stylistic things, the real changes - how you really see things, how you interpret everything around you - happen magnificently rarely. This isn't one of those posts.

But what does happen, is all the little tricks and quirks you have added come together and you do a drawing that seems to you to be a new step forward. A sign post that you are on vaguely the right path.

Or at least some kind of path, rather than thrashing in the brambles.

Yesterday gave me just such a sketch.

You'll need to click on it and enlarge it as it gets a bit lost as it sits here.

Usually I sketch and turn the page, move on to the next one, and only really go back and look at what I drew at the end of the day. This one stopped me, and made me think, you know, I like that.

The guy was intent on doing something with his i-phone ( nothing new there then ) and I took the opportunity to focus on his hands, trying to see the shapes and structure of them, as his thumbs jabbed and swiped.

What do I think makes this a signpost sketch ? The way I now treat hair. The hands. Loving hands, but they are BUGGERS to draw. The lack of wrong lines. ( only one and I shaded it in to loose it ).

The overallnessness of it.

I don't really know.

Okay, trumpet blown, back slapped. Going back to the day job.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Two lines

Two attempts at the one line portrait.

Works best in profile.

This guy was waiting for friends outside Somerset House the other monday. I know this because I was waiting there for a friend as well, and his friends turned up first.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


When you are straining to hear.

Or blocking it all out.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Thanks Tom

Tom Plant has been posting some great commuter sketches, inspirational, go and admire them if you haven't already. He recommends several kinds of brush pens.

I love the line he gets with them, but couldn't find either of the ones he uses. Still, inspired, I found one which looked like it might be good to play with. I'd tell you what it is, but I have already worn the name away.

Loving what it does. You really don't get second chances with it, the line is so instantly there. But when it goes right, oh boy. A fella could fall in love with a line like that.

This last one I tried the 'drawing one line without looking at the page' gag.

The result made me smile, and I added more hair to make it make sense.

Thanks Tom.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The only way to watch Olympics

Is sitting in a park.

With friends.

Monday, 13 August 2012


All there is of us, is us.

Olympic apparel 2

And for the rest of us...

... the t shirt.

Olympic Apparel

They have been an ubiquitous as pigeons on the streets of London these past few weeks.  Games makers. Volunteers.

In their funky top to toe outfits. Had to catch me one.

Look, even the watch is official. It takes a brave soul to pull off those colours. But I kinda like the trousers.

So I guess they'll migrate away now, such bright plumage unsuited to an English winter. Maybe the odd flash of a cap, or a bag, will glimpse through the padded layers of coats and scarves, to remind us of that summer when...

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Went to watch the swimming marathon in the Serpentine yesterday. 

The day was amazing. You could feel the weight of the sunlight on you. Your whole body unfurling into the high, bright air. And other people were doing all the exerting.

Sketched, of course, and this is my favorite, folks on both banks, observers lost in the watching.

Even if his neck does look a little dis-jointed.

Friday, 10 August 2012

It had to happen

Sooner or later...

Was on the train, sketching, when a guy sat opposite, and got out a sketchbook. He threw me the quickest of glances, taking in my sketchbook and pen, then got down to work, sketching someone behind me.

So I couldn't ignore him could I.

The sketcher sketched.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Just to say

London is a phenomenal place at the moment.

There is a whole new community of people that have moved in and overlaid themselves across the city. Go anywhere and you will see Olympic folk. Security, Press, Organizers, Corporate bodies, Flag draped fans, Games makers, Ambassadors, people to make sure you get to where you need to be, people to stop you going where they don't want you to go.

And all with their Olympic pass around their necks.

As I walked across Russell Square last night a flotilla of buses pulled up, and emptied the world's press onto the street. Photographers, Journalists, Cameramen, Sound, spilled out and dispersed in all directions, some to Hotels, some to the tube station, some to waiting mini buses. All with determination and purpose. Images captured, moments recorded, stories decided.

And London just expands, and accepts, and carries on alongside it all.

In a way I wish they could all stay forever.

Night birds

Was taken, if not exactly kicking and screaming, but with no massive enthusiasm, to an Owl City gig last night. And, not knowing the music, there is very little I can think to say about it that won't make me sound like the proverbial old fart.

But was breaking in a new sketch book, so I enjoyed myself.

He played with 100% energy and his audience were astoundingly enthusiastic. In my day ( oh... here we go... ) youth were into a bit more rebellious a sound, but, hey, everyone knew all the words, and sang them to their loved ones with a seductiveness that, I hope, achieved the desired end result, so whatever...

And, as the man says, Planet Earth turns slowly.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Random Bloke

On the train the other day.

Am conscious all my sketches are starting to look the same. I have fallen into a pattern of drawing. I need something to shake me out of it.

Mind you, I like the repetition of angles. The collar, and the chin and nose, and the back of his head.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Godiva's Paramedic

'Cos even 19 foot high icons need a care team !


If you don't know, a giant puppet Lady Godiva is currently making her way from Coventry to the Olympic games.

And as I was tooling down the M1 on thursday I took a detour to see her on her way thru Luton.

Godiva stands some 15 foot high I'm guessing ( but let me check that.. hang on... hang on...) Ah, correct that..., 19 foot high according to the Guardian. And she walks via an ingenious trucked mechanism behind her.

She is being ferried around the countryside by a team of dedicated cyclists. As I was sketching, two of the cyclists, enjoying a well earned tray of sausage and chips, discussed her journey so far.

"She still has that mark on her head where she hit that tree in Rugby."
"They would be appalled if they knew."
"She has literally been dragged through a hedge backwards."

Personaly, I liked her feet ( not shown here ).

Thursday, 2 August 2012


A co-worker playing Scrabble on his phone during a lull in the proceedings.

I know it was Scrabble because he told me later.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Meeting the world

...with an open stare.

He is with his Dad, and the world holds nothing but wonder.