Monday, 26 November 2012

The insistent sketch. ( or Olympic apparel 4 )

Every time I flick through a particular sketch book, this one asks to be posted.

But you never got finished, There isn't enough of you to warrant scanning and writing about.

And yet still she looks at me with those big eyes. Damn it !

There, done, scanned, posted. Now stop with the looks.

She was drawn during the Olympics and is wearing an Olympic hat hence the second title.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Nuts, Protein and Sitting.

Anyone remember that guy with the placard who used to walk Oxford Street selling his leaflets, decrying on nuts, protein and sitting ?

Just resurfaced in my mind while I was thinking what to write about another person sitting on a bench.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Time for a coffee

Got some Espresso bar patrons, relaxing with their brews the other day.

With prerequisite beanie hat and all.

She was pointing at something on her laptop screen, but I never drew the laptop !

A mochachocalattefrappachino grande to go please. 

With hazelnut syrup, it is nearly christmas.


You know how it is, you work all night, you work all day, to pay the bills you have to pay.

And you fall asleep the second you get on that train home.

Is it the weekend yet ?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pearly Whites

Look who I got me. A pearly king no less. Brilliant.

He was the Pearly King of Newham, as written on the back of his jacket.

Might have to do some shading on him, bring out the buttons.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


Okay, this one excites me. This one has a hint, a moment, an indication of where to go. This one suggests a possible direction to head in ( pun unintended )

It has a start towards that sense of weight, of heft, or corporeality I am currently thinking is important.

I need people to sit for me, I need a bit more than train folk. 

I need to think more on this.

Friday, 16 November 2012

More news.

However you get it.

By the web...

Or by print.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Today's news

Is usually the same as yesterday's news.

Man, on the train, keeping abreast of things.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

People, sitting, various

People sitting, watching the Tate Modern installation as mentioned earlier.

Long sketch

Started on a new sketchbook ( Thanks Sophie ! )

It is landscape bound, which isn't the most natural of layouts for my hand, but it means you get to do drawings like this.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Blue Fleece

It was VERY blue.

Trust me.

Monday, 5 November 2012


This girl was a joy to sketch.

She was totally focused on her computer, her hand only occasionally moving to scroll down, or nibble small morsels of a prawn sandwich.

The rest of the time she sat, transfixed, tugging her bottom lip out again and again, pinching it's fullness into a little cleft bud before just, just, letting it escape back.

And, as I write that, I am stuck how irredeemably pervy I am sounding.

I will go now.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Film hangout.

Was waiting to meet someone in the bar downstairs at the Curzon Soho the other day. Had got there early, so did some sketching. You always get film folk working on their new script or having meetings about projects there. There was even some actors rehearsing something the other day, standing up, acting it out, the lot. It's like Dean Street's unofficial office.


This guy was intent on his Apple laptop. Script...e-mails... couldn't see.

But very pleased with how he turned out.

Had a few tries at his head shape, the truth is somewhere in all those lines.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


Been taking my time with sketches just lately. Have been in situations where I had subjects very stationary and could spend longer on them.

So spending more on shading and looking for the weight of them.

This one was about 10 mins.

And this one closer to 15 mins.

And whilst I like the end results, I have already reached the point where I can find little purpose in them. They feels somehow backwards, not progressing to any point.  Lazy, even.

Need to think more on this.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Random Train Folk

A few recent sketches done on various trains.

I seem to have gone through quite a few sketchbooks these last few weeks. Not from prolific sketching mind, I keep several different sizes on the go at once and they just all seemed to come to the end at the same time.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Happy Birthday

Today marks the 125th birthday of L. S. Lowry.

Lowry is one of those artists it is too easy to dismiss, as I completely had until this summer.  The popular image of matchstick men and dogs on jigsaws and mugs too easily diffuses the real artist. The curse of popularity.

I went to the aniversary exhibition at The Lowry arts centre in Salford while I was there in july. I went because I felt I should. I had seen various Lowry's in gallleries over the years and on the whole, walked past them. I dismissed him as a naive painter, like Alfred Wallis. Someone to admire the being of, but not requiring further investigation. Someone raised up by a particular time and sensibility.

Visiting the galleries in Manchester and Liverpool over the summer I saw several more, and paid my dues, and stopped for longer than I might, because he was a local artist. I was 'treading his patch'. But all those houses and factories have long been swept away and there is scant connection to make.

And then, on a trip to Tate Liverpool, it had started to rain, and I took shelter in the covered walkway on Albert Dock, And there, suddenly, in front of me, Lowry's world opened up.

The reality and presence of it struck me. THAT is what he saw, THAT is what he wanted to record.

And I went to the Lowry exhibition with unhindered eyes. And saw...

Well, someone who understood his subject, and it's needs and voids. He organizes planes and shapes with as sharp a tension as Mondrian. He looks and sees real people with as clear an eye as Henry Moore. He sits as decisively in his world as say Nash or Palmer or David Jones, artists outside the stronger currents of the flow, painting their own view.

And, since then, I 'see' 'Lowry' everywhere. In others' art, in my own, in crowds, in emptiness. Looking down, looking at. He hijacks me unawares all over the place, jumps out and says "see this, see this".

And those matchstick people are more tension points within his frame, either en masse or alone. I think you need to look past them, around them, they are not the focus the Lowry machine would have them be. They are there, because they are there, because they are there, because they are there.

So, I raise my pen to you, Mr. Lowry. And apologize for ignoring you till now.