Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Back to Hendon for more sketching.

Helicopters caught my eye. Didn't draw the one I first saw as there were no benches near it and I forgot to take my stool.

But these ones were handy.

I like how the small orange one looks pensive and anxious. That, a mate told me, is because the big red one has got the hump with it and is giving it the silent treatment. Look at the expressions on their faces.

Which reminds me... I got into a debate on the difference between anthropomorphism and pathetic fallacy the other day....


Been gone for ages. Seems like forever, and seems like a few weeks.

What can I say ? Work.....

Been Cornwall, Devon ( again ) Manchester ( again ) and hardly any sketching time in there.

But back home now, so reviving the blog.

More soon.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Two Faces

Very busy with work at the moment, but wanted to get at least one post in for June.

Two people sketched on the train into town the last few weeks.

Nothing special, just stuff to pass the time.

Monday, 1 June 2015


Missed the actual moment.

Blast !

Well whoever you were, thanks for stopping by.

There should be cake....?

Friday, 29 May 2015


Almost there.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015


Apologies for own trumpet, breathing in the direction of... but am nearing my 10,000th visitor so feeling quite excited.

I know by some blog standards that is small cheese, that they think nothing of that many before tea time, but I am still buzzed.

He he.

Saturday, 16 May 2015


As Ella Henderson says....

" We will Glow, oooh ooh  oho ooooh ohhh."

Like how the colours seem to glow in this life drawing.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Clarinet player

I think.

There was some discussion on the telly last night about if an Artist can depict a Musician correctly if they cannot play the instrument themselves.

That's me scuppered then.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

First Violin

A quick back view.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Stood Standing There

Very pleased with this one from Life drawing.

My mate Tiff, who is a regular reader here ( hiya ) and had flown in from Ohio, gamely came along for the session. She had never been before and I didn't want to push too much because, at the end of the day, it is NUDITY.  But she said she enjoyed it and did some cool sketches.

I guess it isn't the first place people think to take visitors to London. Naked people in a Quaker meeting house isn't exactly up there with Big Ben or the Tower. But in my opinion it should be.

An idea has just occurred. A travel company that finds oddball Meetups to take tourists to.

Dragon's Den here I come.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Planes, Planes

There was a sketching Meetup at the RAF Museum in Hendon yesterday. Went along, as always happy to have an excuse to go and draw.

Spent morning in 1st WW hanger with so so success.

But did get to watch two guys who are going to be giving guided tours practising the tour they are going to be giving. First one went around explaining the exhibits to the other, then, later, the other came round telling the first guy the same information. I was intrigued and eventually asked them what they were doing, and it all made sense. 

Spent the afternoon in the modern hanger. Liked the geometry of this side of this plane, with the RAF circles and the wing shadows underneath.

Found it very satisfying and has put some ideas in my head for future exploration.

But please don't ask me what either of the planes were. Have no idea.

Friday, 24 April 2015

At the other table.

I guess I should have known. You go to the BFI you gonna trip over media people.

Had a half pleasant catch up / half possible work coffee and chat the other day.

And at the next table this guy was talking to obviously an Agent. And bigging himself and the work he had done up. We all do it, but it still raises a smile when you hear it.

Wonder if he was taken on ?

Thursday, 23 April 2015

And Gentlemen in England now-a-bed...

" Cry 'God for Harry, England and St. George'"


Two people, engrossed in their books.

Seeing as it is World Book Night.

Took part in this several years ago. Was a book giver. Harder than you think to give away 50 books.

Still have a few copies of 'Love in the time of cholera" floating around if anyone is interested. Might take them out and give them away later today.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Beau Chapeau

This girl ( because although she was beyond a certain age the word woman feels like an affront to pin to her ) got on the tube as I was standing by the door.  The first thing I saw was her hat and it made me smile, and seeing me smile she flowered from her personal daydream and offered me a smile of such perfected glory the day was made.

She was a painted doll, with crimson lips and arched brow and jet, jet black hair emphatically lacquered around her. 

And her hat.

Her hat was a painted doll's face with lidded eyes and Clare Bow lips, edged in diamante, with a flourish of ribbon, also sparkling with gems. All in powder blue and turquoise. 

Maybe hat is the wrong word, maybe it was more of a fascinator, that is what they call them isn't it ?

And I was fascinated.

Saturday, 18 April 2015


I wanted him to look learned and alternative, as he read his massive book and mused on the world.

But something about his mouth and how I have drawn it makes him look, well.., a miserable old fart.

I apologise Sir. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Roller blades.

A guy got on the train with his roller blades in his hands and sat with them on his lap.

He didn't stay long enough to get a full sketch done, ( he got off at West Hampstead ) but I like the shapes. They were heavy, clunky things. And well scuffed with use.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


So you know how I have been saying, on and off, that I would love to find an Orchestra that would let me sketch them. Well finally managed it.

The London City Orchestra have opened their doors to me. Which is brilliant.

The previous few musical sketches were from my initial meeting with them, but now I have access to their rehearsals and it is an amazing thing.

The relationship between musician and instrument is even more complicated to draw than I had expected.

Violins, ( see previous post ) their curves are so specific, and to draw them right and in perspective as they are played. It does your head in. 

And the French Horn !

Seriously. Who designed that in the first place. I spent all my time just working out where the tubes all went. And not even that yet.

Amused that the glibness of my sketching style goes out the window as I try to decipher what I am actually looking at.

But looking forward to some great sketching.

Thanks to all at LCO for this opportunity. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Boats, Baseball Caps and Violins.

All things I have learnt are tricky to draw accurately.

Pleased with this one.

I think it is because they have a symmetry that we all understand, and when you draw them, if you get it even slightly off the eye sees it. Like a twist in a spine. You understand it without needing to analyse it. 


The paper in this sketch book is very thin and my heavy handed shading can wreak havoc through the pages, as you can see.

But it was only £2 so I still love it.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Saatchi Steps

People sunning themselves as they ate their lunches on the steps of the Saatchi gallery last Thursday.

Spring is most definitely here.

I ate an apple.

And the current exhibition on Hermes that is there is brilliant, if anyone is of a mind to go. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Yellow Barry as Avenging Angel

Just mucking around before I chuck this one in the bin.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

More hands. More music.

This time on a cello.

More colour ! More bottoms !

The demand went out.

And was duly met.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The position of the hands

When drawing a violinist, is it possible that you can position the hands and bow in the wrong place in relation to each other ?

Would an expert look at this and ( after laughing ) say, if the fingers are on the strings there, the bow would never be being drawn across at that point there ?

Are there rules I need to understand ?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


Continuing with my bottle of pumpkin ink.

As delicious in use as it is in colour.

And relax....

Friday, 3 April 2015

2 heads

Are better than one.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


Always Be Closing.

This guy was running the whole gamut of sales technique on his phone. And not getting very far.

" I know, I know, we've been like..., I call when you are in a meeting, then you call when I am in a meeting."

" Three license sets, that is what I think you should be taking. To be honest the price difference between three and two is minimal. It's £9,000 for three, £8,000 for two. I am struggling to make this work for us. We only really deal with customers big enough to warrant three licenses. And you are a company so I can't really sell as a private individual. To be honest they have set a minimum spend of £55,000 for a company. I shouldn't even be doing this. I will get pulled up over this but I can talk myself out of it.

'Okay, well let's leave it there, have a think about it and come back to me before the day is out."

Thursday, 26 March 2015

More colour

Still playing with colour to see what happens.

Like how this is sometimes figure and sometimes colour pattern.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dr Martins

No, not the boots, the ink.

Well they call it Concentrated water color ( USA spelling Grrr ) But it works more like ink. I have had favourite colours like Slate blue and Tobacco brown for years. The colours are so vivid and in your face. Took a bottle of Pumpkin to life drawing...

Initially a bit of a mess, but then it calmed down and I got some actually drawing done with it. Was using the pipette to draw with so I could control ( sort of ) the amount of ink coming out.

Finished off later when the ink had dried by knocking out the background colour to bring the figure forward.

The model, incidentally, was the same guy who was on the BBC's 'The Big Painting Challenge' the other Sunday, demurely pre watershed in a loin cloth. Hehe. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Back 2 back

At life drawing last week the models sat back to back, like 'bookends' the organiser called it.

A good challenge. Always pulls you up when you have two bodies in relation to each other, because of the relative positions, what looks good for one body you can see is wrong for the other. It is a very good way of keeping your eye relative.

Saturday, 21 March 2015


Not the best of efforts, but by drawing with an eye dropper full of ink on watercolour paper the blotting spread gives a very pleasing effect.

We decided it looked like prodigious body hair and an elegant, gentle fart.

Ho hum. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lady ( in red )

Ah the memories that song brings back ! Those innocent days.

Tried to limit myself to one colour for this one, seeing how much depth I could get.

Alizarin crimson ( which I alway think should be the name of a Russian Cosmonaut. )

A friend has pointed out her armpit area should probably be darker, and he is right. But it was tricky to maintain the degrees of shade when the brush got to the point where it could only either put the paint on or take it off, but not layer it.

Maybe, now it has had a few days to dry it might take to a little additional shading.

Might try that.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Primary Colours

Tried this sketch using just Red, Yellow and Blue.

Then tried the same colours but different style.

Something to explore more.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Have I already posted this one ?

I think I have, but it is still sitting in the 'to post' folder.

From last year. 

Apologies if it has been around already.

Pleased with it.

Monday, 2 March 2015


This guy turned to look at his friend when his friend was talking, but then, when he was talking he looked away into the middle distance.

Is this something we all do ? Must investigate more.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

From yesterday

Pleased with this one.

There is a sense of a new step taken with it, a small edge towards being a better artist.

Always both satisfying and daunting when that happens.

Always stuff to learn and work towards.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Collar Envy

That, Sir, is an awesome coat.

You could survive great trials in that coat.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Back view

Another from life drawing.

Am very excited about this direction. Have to admit more recent efforts have been less than inspirational. But working towards it, will know when I get there.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Festival Hall.

Had a drink and a sketch in the Festival Hall the other day with a friend. He drew the trees along the Riverside walk. I drew people sitting at the tables.

Nothing if not predictable.

These two I liked.

Saturday, 14 February 2015


Everyone is still swaddled and sheltered in their winter coats.

I am too. 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Unfinished, and the better for it.

Sometimes a sketch goes so well you let it alone before you spoil it, well before you would consider it finished.