On the beach #1

Two from Tenby, where I spent some blissfully vacant days sketching in the Summer. First a range of boats beached in the North Harbour at low tide, with an inquisitive pigeon exploring the seaweed. This was drawn on location, along with the key shading for the boats, but the colour was added later from memory; I’ve posted the uncoloured early version below for comparison. Then there’s a picture of the same boats seen from the opposite direction, while sat on a cafe terrace in one of the candy coloured buildings that appear top left in the first picture.

ten1beach14121Noodlers Brown 41 in fountain pen, Lexington grey in water-brush, water-colour, A6/A5 – 30 mins each beach14124

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Sketching cars #2

A second collection of car sketches. First a very cute Corvette I saw near our home; lots of beautiful details in this car, all the way down to the sting in the tail of the  ‘G’ in the logo. Next there’s a full-size wire-frame model of a London taxi on display at Heathrow airport. Then another Citroen, less glamorous this time, followed by most of a Ford Anglia (like Ron’s), and finally a taxi- driver seen briefly in Kyoto.


lots217 lots216All the usual inks, pens, water-brushes and paints, a range of sizes, A5 to A8 – various times, 5 mins to one hour

Posted in Bath, cars, coloured ink, coloured paper, from life, inks, line drawing, monochrome, street scene, urban, vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ow, my head hurts

Two bisected heads; first a pickled crocodile at the Grant Museum in London (tiny and old but very lovely), and then an anatomical model human at the Tokyo Museum of Emerging Science (large and modern, where I saw all the robots). I sketched them 3 days apart on either side of the globe, the wonders of the jet age. (That’s a printed line map of Japan on the human face, pre-stamped before I drew the head. I was running out of paper…)

lots210lots208Noodlers Brown 41 ink in fountain pen and water-brush, watercolour, A5 – 20 minutes each

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Sketching cars #1

I kept noticing interesting cars during the Summer, and tried sketching a couple of them. Here’s Eelke’s well-loved and well-travelled Citroen DS (it’s a ‘1974 DS 23 Pallas injection electronique hydraulique’). Eelke had driven it from Holland, around England, Wales and Ireland, and was on his way back to Holland when I met him in Tenby. My drawing doesn’t capture the various scratches, dings, modifications, bodged repairs, replaced panels etc that added to the car’s wonderful patina.

cars3Pencil, Pigma 1mm pen, watercolour, A5 – about an hour

The curves and proportions are very tricky on cars, especially when you’re drawing standing up. I used a transparent grid to get the initial key lines correctly placed but still managed to draw the bonnet too short… I sketched the rest of the car freehand in pencil, adding the ink lines, tone and shading at home. Below there’s the sketch in progress, and a photo of me drawing the car; you can see how the Citroen’s luxuriously long and elegant curves stood out in the car-park. I just stood out.



Here are some blander cars, sketched on a windy day while sat on the steps outside No 1 Royal Crescent, Bath. More car sketches to follow.

lots13Pigma 1mm pen, water-colour, A6 – 30 mins 

Posted in Bath, cars, coloured paper, from life, line drawing, monochrome, pencil, urban, vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I, Robert

Some robot/robert sketches from Japan, mostly at the Tokyo Museum of Emerging Science. First some animatronic manikin heads that nod and change expression empathetically when you speak into a microphone. They’re looking down on Asimo, the museum’s star attraction, named after Isaac Asimov, which walks in a most unsettling and hypnotic way… Then there’s a ‘hepatic touch’ robotic hand looming over some earlier drawings of people resting on the grass outside. And finally a 5 minute sketch (“Ed, the coach is about to go…”) of a MASSIVE Transformer robot outside a shopping centre. That’s a small child stood by its right foot.

lots215lots214lots213Lexington grey and Brown 41 inks in fountain pen and water-brush, pencil, water-colour, A6 – 5 to 15 minutes each

Posted in body, coloured paper, from life, hands, inks, Japan, Lexington grey, line drawing, pencil, people, robots, Uncategorized, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 Stockholm doorways

Ostermalm in central Stockholm is full of late nineteenth century apartment blocks, some with lovely doorways. I planned to sketch lots of them when we were there this Summer but only managed three…


All Lexington grey in fountain pen and water-brush, watercolour, A6 – 20-30 mins per doorway 

Posted in buildings, collections, from life, holiday, line drawing, Stockholm, travel, urban, watercolour sketch | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


A bit late for Halloween, but here are some recent skull sketches. The first is of the full-size medical model that I’ve drawn many times before. I love its tricky curves and deep hollows, and the brown and blue inks combine to make lovely soft shadows for the eye sockets. The second is six different views of a beautifully detailed tiny plastic ape skull I bought in Japan (possibly a ‘crab eating macaque’?). I think it’s meant to be used as a key-ring/phone-charm, a modern netsuke.

skulls etc1Noodlers Brown 41, Bad Blue Heron and Lexington grey inks in fountain pen and water-brush, A6 – 30 minutes

skulls etc6Brown 41 ink in fountain pen and water-brush, Lexington grey in water-brush, watercolour, A6 – 30 minutes

Posted in animal, body, coloured ink, death, fruit, inks, Japan, Lexington grey, monochrome, skulls | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment