Barry’s book

My friend Barry is writing a book about his recent experience of learning to use a wheelchair and the wider impact this has had on his life. He’s kindly asked me to illustrate the reflections and anecdotes; some are positive, some not, and each illustration has a colour to match the mood of the piece. Here’s the latest batch, mostly of Barry out and about in Bath. After recent excursions into brush-pens, pencils and dip-pens it’s interesting revisiting my old sketching technique of fountain-pen line, Lexington grey ink-wash shadows, and water-colour; switching between media seems to be a good way to keep things fresh!jhkll jhkll2gjryj2

The rest of the sketches so far…

Posted in Barry's book, Bath, illustration, Lexington grey, monochrome, street scene, urban, urban sketching, waiting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Walky, talky

Here’s a video of my lecture at the Manchester Symposium. It’s about an hour long and is an attempt to trace the history of urban sketching through old and vintage sketching books, and earlier art movements. Many thanks to the Symposium team for doing such a great job on the video, with proper sound and everything!

Below are a few of the slides from the lecture for your further enjoyment, including my estimate of the ways we really spend our time ‘urban sketching’, the key differences between old and new sketching books, some recommended titles, and a cartoon that reminded a friend of me (I don’t smoke a pipe)…


Posted in Manchester Symposium, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Stockholm museums

More sketches from Stockholm’s wonderfully rich collection of museums, this time the Museum of Ethnography, the Mediterranean Museum, and the Nordic Museum. From the top… a cabinet of small statues, a pair of Roman busts, a Saami knife handle (and portrait sketches from other handles), faces in a farmstead mural, animated hieroglyphics, strikingly big-eyed mummy portraits and a diverse range of African masks. Drawn in fountain pen, coloured pencil and brush-pen.


Posted in collections, exhibitions, masks, museum, statues, Stockholm, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ship ahoy!

Museum sketches from Stockholm. First some of the haunting facial reconstructions of bodies found in the C17th Vasa shipwreck (and the skulls they worked off) at the wonderful Vasa Museum. Then looking down from an upper viewing platform on galleries of visitors looking at the ship itself; the ship is huge, ornate and complete, an amazing artefact from another age. Finally, as many model boats as I could sketch with bamboo dip-pen in 30 minutes at the Maritime Museum. They have many many hundreds more on display, so I hope to return

hjjrdr15hjjrdr16hjjrdr08Coloured pencils, Pigma pen, and bamboo dip pen, water-colour, A5 – various times

Posted in bamboo dip pen, boats, faces, figures, museum, nautical, Naval museum, people watching, skulls, Stockholm, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gothic horror

Here’s the amazing C15th statue of George and the Dragon in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan. It’s huge, gruesome (body parts are scattered on the ground beneath the dragon) and made of wood and deer antlers (the spiky bits on the dragon). That’s the princess (and a sheep) in the foreground on the left, and the dragon’s clutching a broken lance in one claw while other is wounding the horse. Back to the old faithful Safari with grey ink for this one, and possibly not a sketch as it took about 45 mins to draw on site, and the same to add colour later!

Lexington grey in fountain pen and ink brush, water-colour, A5 – 1.5 hours

Posted in church, sculpture, Stockholm, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban bamboo

Trying out the bamboo dip pen around town, people (and dog) watching in the parks and streets. It’s great for gesture drawing and foliage, something about the nib invites a playful wandering line, feeling out the shapes and shadows. From the top: looking down into Parade Gardens, boules in Queens’s Square, tourists and buskers by the Abbey, dogs and their owners, sunny park-life, and under the trees in the Circus. (These were all done with brown, blue or grey ink, before I started to use the lighter De Atrementis inks.)



Posted in bamboo dip pen, Bath, buskers, coloured ink, figures, park, people watching, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sketches of sketchers, some sketching

Sketchers at the recent wonderful Manchester Symposium, and sketches of me by other sketchers, sometimes while I sketched them; the Symposium felt like a hall of mirrors at times, a walk-in Escher! From the top there’s Lapin not sketching, Favian EE lecturing, Pete Scully sketching (followed by his of me, leaning intently towards him, concertina sketchbook spilling onto the floor!), Gerard Michel (and then me sketching him by him, simultaneously), Arno Hartman leading a workshop, Paul Heaston (sketching by the canal, and giving a workshop slightly obscured by ComicCon attendees!), and Tina Koyama sketching in Bath (followed by hers of me lecturing). Then there’s me lecturing by Nina Johansson,  Marion Rivolier, and one other (sorry, I didn’t note the artist’s name). “O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!” – Robert Burns.





Posted in comparisons, concertina sketchbooks, figures, Manchester Symposium, people, sketchcrawl, urban, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments