IF: breezy

•March 4, 2009 • 16 Comments

I don’t seem to be finishing much except for quick IF topics at the moment. I’m working quite hard on the portrait from hell at the moment so maybe I’ll post some awful work in progress pictures at some point. Or maybe I won’t. 🙂

This is inspired by a tower somewhere in California, but I’ve changed stuff.  Like the fact that you could actually get to the real one without climbing equipment.  And the roundness.  And the number of flags.

I love flags.


IF: Instinct

•February 24, 2009 • 14 Comments

Here’s this week’s Illustration Friday.  It’s roughly based on a view into a field on the way out of Lincoln. Lovely bleak scene to cheer everyone up…  hee hee…

EDM #211. In the style of…

•February 16, 2009 • 17 Comments


I don’t really know how well I expected to get on with this. I have a sort of amnesia for how good I am [not] at skies. I love taking pictures of dramatic sunsets and looming clouds but every time I try to paint them, they go all sort of… not-sky-like. Except that within about 2 days I’ve forgotten that, and start to think “oh come on, how hard could it be?”

So it was with immense idiocy that I decided it’d be fun to try to do one of the photos I took the other weekend a la Turner. Him of the really good skies.

Yeah, like that was going to work. I suppose it might have helped if I had a Turner in front of me. But no, why make life easier for yourself when you can make it pretty much impossible?

So here’s my retrospective justification: when you spend most of your time fiddling about with tiny little pictures, it’s good to fling a big brush about occasionally. It is therefore with dubious pleasure that I present, for your entertainment: Therapy.

Not remotely in the style of Turner.

Or even particularly in the style of a sky.
Media: cheap acrylic & cat hairs on corrugated cardboard

It looks a bit like the head of a cartoon dinosaur actually. Or a dog with a white body and a black head.
Oh well, the best laid plans… 🙂

IF: Time

•February 11, 2009 • 23 Comments

It’s a bit like a slightly sad Christmas card, but it’ll do.  It’s kind of topical.

I feel sorry for him now, I wish I hadn’t made him look so sad in the middle one. Mind you, he did look a bit too smug to begin with…

Sometimes on Fridays when I’m waiting for the topic to change on Illustration Friday, I think about Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree. It’s like waiting for the land to move on and a new one to take its place. I wonder if you can get trapped in an IF topic if you post just as it changes?

Snowy day

•February 6, 2009 • 11 Comments

Yesterday was an interesting one.   Snow had been forecast but I didn’t really expect it to happen for some reason.  Getting to work was kind of slidey but the snow suddenly stopped and then began to melt just after lunchtime.  When I got home I decided to take advantage of the last of it with a birthday greeting.  The recipient shall remain nameless because they haven’t seen it yet, so I’ve not included the name, but here’s the top bit:

Snow card

Snow card

Ann – please consider this a belated birthday greeting!   Reading your blog made me think to post this. 

It basically takes up my entire lawn, so all the people in the flats who overlook it have probably got the point, especially now it’s frozen solid…  They’ll be sick of the sight of it by Monday.

And here’s my cat ‘helping’.  Unfortunately he has a tendency to copy me, so while I was scraping the snow away from where I didn’t want it, he was pawing it all back again.  Bless him (through gritted teeth).

Santa's little helper...

Santa's little helper...

Here’s another picture that I found interesting.  It’s the same view as a watercolour I did a few years ago, but about 4 years on and in the snow.  It’s incredible just how much of it has stayed the same actually!


You might recognise it if you’ve had a look at my landscapes on here (well, if you’ve got an astonishingly good memory…) 

Gary – I haven’t forgotten – honest.  I might have just, er, lost the work in progress a bit…  (I’m doing a copy for a friend!  At least I’m meant to be.)

Anyway, I’m working from home today, so I’d better get on with it.  Wrap up warm everyone.

EDM 209

•February 4, 2009 • 8 Comments

For once I’m doing an EDM challenge while it’s current.   As soon as I read this subject, I knew there was a photo that I took at the Christmas market that was perfect – I had been meaning to do this one for ages but never really got round to it.

There’s nothing special about the execution but there’s not much to the photo really.  I just love it!

Market stall from the back

Market stall from the back

First person to guess what they were selling wins…. well, nothing, it’s obvious isn’t it?

*No fingers were used in the blending of this image.  Oh except for that one print at the bottom (sorry Ana, I was feeling mischievous 😉 The page was such a mess I thought I might as well make it worse!)*

*No animals were harmed either. Oh except my cat got fed an hour late.*

Snow crisis!

•February 2, 2009 • 9 Comments

Groan.  It’s that time of year again.  3 flakes of snow, and the morning news is filled with panic.  

For some reason I was wide awake at 3.30am and the allure of the view was too much for someone with recent sketch book re-enthusiasm, so I began to clear a space on the window sill in the spare room, which is no mean feat, and barely 3 hours later I was ready to start drawing.  Well OK that might be a slight exaggeration…

tweet, rumble, silence

tweet, rumble, silence

The photo is dark, but that’s deliberate because I was drawing it in the dark by streetlight, so it looked like this to me.  There are two sets of cat prints – those on the right are a slow interested stroll out to investigate the white stuff.  Those on the left are a quick trot back again because it’s COLD.

I wrote  ‘tweet’, ‘rumble’, ‘silence’ on it, because I was looking at one of the entries in An Illustrated Life where the guy had scribbled sound effects on his drawings, which I thought was a fantastic idea, so I mercilessly stole it.  The snow was deadening most of the background noises you usually get from living in a city centre, but the birds were just starting to wake up and go “what the…?” and the odd lorry was trundling down the High Street in the distance.   It’s a wonderful time to be up and about, if and only if you know you can get straight back into bed and stay there for a couple of hours afterwards.  Which I did.

We have about an inch of snow now (at least here we do), and some of the schools are still closing.   It’s powdery though, so I think it’s drafting quite effectively in places.  They’ll be panic-buying at the supermarket as well I should imagine….   I’m off to buy all the tins of soup I can find and board up the doors and windows.  Ha ha ha ha…

I gather it’s a lot worse down south though, so please don’t take offense if you’re cold, wet and fed up, having just got home from 5 hours stuck on the M25.  Have  a nice cup of tea and put the fire on.