Everyone has a price, they say.
And it appears that mine is a wooden spoon.
A couple of weeks ago one of my Cyber Friends on Facebook, Josh Sutton (also known as The Guyrope Gourmet, posted the following picture of a series of spoons that he’d carved.
Josh decided he’d like a sketch doing of his coffee grinder.
a Harrio MSS-1B Mini Mill Slim coffee grinder and a few coffee beans scattered around. To be exact.
So, while Josh carved, I drew.
Until finally exchanges were made.
Now, Josh maintains that he got the best deal out of the swap and, guess what? I think I got the best deal.
But, isn’t that the whole point of the bartering system? Both parties are satisfied with their trophies. Josh has a drawing of a beloved coffee grinder. I have a unique and bespoke oak wooden spoon (which I know Josh cut down in his garden and carved from scratch). Both of us trading off and benefiting from each others skills.
and finally, here’s my wooden spoon being christened whilst preparing homemade teriyaki sauce.
I would be willing to exchange drawings for other bespoke gifts. Please contact me at the above contact details and we’ll come to some arrangement.
For January 2014’s Camping and Caravanning Club magazine I was retired to illustrate a jovial barman, serving up a pint of ale.
I usually prefer to work from life, but sometimes a little tweaking of life is required.
I searched on the internet for some suitable reference photographs first and, while I found some nice photographs of bar staff and bars, I couldn’t find a photograph which showed the barman stood at the bar serving up that pint.
So I did what i usually do in this situation and mocked up the situation at home.
Now, remember, I had my reference photographs for the pumps and in case I decided to use any of the background optics and such like (In fact I didn’t use any background at all, to focus the illustration on the jovial barman.
It just happened that my parents were visiting that weekend – so I used my father as a stand-in barman.
- I don’t actually have a bar set up in my home – but we do have an ironing board!
Nor was I planning on downing a pint of ale just at the moment in time, so I used a pint glass of diluted orange juice instead.
… and several photographs later – I managed to get what I thought was a pretty good photograph of …
… my jovial looking father serving me a glass of orange juice across an ironing board.
And so began my father’s modelling career …
The magazine requested a younger model. So I quickly drew out a replacement head
Transplanted it onto my father’s body.
And that’s the photograph which was used in the magazine. Still recognisable as my father – only, it kind of looks like he has a toupee on!
George Midgley is still available for modelling work. Toupee not included.
Out on a bit of driving tour of Tenerife, we stopped off at La Laguna and found this fabulous little coffee shop.
My Bizcocho Zanahoria was a bit like a plain scone, dusted with icing sugar and light as a feather.
As we sat and watched life pass the shop Morcheeba was playing on the CD player and I sighed at the thought of finding a similarly cool hang-out back home.
I know of several artists who have found ‘their’ cafe, their spiritual (and caffeine) hang-out. But, for all my meals and snacks out I haven’t yet found mine.
Well, work continues with the illustrations for The AA book.
At the moment I’m up to my eyes in piles of cress and trout.
This cocktail isn’t one of The AA illustrations, I hasten to add!
A work colleague ret=urned from holidaying in Sorrento, Italy and had particularly enjoyed the signature cocktail at the hotel and wanted to send the owners a little thank you for their attentiveness.
So I we met up and she showed me her scribbled ingredients and I made a rough sketch underneath of her description.
The only other information I had was a snippet of a photograph, taken at the hotel.
(I was a bit frustrated that I fudged my scanning a bit; I think I got the settings a bit off and it leeched out a lot of the lighter colouring)
I wonder if the hoteliers will send a photo of the illustration in situ. I do hope so.
Now, I realise that I haven’t posted for a little while. But I … well I’ve been a little busy.
Do you forgive me?
I hope so.
I’ve been busy illustrating for a book.
NOT the book illustrated here, I hasten to add – this book is by the same publishers and is the same size and page count.
Can you guess what the book is to be about?
Food, of course! Whoop, whoop! So lots of lovely illustrations of foods and pots and pans and what-not.
It’s super-exciting to be illustrating a real life book.
I guess the book is kind of in the same series as ‘Little Island’ in that it features iconic specialities from around the country; a gazetteer of local treats to look out for.
(One to keep in the car, then! Ready for those trips out and about)
A bit of a change of pace today (I’ll fill you in properly tomorrow – but it’s certainly exciting news :)
A couple of years ago I had a little exhibition in the local town. Most of my drawings were urban sketches of pubs and inns.
But, stumbling across a massive (240mm x 680mm!) watercolour pad whilst on holiday set me off producing a series of four ‘widescreen’ views of some main streets around Brighouse, Yorkshire.
Initially I was going to shade and colour these. But as i fill in the horizontal lines I began to fall in love with the wire frame effect of the buildings and street lights.
Sat in the car sketching myself whilst Caro drives us over to a friend’s house for a party.
After I’d coloured in my skin so dazzlingly orange, Caro suggested that I do my beard in an equally bright hue.
Choosing purple was a bit of a mistake; I nearly look like an escaped umpa-lumpa (from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!)
Caro urged me to colour my eyes green, which seemed even more umps-lumpa-ish.
Sometimes it’s cool to follow the suggestions of others and then, when they think you’re going to follow every whim, switch track and go back to doing your own thing.