Giampa – It’s cocktail time!

Giampa1 sm

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.


Giampa recipe

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.



Book Illustration

Tiny islands sm

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)


Brighouse – Commercial Street (west)

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.

Brighouse1 smInitially 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.

Self portrait in purple

Sat in the car sketching myself whilst Caro drives us over to a friend’s house for a party.

Self-Portrait in purple smAfter 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.


Harvey Nichols – Afternoon tea

Having a very civilised afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols in Leeds.


Harvey Nichols - afternoon tea smA trio of sandwiches

  • Cheese and apricot chutney
  • Salmon
  • Ham and mustard

A trio of little cakes

  • Lemon macaroon
  • Raspberry madeira cake
  • White chocolate profiterole.

A scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream

A cup of tea.

I’m always taken aback by afternoon tea, though. For some reason I almost always expect slightly more sandwiches



The Bivouac – Breakfast

They do say that we should ‘Eat breakfast like a king’.

I don’t think means that breakfast should be taken in full ermine-lined cloak with a crown. Nor do I think it means that breakfast should be eaten whilst on the throne.

The Bivouac - Breakfast smA full, protein-rich breakfast can set you up for the rest of the day.

And when it’s taken in such lovely surroundings as these – it’s such a lovely, luxurious treat.

Throw in a bunch of good friends – ¬†and life couldn’t be better.

Premier Inn – Breakfast

As Lucy has grown up we’ve always made a point of visiting London on a fairly regular basis; at least three times a year.

Premiere inn - breakfast 2 smUsually it’s been a pretty good excuse to go to the theatre (Lucy and Caro are pretty much the Musical nuts of the family. Me? I much prefer older, more traditional musicals, rather the modern slew)

I feel I’ve got to the point, now, where I don’t really feel a tourist when I’m wandering around. I know my routes to get from The Tate Modern to the lovely art shop behind The British Museum.

This weekend’s visit I was determined to get to know the Seven Dials area a bit better. I only failed in the sense that I got to know one of the pubs a bit better. Ah, well. I’ll have to try again another time, I guess.


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