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)


And I always said that I don’t do portraits …

Okay, so the slightly strange commission I’ve completed this week was a leaving present for someone.


Apparently they are a huge fan of a popular reality TV programme, in which one of participants created a portrait using elements from different faces.


So my brief was to use the following photographs to create a portrait.


Now, portraits are not something I ever really try to tackle, I think it’s because the slightest error in placing a line can make such a huge difference. Faces are so very familiar to us, especially close friends, celebrities and family (But, as I’ve been told, a fried egg just looks like a fried egg).

So I used the lady with the blonde hair as the base figure. Ash she was the recipient/subject of the portrait I decided to use her eyes and nose.

The beard definitely had to be used.

I rather liked the distinctive hair of the second gentleman, but instead opted to use his mouth, so I could use the second lady’s hair style and colouring.

Adams Muddledsmall

Very attractive, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Healaugh Church

It feels like a super-long time since I last blogged anything. Those darned burglars! What a palava having to locate receipts and passwords and the like. Then wait for the insurance company to either replace or repay.

In the mean time I’ve had a couple of commissions to complete …one sweet and one scary. Well, not actually scary, but a little strange.

Well, here goes with the sweet commission…


Healaugh Church is located out in the countryside of Yorkshire, just outside York (The old capital city of Yorkshire). It’s a quaint old church with a lovely view across the vale of York.

And it has the most beautifully decorated main entrance of a quaint country church. Well, age has not been that kind to it and much of the intricately carved stone has been weather-worn away.

A colleague at work asked me to draw to draw the main doorway as a gift for some friends.



I have to admit I kind of fell in love with this doorway myself as the drawing progressed, and when it came to handing the drawing over I was quite torn.

Healaugh Church copy


Holiday Villa – France

IMG smIt’s been a while since I’ve done a commission. It was a pleasant change, amongst all the plates of food, to draw a house.

This drawing was for a work colleague. They’ve stayed at this little villa in France a few times and this commission was by way of thanking their friends, who own the property.

Having been away from drawing buildings for a short while it was interesting seeing what influences I could carry over from how I’m working drawing food; namely adding more texture with ink markings and with different shades of paint overlaying.

I scream. You scream. We all scream for Ice-cream!

June’s magazine spread was all about ice-cream.

My heart sank a little. For while I enjoy food; trying new flavours and combinations. There are some foods which I have fallen out of love with, and one of those is ice-cream.

Sure I enjoy making ice-cream still (Malted, chocolate chip, if you must know!), but eating ice-cream is something I’ve kind of stopped doing …
So, for the magazine I knew that some illustrations of ice-creams were a given, but what else?

First of all I looked at the beginning of the process; the cow.

As part of my research I headed up to the local dairy ice-cream parlour; to catch some of the dairy cows used to create the ice-cream and also to get some pictures of ice-creams.

So here we have a lovely Holstein-Freisian traditional cow-style cow.

I rather liked the drawing I did, as it appeared a lot smoother than a real cow and ended up looking like a model cow, like the ones located around Milton Keynes.

Next – I thought it might be handy to have a cut-out-and-keep chart for dairy cattle.

When the magazine requests beef again I’ll sort out a chart for beef cattle.




When we arrived at the ice-cream parlour Caroline and Lucy immediately dashed off and began ordering ice-creams! I was a little more laboured in my buying; trying to weigh up different colours and flavours, combined with the different kinds of cones.

In the course of my research I discovered a love of … banana flavoured ice-cream.









Of course I had to work from photographs for this assignment, which I don’t really enjoy doing, but at least they would be my own photographs, which always feels better; as I can choose my own angles and details.

My illustration was a combination of several different ice-creams, for which I swapped and changed cones and colours to suit the drawing. At least two of the drawings were made from the same ice-cream from a different angle.

… and then topped off with a Cadbury’s flake.


This is the illustration I produced for the February issue of ‘Camping & Caravanning Club’ Magazine. The article was about using different kinds of game in cooking and there was some debate about what the illustration could be of, without upsetting those of a more delicate sensibility.

So here is a very much alive pheasant (Although I do think that it looks quite nervous!)