Pork Pie with Stilton

Bought from my local, friendly farm shop.

Sometimes it’s nice to have the simple things in life; the simplicity of a pork pie, on it’s own. Delicious


Actually, sketching this out reminded me that I’ve got a pork pie tin somewhere in the kitchen – I went on a pork pie making course a couple of years ago (incredibly easy to do) but I’ve never delved into having a go at following the course at home. 

Recipe card for Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

Recipe - Chicken and sweet potato curry - plus stepsI’ve written about this recipe before; a Vietnamese Chicken and Sweet potato curry.

The last time I illustrated it, it was in the dimensions for They Draw And Cook, for which I had to adhere to specific dimensions;  except I worked on the dimensions in portrait, rather than landscape.

I liked the way that the ingredients are all tumbling into the cooking pan at the bottom.

I’ve recently re-illustrated it as a giveaway recipe card to include with orders from my Etsy shop.

It’s a super little recipe for a fragrant, tasty curry, low on heat, despite the inclusion of chilli.




My illustration this time around was centred around the recipe being in a two-fold booklet from an A4 sheet.

As I neared completion I realised that the illustrations I had done for the cover made it look a little like a take away menu, so I added in my business card details as if they we contact details for ordering.


I’m afraid that I still unable to offer a food delivery service at this time.




Drawing food and little booklets


03 - Trout smWordPress have featured my drawing in an article about food drawing bloggers!

“Have Your Cake and Draw it Too” – Food Illustrators Reflect on Taste and memory

I didn’t realise that it’d be landing in the real world so soon! Here’s my little contribution; basically an introduction to me and my drawing.

One of my primary motivations for drawing my food was documentation; usually when we go out for a meal it is to either to simply to have a lovely experience or to even celebrate, with friends and family.

When I look back at a foodie drawing – it often transports me back to that time and place; I am able to recall sights and sounds and smells at that location and better remember the whole experience.

Of course, the real trick is to not just draw a picture of the food, but to try to capture a sense of freshness, of heat, of liquidity – all the elements which make a simple dish into something appealing and mouth-watering.

I’d like to think that sometimes I am able to capture that particular lightning in a bottle – to evoke in a foodie drawing those elements which can make the viewers mouth water and create a sense of desire.

The reason why I prefer drawing over photography (although I do photograph my foodie subjects for reference purposes) is that drawing adds personality to the subject.

Taking photographs and drawing both incorporate skill and personality; but whilst photography works via the medium of technology, drawing works via the simplest medium of something as basic as a pencil. The creative can be far more involved in the creation of their work therefore.

I always feel like a lot more of my personality has been used and is on show when I create a drawing.

The word ‘quirky’ is often used to describe my work.

This isn’t something which I have strived for, but rather is a mark of my personality upon the work.

Head on over to my Etsy shop for a couple of little booklets I’ve penned about drawing food.


And I’ve also made a set of cards to offer a little bit of inspiration for drawing your food too!IMG_3423

I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for a week or so; the school term has been wrapping up, so I’ve been having to cross t’s and dot i’s and try to reach the end-point with everything completed that needs to be completed and retain my sanity too!

I’ve been working on another little booklet – something a little more interactive (no, not another colouring book!) – initially as an idea for myself, but I thought it might be fun to share it – another week, or thereabouts to finish the drawing work, and I should be ready to start scanning and getting it printed.

How (not) to write a booklet

SBS_Logo-d64fdf287862cc613549ad733415f057At this very moment … my Sketchbook Skool videos are live and I’m checking in every so often to respond to the students’ questions and some of their amazing responses to my ‘draw your food’ challenge.

When I was first asked if I’d like to take part I thought it would be pretty cool if students could buy a little booklet with some of my foodie drawings in – but I couldn’t figure out how to present it. Sketching chum Andrea Joseph has presented a few in the still of sketching manuals and other sketchers who concentrate on urban sketching can get away with presenting drawings showing a particular area.

How could I present food drawings?

At first I thought about presenting it in the form of a menu; with different dishes from starter, main course and pudding. That seemed like a logical choice – nice and organised. But then, where would an ice-cream, or hot-dog, picked up in the park, fit in? (Can I hasten to add that I didn’t pick it up off the floor, but rather from a hot-dog stand!)

I started jotting down some sketches that I particularly liked and realised that I always seem to be playing around with where my drawings are located on the page.

So … I started to jot down all the different ways I could think of.

And that’s where my problems began.

(This was only about five or six weeks ago)

I realised that I could broadly divide these different ways of drawing food into three areas;

Position – So where the drawing is located on the page, or which direction the drawing is going in.

Focus – Which I thought of as how I’m approaching a drawing; such as a close-up, or a side-view

and finally

Location – Because sometimes there are elements at the restaurant that you can include in your drawing

… and then …

IMG_3310I realised that it would be possible to mix and match elements from these three areas; so why not include a set of cards to play with – to truly randomise things.

So I eventually came up with

24 Position cards

14 Focus cards

9 Location cards

Then I realised that they needed a box to live in too – but I couldn’t design that until the cards had all been designed and printed; so that they would fit inside the box properly.

– There are a variety of ways that these can be used;

Take a card from each pile to influence all three elements.

Take one card only as a guide.

Take out the cards with elements that you usually use before you draw cards.

Sketchbook Skool were interested in offering the cards as a free gift to the students of my klass – so I PDF’d a few of the cards from each set for them.

The set of cards on Etsy contains the full set of cards + 15 blank cards to add your own mischief; all printed on lovely, thick 350gsm card and with a handy-dandy cut out and keep box to hold them all in.

If you’d like a copy of the card set (plus box) then head on over to my Etsy page

Meanwhile I was feverishly trying to complete the three booklets I’d hit upon.

IMG_3736The Focus booklet was the one I started out doing first – it seemed the most interesting and practical and also had the most pages.

or … how are you going to draw this? Not technique, but approach.

Okay – so it’s made up of 14 sections – most of which are double spreads – discussing each of my Focus ideas. Offering some further twists and turns.

So, for example the pages about boxes, suggests other ways you can stretch and bend the definition of boxes to suit your needs.

If you’d like to check out the Etsy page for this


IMG_3737The Location booklet was the next most useful one.

or … Things to do with your drawing whilst you’re there.

Again, this contains sections covering the 9 Location cards in the card pack; varying between 1 to 3 pages.

If you’d like to check out the Etsy page for this


I’m still working on the Position booklet – mainly because the subject doesn’t really lend itself all that well to me having to explain what the different positions might mean; for example ‘Drawing in the middle of the page’ is pretty self-explanatory, really.

I’m thinking maybe in terms of this booklet showing off drawings in these different positions, but the text focussing on my own personal positions on various aspects of drawing (Y’see what I did there!)


All-in-all the past few weeks have been pretty crazy! After coming up with my initial idea to having got two booklets and a set of accompanying cards has been about five weeks – baring in mind I have a full-time day-job that keeps me busy during the daylight hours. And all those pages are handwritten (Slowly handwritten!)

But it’s been an absolute blast!

Proof That I’m Reading

IMG_3469Sorry, Proof-Reading a few pages.

I’m nearly on the home-stretch now (thank goodness!)

It was only after I’d been filmed for Sketchbook Skool that I hit upon an idea for a little booklet of my drawings.

Well, not just a booklet with my drawings in, but a booklet about some of the different ways I’ve approached drawing my food out.

Once I started jotting down my ideas I quickly realised that the various approaches could be categorised into three broad groups.

Where on the page are you going to draw, how are you going to approach the drawing and are there any environmental elements that you can include.

So I’d gone from one booklet to three.

Then, of course, I thought it’d be fun to be able to mix things up a bit and randomise these different elements.

So I added a pack of cards into the mix, too!

So, over the past four or five weeks I’ve been feverishly working on these – the cards are all done and dusted. Sketchbook Students will be able to download them for free during my week’s course. I’ll also be posting a deluxe version up on Etsy that week. By deluxe I mean thick card, er, cards and a foldable box to keep them all in.

Hopefully all three booklets should be up on Etsy by then too.

The booklets of the cards; explaining my thoughts a little more and offering some further variations.


A bit of finishing up

kimchee a smI’ve nearly finished this drawing of a meal I had out in London – at a fast food Korean takeaway eaterie.

I’m nearly, nearly happy with it. But, I think I just need to do a little more touching up on it – just to add a little more depth.

It’s beginning to feel a less like Christmas …

St Matthews - Christingle smI always feel really torn at Christmas time …

Part of me wants to embrace the the jolly tinsel, egg-nog swilling fun of it all, and the other half just sees corporations rubbing their hands at the foolish ‘externalities’ running about sending money.

I watched a video on The Facebook today with a parent videoing their child meeting Santa. Telling Santa what they would like for Christmas.

You know the drill … child says some ‘with it’, of the moment THING, and Santa repeats it.

Only, THIS Santa repeats it incorrectly!

“Come on, Santa! Get it right!” extols the parent!

If I’m anything other than a consumerist, I’m a traditionalist. Some of the ‘to the left’, rebel thinkers try too hard – the rebel against authority and anything to do with tradition. But these are the things that separate us from the corporate take-over! The corporation does not want us to appreciate the national anthem, to look kindly on war veterans  or appreciate historical events. What stockholders is that going to benefit?

‘Come on Santa, Get it right!’ ?? What?? Who are you to question Santa Claus? Do you fly round THE WHOLE WORLD (!) delivering presents to all the children in Western/democratic/Christian countries!! (but not the other children), IN ONE NIGHT?

I don’t think so!!

Don’t question His methods in front of the children.


Charlotte’s Ice Cream – banana ice-cream

Charlottes Ice Cream sm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again –  I’m not a huge fan of ice-cream (Not sure why, I think it’s something to do with my mother being frightened by a raspberry ripple when she was pregnant with me, or something like that)

But the other members of the house – the wife and the child – both love ice-cream and, when holidaying, take regular ice-cream breaks – which I don’t join in with … unless … there is banana flavour available.

Not quite sure why it’s my one and only. But, it has to be banana, and only banana. Banoffee, or another bastardisation of banana, just won’t cut the mustard (and yes, I feel quite proud to have managed to fit the bastardisation into my little piece about banana ice-cream)


Setting myself up for the day


Macdonalds Breakfast smSometimes I just feel like a hot chocolate for breakfast!
I’m not quite sure where I picked this delicious breakfast meal up from; but the hot chocolate was delicious!

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Now, I’m not keen on bread at the moment, so I actually stripped the muffin-thing back to just the egg and sausagegy-ness and one of my work colleagues pinched the hash brown

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I’m not totally against fast food, but some of the bits I can really do without.

Overheard in the supermarket …

popcorn“I can’t believe they haven’t got salted popcorn!

There isn’t any!

No salted popcorn.

I’m really angry now!

Why wouldn’t they have salted popcorn?

I don’t believe it!”



And so the customer went on.

She said she was angry – and boy! did she sound angry!!

She eventually went and complained to a member of staff.

She was furious, rather than mad, I would say. Over popcorn. I mean! Come on! Get a grip!