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.

No more waiting for Sketchbook Skool

A little bit of fun for Sketchbook Skool

IMG_3310I’m just about finished tinkering with the giveaway thingy for my Sketchbook Skool week. I really feel it ought to be called Phun with Phood, or something.

It’s a set of cards to mix things up a bit when you’re drawing a meal out; so you can vary where on the page you’re going to work, What twist you’re going to focus on and whether the location is going to have an impact on your drawing.

During my week on Sketchbook Skool, they’ll be available to download as a PDF document.


Alternatively I’ll make them available to buy on my Etsy site; not just yet, though – I don’t want any Sketchbook Skoolers accidentally ordering a set of pre-printed luxury cards before term starts!

I’m also working on a series of booklets to accompany each set of cards; with some hints and tips and random thoughts based around each idea; I’m currently finishing off the Focus book and am about to start work on the Location book. They’ve been immense fun (sorry, phun) to put together and I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you.

Join me and Sketchbook Skool and sign up for Polishing now!




Sketchbook Skool – sign ups – Come and join in the fun

Untitled-1Hey everyone,
Exciting news: I’m one of the teachers in Polishing, an upcoming Sketchbook Skool klass. Yes, that’s “klass,” with a k, because Sketchbook Skool is no ordinary online art skool. Sketchbook Skool’s mission is “art for all”—they believe everyone is, and can be, creative. All people need are teachers to show them how fun it can be to develop a creative habit. That’s where I come in!

Starting April 15, Sketchbook Skool’s new Polishing klass will begin online. For each of the six weeks of the kourse, you’ll get a new teacher (including me!) showing you how to take your creativity to the next level. You’ll also join the Sketchbook Skool community of creative people just like us from all over the world. There are fun, informative lessons, great assignments, and places to post your creations! To check out Polishing and meet the teachers, click here.

There’s still time to sign up for this great kourse, but you don’t want to miss a single moment. Join me and Sketchbook Skool and sign up for Polishing now!

Losing my marbles

03 - Marbles smI’ve been trying to post this for a couple of days now – my intention being to use this title all along – but my wi-fi connection has been so dreadfully slow that I couldn’t load up the picture of the marbles.

I know I’ve not posted for a little time … but

(there’s always a but, isn’t there)

I’ve been super busy with one or two commissions – which I should be able to share you in a couple of weeks time. Plus, there’s some big, huge, whopping news which I just have to share with you … in the next couple of days …

Needless to say I’m busy working feverishly away.


All new 50 Shades of Grape merchandise

Heheh! Like that’s a thing!

IMG_8278Okay – so, as well as the audacious 50 Shades of Grape card – there is now a 50 Shades of Grape tea towel  – for all those awkward kitchen spills, oh! and for drying your kitchen sundries.

Pictured here with a cheeky glass of red wine (not included). These are printed on Premium cotton and her super absorbent.

They are a generous 78cms x 48cms and hemmed along the two longer sides.


IMG_8274Also available as a combo item with the card for that wonderful gift to your wine-soaked friend.

Check out my Etsy page by clicking on the shop photos to the right, or by clicking Shop at the menu at the top of the page.



The Turquoise Lord

Aztec mask smIn The British Museum.

We look on these and see the beautifully inlaid mosaic tiles of turquoise and mother of pearl.

Strange how the passing of time softens some items of barbarity into beauty. It is supposed to have been used to reenact creation story scenes. But, it’s difficult to see past the fearsomeness of the features.

We all wear masks at different times, but I’m glad that there are some masks that I don’t have to wear at the moment.

Since giving up full-time work at Christmas I’ve been able to not only devote a lot more time to my illustration work, but I’ve also been enjoying the part-time work which I’ve been carrying out.

Having great fun wearing the freelance mask.

New Sketchbook from Palma Rea

One of the constant curses/delights of this sketching hobby is the fun of finding, and trying out, new materials; whether it be pens, sketchbooks or paints. It’s always fun to something new. And there always seems to be something new, waiting to be discovered too.

A cyber-friend on Facebook, Palma Rea, makes and sells handmade sketchbooks on her Etsy site.

How could I resist!

I ordered one a short ago …

Yesterday Palma messaged me, asking whether it had arrived yet.

It hadn’t.

But it arrived today. All neatly wrapped in vivid blue tissue paper.

Palma Rea parcel smWith a lovely little thank you card and a couple of extra goodies; a nice, grippy HB pencil and a Faber Castell waterproof gel pen.

My sketchbook is a bright red faux leather (which is why I used acrylics to paint it up).

Palma Rea sketchbook smIt has a couple of handy plastic pockets inside and 300gsm fabriano paper.

From Palma’s Etsy site:

The corners are protected and embellished with 2 ornate metal corners in antique silver colour.
The cover has been lined to add support and its thickness is approx 5 mm. It is soft to touch and the surface can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.
There is an added pocket folder with a closure is handy for containing charts, ephemera , notes, pens etc

Measurements of journal : 8.5 inches x 6.5 inches

This journal is a comfortable size to take anywhere and fits easily into most bags for outdoor sketching. It contains heavy weight paper that you can also use for other mediums such as pen, ink, graphite, acrylic etc The pages do NOT curl!

I’m looking forward to starting it tomorrow.

Well, this is frustrating …

My scanner seems to be snarled up!

There’s the scanner, as it’s always been. Connected to the mac, as it always is. But for some reason the mac no longer recognises it! Or rather, it seems to think that another app is using the scanner – so it’s not available! Grrr ! It’s there! I can see it! And no other app is using it!!

I think this is why I prefer to illustrate using conventional pen and paper, rather than in Illustrator or InDesign :/

Sketchcrawl at a Hat Museum

01-10 - rabbit smWell, you can tell by the title that I was on a Sketchcrawl – Urban Sketchers Yorkshire – that lovely bunch of drawers from Sheffield and Manchester. It was great meeting up with friends old and new and catching up on techniques and materials that, had I been working solely on my own, I’d have taken an age to come up with. (Check it out to see if there’s an urban sketching group near where you live – I can’t give a we address, I don’t know where you live! But I’m sure, if you check around, there’ll be some group, or other, that meets up every-so-often to sketch outdoors as a group. The groups are always friendly and it truly is a great way to discover new techniques and materials!)

It sometimes feels that there are three sureties in the world; birth, death and I will find some kind of food to draw.

Who else on today’s Sketchcrawl … IN A MUSEUM OF HATS! found something to draw that they could eat?

Who knew that rabbit fur was used to make top hats!? Well, I didn’t!

To be fair, I didn’t eat the rabbit. It was in a glass case, for a start. And it was definitely stuffed (which I was not!) along with a Beaver which was in the cabinet beside it – the Beaver looked rather dustier (and I don’t know any recipes – so, it didn’t get my mouth watering!)

Drawing farm animals for the forthcoming book by The AA has renewed my interest in drawing animals. There’s something appealing about drawing simple lines to convey life and alertness. And fur! Especially tricky when I’m only using vertical hatching!

The Contents of my Wallet

09 - money smNine pounds something-or-other.

That’s all the cash I have in my wallet, ladies and gentleman.

It was quite fascinating drawing the note. Although it’s something we all handle, probably at some point, every day. It’s not really something that one pays an awful lot of attention to.

I’d never really noticed the seventies-style spiralling design in the lower left-hand corner. Or the left-hand side being mainly green and the right-hand mainly brown.

So I put it to you; it’s Friday evening …

How much fun will I be able to have spending this tidy sum?