Sunday, December 3, 2017

Watercolour beginners

It was lovely to be invited along to the Kentwood Centre in Penge recently to show some of my sketchbooks and talk about my job as an illustrator.  The group then had a go at using watercolour for the first time!  Despite being novices in the medium, they produced some great colours and effects, a few of which are photographed below.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Urbansketchers 10th Birthday!

‘See the world one drawing at a time’

Founded by Gabi Campanario in 2007, the Urban Sketcher community celebrates its tenth birthday this month.  For those of not familiar with the term ’urban sketch’, here is the group’s manifesto:

1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
6. We support each other and draw together.
7. We share our drawings online.
8. We show the world, one drawing at a time

I arrived a little late to the party (about 5 years ago) but being part of the online community has been brilliant and had a profound effect on my artistic life. To find out that there were other people who were drawing their own neighbourhoods and their everyday experiences was just a revelation. It wasn’t just me who liked to sit on street corners, watch the world go by and record it in my sketchbook! As Tina Koyama, one of the correspondents puts it, “I’ve found my tribe”.

On Saturday, sketchers all over the world are invited to take part in a 24 hour sketchwalk covering the globe. The London chapter will be taking part, meeting at the Imperial War Museum at 11.15 am.  

Full details of the event which is led by Isabel Carmona can be found at  Please join us if you are free and celebrate drawing on location!

Thank you so much Gabi for your vision and hard work!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A winter break

Above, the final illustration as it appears on the Goodwood Hotel's website and below a couple of work in progress shots.  

                               Also another one of the wintery watercolours on the web page.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Etsy photographs

Been taking some photos for my Etsy shop where there is free UK shipping until the end of November -

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

‘Art Macabre’ drawing at the Tower of London

I had the chance to get in the Halloween spirit a little early yesterday when I went to a drawing event at the Tower of London…

I was asked to arrive half an hour before the start of the event and this gave me and the other participants time to soak up the atmosphere, take a few photos and get a little flavour of the Tower at night. At 7pm we were ushered up stone steps into the building, welcomed by the host and given a brief outline of the evening. The theme was ‘Women and witchcraft’ and the set-ups for the models were both dramatically lit, with the interior of the building incredibly inspiring.

The scene before the model arrived
There were two models, in different rooms and with a plentiful selection of drawing materials - boards, white and black paper, small sheets of coloured paper and a variety of dry media (compressed charcoal, coloured pencils and pastel pencils). Unfortunately because of the historic location, watercolours and paint were not allowed.

Initially I found it rather crowded (there were probably about 40 people plus Tower of London staff) and it took a while to get going. There were short 5 minute poses to start with, then 10, then 20 for the last poses. Seating wise, there were cushions and fold-up stools although some people stood for the short poses. The dramatic lighting meant lots of great shadows but you needed to pick your spot to see what you were drawing. We were encouraged to move between the rooms so we could get a chance to draw both models. Each room had an artist who led the session but there was no formal tuition.

I was given a complimentary ticket for the event in return for a review on social media but the normal price is £25 per person. Obviously you are paying a premium over a standard drawing class because of the location but I do think overall it is a fair price for the event. I also think that whatever your drawing ability, it would be an enjoyable experience because of the amazing venue. Also if I were to go again, I’d probably take some of my own materials, maybe some toned paper and favourite pencils.

The next ‘Drawn at the Tower’ event is on Monday 11th December with a theme of ‘Echoes and Shadows’. More details here -