Wednesday 14 September 2016

Brussels: Haute / Hoog

Whiling away the afternoon in Brussels on a very nice street of old shops, bric-a-brac, bars and cafes.  It took several blank faced conversations before I understood that the 'Haute Hoog' on the street sign was in fact 2 names - one in French, the other in Flemish. As is the way all around town. Now I know.

Tuesday 6 September 2016


 Found a great drawing spot south of Chichester, reached by a tranquil cycle route across farmland. Want to return to focus on the muddy creek and fading horizon next time. Shortly after this moment, we retraced our wheels back whence we had come; however were forced to abort/divert by a herd of cows also headed home for the eve and acting a bit too boisterous for our city slicker nerves.

Friday 2 September 2016

Ragnar Kjartansson at the Barbican

Had a lovely calm time drawing and getting lost at the Barbican on a sunny September afternoon. The hidden corners remain quiet as ever, just occasional residents passing through; a dad teaching his daughter to bike ride and some workers escaped home early. Though so appealing to the eye the architecture is a sadistic choice to draw! Inspired by the recent Christopher Wood show, I went sloppy on the detail / angles and am pretty happy with the result.  Made a photomontage on my shit camera phone to preserve the memory.

I didn't love all Ragnar Kjartansson's work but there were some pieces I did, so that's absolutely enough isn't it.  The 144 portraits of his friend Pall, made one-a-day in a crumbly Venice palazzo, and this piece (in my pic below) comprising 9 musicians - each in a different room of a huge house - somehow playing songs together.  Both pieces most evocatively rendering and placing me in the space as if I were right there too. Great.

Friday 17 June 2016


The streets and markets of Napoli are brilliant to draw in. People out and about on foot, animated in conversation, quirky details all around that catch the eye. After half an hour we got the attention of these young men with their fresh haircuts, one of whom insisted I draw his portrait. I was intently scrutinized throughout, giving me performance anxiety and resulting in not the best portrait I've ever drawn... he seemed chuffed enough with his memento though.

Sunday 29 May 2016

More Lombard Street kitchens

Beyond the main kitchen I discovered the world of the dish-washer, a subject very soothing to draw. His repetitive, systematic movements were soundtracked by watery machine noises, a welcome lull from the banter of the main kitchen.
The starter chef was bustling around very quickly this evening, hence my drawing ended up resorting to a fellow sketcher.

Sunday 10 April 2016

Kings Place

Had a bit of a struggle to get the angles here, something goes awry between the lower and upper levels and straight lines appear to elude me! Again I was reminded to maybe not take on such a wide view when we only have 2 hour sessions... Useful exercise though.

Tuesday 5 April 2016


The little Kings Cross pub our drawing group ended up in here was impressively well occupied for a Tuesday evening. All the menfolk were having a good blether at the bar while the women were enjoying a game of darts. Once the ten of us sketchers had settled down with our half-pints and pencils I'd like to think they forget all about us being there - but we did look a biiiit conspicuous.

Royal Festival Hall 1

I joined an evening drawing class called 'Nocturnal Interiors' with the Royal Drawing School. I wanted to get back to a routine of drawing in my sketchbook (as opposed to digitally) and more from life. The course is over now but I'm only just computerizing my work, so I'll plonk them up as I go.  The theme is about architectural spaces and the people that inhabit them. For the first session at the South Bank, tutor Johnny Dewe-Matthews got me to think about:

  • filling the page so the composition feels complete
  • think more about perspective and angles of the space
  • capturing people and their poses to tell a story
Having gotten quite covert about my sketching process, I found just having somebody look over my shoulder and prod me into doing things differently was a hugely beneficial change in approach, from the very first session.