29 Oct 2009


Saw this clump of mussels clinging to this beautiful mottled pink rock (the kind of rock I would take home with me being a habitual beachcomber). Don't think I've quite captured the lovely texture and colour of the rock but I enjoyed going back to watercolours. Luckily Pulga was happily swimming and barking at the splashes so didn't come and help me paint.

28 Oct 2009

Been going crazy with the inks again this weekend. Sketching outdoors can be quite challenging trying to stop dogs from knocking over ink pots, putting dirty paws on your sketchpad, sitting on your lap while they wait for you to finish (favourite habit of Pulga's), bringing you muddy sticks to throw, and generally being really helpful in letting you achieve your creative endeavours. Can't begrudge them though, I get just as excited as them whenever I make it up to the highlands and see the amazing views again.

27 Oct 2009

Old Man of Storr

Was away up in the highlands of Scotland this weekend restoring the soul, and getting a chance to use the new pens. Bliss when you're hunkering down out of the wind and rain...

22 Oct 2009

Hmmm, new pen...

Just bought some new Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens, and thought I'd try them out on a few simple line hand drawings (does anyone else find nails hard to draw?). Love the brush one giving the variety of thickness in the line.
I'm like a kid in a sweetie shop when I find an art supplier (or 2nd hand bookshop even), and think its a good thing really that I can't afford much at all, otherwise I'd be buying the place out. For some reason though I can't resist buying gorgeous sketchbooks with lovely hand made paper, but I find it really hard to find a medium to use in them. Must get over this obsession and either stop buying them or experiment with everything I've collected over the years and hope something sticks!

21 Oct 2009

Night colours

Decided to give inks another go, and tried to capture the weird orange night time light you get from street lights. It was some sketches I did on some recent travels and I got the sketchbook out to try and ignore (and capture) some of the more shady characters hanging around.

19 Oct 2009

Went for a magical walk in the woods this weekend, and picked up all sorts of beautiful moss covered twigs and golden leaves.
I read an article asking people to find ancient trees in your area, and try and work out their age. Apparently, for every 1.5m circumference, the tree is 100 years old. We found a huge beech tree (and turning into tree huggers) we measured it to be around 7 metres which by our calculations makes it to be around and witnessing the 1500's. We worked out that when it was a sapling Michelangelo was working on David, da Vinci on Mona Lisa, Henry VIII was divorcing and beheading, and since then its seen the rise and fall of the Ottoman and Ming empires, America colonised, Incas wiped out, industrial revolution, and moon walks. Pretty humbling. Bet it has some stories to tell. One day I'll do a watercolour of it...

16 Oct 2009

Fur balls under the bed

Every morning, Pulga and I have a chase game where from god knows where, she finds one of my socks and proceeds to run up and down the corridor and under my bed with it. Find its much better than yoga in waking up in the morning....

15 Oct 2009

Pepper Plant

Not done this poor pepper plant justice after all its gone through. Only just getting fruit now, after starting it way back in May, and its now looking like a cheese plant with all its holes from its resident (now evicted) caterpillar. It was only when I started to paint it that I realised what a beautiful spottled purple stem it had, as its been back lit all summer sitting on my kitchen window. I should make the time really to do a proper painting and do it justice.

12 Oct 2009


First time in absolutely ages that I've sat down and drawn a scene like this. Had plenty of time to wait in Leeds, and even though I'd only had 2 1/2 hours sleep the night before thought I'd combat the tiredness and draw. It worked wonders, and killed half and hour, and surprisingly felt really invigorated after it.

Love people watching, but sometimes its a real challenge to capture them without them realising, as they usually move just as you're half way through.

Did this sketch on the train, of a really scary, grumpy looking guy, then suddenly his wife appeared from behind the seat, lent on his shoulder and they looked like the happiest couple on earth. Felt really bad then about my first impressions.

7 Oct 2009

Scottish Elements

Did this watercolour sketch on a very cold blustery walk, and just as I started, so too did the rain, adding to the general watercolour look. As they say in Scotland, fed up with the season? just wait a minute and another one will come along shortly.

5 Oct 2009

Valentia Island, Ireland

Did this wee sketch last night for my brothers birthday card. The whole family went to Ireland in the summer for a week, first time we've been together like that (not counting Christmas' etc) since we were kids, so it was a great giggle. This was done with ink and dip pen, didn't even attempt to try and get the rich colour of sunsets and golden grasses so just went for the rosy red look. My poor family are very long suffering as they get a picture for every occassion, especially when money is a bit tight!

4 Oct 2009

Took Pulga to the beach, beautiful but incredibly windy indian summer day. Had all the kite and regular surfers out, thought not appearing in this drawing - think going past too fast for my pen to capture!

2 Oct 2009

Guitars and G strings

Just started my first guitar lessons this week, and as a reminder on how to actually play properly I drew Rob and tried to capture how it should be done! I've got Twinkle Twinkle little star and Happy Birthday now as a repertoire - can see my name in stage lights already...

1 Oct 2009


After being inspired by an artist, Martin Wilner, I've taken to doing a wee sketch every night on something that happened that day. Sometimes I really struggle to think of something interesting to draw, sometimes its trying to just pick one thing! Usually they're unintelligible to anyone but me, but I've found my memory is so much better looking back through the year and remembering what happened that day, as I usually have the memory of a goldfish...

Martin's drawings are amazingly detailed, and one day I might turn these scribblings into a finished work, but in the meantime I find its a good exercise to at least get me drawing one thing a day if I don't have the energy to do something bigger and better. My January drawings are very neat and careful, but come September, they've become more of a scrawl!