Friday, 30 September 2011

Some otterly cute drawings

This week I've been working on a new piece, featuring a welcome return to British waters - that of the  European  Otter, which is at last coming back to our rivers and streams after a long absence.  I have admired otters from an early age, but due to their scarcity always assumed that I would never see one in person.  With their numbers on the increase, I now have a little hope that I might one day see one!  And with all the doom and gloom in the papers lately, some good news (however small) is much needed indeed.

As always when making a new piece, I did a lot of preparatory drawing in my sketchbook, to gather some idea of how the animal behaves and moves.  Though they look cute and cuddly on land, otters transform completely underwater; executing graceful, fluid manoeuvres.

An otter wolfs down a tasty fish supper

Sketches from a video of two otters playing in long grass

Otters swimming gracefully

A comatose otter sleeps in his holt
I hope you've enjoyed my drawings, and the lovely weather outside.  Peace!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sketchbook self-portraits

 Hola folks! Sorry I've been quiet for the last few days, I have been hard at work making pictures but can't share them until the time is right.  So to whet your appetite, here are some previously unseen doodlings from my sketchbook.  These are actually self-portraits, though I'm not sure if you can tell...!  I hope you enjoy them.

A good cup of tea always helps.

Me in my costume at a pirate-themed party.
More tea!  Along with cakes, bunting and strawberries.

I also notice that I finally made the 100 mark on this blog, huzzah!  Thanks so much for your continued support everyone, I really appreciate it.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Weekend adventures - films, art, burgers and more!

Hello everyone, I hope you're all having a lovely week so far!  This weekend just gone I went on a bit of an adventure about town with Jo Cheung and June Chanpoomidole, catching a couple of shows before they closed.  The first was the Watch Me Move exhibition at the Barbican, which was a very expansive and broad-reaching exhibition of animation.  It covered not only animations in different mediums and from different countries/cultures, but began with reels of some of the very first animations ever recorded.  I'd seen bits and pieces of some of the most famous ones (including Gertie the Dinosaur, Little Nemo and animations by the Fleischer brothers) so it was very interesting to see these early works in full.  If you watched everything all the way through I reckon you could literally spend hours in there!  As it was, we got too hungry to manage that and decided to go hit up a Gourmet Burger Kitchen.  Yummy!

Afterwards Jo and I ventured further north to Walthamstow to catch an exhibition by Carne Griffiths at a lovely, cosy little pub called The Castle.  Having exhibited alongside Carne at Sorted London I knew his work would be excellent (which it indeed was) though for these works he'd taken a more sinister route, exploring the dualism of beauty and brutality in nature.  The artist himself was there celebrating the final night of the show, and we discovered that his exhibition at the pub was part of a wider network of events in the E17 Art Trail.  We actually hadn't heard of this particular trail before (though apparently it is the largest of a number of such events springing up all over the East end of London) so we were very excited to hear that there were so many creative things going on.  I await to next year's trail with much anticipation!

Heading back we noticed these blue plaques in the windows of the homes lining the street, all of which commemorated people that lived there in the 19th century.  Rather than celebrating famous writers, poets, and so on as the 'official' blue plaques usually do, these ones instead mentioned everyone from neck-tie makers to teachers and, as captured here, 'commercial artists'!  This was another artwork on the E17 Art Trail, devised by Danny Cope.  I imagine that for the local residents, discovering who used to live in your home before you must have been fascinating.  If we all started looking into the social history of our homes and neighbourhoods, I wonder what we might discover...?

That's all for now this time folks, I hope you've enjoyed reading.  Thank you!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Red, yellow, orange and brown - the colours of autumn.

 I've been doing a lot of drawing in my sketchbook lately, especially as the season is now shifting from summer into autumn.  I tend to find that my work is very much reflective of what's going on outside, so as the weather gets colder I'm drawn to orange, red, brown and yellow - the warm colours of turning leaves, berries, nuts, rosehips and setting suns.

I started drawing this really cute little girl in Trafalgar Square, just a few moments before she and her mum wandered off!  So I had to make a lot of her up, which I think shows sadly.  I quite like the building in the background though.

Drawing of a dove.

Pairs of doves in different poses.

A mistle thrush and mistletoe, which is growing on an oak tree.  The bird gets its name because the mistletoe berries are one of  its favourite foods.

Well known evergreen plants - holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew and conifers.

Christmas foods - nuts and seasonal or preserved fruits are a recurring theme.

Autumnal foliage - deciduous leaves, berries, conkers, rosehips, acorns, nuts and mushrooms.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Flamingo Arts Project #1 launch night

Hello folks!  Just another quick blog post to share a couple of pictures from the launch night of the first Flamingo Arts Project.  My pal Jo took part in the project, so the Westminster gang headed along to show our support (and for a celebratory meal... since food always seems to feature heavily when we get together!)

Jo Cheung's illustration in pride of place

Sorry there aren't very many photos of the interior, it was pretty full in there so taking decent pictures was rather difficult.  It was a great show with work by some very talented people.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the folks at Flamingo get up to next!

Until next time!

A happy greyhound and fond farewells

Hello folks! Sorry I've been rather quiet for the last week or so, it's been all busy, busy. busy, this end.  I have a couple of exciting little projects I've been working on (one of which allowed me to justify visiting the Selfridges Christmas shop for inspiration - happy times!)  There have also been a lot of social engagements, including family gatherings.  The latter especially as my oldest brother will be leaving this country on friday to begin a new life with his long-term girlfriend in Australia.  It didn't hit me until a couple of days ago that he is really going - and now I suddenly realise that I don't know when I will see him again.  I truly hope that he enjoys his life out there, even though I'm only just grasping how much I'm going to miss him!

Like me, my brother is a big fan of dogs.  So, without further ado I present my finished greyhound illustration, which was first published on We Draw Dogs blog.  The canine-focused project is still ongoing, so be sure to check back there for more doggy pictures.  Or, if you too are handy with a brush and/or pen... why not send them a picture of your own!

I hope that this week you're all as happy as this dog looks.  Peace!