Life Drawing 3. Tonal feedback.

In the crit at the end of the life drawing session asked why I painted on a loud pink spray painted background, I blurted out something to do with music feedback as a base for extemporising on. Having a strong thing to react to and work with. it gives me a head-start into the image rather than the sterile blankness of white. The tones really excite the eyes.

Lady on pink spray paint feedback baseThe life model only curled her lip for a second, just before a yawn. It was the expression that went with the pose and the colour.

Here’s a close up. I feel there might have been a progression in this lesson. I am so pleased with this I ‘ve signed it.

Lady on pink spray paint

This image has hints of my obsession with Matisse and his ‘bathers’, which I saw in Chicago.

Lady twice Matisse like

The lesson was about building the image up through tones against dark and midtone grounds. These works were great fun to do but needed extra work after the class, which meant I’m rather tired while writing this.

green and pink lady seated

This is a great pose. The life model fainted mid pose, but came back to finish the stance like a trouper. Lots of chalk was involved in this.

lady with blanket standing fainted

Here’s two examples of what I’m trying to do visually in music.


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Life Drawing 2. Wrong hand? Wrong media?

A found pot of ink and a pipette. Lessons on drawing with your ‘wrong’ hand, drawing without looking at the paper, drawing on crumpled paper, drawing with both hands.

The last hour was spent doing this composition, with my fellow artists in the background.
I liked the skull and handbag. There’s a lot of connections and rhythms in the painting,

Gret Skellington Anna and Mark

Here the model bcomes audience while an artist watches. Crumpled paper on paper.
This left part of the image was made with both hands at once, the left hand held a black stick of charcoal, the righ a blue conté pastel.

Gret twice with artist

Usingthe pipette was tricky and left a pool of ink on the floor. The acrylic fleshtones went on int the break.

Gret with drips

The image on the left was made while not looking at the subject, the one on the righ was made with my right (wrong) hand only.

without looking and wrong hand

This artwork consisted only of upward strokes on sugarpaper.

Gret in black and white on camel

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Websites & backgrounds

There is so much content in everything now that is filched from other places. I prefer to make my own, the client is employing me for my work, not my talents as a thief. Which is different from having influences etc, etc.
Anyway here’s a recent website. Shame about the lonely word at the end of the line – typography is slightly less precise on the web. That really annoys me. Really.


And here is one of the backgrounds.
Photographed with my trusty Fujifilm TX-10 and stick on very cheap macro.


The image is a close up of a cymbal from my drumkit – the site is for music business types.
This is before the Photoshop layers of darkness.


Another site.


With the illustrations for the backgrounds, a little lighter than used.






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Building illustrations.

Over the past few years I’ve been illustrating architecture for the Auckland Castle project.
It’s a really nice little job, the span of concentration, the translation of photos to unified illustrations and the feeling that is very near to playing 2D lego.
As you can see the buildings are all different shapes, sizes and styles which adds to the fun.Auckland map 23 no back

Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no backAuckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no back
Auckland map 23 no backAuckland map 23 no back

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Auckland Castle Leaflet

I do like working for Auckland Castle Trust. The people are nice, the idea for project is really genuine and the art and architecture is unique.
The leaflet features my illiustration, design and typography.
The feel is supposed to be adult, informative, thoughtful and friendly. Like radio 4. Printed on recycled stock.
It was photographed on the kitchen table, hence the calm lighting.

Auckland cover 1

The type shape on the cover paragraph are meant to make you look and read, it’s a 1960’s American advertising trick, used in VW beetle advertising.

Auckland leaflet 1

Auckland leaflet 2

Auckland leaflet inside

The fold out poster.

The great

Printed by

Printed on

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Holiday sketchbook USA

26 images:a
STAR WARS: Rogue One. On the plane.
Eddy on the plane.
Eddy watching Lion Guard. Which is TERRIBLE.
My hand on the pull out table.
Izzy on the beach with a large lizard lurking in the background.
In the pool.
The Alligator farm. Scary. Everything strted to look like a croc.
Alex drinking a huge slurpy.
View from the beach.
Kate working.
Morning outside our silver airstream caravan.
Waiting beside the pool.
Izzy in the queue for Space Mountain.
Watching Ant & Dec at DisneyWorld.
Beside the pool. Working out how to draw the water.
Hand by the pool.
Sunbathing is a bit dull so…
Plane journey 2. Kates le and Alex reading and drinking and moving a lot.
Kate and Alex.

Ed seated.
Alex in blue with two hats.
An architecture boat tour in Chicago.
A messy hotel room.
Plane journey 3. Eddy plays Fruit Ninja. Kate’s feet in the background.
Watching ‘How to Steal a Million’ on the plane. Audry Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. Fun.
Watching ‘Casablanca’ after the plane lights were turned off. Brilliant as always.


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Life Drawing 9. Robin part 2

This was the final session before the Easter break.
Adding the standing figure and background in two hours.
The palette is more considered, the brushstokes a little less dramatic.

Robin x2

If it’s exhibited I’ll try and work out a narrative. This could well be worked on before the next set of classes.

Robin x2 crop

A close up of his torso.

Robin standing

A warm up sketch.


It won’t be long until I see you again old friend.

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