Design week 2: Book design.

This type of work is very pleasurable. Instead of writing much about the rythmn, space and details, here’s the work.

The cover.


Some of the spreads.



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Design Week 1:

I usually post artworks, this week it’s time for what pays most of the bills. My design work. These are some of the recent jobs I can show, there are more but a few clients are shy.

This project was to make a simple but effective site showing funky student housing in Manchester.

The homepage with it’s specially made number machine. Each time you enter the site you have a different room on the right. Thanks to Piers Aitman for his help creating this page.screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-16-32-00

About page. Picture yourself here, student.


Easy navigation. Easy to use and easy to change.


One of the many cool student houses. If cool is what students say.


See the site for yourself here.

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Life drawing 5. Mr muscle.

My brain was overloaded with the amount of information to take in.

The plan was to concentrate on the model, from his hair to the navel. This changed when given the challenge of taking in the scene, the skull and the plastic torso on the table.
The diagonal of objects wouldn’t balance the composition so the fellow artists were added, the ground had to be painted, then the walls, there are even two versions of John Close the tutor as he moved around. My foot was added for lots of reasons, the main one being to lead your eye into the diagonal. Notice how the red is dotted about to excite the eye, an old impressionist trick.

4 colours of acrylics, some white gesso and 3 sizes of brush. 1 hour.


Five 5 minute sketches in acrylic and pencil. Starting from top right.
That’s how left handed I am. Letting the brush make the form, making the pencil sort the final line.


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London Zoo 2

The gorillas are… rather worrying for me. I read a lot into their expressions.
This a compilation of all the sketches made that day, taking the boys around London Zoo. Below are some links about the Kumbuka the silverback, who really doesn’t like pigeons.


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Life Drawing 4: The Tall lady

Looking at the image in Photoshop made me want to make it into a print.
The original is in blue and pink pencil.
The original drawing took 50 minutes. The photoshop 20 minutes.tall-lady-reclines-2
The first version is a try at woodblock.

tall-lady-reclines-2-bwThe second version is more an etching.

tall-lady-profileThis is a very large head in charcoal and pencil, taken from the same pose, right at the end of the night. 5 minutes.


tall-lady-montageA compilation of the other poses.
All around 15 minutes. The last one was worked on in the break.
Fun to see the different techniques.

mr-skellington-reflected-in-goldGetting to the life room early, out came Mr Skellington, propped against a mirror. Gold and silver paint was used. Acrylic on canvas, 45 minutes.

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Little sketches


Izzy and Kate in Byron burgers. Drawn on the napkin with a 2H pencil.


There was a photo of a Clinical Physiologist, Dr Gerald Graham in the Times Obits.
I liked the lighting and doodled a version. Shot at an angle, because I’m lazy.


Here’s another one. Mainly drawn from the first doodle. Interesting that the lines get more curved the further away from the photographic source.


While working on graphic design (my day job), I’ve been drawing on post-it-notes. In black and white they look a tad more timeless. These are part of a very long-involved project about Ernest Hemingway. Fun how they are, all the same and all different. Some are more drunk, others more tired.

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Life drawing 3. Exercises…

After the drama of the Caravaggio sketch night, the next session back at the wonderful Mary Ward Centre was relaxed and featured no severing of heads. Which was nice.
The model was just a great model in a room rather than a symbol or story.

In the final image of the night I tried to draw and paint with care and lightness; in response to all that baroque darkness. Neater marks might have been better. Maybe next time.

A detail showing the different textures and media.
Compressed charcoal, acrylic, pencils and oil pastels on a large sheet of heavy paper.


The cropping, colours and the order in which they were put down was thought about beforehand. 50 minutes.


The first half of the night concentrated on experiments.
From top left:
A scrunched up piece of sugar paper and charcoal.
Using both hands holding a pice of charcoal.
Using both hands, each with their own piece of charcoal.
Using my right hand; I’m a complete lefty (obviously).
The first quick drawing / painting.
Drawing not looking at the paper.

h-standing-in-charcoal-on-scrunched-paper h-for-times-in-charcoal

h-standing-in-black-pencil h-standing-in-charcoal-and-acrylic h-standing-in-red-pencil

A really good work out.

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