Shouty head

Last night, I attended what will probably be my last ever Drawing Room session. I shall write about that decision in a separate post [UPDATE: that post is here]. The decision applies to my artistic development generally, and is not specific to the wonderful Drawing Room, for which I’m very grateful.

Yesterday’s session was led by Tessa Asquith-Lamb, and run by Katharine Aarrestad in Sharon Quigley’s place. Like last month’s session, it was held at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Inspired by the cubist / expressionist paintings of Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, we composed images from cutting sheets of coloured paper. The pieces by the other attendees of the session were beautiful – very impressive, with lots of lovely layers of colour and detail. I however was only able to produce this rather mundane and simple graphic (inspired by this):

150312 shouty head


The Two Roberts


It has been ages since my last post. I have been a little preoccupied with a little something coming my way: the imminent arrival of my first child!

Although I have neglected writing them up recently, the Drawing Room has provided a welcome opportunity to do some art, in an otherwise artless few months.

Yesterday’s session was given by the wonderful Katharine Aarrestad. It was held at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – an exhibition of the work of Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde.

After Katherine gave an interesting introduction to the two artists’ history and their work, we tried our hand at drawing through carbon paper – a technique occasionally employed by them.

The piece at the top of this post was a copy of part of one of their paintings (I forgot to take note of the painting’s details). I produced this by drawing through black carbon paper. Attempting to add extra interest, I added a smidgeon of colour by rubbing the non-drawing, painted end of the pencil directly onto the paper.

I could have used oil pastels on shiny paper to produce a coloured equivalent of carbon paper – but I chose not to. Instead I added blue carbon paper to my itinerary for my second piece. I copied one of the Roberts’ costume design drawings, and made a few overlaid repetitions of it using black carbon and blue carbon paper – mirroring their re-use of the same design to produce differently coloured and accessorised designs.


I have enjoyed my return to posting about what I’m doing. I have at least two sessions that I want to write up from last year – including an interesting (for me) time with clay.

I have also started posting in my new food blog: I’d be interested to see what you think of that!

My deepest thanks to Katherine, and to Sharon Quigley for organising the sessions. I hope to attend some more before my baby girl is born.

The Hanover Collection

I recently flew to Hanover for a business meeting, and drew the following five sketches while flying there and back, based on adverts and features in a paper I picked up.

This is my favourite of the drawings:
140911 hanover

I liked the quirkiness of the photo I drew this from – a shot of William S. Burroughs taken by Anton Corbijn in 1993.
140912 hanover - anton corbijn - william s burroughs

I didn’t capture this Calvin Klein Jeans advert very well – the proportions aren’t quite right and the face is best forgotten – but it is all good practice:
140912 hanover - calvin klein jeans

This New Look advert sketch was much better:
140910 hanover - new look

I think my final drawing came out reasonably well too. It is from Karl Lagerfeld’s supermarket style Chanel show at this year’s Paris Fashion Week:
140912 hanover - karl lagerfeld - paris fashion week

I am relatively satisfied with the little set of drawings that I made during the flights for this trip.

YES to an independent Scotland

140903 yes

Scotland in 14 days will vote to separate from the rest of the UK.

Scotland in 50 years will have transformed into a dynamic Nordic nation, with a strong social democratic welfare system, befitting the outlook of many Scots.

I look forward to playing my part in this, and voting YES in the referendum to become independent. As an Englishman living in Scotland for a number of years, I observe a clear difference between the general attitudes in England (the south) and Scotland. Whilst I share the opinions more commonly observed down south, I strongly agree with the right to take full control of the decisions that affect the nation.

I believe separation will also have a positive effect on England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as people look to a new future with a renewed focus.

All of the opinion polls have pointed to maintaining the status quo, but the YES vote has been gradually creeping up, and now stands at 47% after excluding don’t knows. I am hoping that the desire to vote of those telling pollsters NO, is less strong than those saying YES.

Promisingly, the streets around Edinburgh are prominent with displays backing independence. For every NO banner in someone’s window or car, there are at least about 20 YES banners and stickers.

The signs look good, but unfortunately I expect NO to win.

edinburgh yes 1

edinburgh yes 2

edinburgh yes 3

edinburgh yes 4

edinburgh yes 5

Sketches for 2014, number 33 — Gothic eagle

Location: Tierra de Barros, Spain
This is my digitally-enhanced drawing of a 6th century eagle-shaped fibula, found in a Visigoth grave in Spain – although now held in the US.

140902 goth eagle coloured

I created the above image from this pencil sketch I made today:

140902 goth eagle

To create the digital version, I applied an edge detection filter to the drawing, and then applied fills using muted colours.

My sketch debt
I owe so many sketches for the year so far. Next in line is/was:
Sketch 34: Saturday 12th April

This post is part of a series of sketches for 2014 that I will be posting every 3rd day. I will draw people and things from around the world that I find beautiful or interesting. The series will end on 29th December 2014 with post number 121.