Tuesday, 1 November 2011


this is a return to a bit of street drawing. Weighed down with picture frames I sat at my bus stop early and drew the people waiting for the University bus. I had forgotten how much fun it is to just draw and see the scene spread across a page, and also to watch how the subconscious decides to show the scene. The subconscious is The Boss with my drawings because I have no idea what sort of style she's going to bring out of the hat :-). I think it was a graphic novel/cross-hatched 3D day.

Coloured Designers Desk print

Happy November,
here are two watercoloured prints of the Designers Desk drypoint. The first shows the actual colours of the scene, and the second is just red, pink and yellow. I think the second is my favourite, its not so 'normal', it gives the image a bit of edge.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Drypoint print

Well, here is the long awaited drypoint. its 28x18cm, and is from an earlier drawing of an idle afternoon in Dorling Kindersley offices, London.  It has turned out very well, and now I'm considering doing some more. There are some very interesting subtleties to the medium, such as a the light areas top right are very heavily wiped and make a lovely delicate line, the dark areas are lightly wiped and are a lovely fudgey darkness, like velvet. The lines on the bottom right are my favourite marks- they could be put to good use in a very graphic almost art deco print. Tomorrow I will do a watercolour layer on the lighter prints of this plate, so will post that hopefully tomorrow evening. Its all very exciting.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Drawings in colour

Happy Sunday lunchtime everyone, here are my latest drawings with added zing of colour. 

In regards to my approach in drawing, and printmaking, I've decided to go back to a more relaxed way of drawing. Over the past 4 months I've tried to practice detail in small drawings, and aquatint technique with etching. Then realised that I was a bit tied down with the 'correctness' of it all, and have decided to have more fun. So these latest drawings and future prints will be more lively and possibly experimental. This can be a narrow path do walk along as I'm mindful not to let the work become too cartoon-like. 

At the moment I'm working on a drypoint of my old desk at Dorling Kindersley in 2005. I was always doing little drawings in spare moments. Now while thinking about loosening up and being more playful I took the drawing and started scratching into an old plate from college. As it's a drypoint it could go quite fuzzy and splodgey, but we'll see what happens. Either way it will be interesting. There are all sorts of things I could do for tone- like sticking fine to rough grade sandpaper on, scratching the sandpaper on the plate, making little dots or thick lines, very faint thin lines, and even underlayer of colour with lino block. It will be a totally spontaneous thing, seeing what happens. That's the most enjoyable part for me- working with the unexpected results and making a truly individual and eccentric image.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Some more London quickie drawings

its been a while, but finally back on to the drawings. If I can remember back the reason for not posting for a while is being busy with setting up tiny printstudio in the garage, and buying non-toxic printmaking kit, such as copper sulphate crystals, inks, trays, etc. I'm hoping to do my first etch on friday, hopefully with some help from my scientific adviser (Dad). Its good having someone with chemistry knowledge around...

Back to drawings:
The first is a very rough sketch of Charing Cross Road, near Foyles and at the junction of Chaos/Oxford Street. There is a phantom bus in the scene, which will be coloured red like the rest of the drawing, but maybe not, lets maybe keep it as a ghost bus.
The second is a little sketch of an outside cafe with people chatting and relaxing. I liked the layers of trees and background detail. Can't wait to colour this one.
They are both 30x13cm, as usual, and I'll post the colour versions very soon.

Business talk: I've just sent a batch of prints to a gallery in London where the owner is optimistic they will sell. Hopefully this is the start of something wonderful. I'll post details for you when its all ready to view.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Latest Viking print

This is a 20x20cm aquatinted etching of a previous photo taken during the Jorvik Viking Festival. If you follow the blog you will have seen it a month or so ago. It was very enjoyable, and very fiddly as lots of masking-out had to be done for stages of the aquatint etch. I've tried to keep lots of textures in the print- the horn, chainmail and little woollen cap worn under the helmet in particular.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tea-pot and cup addiction

This is just a bit of fun, a drawing of my growing teapot and cup collection. The two blue and pink cups and saucers are my favourites, and are part of a gorgeous set of crockery by Pip Studios, a dutch company.

Link to Pip cups and saucers:

More sketches

Here are some more letterbox sized drawings, around York. I really do try not to be twee in my choices of subject matter, but sometimes a drawing of Betty's has to be done.
Picture 1- The Quire Screen York Minster, which has sculptures of the kings of England (up to Henry VI).  
Picture 2- Caffe Nero, Davygate
Picture 3- The market and backs of The Shambles
Picture 4- Betty's Tea Rooms, Davygate

Thursday, 11 August 2011

York Minster Tomb to Sir Henry Bellasis

Here's a little set of cheery images. They are based on an earlier photo published of the tomb of Sir Henry Bellasis, 1624, York Minster. I was struck by the detail and strangeness of painting onto a sculpture. As you may know spooky things fascinate me and so I had to create a spooky etching of the tomb.
All my work starts as a drawing, which usually becomes an etching, and then 'variations on a theme' are made. This is usually because there are so many different ways to explore the subject matter. There's still a lot of mileage in this image, exploring the different planes and directions of the sculpture.
For now, here are four images- the first is a photo made with Hipstamatic for iPhone, second is a detailed drawing (so I can understand it), the third is an etching, and the fourth is a painting with watercolour and acrylic. They're all 30x30cm.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Drawings in York

Even more drawings, as it has been suggested I make a little collection together of letterbox-shaped drawings. These are all based in York and were made this week. They are the usual 30x12cm size and are started with pen, then watercolour and finally Neocolor I crayon. The bar image may be turned into a print in the next month or so.

Lots of new drawings

after some time battling with my printmaking problems (paper soaking mainly), I have done lots of new little drawings all based in the beautiful Levens Hall Gardens. They are my experiments in finding new ways of portraying the garden with simpler lines and marks. The final one is quite detailed though because its a complex scene and I wanted to draw the viewer in with the lines of the branches. Each drawing is roughly 30x12cm and made with watercolour and Neocolor I crayon or colour pencil.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Viking prints

after some time the first prints of Vikings are ready to show. They are 30x30cm etchings. The first is a straight black and white print, the second is a mix of raw umber, yellow and burned umber ink. The latter is a mix of etching and monoprint because I wanted to experiment, and also show the rough nature of the subject matter.
This plate has been a difficult one, as the dark tones weren't deep enough, so a second aquatint was done, then I had to add drypoint to get even more darkness. Some plates are easier than others as printmaking can be a precarious medium.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Viking study for next print

This is a study to work out what I'm doing for the next print. I love the original photograph which shows all the different types who participate in the Jorvik Viking Festival, and also how good their costumes are, most of which are made especially, no fancy dress shops here! Specialised leather workers and blacksmiths are involved as everyone takes great care to make their costumes as authentic as possible.

This drawing is made with watercolour and colour pencil and is 30x30cm.

Here's a link to a great set of viking festival images:

Jorvik Viking Festival 2011 | Flickr

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I realise I've been neglecting my blogging duties, so here are a couple of new drawings.

They are studies for etchings involving the Jorvik Viking Festival in York, a large group of history fans who like to dress up and recreate the days when York got its cultural identity ;-)

This is a group of 'Viking' lads waiting for the signal to march into battle against the 'soppy Saxons'. I really like the interaction between them, as one guy tries in vain to get a note out of the authentic horn two stand round laughing, and the other looks out at us.

This is a very rough watercolour painting which shows a plan for the next print. Its quite basic and gestural because I was trying to understand the essence of the image. Actually, as I'm typing an idea has come to make a smaller secondary print in this style as the various marks and roughness would work at about 15x15cm (I'll keep that one running in the old subconscious, usually the answer pops up like toast).

These are my favourite photos taken that day:

Monday, 11 April 2011

York Open Studios sketch

York Open Studios has just finished, and I'm getting my energy back, as the illustration commission has just finished too. Phew. The event was very good, and as it was my first time things went very well, sold prints and postcards, and also had some lovely conversations with people about art and sketching.

While it was quiet I did a sketch of the venue. The first is just pen, and the second is watercoloured last week. Its size is c.50x20cm.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Pre- York Open Studios

I'm just getting my work ready for the York Open Studios show, and the house looks like an explosion in a paper factory.
As this is my first year as an exhibiting artist and having an illustration job to finish its all rather 'scatty' and feel like I'm flying on by the seat of my pants.
Today has been labelling, wrapping, organising. Tomorrow will be hanging the pictures, and laying everything out ready for the opening on friday. And finally on Friday I will be taking all my loose prints down to the venue, as I don't want ALL my work in someone elses home, because it took 8 months to make.

Only slightly stressed... I will tell you all how it went after the 10th, when its all over.

Friday, 11 March 2011

York Open Studios

sorry for the lack of posts, I'm right in the middle of an illustration commission, and getting work ready for the York Open Studios event. Here are some links to see what the event is about:

York Open Studios

Rebecca Wright | Artists & Makers | York Open Studios

and my good friend, whom I rent studio time from:
Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller | Artists & Makers | York Open Studios

and my photography tutor from college:
Peter Heaton | Artists & Makers | York Open Studios

Saturday, 12 February 2011

2 more Evil Eye prints

The Evil Eye Lounge print has now been given its aquatint, and has turned out very well. The first picture is a very dark version, to give extra mood, the third is a burnt umber and sanguine ink edition, and the final is a watercoloured version of the print from the previous post.

I've decided to stop trying to do identical prints as I was starting to feel like a machine. While talking to another artist we were discussing the desire to do different wipes for each print, keeping the creativity and originality going beyond the creation of the plate.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Evil Eye Lounge- print stage 1

This is the print of the previous drawing for The Evil Eye Lounge, in York. It measures 45x28.5cm, and took 3 hours to carefully draw out onto the waxed plate, then bitten for 8mins in the acid.
On saturday it will have an aquatint added, before then I'll be working/playing with watercolour on this print; Then uploading to this blog early next week. Hope it doesn't go tits-up.

Watercolour Reverie of Crouch Hill

While planning a new print of the old Crouch End, I started drifting into a watercolour reverie of the scene. Its not geographically correct but who cares when you're dreaming. The Aber Hotel seems to have completely disappeared, and there's an ominous cloud hanging over Holloway. 
One day I'll put all these Crouch End pictures onto a map and connect them together. It would take up a lot of wall space.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Evil Eye Lounge, now in colour

I've been working on this drawing for three days, it started as you know as a drawing, then I added watercolour, then thought about how I'd like to proceed and settled on colour pencil. There is a nod to Nevinson's Acetylene Welder print, (which blew me away at an exhibition of war-time art in Sheffield last year).
Here's a link with info to the Nevinson artwork:

The image is 48x30cm, and has pencil, watercolour, and Derwent Colour Pencil. Next week I'm hoping to make an intaglio print version for the York Open Studios in April.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Evil Eye Lounge, York.

This is quite a large drawing, from some film I took of the staff at The Evil Eye Lounge, York (eccentric cocktail bar and Thai restaurant). It took about two days to draw and involved lots of rubbing out and corrections, quite a test. Its roughly 48x30cm and drawn on Somerset watercolour paper with a very sharp Power Rangers pencil! Its going to be a large print as I'm only reducing it down to 45x28cm, so I can get the detail and also some thicker lines and of course, IMPACT.