Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Life of Finches - process

Ah whoops, forgot at least one line... there's a LOT more to this illustration anyway, I expect to be drawing until late...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cut your own drawing nibs

You know you want to.
Assemble materials (ignore the already-cut nib in that photo)
Cut this with hole punch and scissors
Roll the end around something thin and fit it into your nib holder
Fold in half and score the inside
Cut in a curve. This one will be short... you can make any size. Try huge, it's fun.
Heat, then cool in water

Try it out!
Maybe it's a writing nib?
You can slice the tip for extra messiness and flexibility..
...or sand it for smoothness.
(If you want to make a sketchbook holder, look here)

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I've caught a cold on a train, and been coughing and burbling and watching things and doodling along. here are some doodles while watching Miss Marple, and Arrested Development. One really shou;ld draw whole bodies, not just heads, but I am ill and can't be bothered.


Blind drawing

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


All for "I am Henry Finch", which is nearing completion...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

House of Illustration, and skies

I went to a fundraiser for the House of Illustration last night, as one of the illustrators who were invited to draw live on stage.
To my amusement, my disorderly heap of cats ended up being the backdrop to the posh raffle drawn by Joanna Lumley. Here she is.

A crowd of reasonably rich and/or famous people was in attendance. It was brilliant fun. I chatted with the other artists and admired some lovely eccentric jewellery on show.

Today I'm mostly drawing clouds. The new book needs some suitable skies. I've been trying out all sorts of different formations, consulting a book about clouds.

Friday, October 4, 2013


My goodness. I feel strange.
For the last few days I have been practising to speak more clearly. People have long been complaining that I am hard to understand when I am doing panel talks, teaching and workshopping, so I figured it's time to work it out.
I've been walking around practising tongue-twisters, and reading out loud to myself every evening. I allowed my voice to drop down to where it used to be when I lived in Germany - speaking English raised my pitch over the years for some reason or other.
At first, it was great fun. It's great when people can actually hear what I'm saying. But today I realised that somehow I have turned from a person who sounds a bit silly but is overall quite serious into someone who sounds serious but feels silly. - This absolutely won't do. It's entirely the wrong way around.
I think it will take me a while to adjust and balance things out. I hope people will be patient while I sound this peculiar... and I'm glad I don't have any talks booked this month!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Die Sonne ist zum Wärmen da

I just found a comic I drew age 19 ( I was checking an old box of scraps for mould).

1) The sun is for warmth and the toilet for fresh water.
2) But what are dead mice for?
3) No one I asked could explain.
4) So I eat them up, like all the other pointless objects.
5) Sometimes it isn't easy to keep the world in order.