Friday, 29 February 2008

4 Crows

After having little time to pick up a pencil these last few days, I managed to squeeze in a super quick sketch today of my regular friends, during lunch. They had plenty to say to each other, but unfortunately I had a hard time following the conversation. All the same, I got the distinct impression they were having a good laugh at my expense. :-(

I had half a mind to devour all of my lunch right in front of them and storm back inside, but had a change of heart at the last minute and threw them some scraps. I can't help but love their cocky attitudes.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


It's funny how archaic the term 'virtual reality' sounds in this day and age. Wasn't it supposed to revolutionise everything from education to medical practice? Those big clunky headsets may have looked cool for about a week or so, when I was young, but then so did the idea of having microchips implanted in my brain. This rusty Jules Verne style VR unit seems rather fitting when you concider we were all mean't to be living on Mars by now.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

More Trees

Just some quick tree sketches today, but while I was drawing I suddenly remembered about a monkey puzzle tree that grows near my house. I must stop by and say hello sometime this week.

Friday, 22 February 2008


I have to admit that rocks are fast becoming one of my favorite things to draw. Wind, temperature and friction have a way of creating some fantastic forms - such as underground caverns, towering buttes, majestic arches; and cracked piles that look like they've been deliberately placed.

Note to self: must draw more rocks.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


After two days of somewhat dismissive efforts, I seem to have found my sketching spirit again. I probably should have stopped scratching at this long before I actually did, but I was enjoying myself too much to put the pencil down.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


Having just checked my thermometer, I can report that it is -8°C outside. I'm not sure about other parts of the world, but here in the UK this certainly falls within the category known as 'bloody freezing'! And becouse of the drop in temerature, I have spent most of the evening with my mind firmly fixed on the coming summer.

If I was to make a short list of things that remind me of the warmer seasons, I'm sure Bumblebees would be right up there. Ahh... Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Bumblebee. That has to be one of my favorite sounding words in the English language.

I remember stroking the backs of huge, fat, lazy Bumblebees that I spied in the garden when I was young. My mom always used to tell me to leave them alone becouse they'd sting me... but they never did. Thinking back, I reckon they kinda liked the affection. :-)

Sunday, 17 February 2008


A completely random output today. Rather sloppy pencil work to boot. *sigh*

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Speedpainting In Blue

Although I started this blog as a way to motivate me into bumping up my drawing/sketching output, I still consider the act of 'speedpainting' to be a form of sketching. The only difference being that it (usually) involves colour. Both sketching and speedpainting are, to me, all about capturing something within a short amount of time - be it a feeling, an idea, a pictoral diary entry of certain events or notions that happen to be swimming around my brain during a particular day.

In this case it was the fact that it is very cold outside today. And even though the sun is shinning, I could still feel the chill on my exposed face. The sensation was not all together unpleasant, but I started to feel cheated becouse of all the drab gray concrete around me. If I am going to feel cold, then why not go to extremes and get some of those wonderful arctic blues.

Friday, 15 February 2008


As a kid I loved skeletons and skulls. I used to bury the odd dead shrew I would come across, and dig it up a few months later to harvest the bones. My triumphant exitement would usually be met with disgust and a mini lecture on hygiene and germs when I displayed my latest acquirement to my parents. The wonderful memories I have of uncovering my pre-buried treasure has, so far, more than made up for any germs I may have caught. Like all other parts of the body, doesn't the immune system need some sort of stimulation/workout to keep it in good shape?

Anyway, the reason I bring my childhood memories to the table with regards to these sketches, is becouse they were done from photographs taken (not by me) at Choeung Ek, a Buddist memorial site in Cambodia - probably the most well known site of the 'killing fields'.

I pulled some photos from my 'reference' folder on my HD and started to draw some skulls, but knowing where the photos were taken kinda hit me with mixed emotions: On the one hand I have my personal love of bones and their wonderful cracks, texture, colour and childhood delvings. But on the other hand I have the weight of knowledge (however sparse) that comes from the simple act of growing older and interacting/assimilating all that is around you.

I began drawing and very soon started to think about the skull I was creating on paper. What sort of person was he/she? I started imagining lifestyles - the little mundane day-to-day stuff (fluff?) that I really enjoy noticing in other people. I began to feel bad about this and started adding fantastical elements (see horns) to bring me back on top of my feelings. Maybe this was a bad move on my part. Maybe I should have delved deeper.

Am I covering myself from deeper feelings by bringing up my childhood memories first as a safety mechanism? I doubt it, but who knows. Right now I think it was importent to me to make that distinction between some kind of morbidity and a simple visual love of bones. I hope nobody thinks I am, in some way, mocking those that died in that regime by adding fantasy elements to my sketches. That was/is not my intent.

I have to chuckle to myself whenever I think about the merciless way in which we lose our innocence to age and experience. Hahaha... someone or something up there/out there is chuckling along with me.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Devilish Behaviour

I was in a devilish mood at work today, which may account for the (rather generic) demon head. Still, it was fun to hear people commenting on a co-workers new screen saver - which I changed from his usual bikini-clad 'ladies' to a picture of David Beckham sporting a pair of skimpy briefs. O_O

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Wise Guys

I decided to order a few books about Crows and Ravens, and the first book, Crows: Encounters with the Wise Guys by Candace Savage, arrived this morning. I hope it reads as good as it smells. :-D

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Knobbly bits

The peeling bark and abundant knobbly bits found on Birch trees makes drawing them a lot of fun.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Trees that scratch back

Having managed to get my scanner to cooperate, here's a sketch I did during yesterdays walk. The photo of the fern (see previous post) was taken higher up the hill among the pine trees, but on one side of the wood, the pines end and the ground slopes down onto a small patch of wasteland. Here the trees twist and bend over brambles, old crumbling brickwork and the odd rusty beer can. There are many different species of tree, and they all seem to give as good as they get when you try to push your way through the tangle. It's a great place to find some real characters. :-)

Saturday, 9 February 2008


Today was blessed with more of that wonderful low-lying winter sun, so I grabbed my sketch book and ventured into one of the local woods. Unfortunately my scanner has decided to delete certain .dll files so I can't post the afternoons sketch efforts. I did, however, have my mobile phone on me and took a few pictures. The sun shinning through this fern really shows off the contrast and colour that was on show.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Telephone Poles

I've never really looked twice at telegraph/telephone poles - even though I will admit to getting some strange sort of enjoyment out of watching the lines bow up and down when traveling in a car. O_o
It was also nice to see a pair of Crows make their regular appearance at work today. Hi guys... hope you enjoyed that tortilla wrap. :-)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Sometimes, during the winter months, the clouds are vanquished and the low-lying sun gets in your eyes. But who would complain about a little squinting when there are lots of interesting shapes and silhouettes outlined against the pale blue sky? Not I.

Cold, wet & windy

First entry and it seems appropriate to post some sketches of Ravens and Crows. It's cold, wet and windy here in the UK but I am making the most of the dry spells by venturing out and watching the birdies. Not sure why I like the Corvids so much though.