Steam sketches…

Withe the ship-under-repair painting complete (better late than never), the other wall of the dining room is looking empty. We thought about another boatyard design but variety is never a bad thing. On the other hand, I’m not the sort of person that can paint cute cottages or puppies…

So here’s one possibility:


From these ideas I think this looks promising:



I chose this type because they tended to be found in grimy industrial settings (see previous comment on personal allergy to twee cuteness) and also because it is theoretically one of the simplest designs around.

Time will tell if this helps the painting work faster



Figurehead on a replica Viking ship -taken from a photograph as there are very few Viking longboats 600km from the sea, even replicas…

Quick knot

It’s about time I drew some more celtic knots…

After all, that’s what this blog is supposed to be about, mostly.


A quick pencil sketch with nothing fancy, made between bursts of work on the current storytelling project

I’ll upload more sketches over the next weeks: another ‘big’ project is in the works as well…

More blatant self-publicity.

Click to enlarge Most of what passes for artistic activity here this week has been focussed on preparing for another storytelling evening. This was entirely computer based which is a departure from my normal method of making a base image and adding text later.

It is less messy than splattering paint about, and the style fits the theme, but I still prefer the feel of using ‘real’ materials: I’m not entirely convinced that it was me, rather than the computer that made the final result.

Use the right tools for the job, I guess…


Another sketch from the archives. The covering on the spire in the picture is one sheet of copper, which must worry the pastor during thunderstorms.

I really should do this more often: it is embarrasing posting sketches from 2 1/2 years ago.

‘Macbeth’ Reloaded

Macbeth front small textA slight change of subject at the moment as I’m making promotional material for a couple of storytelling projects. This is a draft of a flyer image for a workshop on Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ which is part of the English course in a lot of German schools.

The original plan was to make a dagger shape in the ‘blood’ but this looked too nice and formal so I wiped it out. This made the red smears, to which I added the extra ‘splatter’. Not overdoing the splatter effect was possibly the hardest part: there’s a lot of blood & violence in ‘Macbeth’, but not that much…

The original piece is 500 x 150mm: the background and crown are acrylic on canvas, with lettering added using the Gimp, an excellent freeware programme similar to Photoshop.

First sketch of 2015


I’m finding that I look for a greater variety of subjects these days. This is a study of a tram which used to run close to where we live. Most people think of a tram as urban transport but this was nothing of the sort: I particularly liked the list of things which can be carried, which has a section saying “Unweaned piglets can be carried in the cages provided, weaned pigs are not permitted”.

Pencil and paper, 250mm x 170mm


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