Colour, back by popular demand…


Rather poor qualiy image of the mural at the end of the Friday afternoon session. This was a completely revised drawing: #4, I think, t´with the ‘quadratura’ effect rather better emphasised than in previous versions. All the pantiled roofs and stone/whitewashed walls are blocked in.

The large grey shape top left is an airship flying frankly dangerously low over a populated area. Painting in the engine will be interesting, especially as I have no clue what a real airship engine should look like but never mind, people are enjoying the process and feel able to join in, which is the main thing…

More to come next week, along with shadows and texture, but right now all I want to do is sleep…


And now in colour, briefly…

The mural is progressing:


This is now a historical document: the mural here was a ‘first attempt’ to see how we could mix colours and apply them on such a big area, so to the horror of several people I pulled it down and threw it our this week, and drew a new design directly onto the wall. Photographs will follow as soon as there’s something to see.

First perspective


Most of what passes for ‘art’ these last weeks were for the class art project  I got roped into last year. People wanted a sketch of Stuttgart, but after making the more iconographic buildings things got a bit art deco and Steampunky, partly to give a slightly more optimistic feel than you’d get from looking at the back end of Stuttgart as it really is, and partly because then no-one can say I got it wrong. I also have to design it so that everyone can be involved, so a lot of the city will be fairly simple shapes so that we can give people three colours and instructions on how to make base colours, highlights and shadow.

I still haven’t managed to get the Quadratura effect quite right, and the ‘cafe’ sign looks a bit lost. On the other hand everyone agreed to the idea, although that was probably because they knew they’d have to come up with another one if they didn’t.

Now I have to make a more detailed version ready for a projection, and a second window “with more forest and trees and stuff…”

Over by Christmas?

3-ferry-designsThe blank canvas on the wall in the dining room is getting on my nerves so I’ve been working on thumbnails again. I think the middle image is the best compromise between my goals and abilities. I still dislike the way the jetty to the ferry is flat, because tidal jetties will by definition be a slope, so I’m still wondering if I can make a slightly more realistic version of this picture.

On the other hand, a slightly inaccurate but completed image will be a lot less annoying than a half-painted one, so anything is an improvement on the current situation…


S’ Quadratura, right?

You know when you realise you should have just kept quiet?

As part of our Occupational Therapist course we have art projects, and each class is supposed to make a mural for their classroom. This is quite a welcome idea because our classroom is a concrete fridge looking out onto a busy main road. It is dark, sterile, and apparently houses a breeding colony of spare tables.

We were divided into groups to make proposals for the murals, and told which walls were possible candidates (not the one with an ugly mural on it already, sadly) and off we went.

One issue we have in the college is a lack of space to relax, so we put two and two together and decided that the mural should be something to make the darker end of the room look a bit brighter and more airy and a place you could enjoy being in. As we have a coffee machine in the corner we went with the flow and said it could be a cafe.

So I was told to draw a sketch, which I happily did, on the basis that it kept me busy.

The group liked it, or possibly just didn’t want to draw an alternative, so I was told to make a more detailed sketch. This time I was worried as I knew what would be involved if the design was accepted, and in particular who would be expected to make the picture.

They liked that too. Then someone suggested a skyline of Stuttgart viewed through the window using the method known as Quadratura

And someone else who I will one day force to eat my paintbrush said “Yeah, sure. Andy could do it.”

I know I’ve painted pictures before, but I’ve no real training whatsoever, and this is massive: about 2m by 4m (Ca 6′ by 12′).

And that’s just one. Current plans are for there to be two or possibly three ‘windows’ across the entire dark end of the room.

Looks like I’ll be busy over the holidays…

Improbable truck.


For your steampunk freight transport needs, a two cylinder steam truck. With certain user modifiications. Thoroughly impractical of course, but that never stopped my before. The business around the real wheel should be rodding, similar to what you’d see on the side of a steam locomotive. I think I’ll need a bigger version to make that happen though.

Every time I post one of these, I think “One month less to go until graduation…”

No-tech Laptop


A sketch of a ‘Captains writing desk‘ I considered making for my final project when I was learning to be a cabinet maker. The project had to include at least one drawer with traditional sliders, and a ‘hinged element’.

Despite this being marvelously steampunky, with all kinds of possibilities for adding brass and leather elements, I honestly couldn’t think of any situation where I could use this, and it was too complex for a project that should last no more than two weeks, so the design went onto the ‘nice to try, one day’ file, which is getting bigger all the time…