Lunchtime News

19th September, 2019 // No Comments

When: Aug, 2019
Duration: Half an hour
What: A man reading the newspaper
Where: Castle Park, Bristol
Details: During my lunch break this guy was keeping up to date with what “was poppin'”. Good sun = good lighting.

Chronicles of Colombia

31st May, 2019 // 4 Comments

A couple of months ago I was in Colombia doing a bit of reconnecting with family, improving Spanish and, of course drawing…

My new favourite sketchbook: Leuchtturm 1917

Santa Marta

My trip started in Santa Marta, on the northern coast of Colombia. A place of beaches and heat.


Pandora’s Head and Artistic Licence

12th November, 2018 // No Comments

Pandora’s head is not here.

Pandora's head


In my latest video (below), I finally give Pandora the head she deserves. She’s been waiting over a decade.

You may know that I often go out sketching and end up with unfinished drawings. This can be for a multitude of reasons; the person I’m drawing inconsiderately decides to leave, or I simply need to run away because they’ve finally found me. Regardless, I end up completing the sketches much later, usually after I’ve forgotten about them.

This often allows me to attack them with fresh eyes, and new perspectives.

Ignorance is bliss before


Ignorance is bliss after


Are you getting at something here?

When we are creating anything for ourselves, for our own enjoyment, we have artistic licence. That essentially means you can give a man tentacle arms if you want. Rules don’t control us, not any more.

Ol' tentacle arms

Tentacle arms is an obvious example of artistic licence, because I’m yet to witness a successful octoplasty in real life. The science just isn’t there yet. But artistic licence can be used in more subtle ways.

An example would be drawing a scene of a building that has no people in it, and deciding to add people to give it a story or some warmth. Or maybe deciding to add shadow to a scene you’re painting which is completely different to the shadow in the real scene in front of you. Why? Because it might make a better picture.

Lady standing in Water

Was there an umbrella and torrential rain, or did she leave before I could finish her feet?

You can choose to paint the picture as it is or you can choose not to. Some people like to replicate what they’re painting or drawing as close to reality as possible because they might see virtue in presenting it exactly as it was. Others might alter that representation of reality because they think the end result would be better. Neither is right or wrong. Just know that you’re probably not going to go to prison if what you’re portraying isn’t perfect or exactly as it is in reality. You have the licence.

New nose

Was he looking at an iPad or looking into a mirror at his new nose?

Back to Pandora

So here I am completing Pandora over a decade later. I don’t have the original source I drew it from so I am using, you guessed it, artistic licence. Enjoy…

As always I’d love to hear from you. Have any thoughts or questions? Let me know in the comments!

Copic Pen Shading

3rd November, 2018 // 8 Comments

Video Number Five

Another video was made! In this one, I chat a little bit about shading, specifically Copic marker shading. I take you through a quick process of how I shaded the image below.

Bread holding illustration showing Copic pen shading

The joys of bread

Copic Markers are a pretty popular tool for colouring artwork, and especially for shading ink drawings.  Continue reading…

Hands On T-shirts

18th October, 2018 // No Comments

A little story about some t-shirt designs

It started with a goal of getting better at drawing hands. Ask any artist and they will say drawing hands are one of the most frustrating areas of the human anatomy to make look right.

So I did a lot of sketching hands of strangers in cafes, from different angles and in different shapes…


Well, I’d been drawing all these hands, so I thought, ‘Why not do something about it? Can I take this subject matter and make it into something good enough people would wear?’ (more…)

Some New Drawing Videos

9th October, 2018 // 3 Comments

I made a couple of videos. One’s a tutorial video on warm up exercises for drawing, and the other is a speed drawing video. The quality of these will get better as I work out the technical stuff!

Have a watch and let me know what you think…

Drawing Warm Up Exercises


What You Need to Start Your Career as an Illustrator (7 Things) – UPDATED

27th September, 2018 // 16 Comments
What You Need to Start Your Career as an Illustrator (7 Things) – UPDATED

NOTE: I have updated this a little since originally posting it in 2015; I have now added point three.

I received an email a while back from another artist who was just starting out. He had a great portfolio of work but was unsure about how to launch off into the illustration world. Looking back, almost 10 years now, when I started out as a professional illustrator: I was a little naive and wasted a lot of time, money and emotion working things out.

I thought I’d offer these points for you to consider, with the hope they can help you avoid some of the pillow punching I went through, and ultimately streamline your journey towards making a career out of creating beautiful artwork for the world.


Small Head

12th September, 2018 // No Comments

Small head

When: Aug, 2017
Duration: Can’t remember
What: A woman enjoying her lunch and phone
Where: Tumbalong Park, Sydney
Details: Here is another sketch from that one Sydney park at lunchtime. I gave no respect to proportions here whatsoever, and I love the result. Her head and body are really small compared to her legs! If I’m sketching for my own pleasure I like to not stress about that kind of thing because I usually find it adds a unique (and often amusing) element to the drawing.

Hands Up

3rd September, 2018 // No Comments

I’ve been working on some hands lately. I wouldn’t say I’m “fluent” in hands, meaning I can’t get always get them right off the top of my head. But I feel I’m getting there.

I’ve been working on different hand gestures that put the fingers into some interesting angles.

When it comes to drawing anatomy and making it look correct, the role of shading plays an important part. Continue reading…

Bench Reports

28th August, 2018 // No Comments

When: Aug, 2017
Duration: Can’t remember
What: Man needing to finish the reports by lunchtime
Where: Tumbalong Park, Sydney
Details: I had a lot of time to kill and it was a nice sunny day in this Sydney park. It was lunchtime and many office workers were taking a break in the sun.

My eyes were drawn to this chap with the hair. I wondered how he must be overworked or have some sort of deadline, because why else would he be sitting on a park bench with his laptop on such a lovely day? It seemed a little sad to me.

I decided to crack out the graphite pencil to really hit home the darkness of that hair.


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