A couple of years ago, I drew a rough of this for one of the exercises in Drawing Words and Writing Pictures and, as I’m using it in an article, I’ve enjoyed working on a final version. I traced my rough (below) in pencil onto layout paper, then scanned and added the colour in Photoshop. I’m reading […]
Detail from the background of a wartime family photograph, of which more later. A Google search reveals that the poster; Your Inner Man warns youMeat needs Mustard dates from 1940.
There seems to be an extra burst of activity amongst the goldfish this afternoon, centred on the face of the octagonal pillar of a tank nearest the centre of the room. The tail end of a feeding frenzy perhaps after their daily dose of fish food.You’d think that they’d recognise me by now; this is […]
It’s a shame that I broke a tooth but at least it gives me chance to take a close look at the goldfish in the tank in the dentist’s waiting room. I notice that each goldfish has a small, stiffish looking flap in front of each of its eyes, perhaps adding some protection or alternatively […]
Some nature writing, Mark Cocker warns us, ‘like medicine, needs to be consumed in small doses’ but his Field Notes from a Small Planet slip down so easily that you’ll be tempted to OD. His portrait of the wilder side of Claxton, a Norfolk village, like his favourite jazz improvisations, builds ‘steadily, patiently, minutely in […]
Fleabane, Pulicaria dysenterica, grows in the meadow areas by the ponds at Old Moor. Its ragged-edged flowers are giving way to furry clocks of achenes. An achene is a dry fruit. They might appear to be seeds but, like any fruit, they have a covering, it’s just that in this case the covering is dry, not […]
It’s turned cooler so I get a chance to draw a male common blue before he becomes active. Birdsfoot trefoil is one of the foodplants of its larvae. There’s a hint of violet in the blue of its wings. Common blue females are brown.
Here’s the book that I wish I could have read forty years ago but which is equally welcome now as a way of reassessing the way I work. Darrel Rees, an illustrator turned agent, looks at the nuts and bolts of the business with plenty of solid advice on invoices, contracts and agents but he brings his story to life with glimpses of his […]
Wader scrape hide, 1.30 pm, 59ºF, 15ºC, breezy with occasional showers ‘Here come five pandas!’ quips one birdwatcher, and he’s right, the belted Galloway cattle that form part of the little herd here have same pattern and the panda’s barrel-like rotundness. The herd move from island to island across the lagoon, like a scene from […]
Watercolours of purple loosestrife, jointed rush and yellow rattle at the RSPB’s Old Moor reserve near Barnsley. Richard Bell experiments with a sketchy and a more meticulous way of painting the reeds around a pond.