Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Another weekend, another European capital! My early childhood was spent in Scotland & I've always wanted to return. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city with stunning architecture. Regrettably I didn't get time to draw the famous castle but I'll go back.

At the Modern Art Museum I was struck by the paintings of Anne Redpath. Terrific colours & almost naive forms. There was a pertinent quote from her about exaggerating architecture.

Along The Royal Mile.

We visited the National Gallery of Scotland to see 'Turner and Italy'. He was hugely influenced by Italian landscape & art, making four trips to the country in his lifetime, resulting in dozens of paintings & countless sketches. On one trip he filled 23 sketchbooks! Several were on view. They were packed with exquiste little studies of landscape & architecture.
You can browse Turner's sketchbooks in the Tate's online collection.

Finally some airport people & the ubiquitous bagpipe player.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I spent the long weekend of Easter exploring Prague with Kris & Dave-two colleagues from Aardman. It's one beautiful city, the architecture is stunning. I didn't get too much sketching done but managed to squeeze in what follows between meals, cabarets, sight-seeing & surreal encounters with the 'night-folk'. It happened to be my 33rd birthday too so we celebrated every night with many exotic drinks and I would draw through the hang-over the following morning . . .

The Old Town Square was heaven to draw in-I got down the astronomical clock & a quick sketch of the gothic Tyn Church.

On my birthday we headed 40 km out of Prague to find the famous Ossuary of Kutna Hora. It's packed with thousands of skulls & bones, many of which have been used to create macabre decor. The centre-piece is an enormous bone chandelier-tackling all the detail in a drawing was daunting but I had to try.

That evening we ate in a medieval banquet hall where we were entertained by fire-breathers, duelling brigands, belly-dancers with snakes and a dwarf pirate who put Kris in thumbscrews.

The next day we visited the Alphonse Mucha museum. There were dozens of his exquisite art-nouveau poster designs on show, alongside preparatory drawings, lithographs, oil paintings & sketchbooks.

The Cathedral & Prague Castle

The western end of Charles Bridge

It was an enlightening trip & a fine way to celebrate my 33rd birthday. Only an hour & a half flight from Bristol it's very tempting to return soon to capture more of this charming town in my sketchbook.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Life Drawing pt.2

Here is a selection from last week's session.
Warm up sketches of my fellow artists & the robed models.

I think there were 6 models that evening-in the short pose section we had 3 to choose from at one point.

There will be a break in the life classes now until the end of the month then a new 10 week course begins, so more in May.