Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!

'Santacon' is a curious American tradition- one weekend in early December thousands of drunkards dress up as Santa (and elves, Christmas trees, reindeer etc. ) gathering on the streets of  San Francisco, generally outside bars or fast food outlets. The festivities begin around 11am and every Santa appears to be blind drunk by 3pm!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Gesture Book-last copies available

If you're looking for a last minute gift for the animation artist in your life I still have a few copies of my 'Gesture Drawing' book left for sale.  $20 each + shipping&handling.  Enquiries please email me at the address in my Blogger profile.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013


The spooks, freaks and ghouls were out in force early November for my favorite celebration of the Fall season -the Mexican Day of the Dead. Matt Cruickshank and I steeled our nerves, girded our loins, sharpened our pencils and unsheathed our Tombows to spend the evening sketching amongst the living dead.  


An evening with the Tiger Lillies- haven't seen them since 'Shockheaded Peter' played London-early 2000s. They played legendary San Francisco nightspot Bimbo's. Sketches & lyrics. . .
I saw Iggy Pop play a small gig in San Jose in October- still full of beans!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Here's a preview of an image I've working based on Tim Burton's version of 'Dark Shadows' .  I skipped the film in theatres because of its lacklustre reviews but recently picked it up on blu-ray.  It features all of Burton's usual tropes but it's beautifully photographed by Bruno Delbonnel and the production design is INSANELY good.  I became quite obsessed with it and watched it several times, sketching the characters to capture their likeness (a LOT of bee-stung pouty lips in this film).  The film is completely over the top and caricatured but hangs together better than Burton's recent output.

I still have to add two more figures but the triangular composition works well right now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


My old chum Matt Cruickshank and I made a geek pilgrimage to L.A. recently  to see master animator Richard Williams lecture at the Academy.  We stayed close to the ocean at Venice Beach and I was able to get out early and sketch before it became too crowded.
Below is the reverse angle of the street above

Somehow I've missed 'Muscle Beach' every time I've visited Venice- this time I was determined to draw the famous landmark. At Santa Monica Monica Pier I found the original site - below
Santa Monica

The Google office at Venice- enter through the binocs!

Cliff's Edge, Silverlake 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Gesture Drawing Class

I've  realized I haven't posted any sketches from Gesture Class since last year when I put out a book collecting my first 2 years of class sketches.  This year I've filmed some of the other artists gesture sketching and posted them to Vine.

Stanley Moore

Here's a selection of some of my own efforts

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Clement St.

Observational sketches made on location around San Francisco & Monterey, Northern California 2013.

'Clement & 8th-Inner Richmond'
Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai . . .

'Balboa Park MUNI'

'Haight & Clayton'

'Mission & 19th

'Rocket Man!'

'Noe Valley'

'North Beach'


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

El Mariachi

I see mariachis like this walking around the Mission looking for gigs. It's a tough life but they make more money here than in Mexico and send it home to their families. There's a revealing film on two San Francisco mariachi's struggle to survive  called 'Romantico'- you can find it on Netflix

Monday, July 01, 2013

Ronald Searle Fundraiser

I'm currently harassing every artistic, creative, cartoon loving, Searle appreciating friend and acquaintance (thank you Facebook!) to contribute original art to a project that's close to my heart.
I've maintained my Searle 'tribute' blog since 2006, subsequently got to know the great man himself and came to have a scholarly level of knowledge on his career and work. Now I'm living in the U.S. and following the Searle trail here I'm planning an exhibition of mostly unseen Searle work at the Cartoon Museum, San Francisco in November.  To compliment the show I'm working on a book collecting his entire 'American era' oeuvre - all the fantastic colour work he did in the 60s for HOLIDAY magazine, Look, Life etc.  I'm raising the funds required to ship original artwork, printing costs for the catalogue and generally put the show on.  I'm doing this as a labour of love and to raise money for The Cartoon Art Museum (a registered charity) and to bring Searle's work to an American audience.

I've made a special blog here showcasing all the incredible art I'm receiving from an international group of today's top animation artists and illustrators.

Here is my contribution with the 'rough' pass below. I will be contributing both pieces to the auction which will launch mid July.  The rough is in some ways more pleasing than the finished piece-looser, more spontaneous and perhaps more Searle-esque?

It's my interpretation of one of my favourite Searle characters Mr Lemonhart, who was part of an advertising campaign for LemonHart Rum which Searle illustrated throughout the 60s.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Becoming A Successful Illustrator

A couple of years ago I helped out the AOI's Derek Brazell with a chapter on Ronald Searle for his book Making Great Illustration.  Derek's new book is a guide for graduates entering the field and he just sent me the proof pages featuring my work!
The book will be published 28th June in the UK and 1st July in the USA.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Painted 'thank you' cards for friends