Tag Archives: illustration friday

they’ve got cars big as bars

1936 dodge ram

I stuck around the Harvest Fair in Santa Rosa on Sunday afternoon, sketching old cars, getting a red sunburned neck in the process. The cars belonged to members of the Antique Automobile Club of America and ranged from old 1920s Fords (the sketch of which is in the previous post) to more modern classics from the 80s. I am not a car person, not a gear-head in the slightest, but I absolutely salivate at these classic designs. Partly because for me they represent the classic America; as I said to one of the old fellows I spoke to, this is how I imagine American cars – enormous, long, sleek, magnificent, with fins and curves and power and elegance. Of course, you get here and it’s all beige Toyotas and testosterone-fuelled SUVs, and they all look the same, no matter the car-maker, a bit of a  let-down. These beauties make up for that.

The blue 1936 Dodge above reminds me of Daddy Warbucks. The red 1958 Chrysler Saratoga below, of which you can only see the rear end, reminds me of Biff Tannen. That was a long, long car, and a wide one. There’s no way that would fit into a regular parking spot at Target.

1958 chrysler saratoga

I really liked this green Oldsmobile 88, from 1954. I really liked the old-fashioned license plate.

1954 oldsmobile 88

This is also my entry for this week’s Illustration Friday, the theme of which is transportation. And what transportation!

careful now

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The Jaws that bite, the claws that catch.
Beware the jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious bandersnatch.

IF: caution

Been a while since I drew an Illustration Friday, so here is one, on the theme of ‘Caution‘. I was in the office during lunchtime, because I didn’t want to go outside (it wasn’t too hot, in fact it was very nice, I was just feeling agoraphobic, which isn’t good for an urban sketcher), I was listening to the BBC world service, and decided to draw the little contraption I use to remove staples, the destapler (I don’t care if that’s not what it’s really called). To me, it is the single-most scary item in the office. Yes, the automatic shredder may do more devestating damage, and I never touch the insidious ink toner if I can avoid it. But this little thing bares its big sharp teeth, like a little metal piranha, or a futuristic nano-crocodile. It could just be posturing, trying to mark its territory. Either way, you should treat such frumious bandersnatches with caution. And that’s my illustration.

pete folds none

10, can't fold clothes

#10 of 30. Folding clothes is really really difficult. Look, I’m not setting out to write the message that ‘anything is possible if you put your mind to it’, I’m sure that’s true and I can vouch for it, in some areas. Don’t tell me that practise makes perfect. But folding clothes is flipping near impossible to get right, at least for me. It’s like magic, I mean I am always constantly amazed at it, the spectacle never wears off, to the point where I don’t want to know how they do it. I don’t go to the theatre, I just go down to the Gap and watch them fold t-shirts.

I don’t really. But you know what I mean. Maybe.

that’s no moon

that's no moon

They call it the Death Star, but it’s too angular, and has no superlaser. It is home to some highly powerful people on campus however. I personally am not a fan of this building, Social Sciences & Humanities. Oh, it looks nice from afar, that huge angular, er, angle, which is supposed to represent the slope up to the Sierra Nevada mountains (yeah, hits it spot on, obvious really). But I have been lost many times in this gawd-forsaken labyrinth, up and down concrete passageways and open stairwells, and doors that no-through-doors. It is honestly like walking through an MC Escher painting. I find it an absolute Impossibility. Which, funny enough, is this week’s Illustration Friday topic, so this is my entry.

I sat outside at lunchtime (despite many sneezes, and the attack of lots of bugs – probably x-wing bugs) and drew this on the field in cobalt blue copic. The trees are still bright and spring-like.

my fleeting mind

IF: fleeting

Illustration Friday this week is ‘Fleeting‘. This is Fleet Street. This could be Call My Bluff or it could be the Dictionary, Illustrated. Speaking of the Dictionary, Samuel Johnson, ol’ Sammy Johnno, me ol’ mucka, he used to live round the jack horner from ‘ere.

A sketchcrawl day today on which i could not sketchcrawl; i contemplated leaving the house for a bit but just couldn’t make it. I blame the hay fever. Big congestion. But I’m up and still drawing, somehow, inside and late in the evening, finishing off my Kwak that I’ve saved since Belgium, and tomorrowing Easter. No egg jokes. But I did manage a couple of golf jokes today while the Masters was on (I’m only allowed golf jokes once a year). One guy had two bogeys in a row; he probably has hay fever too, i said.

name that toon

alan shearer

This week’s Illustration Friday theme is Talisman; my entry is football legend Alan Shearer, former talismanic striker for Newcastle Utd, and their new (temporary) manager. What a career he had: Southampton, Blackburn, Newcastle and of course England.  These days, his beloved home-toon club is in absolute turmoil; I thought being a Spurs fan was a hard ride. Now Shearer is in charge, can he keep them up? Will he be a talismanager?

For my American friends: Alan Shearer was an absolute goal machine in the nineties, but you might not know about him because he didn’t marry a pop-star or have a girl’s soccer film named after him (“Run Away After Scoring and Point in the Air Like Shearer” never made it off the storyboard). He was in that film ‘Goal’ though, which also featured cameos by both Beckham and Zidane. I know you’ve heard of them.

in the city of blinding lights

vesuvio & city lights

This is the one I began sat in North Beach outside City Lights, but abandoned after drawing the outline when it started to rain. I did most of it at home with a photo and plenty of time (and a roof over my head). It is one of the best spots in the city; indeed, one of those really cool spots in the whole world. City Lights is an important San Francisco bookshop, most commonly associated with the Beat poets (presumably they were called that because they were tired the whole time?), and a bastion of progressive politics.  Right next door, just across Jack Kerouac alley, is Vesuvio: a colourful brewpub that also trades on its historical Beat clientele.

I went there after visiting Specs, an old old place packed with junk and people just across Columbus from here. Very nice atmosphere, and they do a lovely Anchor Steam.

Drew this in copic multilner 0.3 and 0.1, cobalt blue. And I nearly did the whole thing. But I decided not to complete it. I heard somewhere that leaving something at 75% is often better than going for 100%. With this drawing, I felt that to continue would make it look overdone, and I think I’ve made the right choice. This is also my illustration friday submission for this week (been a while), theme of ‘subtract’, because this is columbus avenue with part of it taken away.

there might be a parallel universe


Ok. Thing is, I wanted to draw the new apartment in a kind of tryptich (or is it triptych?), and so I did, in three sepia blocks, each of which I’m showing separately here, along with the whole thing, and for bad measure, a photo of me holding the book (while watching ‘spaced’).  

my left hand

And this is also my entry for Illustration Friday this week (theme: ‘similar’). Our new apartment is very similar to our last one – it’s on the same complex, has all the same fixtures and fitting, but for one big thing – everything is reversed. It’s like walking into a mirror, but I like it inside this mirror, I much prefer it. even if there are more bugs (such as a centipede crawling up through the plughole – do I not like that!)

zweiI was inspired because this week I got back my sketchbook from August’s Art House Co-Op Sketchbook Project, the theme of which was “How to Save The World”. My little book, which you can browse here, was filled with drawings of our own little world, the apartment where we spent all our time. I was saving the place I lived in, in the sense of recording it, so that in years to come I might look at it and say, yes I lived there, I remember that. Now we’ve moved I can do that already. And I can compare drawings of the new apartment to the old. The kitchen (above) is the other way round from how it is in this picture, for example. Even the hot and cold taps are reversed, not that you can tell, but I still get it wrong.

 The first frame shows the baby monitor. Baby was sleeping soundly. That is, not making much of a sound. The second frame shows Mr Salt, the saltpot, and his lover Mrs Pepperpot. Mr Salt has very big trousers. He is either grossly deformed or carries a lot in is pockets (perhaps he too is an urban sketcher?). dreiI think Mr. Salt is Dutch, but he comes from England. He is also into the lost practise of trepanning. You can also see the Christmas Tree, put up last weekend, hopefully out of the reach of little mischievous hands (I don’t mean those of Mr Salt, whose hands are stuck to his trousers). The final frame, looking over at the CD tower and the music players and the calendar of new york city, has a bottle of the local Sudwerk beer in it. This is purely decorative. I was actually drinking a cup of tea, but thought a beer bottle would look better. I pulled it from the recycling. I like Sudwerk, the Märzen variety, it’s a nice German style amber beer brewed just down the road from bei uns. One of the things I really like about living out here in the American West are the micro-brews – not as big a thing on the East coast. Back in London, we have the pubs alright, but I way prefer the beers out here. You can see also a Micron Pigma pen on the table; you can’t get those in England either (or at least, I couldn’t). Incidentally, I drew this in a copic multiliner 0.1. 

So this is home. Not quite the same as the old apartment, but very similar.