ladies and gentlemen

Remember when I drew this scene while sitting in Alamo Square back in July? No? Well I did (here it is to prove it). And here is the same scene again, drawn this week, but in sepia wash. The ‘painted ladies’.  

alamo square, sepia

Drawn on a 5×7 canson watercolour postcard with a copic 0.1 pen and cotman watercolours. And a whole lotta love.

à la maison

Another one in copic and sepia…this is my mother-in-law’s house in Santa Rosa. It’s in the historic Luther Burbank district. He invented lots of plants.
oak street

As you can see, I’m still doing the whole tree in front of the frame thing. It’s becoming my thing.

it’s chriiiiiiiiistmas…

Christmas has come to Davis. The christmas tree was lit on Thursday amid a crowd of about sixty million kids (there or thereabouts) with all sorts of festivities going on, santa, carol singers, candles, etc. My ten-month old loved it, particularly the person dressed as a dinosaur. I came back next day to draw it; I’m not one for big crowds (me being from, you know, London), so you’ll just have to imagine what it was like. But here is the tree, on the E street plaza, as seen from the window of Chipotle across the road.
the davis christmas tree

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.


these vagabond shoes

A short video from my sketching outing in New York City last month. Do not even dare sing Englishman in New York while watching it. I posted this on Urban Sketchers. Thought the world might like to see it. I suppose it’s technically a ‘Making Of…’ documentary. Reality TV, Fly on the Wall drama (or, as you will see, fly in the beer).

 liberty wall street west village the empire strikes back bxl cafe start spreading the news

thousands of colours all fade into one

leaves everywhere

The Belfry on A street (the street of the indefinite article). The colours of a blooming autumn (or whatever other expletive you wish to use). We are now foggy and grey so these enormous splashes of colour make a a bell will ring inside your headworld of difference. I have drawn this building before of course, back in March, when the leaves that are now in the autumn or even winter of their lives were barely even buds. And look, I have drawn vehicles; I daresay there were probably vehicles parked here in the original, but I peteshopped them out. At least you can see the building in the original though.  

I don’t know if there are any bats in this belfry. I remember when I first moved to Davis, and I read online about the bats of Yolo county, and how rabies was endemic in them. Yeah, that didn’t completely scare me. Funny things, bats. Their leathery wings always, for some reason, remind me of Lovejoy.

because you’re mine, i walk the line

just unnoticed

Part three of a series. Presumably this means I will have to make more. This is the outside of a very famous station. Well it’s not that famous but many thousands of people have heard of it, maybe millions. More people over the course of seventy years have heard of it than, say, Jordan and Peter Andre. And they’re pretty famous for not doing anything particularly noteworthy. I suppose you could say this station has spent it’s entire life on the line. The Northern Line. Anyway here it is in line and wash.