track 1, side 1 of album 12

Page 1 of Moleskine 12

Page 1 of Moleskine 12. I wanted it to look impactful, and so I wrote ‘Davis CA on the page and the next day I went downtown at lunchtime to sketch a typical street, maybe 2nd St. It’s so sunny these days though and the shade was too great so I moved into F st and drew Armadillo Music. I drew the whole thing, except for some detailing on the tree, in my lunchtime, and added the colour at home. Armadillo is an independent record store in downtown Davis, I exhibited there a couple of years ago at the Art About, famous local singer Rita Hosking performed, lots of people came and it was a great experience. Always nice to have independent stores like this, but especially records stores. So, first page of a new sketchbook, let’s see where this particular illustrated journey takes us!

little piece of prague

little prague, davis
Little Prague Czech restaurant and bar on G St, Davis. I like this pub. They have nice Czech beer. I’ve drawn the inside of this bar many times over the years (it’s rather sketchworthy). You can see a couple of my Little Prague sketches in An Illustrated Journey (or of course here on my blog). The outside is nice to sketch as well. I spent the morning watching Oz, The Great and Powerful (lots of fun!) and spent the rest of the afternoon looking for a downtown spot to sketch. I have drawn this exterior view before but these lovely pre-Spring trees are too irresistible. I most of it stood out on the street, but had to get home for dinner, so finished off the colour later on.

eleven’s end

end of moleskine 11

This is the last drawing inside the sketchbook I call “Moleskine #11“. It is in the back inside cover, and shows some of the physical souvenirs from this particular grapho-temporal voyage. I took to numbering my Moleskines early on, though to be fair this isn’t really #11, if you include all the other types of Moleskine sketchbook, diary, notebook etc I have. This is my eleventh Watercolour Moleskine. Well, of this 8×5 size. What I’m saying is, this is the eleventh in a series of same-size sketchbooks. These sketchbooks tend to be my ‘alpha’ books – all of the others are for certain things, side projects, or when I want to try something else for a while. For a good chronology though (and I want my biographical record to be chronologically correct), the trip from Moley #1 is one worth exploring. I’ve definitely improved a lot, and developed my way of drawing, my type of urban sketching. Choices are different, preferences evolved, but still it’s all a learning process. What I like most is that I don’t really know what it will look like by Moleskine 15. What will I be into then? Along the same lines of course, but it will be different, sometimes subtly, sometimes massively. Or will there even be one? I considered stopping at nine, a nice round Nazgul-like number. Therefore stopping at 11 is not a good idea, no no no that would never do. So I am on #12. Twelve is perfect. Twelve is the best number we have. In English it’s the last number before we start saying ‘teen’. Sesame Street’s best numerical songs were about the number twelve (come on, you know they were). The European Union loved being at twelve so much that it kept twelve stars on the flag, even though the number of members increased. Eleven is pretty cool too though. I grew up in a number 11 house. Alors, Moleskine #12 has already begun, but you won’t get to see that just yet.

Here are the first eleven though, from 2007-2013. An illustrated journey indeed…

Moleskines 1 - 11

And in this Flickr set, you can see the whole of Watercolour Moleskine #11.

an illustrated illustrated journey

An Illustrated Journey
As mentioned in a previous post, I have recently had the immense honour of being included as a featured artist in Danny Gregory’s latest book, “An Illustrated Journey“. And here it is! I got my copy recently, and have been poring over each beautiful page, inspired by not only the pictures but the words of the great keepers of sketchbooks inside. So much to read, but every time I do, I just want to get up and draw stuff. So I drew the book itself, on the last regular page of my watercolour Moleskine…
Here is a sneak preview of some of my pages. To see the rest, you’ll need to get the book!
An Illustrated Journey
An Illustrated Journey
Many thanks once more to Danny Gregory for including me in this book. You can get it from your local bookstore (which I recommend), or you can order it from Amazon here.

I hope you enjoy it!

march madness

davis downtown calendar

I am Mr March! I was downtown the other day picking up some Davis brochures for an event at work, and was given by the lovely people of Davis Downtown the 2013 calendar, featuring the works of twelve local artists. I hadn’t seen it before, so I was pleased to discover that my Orange Court drawing was used for this month! Nice long old month too (good job it wasn’t January or February, or I’d have missed it). Pretty nice, huh!

let’s draw springtime in davis

let's draw davis march 2013
Join us for another sketchcrawl in Davis, California! It’s Spring, the blossom is out, and it’s time to head back to the UC Davis Arboretum ( We’ll meet at 11:00am at the Arboretum Terrace, which is a little garden area next to Whole Foods, at Davis Commons (the corner of 1st st and Richards). From there we will go to the Arboretum proper, either in a group or individually as you prefer, and sketch all afternoon, meeting up again at 3:00pm at the Wyatt Deck, on the south side of Lake Spafford.

This sketchcrawl is free and open to anyone with an interest in sketching. Feel free to spread the word! All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on.

Facebook Event page

Hope to see you there!

roses are red


Roses! More flower drawing. These were for my wife’s birthday, over a week ago (they are lasting pretty well), and I drew them with brown uniball signo pen in the Stillman and Birn ‘Beta’ book. I have been saving that book for a while but finally cracked it open, and it’s very nice, lovely thick paper. I watched the movie ‘Brave’ with my son while drawing these, that’s a good film.