Before I dive into the Manchester posting I thought I would jump back to the present day (Manchester was like less than two weeks ago) and show you some of what I’ve been doing since I got back. Here is Davis Community Church, on 4th Street, sketched while squeezing the curving perspective lines to fit the image in. In truth I wasn’t actually squeezing them – this is how they looked from where I was standing. As you get closer to a building those parallel perspective lines to curve more. I have wanted to redraw this building for a long time so this was a fun way to do so; after taking Paul Heaston’s workshop in Manchester I realized I need to squeeze in those perspectives even more, to get the bigger picture. I had just gotten my hair cut (finally! it was too long while I was in Manchester, too long for me) and the weather was hot but not bad. My body was aching and tired still after my trip back, my back being still a bit stuff from the cramped journey across the Atlantic. Although I complain there’s nothing left for me to draw in Davis, it’s still nice getting back to the old familiar streets.
While in England, I went with my Mum, my sister Lauren and my nephew Sonny to the grounds of Knebworth House, in Hertfordshire. I had never been before. It’s very nice. There is a maze, and some incredible wooden goblins and fairies and things carved into tree stumps. You would like it. We never went into the house itself though.
What I liked most though were the dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Trail winds through some of the woodland area, and those dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts are in some cases enormous. There are 70 of them in total, and so my nephew and I started to draw them. Here he is below, sketching a Scolosaurus. He did a lot more drawings than me – the speed of youth, eh! – but I sketched a few of my old favourites. On the left there is a Corythosaurus, which I didn’t colour in. I used to have a model of a Corythosaurus when I was a kid, I remember gluing it all together, and I loved it. I really loved dinosaurs. My son for example thinks they’re ok, but whenever we go to the Natural History Museum he is usually more interested in rocks and geology, that is his passion. When I was little, it was all about those dinos, man. I still have some of my old dinosaur books, with their out-of-date depictions and dramatic paintings. One of them was an Elasmosaurus, which they did have a model of at Knebworth, but I sadly did not draw. Those things were terrifying. Below though, probably my favourite dinosaur, the Styracosaurus. Any animal that can have that many spikes on its head is a friend to me. It looks like Keith from the Prodigy. It’s a total fantasy creature.
Below, the old lovable Triceratops. The original king of the Ceratopsians. My horns face forward, laughing boy, so don’t get cocky or you’ll find yourself turned into a Tyrannosaurus Kebab! They both have those big parrot-like beaks. Hey I tell you who does know a lot (and I mean a lot) about dinosaurs is the fellow who made an appearance in my last post, Paul Heaston. He once even made an amazing model of a feathered Deinonychus (another of my favourite dinosaurs). Here is an interview with him from 2012 on the fantastically-named website “Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs“. Up in Manchester, another dinosaur-loving artist Lapin mentioned to his “Cars in the City” workshop (images posted soon) that all sketchbooks should contain a car…and at least one dinosaur. I agree. DINOSAURS RULE!
Incidentally, today happens to be 20 years to the day that Oasis played their massive enormous gig at Knebworth. I never went to that myself (I never did see Oasis live, though a massive fan – I saw the Sex Pistols at Finsbury Park in ’96 and it was great but totally did me in for big music crowds). Lots of old rock bands played Knebworth over the years, the Rolling Stones, Led Zep, Genesis, and above are some drawings of some other old dinosaurs.