king kenny

kenny dalglish

This is Kenny Dalglish, current manager of Liverpool FC and unquestionably an Anfield legend. He returned last year as manager almost two decades after leaving the post, two decades in which Liverpool had not won the league title, 1990 being their last one (and that one being under Mr.Dalglish). His tenure at the second half of the 1980s saw perhaps their best ever team, which if English clubs had been allowed to play in Europe surely would have had more big trophies to sit on. First (and only) Liverpool manager to win the fabled ‘Double’ back when it was a rare and coveted acheivement (these days we barely bat an eyelid at a double, Chelsea won it two years ago, remember?), and that was as player-manager. He was also arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player. Even as a Spurs fan, I’ve always liked King Kenny. These days he presides over a team unable to break back into the top party, despite new US owners, and, because success must be instant these days, is therefore under pressure to be, well, Liverpool famously do not sack their managers. They always ‘leave by mutual consent’.

This weekend sees the FA Cup semi-finals in England, and while my main focus will be Sunday’s all-London tie (Spurs -Chelsea! Come on Tottenham!), Saturday will see a Merseyside derby, Liverpool vs Everton, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. It’s even more poignant that Kenny, manager on that tragic day, is leading this current team into that match. Anyway, this is King Kenny, a true football hero.

I drew this in my Stillman and Birn gamma book with micron pen and watercolour. To the non-footy followers of this blog, who may not have read this far anyway, coming soon will be sketches from my new house (been a bit lazy on the scanning front…)

in the city of blinding lights

roberto mancini

Roberto Mancini (which is Italian for Robert of Man City), or at least a close approximation, drawn in the Stillman and Birn gamma book, mostly in copic multiliner until it decided to give up on me. I have been practising drawing Mr Mancini, but still I haven’t quite captured his eyes; they’re too dark, too intense, as though Tevez is giving him evils. Still, this is progress, not perfection, and I’ll keep practising (until they sack him). I have a soft spot for Mancini. I was a big fan of his as a player at Sampdoria (my Italian team preferisco back in the giorno). And he’s a good looking fellow too. After all the untold riches City have had heaped upon them lately, I suddenly felt sorry for them when United went top recently; City fans are long suffering, and to be pipped now would be gut-wrenching. They look destined, despite winning every single home game, to ‘do a Newcastle’. (Notice how I’m not talking about Spurs nbeing pipped into 3rd by Arsenal. Lots of pipping going on.)

you’re mitt, and you know you are

mitt romney

Yesterday was Super Tuesday. I’m not sure why it was so Super, it didn’t exactly fly by. A really Super Tuesday would be one where the next day turns out to be Saturday or something. That is the epithet they give to the day when lots of presidential primaries – in this case, for the Republican candidate – happen at once, therefore making the eventual nominee appear that little bit more clearly. The eventual nominee (Mitt Romney, above) has not emerged very clearly as the eventual nominee (though he will be), with the race still very much open for Rick Santorum (yeah it won’t be him) and Newt Gingrich (no, no it won’t be him either). Ron Paul is still in it too, apparently, though he really looks like Magneto. Personally I think they’re all nuts, and not very Super. Less-than-Fantastic Four? Mitt has a bit of Reed Richards going on with those grey bits, and he’s certainly the most elastic of all of them. Santorum I suppose could be the Preacher (except Jesse Custer is the epitome of cool while Santorum is clearly off his trolley). Newt, well he already sounds like a sinister twisted mutant super-villain (not his name Newt, just his, you know, personality and politics).

So it’s going to be Mitt Romney, isn’t it. At least we can look forward to such headlines as “Romney You Plonker” (well, maybe in the English papers). Now seemed to be the best time to draw Romney though, if only to capture that hair, because after November I would either have to wait another four years for him to run again, or he’ll get elected President and be completely grey by June.

HB Pencil in the Stillman and Birn gamma sketchbook.

worldwide sketchcrawl #34, let’s draw davis

sketchcrawl 34 davis farmers market

On Friday there was a massive rainstorm in northern California, with flood warnings and downpours so loud I could barely sleep. “But Saturday is the sketchcrawl!” I sighed. Not to worry – it all magically stopped, and the sun came out and the world warmed up and what a lovely day for sketching. It wasn’t a massive group, but it was a fun day sketching by the farmer’s market. I always sketch more slowly on these events, because I spend a lot more time talking while sketching, but that’s one of the fun things about sketchcrawls, meeting and sharing experiences with other like-minded folk. I started by sketching the other sketchers:

sketchcrawl 34 marlenesketchcrawl 34 jennica

Above left is Marlene Lee, sketchcrawl regular and an inspirational artist; right is Jennica Forrest, who I met on the last sketchcrawl at the community park.

sketchcrawl 34 leahsketchcrawl 34 morning

Above left is Leah Jin, who I know from UC Davis, and above right is Morning Waters, an artist from Fair Oaks, California on her first Davis sketchcrawl. Nice to meet you!

This was the day of the 34th Worldwide Sketchcrawl, and people in cities the world over were out braving the cold to sketch their cities, and be part of a global sketching community. Check out their results on the sketchcrawl forum...

More Davis sketches to come!

what a catalyst you turned out to be

uc davis student general assembly crop
After the Pepper-Spray, the reaction. UC Davis students, faculty, alumni, staff, all have discussed and debated last Friday’s events, while Chancellor Katehi, who has been called on to resign, has publicly apologized and started a series of dialogues with students, something they feel they did not have before. The camp is back, bigger and much more organized, and peaceful, civil protest is the order of the day. No signs of police around, though there were quite a few Facilities trucks casually dotted about campus. On Tuesday lunchtime’s General Assembly, which preceded a town-hall event in the evening, students debated the role of the chancellor among many other things, as they tried to bring the focus back to what they were originally protesting, the recent large hikes in tuition. I recorded this important event for UC Davis in my sketchbook. A photo of me sketching even emerged later on Twitter:


(photo courtesy of Kirby Araullo)

I couldn’t resist sketching more, as the Occupy UC Davis camp grew, so I came back today (Wednesday). As my sketchbook came out, the Chancellor arrived, bringing food to the protesters. I took the opportunity for some people sketching, and while she spoke to a small group of students, along with a set of news reporters, I sketched her. She got to see it, and I think she liked it (she did comment on the nose though) but she was pretty busy so I didn’t have her sign it. As I sketched, another student questioned her on a range of issues, so I sketched her too (she’s below left; Chancellor Katehi is below right).

at occupy uc davischancellor katehi of uc davis

One news reporter who I recognized from local TV, Chris riva, commented too on my Katehi drawing, so I asked if I could sketch him. I’m not sure he liked the sketch, but I had him sign his name on it. I’m glad I did; I thought he was Dale Schornack! (another local TV news guy) Whoops. He’s below left. Below right is someone who just happened to be there, Anna-Lisa from Chronicle Books. She saw me sketching in my Moleskines and, since she works for those who distribute Moleys, gave me the brand new Moleskine pen! I’m yet to use it (it’s apparently designed specifically for Moleskine paper, but doesn’t take a watercolour wash).
chris riva of kcra newsanna sandstrom of chronicle books

There were lots of people from outside UC Davis who had come along to see events take shape, and offer support and solidarity to the students. The protests are gathering in strength, and much-needed dialogue is finally taking place. I hope it all stays peaceful and productive.

sketching the urban sketchers (part 3)

isabel fiadeiroagnes bolley

Final batch of Urban Sketcher portraits…I wish I’d sketched more! Quite a lot of people who afterwards I was thinking, oh wish I’d sketched him, wish I drawn her; maybe next time! The two above though were done in the very early hours of sunday morning (see the time-stamp!) at Cafe A Brasileira, after the Symposium had ended. I was out late there sketching with Liz Steel, Paul Wang and Lee Peng Hui, when Isabel Fiadeiro and some others came in, sat down and straight away it was a sketch-off! A bit like gunslingers in the Old West in an old saloon, Urban Sketchers are quick on the draw. (How cheesy, I can’t believe I just said that…)

(Above Left): Isabel Fiadeiro, USk correspondent in Nouakchott, Mauritania (but originally from Portugal), one of the organisers of this year’s event, I met her last year in Portland. (Above Right): Agnes Bolley, an artist from France.

luis ruiznina johansson

(Above Left): Luis Ruiz, USk correspondent from Malaga, Spain. It was a highlight of the symposium for me to meet and sketch with Luis, his subtle but powerful work is among my favourites. (Above Right): Nina Johansson, USk correspondent from Stockholm, Sweden. I’ve followed Nina’s work for years, very influential. I took her workshop ‘Unfinished Business’, though I never got a chance to actually sketch with her.

inma serranoisaac

(Above Left): Inma Serrano, USk Spain correspondent from Sevilla. She had this tiny sketchbook made into an earring that sketchers contributed to (I drew a tiny fire hydrant, what else!). Sketched at lunchtime near Rua da Bica, she was sketching me at the time. (Above Right): Isaac, from Spain; I didn’t get to speak to him other than to ask his name but he had a great profile to sketch! 

ea ejersboliz steel

(Above Left): Ea Ejersbo, USk correspondent from Aarhus in Denmark, sketched while out at dinner with other urban sketchers and her husband Reza (a great guy!). I’ve followed Ea for years, I really enjoy her drawings and the fact she’s from Aarhus, as I visited that city a couple of times many years ago and loved it.  (Above Right): Liz Steel, USk correspondent from Sydney (alongside Borromini Bear, not seen in this picture). Liz is one of the most well-known Urban Sketchers and it was great to sketch and hang out with her in Lisbon, having first met her in Portland last year.

daniella rodriguesmarina grechanik

(Above Left): Daniela Rodrigues, USk Portugal sketcher from Lisbon who I spoke to during the Light of Lisboa workshop. Finally, (Above Right): Marina Grechanik, USk correspondent from Tel Aviv, Israel, sketched at the same dinner as the pistures of Ea and Liz. Marina even tried to draw holding the pen the way I do!

And that’s it! Well, I have more sketches from Lisbon to be posted, but these are all the people I drew. Some I drew in my watercolour Moleskine, but most were drawn in the London/Lisbon ‘Volant’ Moleskine, the small red one that looks like a passport.

sketching the urban sketchers (part 1)

I sketched a lot of people in Lisbon, more than I usually would. It’s nice sketching other urban sketchers, especially those you have followed for a while, as you’re capturing them in the flesh in your own little sketchbook. Some were done out at dinner, or lunch, or while sketching, or in the lecture hall. Here are some…

gabi campanarioevening in bairro alto

(Above left): Gabi Campanario, founder of Urban Sketchers and USk correspondent from Seattle. (Above right): Jason Das, USk correspondent from Brooklyn, New York, sketched while eating dinner in the Bairro Alto district.

pedro cabraltia

(Above left): Pedro Cabral, USk correspondent from Lisbon. I hadn’t met Pedro before, he is a really nice guy. (Above right): Tia Boon Sim, USK correspondent from Singapore. Both sketched during the correspondent’s dinner. I met Tia last year, she’s an absolute inspiration.

alvaro carnicerocristina urdiales

(Above left): Alvaro Carnicero, USk correspondent from Cordoba, Spain. (Above right): Cristina Urdiales, USk Spain correspondent from Malaga. Both sketched during the correspondent’s dinner. Great to finally meet these two as I’ve enjoyed their work for ages.

alanna randallomar jaramillo

(Above left): Alanna Randall, USk Portland correspondent from Portland, sketched at the morning meet-up. I met Alanna last year in Portland, so it was nice to see her in Lisbon. (Above right): Omar Jaramillo, USk correspondent originally from Ecuador, sketches all over (most recently Newfoundland, previously UAE and Sicily), sketched at dinner at Kaffeehaus on rua Anchietta. Really enjoy his watercolour style!

More to come!!!