“i’m leavin’, on a jet ski…”

toy robber

This is the Robber, which came with the jet-ski as part of my son’t Playmobil Police Helicopter set. It’s great fun in the bath; that little metal thing at the bottom helps it stay upright and afloat. It’s funny how we know he’s supposed to be a robber because he is unshaven and wearing sunglasses (footballers and movie stars beware); I’m surprised Playmobil don’t make a little Hoodie, with a little toy Staff. Maybe for their ‘run-down estate street corner’ set. Maybe the title for this post should be ‘Thievin’ on a Jet-Ski’. This was drawn in Copic 0.05 multiliner in the small WH Smith sketchbook (one page until that one is finished!).

The  fire-truck below however was sketched in my large ‘Urban Sketchers’ Canson sketchbook, from last year’s Portland Symposium. I realised that I’d not sketched this in a couple of years, since my son first got it at his great-grandma’s up in Oregon, and though it’s pretty beat up it’s his favourite of the fire trucks. I sketched it while watching some ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ cartoons on tv, and wasn’t really paying attention when drawing the wheels – oops – but the rest is all where it should be.

toy fire truck

Finally, I drew this a week ago or so, but another of the toy cars (and amazingly a toy that isn’t red). It’s the ‘muddy’ Techron car. These ones are fun to play with, and were given by his cousins. Plus every time we watch the San Francisco Giants play, they show up on a billboard at the edge of the field.

toy muddy car

To see more toy drawings, go to my Flickr set “Toys“. Drawing toys is a really great way to remember a fun age!

that was some rescue

toy speedboat - sorry, 'rescue boat'

My son’s beloved toy ‘rescue boat’. I knew this was a winner when I got it at Toys R Us, only ten bucks. But it’s a rescue boat, definitely not a speedboat. Hey, three-year-olds know best. He always corrects me when I play with his fire trucks – “no daddy, not ‘woo-woo-woo’, it’s ‘nee-naw-nee-naw’!” Different fire engines make different siren noises in his world, but hey, he’s the expert, he should know. Jeez, before long it’ll be, “Daddy, Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language, don’t you know anything?”

the wheels on the bus go round and round

toy bus

Yesterday was Drawing Day 2011. I had intended to do a big complicated many-windowed much-detailed drawing, but never really made the time. I did draw my son’s toy bus though, while he was eating lunch. This is from London and he loves double-decker buses, which he calls “ducker-buckle-bus”. I love the side of the bus, “We Go Everywhere”. And apparently they do – From St.Pauls to the London Eye via Oxford Street and Madame Tussauds? That’s a roundabout route, for sure, but good for the tourists.

take my car and drive real far, not concerned about the way we are

red car (front)

At my wife’s nephew’s graduation party in the countryside outside Santa Rosa, there was a great old car in barn, a Volkswagen I believe, but a snazzy red sports car nonetheless. My son enjoyed playing in there (“mind your fingers, daddy!” he said as he closed the door), and I had my WH Smith sketchbook in my pocket, and could not resist a couple of quick sketches. I want to sketch more old cars. On the same day was the annual Peggy Sue vintage car even in Santa Rosa, but I missed that. Maybe next year! 

red car (back)

this is gonna be messi

champions league final 2011

That was a very good final. No honestly, it was – sure, the second half saw the far and away best team in the world close their grip on – oh my – the very mighty Manchester United like a crocodile and a kitten. But these were two great teams capable of greatness, but with one being really really good at keeping the ball. Almost like a chess player who doesn’t allow the opponent to start any sort of move by closing off every alleyway and keeping all knights on the rim (or at least those knights not all over the tabloid papers). When Rooney hit that magnificent equalizer, I thought it was game on, and the second half would be a titanic battle. The moral of the Titanic however is that the iceberg always wins, no matter how great the ship. Barcelona are the best team in the world and one of the best in history, and deservedly so – they haven’t been cobbled together last minute with a massive chequebook like a Man City or Chelsea, and you really get a sense that any of the players can do something unbelievable. That midfield team of Xavi and Iniesta will go down in the history books, we will tell our children about them, and then to top them off with the ever-brilliant Messi? In a season when Cristiano Ronaldo scored over fifty goals in a season, something not ever done before in Spain, Messi then did the same. Manchester United are the deserving champions of England and Ferguson rightly in place as perhaps the greatest British manager of all time, and it was nice to see him give a smile and congratulations to what is obviously a legendary team in Barcelona. I’ve never ever seen Manchester United have only 30% possession in any game.  I remember the great final of 92 (I loved Barcelona back then but Sampdoria were my favourite Italian team too) when Koeman scored at the old Wembley, for their first ever European Cup (and a year after Man United beat them in the Cup Winners Cup final), the ‘Dream Team’, in that great orange away kit. In that team was Pep Guardiola, manager of the current Dream Team. With this final being at the new Wembley stadium, with fate involved there was only going to be one winner. I’m glad I watched it.

Now I’m in footy withdrawal – what will I do all summer? Watch the MLS??

ding dong, the witch is dead…

obama osama news

Wow, it’s great to be actually paying attention at the moment a Big News night suddenly happens. I just happened to notice on Twitter that the President was about to give a live speech, nobody knows what it’s going to be about, and so we turn on the TV, and they say “Bin Laden is dead”, which is one of those headlines we had expected for years but had started looking unlikely. Eagerly anticipating Obama’s speech, I got out not one but two sketchbooks (my little ‘people’ moley and my small wh smith sketchbook).

osama news may 1 2011

Wow, what News that is. People are out on the streets of America waving their flags, and it’s not even a Royal Wedding. I wonder if Trump and all them will need to see the death certificate? (That joke is already old) It appears Bin Laden wasn’t in a cave, but a big mansion, and nobody knew; did it have a name? ‘Dunterrorisin’?  And more importantly…does this mean we drink cans of Pepsi Max on airplanes now?

imperial garbage truck

"garbage truck"

This is my son’s new AT-AT. When he first saw one (its brief appearance in Return of the Jedi) he called it a ‘garbage truck’. It makes perfect sense – it sounds and moves just like one, and to a toddler the connection is obvious. The name has stuck and I’m glad, I always disliked the name AT-AT when I was a kid (but we still said that rather than ‘Imperial Walker’, which is what they’re called in the film, because ‘AT-AT’ is what it said on the box, and Hasbro boxes tell no lies). I remember getting mine for Christmas when I was a kid, it was like the best thing ever, but the little plastic guns kept snapping off. This is the ‘Galactic Heroes’ version, which I must say is really cool (and a lot sturdier). Sketched in blue Micron pen in my WH Smith sketchbook (first sketch in that book in a year and a half).

nailing it down

nails by tam, 3rd street

This place, ‘Nails by Tam’, is found on 3rd street in Davis, way down near L street (aka Linguistics Street, as per my street re-naming rules). This is the first drawing from Watercolour Moleskine #5. Actually that’s not true; this is the second, but I haven’t finished the first one yet, on page 1 (it’s of shoes, if you’re interested). But this is the first posted. I drew this yesterday on a quick cycle downtown. I had to draw some urban on Urban Sketcher’s first birthday. It was fairly warm and I had to chase the moving shade of a telegraph pole in order not to get sunburnt (haha, it’s November, folks back in England).

I have drawn this place before; it’s very sketchable.  The last time was back in 2006, when I coloured it in watercolour pencil (see below). I think it’s nice to see how my style has evolved and improved over the past three years. But I do like the effect in the old one.nails by tam

down by the levee

the edge of davis

I fancied cycling tonight, before the Sun went down, so I went down to the very edge of town, to the levee, a spot I’d never actually been to before, though it’s right near where I live. You can see all the way to Sacramento, across the flat Yolo landscape. Not in this drawing, but it is there. The moon (also unseen) hung low and pink, in the east. Some interesting birds hopped about nearby. All very peaceful. The sun started to vanish so I cycled home.

Sepia micron 05.