Sunday, 30 July 2017


One of my favourite places in London; Richmond Palace in Richmond. We were a bit early for the cinema (Spiderman Homecoming) so had a lovely walk along the river with all the colourful boats and up the palace's back lane with the high brick walls, through the palace courtyard to the village green.
It is one of the loveliest places in London. This tudor gatehouse of the palace is also one of my fantasy homes. I must explore more in the back streets of Richmond, there are some interesting old churches.
Trying to do perspective and bolder colours and shadow here but not sure how I like this. Brick should be more red and maybe more detail and texture.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Green Tomatoes

Trying out a haiga, which combines an illustration with a seventeen syllable haiku poem. Thought this might be a fun way to combine drawing and poetry. I bought lots of coloured inks to experiment with from the art shop. This is black and two shades of green. I was trying to improve my composition and the light and shade too. My tomatoes are coming on well but not ripening yet and it rained heavily on them today.
I have been gradually getting back into art over several years and trying to develop. My tips for this include: try a new medium, try using a bigger scale, try going mono for a while, don't be afraid of failure or of messiness, look at other art a lot, try new subjects. 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The backs of things

Another back of house project. This is Sutton House, an Elizabethan house in Hackney. A wonderful house in a fascinating area of London.
Stylewise I like the atmosphere of a gloomy children's book illustration which could be from the victorian books I enjoyed as a kid. Using crosshatching and ink washes here to get lots of colour and texture. Like this technique, might have to buy more inks.

Saturday, 8 July 2017


I drew a pineapple. I am keen on mono ink drawing at the moment. Pineapples are fun to draw as they seem to be everywhere decoatively at the mo and have lots of interesting detail.
This also alludes to my keenness on summer cocktails. Today pina colada, made with fresh pineapple. Yesterday watermelon dacquiri made with fresh watermelon. For a dacquiri, liquidise fruit and mix with the juice of one lime and two measures of white rum. Delicious in the heat we are enjoying in London.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Curtain Street

Curtain Street in Shoreditch. An attractive group of three c18th and c19th buildings surviving on a huge building site. Fun to draw in messy ink with their grungy personalities and little details.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Vintage Joys

It is no secret that I love vintage clothes. From the ogling of displays in the V&A to my local charity shop. And finally I have found in London a contender to rival the fabulous Armstrong's Vintage in Edinburgh. 
Paper Dress Vintage is a small but perfectly formed shop in Hackney, East London. It has a small but perfectly formed collection of vintage from the 30s to the 70s. I am so sick of vintage shops that only stock 80s and 90s stuff or badly madeover things at elevated prices. The prices range from about £30 to about £150 but this is the real deal, gorgeous vintage dresses from slinky Thirties evening wear to outrageous 70s chiffon caftans. Nothing is sized because vintage sizes are totally different so you have to eyeball and then try on. A lot was too small for me, but not all! Things in larger sizes included a purple 50s wiggle dress (came home with me) a 60s navy designer dress with back buttons and a 60s  green and purple dress in a mindbending print.
Other good vintage destinations include the fabulous Hammersmith Vintage Fair (superluxe) Notting Hill has some great vintage and designer vintage and I want to check out a wee shop Circa Vintage in Fulham. Charity shops in London are brilliant for modern second hand and many specialise in posh brands and designer. I also want to check out some vintage repro shops such as the famous What Katy Did, purveyors of historical style underwear. 
Places to avoid include Camden Market, reams of overpriced tat, relieved only by some passable menswear and vintage shops in touristy areas which can be tacky and overpriced.
The search goes on...