Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nicole horizontal

Some people are bad at staying still and Nicole is one of them. Hence the missing leg.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gordes - in progress

I'm currently working on a large drawing of the complicated medieval hill town of Gordes, in Provence, France. I visited a few years back and was fascinated by the heap of interconnected buildings that rise almost organically from the yellow stone.

This is a slice of the drawing, showing the pencil lines and also the beginning of the inks.

Since the drawing isn't finished, I haven't scanned it yet - this is a snap from my tablet camera. I cleaned up a lot of the noise, but there's still a lot of noise in the image.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

some hands

I like to start drawing sessions by concentrating on the hands. They combine all the difficulties of the body into a single, conveniently small, unit. Once you feel comfortable with hands, the rest is easy.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Castle Mane, in Provence

On a warm day in May I cycled from the village of Gordes to the small town of Forcalquier, across the Luberon, and enjoying along the way some of Provence's more rugged terrain. Just before Forcalquier I passed through the small community of Mane.

From the point of view of someone interested in Medieval architecture, Mane has two things: the beautifully atmospheric Priory of Salagon, and the much less distinctive castle. I made sketches of both.

Forcalquier was effectively the capital of an independent state for much of the middle ages, and the castle at Mane guarded the approach to the city. It was seemingly built in the 12th century, and expanded many times thereafter.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


I drew Kristin from life with a china marker in the kitchen of a grimy residence in Siena, Italy.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Annihilation of Time and Space

Tarragon painted a series of the landscapes visible from the window of a high-speed train. Travelling from London to Paris, he was struck by how the broad spaces of northern France were reduced to an impressionist smear by the speed of the train.

The pale form in the left hand sky is a reflection on the train window.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Plate and a Haiku

When shadows are long/ Dim is the day/ In the valley of dawn

My haiku are always in translation so they rarely meet the traditional syllable requirements.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

it's not so easy

Drawn in about ten minutes with a big thick marker.

Birthday Card for K.

I was trying to come up with a birthday card without any historical significance. Patterns are fascinating, not the least for being much simpler taken apart than put together. I put this together by making a series of squares of three different sizes. Making them line up gave me a moments pause. When I took it apart I realised that the whole thing was just a single zig-zag mirror imaged on itself.

There are multiple colour versions, but this one today as it is a birthday card.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2 men and their ciggies

It was Pride week here in London Ontario (yes, we're a little late), so here's an illustration for the occasion. I made the pencil sketch some time ago, but only recently got around to working it up in ink and colour.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ciao Corto

A drawing inspired by the redoubtable Corto Maltese, hero of the eponymous series by Hugo Pratt. I don't often do fandom-related pictures, but there are exceptions.

The drawing began in black ink, and was finished with photoshop.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Many critics and artists have observed that partial nudity is far more titillating or eroticized (or indecent, if that's your perspective) than full nakedness. This drawing does nothing to disprove the point.

It was drawn from life with a black micron pigma pen.

Friday, July 17, 2015

old cottages

A row of 19th century cottages on the street known only as The Avenue in the village of Compton, near Guildford, in England. I walked out with sketchbook and markers, and sat on the grass to draw.

About forty minutes in, an inhabitant of one of the cottages came out to offer me tea. It was very kind of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

two women

Drawn from life with a Copic brush marker at a Keyhole Session in Toronto, Ontario.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015


Antonia posed in the studio I shared with some other students in Florence. The windows faced south, and the hot Italian sun provided a nice raking light that threw her body into sharp relief. The painting took about an hour - you can see that I began with a pencil sketch.

The odd shape to the right is part of a plastic lawn chair.

Friday, July 10, 2015


A quick portrait of the historian Daniel, an expert on the religious culture of 6th century France (or Francia, as it was called at the time).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Working on a drawing

A look at a big and complicated drawing at the inking stage. With pictures like this, I usually draw  out the whole composition in pencil first, before setting pen to paper.

You can see the finished drawing here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


This is not the only picture I've made of Siena, or even of the Basilica di Servi in Siena, but it might be my favourite. It's an etching, made on an aluminum plate, but based on a pencil sketch I did on site.

The colour comes from chine collé, a technique in which a thin sheet of paper - hand tinted tissue from Japan in this case - is pressed into the paper support of the picture by the etching press.

The picture was etched and printed at the Open Studio in Toronto.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sketching the sketcher

I've made a lot of portraits of Tarragon over the years. Here I took the opportunity to draw him while he was drawing a still-life of flowers. It was done with a Copic brush pen, and probably took 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jacki and Rob, unfinished

An image that shows my usual procedure for pen drawing, in which I delineate the forms of the body, and then the shadow lines on the body. Next, I would start filling in the deep shadows, but the pose ended before I got that far.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

next to the Guggenheim

Years ago, I went to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice with my art class. Here's a very quick sketch of the canal outside the entrance, and few classmates, done with a dip pen and india ink.

The gallery was selling the small ceramic version of Jeff Koon's Puppy sculpture. I wish I had bought one. It would have made a great umbrella stand.