Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chat & Chateau

I made this for the 2015 In the Round fundraiser at Graven Feather in Toronto, which runs until the end of November. Each participating artist received 3 plywood disks, the size of a CD, to embellish as they pleased.

The picture was inspired by one of my favourite childhood illustrators, the amazing Peter Spier. His books enchanted me when I was young, and to be honest, they still do. His simple but evocative landscapes, inhabited with happy children and sparkling architecture, inspired in me a desire to see a world I was too young to even know existed.

My illustration ended up more sombre than its inspiration would suggest - but that often happens in my drawings. But hopefully someone will look at it and wonder where that road leads.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Field House, Compton

Long evening shadows across the fields of the Surrey hills, in England. The Field House of the title is a late Victorian pile, just visible through the trees.

I drew it with a fine Pigma Micron pen, and a Copic brush pen.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


“Apropos of sleep, that sinister adventure of all our nights, we may say that men go to bed daily with an audacity that would be incomprehensible if we did not know that it is the result of ignorance of the danger.”

So wrote Baudelaire, in the translation read by H. P. Lovecraft sometime between 1919 and 1922. It inspired a creepy gem of a short story, which, although it displays some of the faults of Lovecraft's prose (but thankfully not of his personality), is also evocative, sinister and in its own way perfect. You can read it here. It's very short.

It's Halloween, hence this picture. It is on display in Toronto at the Graven Feather, 906 Queen st. West, November 5th to 28th. For the last two years, I've illustrated terrifying tales from history - this one is merely from literature, and therefore less frightening. You can see the others here and here.

I didn't try to represent a precise scene from the story, but rather suggest its events. Here is a body contorted in nightmare, its identity effaced by the placid mask of the Greek god Hypnos, or Dream.

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.