Sunday, March 20, 2016


Drawing fast with a Copic marker. The model couldn't hold her arm up for long.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Near Sisteron

A few years ago I spent a few weeks cycling in Provence. A few day's ride up the Durance you may find the absurdly dramatic town of Sisteron, and adjacent (just across the river, in fact) to it this small burg. Beyond it, the beginnings of the Cottian Alps.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

life is good

Sitting on the bench with a good book (it may have been The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony), under the window on a sunny day. Not a bad thing at all. I didn't have time to draw the window or sun, though.

Drawn from life with a pencil, in around 30 minutes.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

a world I know

Here's a drawing that came out well. It's of Harriet, who generously volunteered at the Arts Project when the scheduled model failed to show up. I made it with a Pentel brush pen in around 20 minutes.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The professor in orange

Taking a break at the office. I made this with a Pigma micron, a Copic brush pen, some pencil crayons, and orange tissue, which I glued on.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

scones for one

I made this sketch from life at the Locomotive Espresso cafe in London, Ontario.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

long day

I made a very quick drawing of Tarragon - in a somnolent posture - with a china marker, and then added watercolour later.

Monday, February 8, 2016

tyranny for you

I drew this from life with the Toronto drawing group the Collective, using a Copic brush pen. And a red marker, obviously.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Drawing a view of Siena

Siena, as I have mentioned more than once, is one of my favourite cities. It combines variety with consistency in just the right degree. I made a large drawing of the city's core, including the zebra-striped tower of the cathedral and the hulking skeleton of the never completed duomo nuovo. The sightline between the two trees originates at Santa Maria degli Servi, another of Siena's many churches - one I have depicted before.

This is just a detail of the original, which measure around 20" square. You can see the whole thing here, and in situ on instagram.

I used a variety of drawing media, starting with a pencil outline. Then india ink, via brush and dip pen, Pigma micron pens, my beloved Pentel brush pen, and a china marker. The drawing is currently on display at the Locomotive cafe in London, Ontario.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

in the student lounge

I drew this from life in the student lounge. I was using a Copic brush pen - you can see from the line quality (especially on the chair, which I did last) that it was running out of ink.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fennic Fox

When our daughter was born, my wife and I were very fortunate in the support we received from many many friends. When it came time to send out thank-you notes, I made up a series of animal-themed cards. This was one of them.

Friday, January 29, 2016

illusion of transparency

"The novels that attract me most," Ludmilla said, "are those that create an illusion of transparency around a knot of human relationships as obscure, cruel, and perverse as possible."

- Italo Calvino, If upon a winter's night a traveller, 192.

I drew this from life with a Pigma micron, a Copic brush pen, and a china marker.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


One day I made some small linocuts and printed them out on newsprint. It was a rough and hurried process, and I don't think I have any of them left. This one was about as big as the image on your screen.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

don't be thinking that

A sketch of Kathleen done with a Copic brush pen. It's nice to have a clothed model for a change.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

dirty dog's heart

Drawn from life at the Arts Project in London, ON, with a Pentel brush pen. It took around 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

the young curator

A beautifully restrained woodcut by Tarragon Smith. Note the woodgrain visible in the pictures on the wall.

Monday, January 18, 2016

under the lonely moon

A drawing made in about 20 minutes using a Copic brush pen and some china markers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

tree and Saint Peter's

I drew this in a matter of minutes, standing in the window of the Vatican Pinocoteca. There was a Raphael near by, but sometimes real life outweighs the greatest masterpieces.

You can see the arch and stairway reading to the garden pavilion begun by Pope Paul IV in 1558, now known as the Casina Pio IV after the later pope who competed it. In the distance, the huge dome of Saint Peter's, and between them a beautiful pine tree that deserves a name of its own - to judge by its size, it may be as old as the buildings.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

drawing in the dark

A homage to jet lag. I had just arrived in Italy, from Toronto, and sleep was out of the question. So I walked out into the night, crossed the Arno on an easterly bridge, and strolled up into the hills. I had with me a pot of india ink, a nib and pen, and an old brown sketchbook. It was enough.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

rest your voice

A pencil sketch of Tarragon, pausing between songs. As much as I love to draw clothes, I hate musical instruments - their shapes obey a logic of their own that denies them easy compatibility with the people who carry them. In pictures at least, because in pictures depicted objects have a much closer and more causal relationship to each other than real objects do in space.