Thursday, 8 December 2011

Frosted window panes...

Chrismas is coming...only 9 days until I arrive back in Edinburgh! So I put that wonderful, fuzzy, festive, feeling to good use and decorated my window with lots of paper snowflakes:

There are 32 in total, one stuck in each square of glass and then three strings of four are hung by the curtain pole in front of the pane. So anyway....need to think about finishing my Christmas shopping soon!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Back to the Birds

The latest finished piece from the Bird series: A2, red biro on grey paper

Happy days

Today has been the best day in a long time...


1. Skype just randomly started working and I got to see mum and dad for the first time in AGES!

2. I have been catching up with a very old friend who I hadn't spoken to in years and it feels like no time has passed at all. I can't express how wonderful that is.

3. My day has been full of drawing, lots of speed sketches ranging from 5 - 20 mins each.

Here we have a quick sketch of James, spent 14 mins on it to be exact. Just pencil on paper.

Later I went back to a using my slightly uglier style of drawing. Drew this pic of Jamie in 10 mins, used several different photos as reference and just kind of made it up as I went along. I really enjoyed drawing it and found it incredibly easy, I think he's got such a great face too so was really chuffed when he volenteered as a subject for me! He did a great self portrait of himself in first year at art school which I will never forget - think it's still my fave art piece I ever saw in my time at DOJ. I wonder what became of it.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Thionville, France

We've had some lovely weather that past couple of days so I took advantage of it by going walking by the riverside with friends. I think the best walk was today because we found some COWS! They are absolutely beautiful (as you will see in a moment) so I think I'm going to head back there with my sketchbook tomorrow if the sun is out again.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Because I didn't want my eyes to pop.

Today I took a break from drawing because my eyes were stinging from having to work so hard recently (all the concentration to tiny detail is hard work for them!) it really reminded me of stressful 4th year days! So what did I do instead? Well it was raining outside so I stayed home and tried to brush up my grammar a little.

My French just seems to suck and trying to make it all stick in my head just seems really difficult. Sometimes I think I don't have a real brain and my head is actually just packed full of giant slabs of lasagne.

I tried to sort out my website a little bit tonight but I'm not sure it was all that successful. I really feel I'm lacking my more colourful work but I'm not sure painting is much of an option here so might just have to wait 'til December. I guess I could check out pastels or something. We'll see what ends up.

This is a little taste of what I was working on yesterday, it still has a fair way to go yet but it's interesting working in red instead of black for a change. I'm in two minds about what to do now. I am feeling really keen for some drawing but it's just after midnight so should I be going to bed instead? Decisions decisions. It is the holidays...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Chin up son.

Well once again I have just sat at my desk and drawn all day long while listening to music. I can't think of a better way to spend a day. Despite having spent the day in such a nice way I am a little fed up. I think it's mostly just for the same reasons as in my last entry.....I finished another picture and it's just not that great. So it's stupidly frustrating.

Here it is anyway:

So I like the bird coming out of the mouth rather than cracking out a different part of the face just because I think it's just easier to imagine the pain or something. It's a more realistic image so I think it's easier to connect with.
I went back to using a large bird, it works much better.

At least my room is starting to look a lot more like it should...

I already know exactly what I want to start on's going to have a change of colour! You'll have to wait and see what that will be though.

So now my wall is looking a little bit fuller and I hope this continues!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Just have a little..........patience!!

I have had a nice day. I never left the house, just sat at my desk drawing and listening to music. Here is how my pic looks now. It needs a little more work but I will leave it as it is for a few days I think and come back to it.
I worked on it for part of the morning and then in the afternoon I drew out the begining of a new portrait.

I feel like life is a very slow process at the moment:

I want to improve my French.
This takes time and effort.

I want to improve my drawing skills.
This takes time and effort.

Everything takes so much time and effort. I wish I had more patience.

Monday, 17 October 2011

t i r e s o m e

Today was a tiresome day.

The kids were all a little hyped up during the lessons and then I had two and a half hours to kill between classes so it felt quite long. I spent my free time finishing off my lesson preparations for tomorrow....and then at about 8.45 tonight I got a phone call from the teacher saying the lesson is going to be different so I now have to find new topics for tomorrow instead. Slightly frustrating but not the end of the world!

At my school in Yutz it seems there are some older dudes who work at the school and watch over the kids during break times and in the corridors etc. I'm not sure but I think they might be quite close to my age maybe? I would really like to chat to them and find out because it would be great if they are! But I don't know if I will get much chance to or not since we seem to have quite clashy timetables. Who knows.

Ah well, here is a little update on the drawing front:

A nice little view on the left there of my usual work space....pretty green eh? Also notice the makeshift drawing board made from the cardboard box my fridge arrived in! Dear oh dear, it does the job though so Ican't complain. The drawing itself has a fair bit to go yet, as soon as it's finished I'll crack straight on with the next one, I'm really keen to just improve my drawing skills as much as possible while I'm here since painting isn't really an option.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

A break from the Birds

Alongside the Bird work I have been practising some figure drawing. I've been trying to work on my speed skills so all the drawings were 5-15 mins. For the first two I used posemaniacs - what a wonderful, wonderful tool. I spent about 5 mins on each.

Two quick sketches of James here, the one on the left was a 7min pose from life and the other was a 15min sketch from a photo since we are now in different countries.

To be honest I really should have fixed the eyes in the right hand side one....I was being a little bit lazy I think!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Looking at Birds

So I haven't been on here in a while...I have been busy moving to France! I have been out here for about two weeks now, living in a small town called Thionville. It is right up at the Luxembourg border and has a population of about 40,000. I have been working in Yutz and Guénange four days a week, six hours in each Collège, this has left me with plenty of time to do art and also a little exploring!

On the art front I am still working on bird stuff. To be honest, I really just wish I was back in Scotland working on my art 24/7 in my own studio and organising an exhibition space for myself to get cracking on with! But alas, that's not what has worked out for me so let's just hope I get to do that when I am back next spring and in the meantime, get on with working here instead.

Here's a little extract from my sketch book from just before I came to France:

Ok you might be thinking that's a little bit weird. I would agree. I think it's pretty strong imagery though. I am interested to hear or see people's reactions. I showed it to James alongside some similar drawings and it was interesting to see what he got from them.

Maybe in the past I just never really knew what I was trying to communicate, but in this project I really feel like my thoughts and everything that's inside me is being expressed better than if I were to try and use words. It's a really weird thing.

I'm not going to tell you what it's all about, I don't like spoon feeding the viewer. I'd rather you looked at it yourself and gave it some thought first.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Goodbye to August

Work is over and I am free! :)

Been sketching away in my books and a new roll of A0 white paper arrived on my doorstep yesterday so I'm getting ready to draw all over that too. While I have been drawing I have been listening to a lot of music which has been really nice.

Top 10 songs at the moment (roughly speaking and in no particular order!):

From the album Torches, I really love Pumped up Kicks as well.

I love Everything Everything so much! Have been unable to stop listening to them all year, never get sick of them. Not sure I really have a favourite song of theirs to be honest but I really like the jumper he wears in this video so there you go. The song is from the album Man Alive, if you don't know it you should give it a listen. It sounds like discos in space.

I avoided listening to this band for a very long time, what a mistake. This is definitely my favourite song of theirs, I think it is from their newest album.

Taken from the album Angles, it is my favourite song to listen to in the car at the moment. I am not fussed on much of their older music but I really like this album.

I hate that most of these links are not to proper videos, sorry! There isn't a lot I can do about that though. Keane may not be the most popular choice but I listen to them a surprising amount! There is always at least one song of theirs in my main playlist and it seems I have finally moved on from Crystal Ball to this one here. Really love the album Night Train, the other song I particularly like from it is Your Love - reminds me of strange mix of 80s disco and the piece of music from Mulan when she decides to pretend she is a man...

Again I love the whole album but I think this one may just slightly sneak ahead as my favourite. I don't think I'll ever get sick of these songs either.

From the album Acolyte. I am quite new to Delphic, Amazon has been trying to make me listen to them for ages but I didn't give them very much time. Now that I have listened more properly I have fallen in love with this song.

Not sure why I have been listening to this one recently. I just have.

Normally I'd be rooting for The Whitest Boy Alive more than Kings of Convenience but I like the lyrics to this song and it's so catchy it is always stuck in my head.

Before Latitude my favourite song was Silver line but after seeing them live I have moved on to Who Cares What the Question Is because it was so good when they played it! The video for this one is much better than their others.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The start of something new

It appears I am still working with white ink, graphite and tracing paper layers! I really had my heart set on painting but inspiration struck and sadly it just didn't ask for paint.

Monday, 15 August 2011


Well the last few months have been crazy busy...I have finished my degree show, graduated, moved out of my flat and I finally have concrete plans for the next year! I have accepted a post as an English assistant in France which will run from October until April so that is pretty exciting. It is about 12 hours work a week so that should leave plenty of time for art and exploring as well.

It has been hard to fit much drawing or painting in around all this hectic nonsense but I have a few days off at the moment so I am trying to get as much done as possible. In the meantime, here are some pictures from my degree show since I never got round to putting them up earlier.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

What a feeling!

The show is finally hung, support work is set up over a couple of tables and the tutors are marking it right now. Yesterday was my first day of freedom and I spent it sleeping until 2.30pm and then I had a nap in the afternoon...think I was tired!
I'm happy with how my space finished up but sadly I never had enough room to hang all my drawings so I had to edit them out a bit. I will post photos up of the full show once it's open but in the meantime here is a quick snap to show how the drawings sit on the wall.

Monday, 25 April 2011


A0 white ink and graphite on tracing paper. Think there were about 5 layers of tracing paper for this one possibly. This is just a section of the drawing, not the full composition. It's a very difficult drawing to photograph because it's so fine, this is probably one of the best images for showing the detail. I will hopefully get better photos done at some point but I'll have to sort out lighting for them I think. This is the second A0 drawing I drew out, just never got round to uploading it before.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Some lighting experiments

Made some progress with the James drawing. For the above images I used two layers of white ink and tracing paper taken from the ink and card drawing. I have completed a couple more layers but I just laid them aside for these pictures and will come back to them later.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The begining of a James

This past week I have been working on a drawing of James...this is how it looked about half way through. Sadly real James is much less hairy now because he shaved and got his hair cut but the likeness is still there. This week I shall layer tracing paper over the top and draw into the negative spaces with white ink and then work into more layers on top of this. The original black ink and card layer won't appear as part of the finished piece.

Monday, 11 April 2011


Less than three weeks left in the studio is a little taster of what to expect at my degree show:

This is a close up section of an A1 drawing. It is made up of 4 layers of tracing paper and a sheet of card. On the layers I used white ink, masking tape and small amounts of graphite. I'm considering using this image for some of my postcards.

I'm afraid that's all you're getting for now. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Exciting news!

I now have my very own website:

I'm not very good with computers so that was quite an achievement and I have to thank James for all his help. I will add more to it when I have a spare minute but at least it's up and running for now.
We only have 8 weeks left until assessments (which may explain the lack of recent posts on here) and then it will be graduation...

I'll be back.

Monday, 28 February 2011


Proof that the world can look better upside down.