Thursday, May 31, 2007

life of a pen part 2 - page 6 

Hurrah, I don't hate this one. I even quite like bits of it (mainly wild staring eyes and big hair man down near the bottom).

Judging by the way the ink isn't yet down level with the bottom of the bar code label I would guess that we're at about the quarter way mark for this pen now (but regular readers will know how inaccurate all such predictions were first time around).

Click image for larger version.

packshot Thursday number 2: Pilot DR drawing pens 

No great surprise this one.

I've been using these fibre tip pens for many years now and although I play fast and loose with other models (Pitt artist pens, Pentel brush pens, Staedtler pigment liners...) from time to time these are still the staple tool of much of my work. Specifically I normally favour the 0.3 model (as worked to death in the original Life Of A Pen project). There's a lush rich blackness to the line they produce when they're brand new but I prefer them when they're just beginning to dry out a fraction and give a little more variation and texture to the marks they make, especially when used on, say, the 300gsm hot pressed watercolour paper of a John Purcell Paper sketchbook.

Mmmm. Ooh, that's good.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Jonathan Edwards has a blog (as of today).


©Jonathan Edwards

just a link 

No idea if the book is any good but the website advertising it made me laugh.

(via Neil Gaiman - hope I don't crash his site with all the additional traffic he'll get now...)

from the archives, week 2 

From A6 sketchbook number 1, circa 1992.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Those of you with Blogger accounts are encouraged to head over to the latest Fist-A-Cuffs competition (as presided over by the excellent Mr Sam Hiti) and vote in the various bouts going on there. This is only round 1 of 4 in the first of four divisions in an epic contest lasting over a month. I have a fighter in contention this time (though not necessarily in this division) so I'm taking a particular interest. I'm not allowed to say which fighter is mine but I was rather pleased with how he/she/it turned out.

If you have no idea what Fist-A-Cuffs is, well, just click the link and take a look. All will become clear.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

packshot Thursday number 1: Kasztanki 

Another new feature! Blimey!

In an unusual lurch toward blatant commercialism each Thursday I shall be featuring a product that I genuinely endorse as being A Good Thing. As I'm such a halfhearted consumer of Stuff (and generally have a world view summed up by the title of Blur's second album) this feature may not last long before I run out of Stuff that I like but there should be enough pens, jams, books and biscuits to keep me going for two or three months I think.

First up (mainly because I had to photograph them today because there won't be any left tomorrow) are these Polish Kasztanki chocolates given to me by Sandra Landlady as thanks for a small amount of dog care undertaken while she was away in Krakow (at least I think it was Krakow). They're, um, dark chocolate pralines I think and, while not overly sophisticated, they hit the spot pleasingly with a mix of unashamed sugary satisfaction tempered with a darker, more bitter undertone that lingers longer than the initial sweet rush. They're also extremely cheerfully packaged. And they're from Poland for heaven's sake (though they must surely be available around the UK too in some of the specialist emporia of Polish goods that are springing up these days).

I commend them to you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

from the archives, week 1 

New feature! Old art!

In an effort to post a bit more often I've decided to make Tuesday the day when I dig out something ancient and try to pretend that it's in some way worth showing to the world. So that'll be one post a week that's no great effort for me and quite probably of no great interest to anyone either but I'll feel like I'm not neglecting my tiny audience which will subsequently diminish yet further, rightfully appalled at the disdain with which I treat them. Well, what do you expect from a blog?

I've about a dozen A6 size sketchbooks spanning a fair few years (Seawhite of Brighton sketchbooks mostly, all you materials nerds) that should be reasonably plunderable for the foreseeable future. The first of them is undated but judging by the address on the inside front cover, and a couple of references to Hal Hartley films along the way, it seems to be from around 1992/3. Happily, looking through it the other day I was cheered to find that most of the contents looked pretty awful to me now, suggesting that I have at least improved a little in the past 15 years. Maybe.

Anyway, here's one of the few bits of scrawl that I quite liked - a drawing of Mr Mike Irwin, a flatmate at that time and still a great friend. Eerily he looks very much the same now as he does in this drawing. Perhaps, in some strange variation on Dorian Gray, the drawing used to look younger and has aged along with him. Or perhaps he's just looking not too dusty for an old gimmer. Who can say.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

life of a pen part 2 - page 5 

I'm afraid that quite early on I didn't like how this page was going which probably explains why I was so slow getting it done. Better and faster next time I hope.

Click image for larger version.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


A happy birthday to my very good and true friend Steve whom we must assure doesn't look the least bit like this...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Madame Tutli-Putli 

This looks gorgeous. Like the kind of gem that used to make staying up till 3a.m. watching otherwise quite rubbish animation on Channel 4 (back when Channel 4 was still interesting) worthwhile.

(via Joel)

Friday, May 04, 2007

number one 

Have I ever mentioned that this blog is (at the time of writing at least) the number one result for a Google search of "faulty stopcock"?

I am strangely proud of this fact.

things I haven't told you about... 

Continuing rubbishness despite a certain amount of getting out of the house lately. Very sorry.

I should have told you about the inaugural outing, a week ago, of Mr Richard Tolley's most excellent Bike Club which took a select band from Jesus Green, Cambridge to the Navigator pub (purveyor of fine Thai food and excellent sleep-inducing ales) in Little Shelford by a route so cunning that we barely used a road until the last 5 minutes or so. Like a tour of secret Cambridge, down hidden trackways and alleys, through proper outside countryness in the last golden hour of daylight. Fabulous.

But I didn't tell you about that.

And I should have told you about hearing Billy Bragg talk about Progressive Patriotism and seeing (my favourite purveyor of short fiction) A L Kennedy doing her stand up comedy act for the first time south of the border (it was good but she needs to work on her swearing - although I suspect she may have been mistakenly toning things down a bit for a literary festival audience).

But I didn't tell you about that.

And I should have told you about joining the latter part of a poker night at Adrian Reynolds's place at which I won a big hand early on and roughly quadrupled my stake money but then lost steadily to end the night a financially crippling 60p down on the night (it was high stakes stuff as you can tell). Big winner of the night was Adrian's missus, Beccy, who, despite having to be told that, no, actually her flush beat the straight she was up against, ended up about a hundred quid to the good.

But, again, I failed you.

And I certainly should have mentioned a splendid day out in sunny Brighton catching the excellent John Vernon Lord exhibition before it closed, visiting my very dear friend Pam in Lewes and meeting up with Mr Michael Chester for a quick drink and fine talk.

But no, still I remained silent.

And as for anything else, well I'm not telling you about that...

so here's a picture.

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