Wednesday, 26 July 2017


For quite a long while now I have been absent from blogland partly due to the loss of my mojo and partly due to a lack of time, however, I've recently had two events that have spurred me on to doing some art again. Firstly, after a long absence from my blog, I was staggered to receive an enquiring post from one of my followers, Hilda Muxo Klinger. To say I was very touched is an understatement. Thank you Hilda. The second event was a commission.

In October 2015, my sister and her husband, Ian, were out together when he suddenly collapsed. An ambulance was called but despite the determined efforts of the paramedics my brother-in-law never regained consciousness. He had shown no signs of illness and was a very active 63-year old. His loss came as a massive shock to us all and my sister was devastated, the suddenness robbing her of any opportunity to say 'goodbye'.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister asked me if I felt like tackling a portrait of Ian. At times like this our 'mojo' is irrelevant and I said I'd be happy to do a pencil portrait for her. Suitable reference photo's were hard to find and none showed his eyes as anything other than black blobs, which showed no life. However, a little artistic licence allowed me to create some 'sparkle' and detail where the photo's had none. I have been quite anxious about doing such an important portrait but today I handed the framed portrait to my sister and I was delighted with her response..... she was thrilled.

And now, with the portrait finished, I find myself wondering "What's next?". That's a good sign, right? But first of all I'm off to have a look at some of Hilda's wonderful pastels.  ;-)

Monday, 27 February 2017

A little nostalgia

Once upon a time, as a young teenager, my friends and I used to go train-spotting. Sometimes, as a special treat, we would take a packed lunch and catch a train ride to another station a stop or two down the line so we could 'spot' other trains. One very regular engine on those runs was an Ivatt class, 2MT 2-6-2T No 41218.  It was built at Crewe works in September 1948 and remained in service until July 1965 when it was withdrawn and ultimately scrapped.

My brother-in-law/cousin is a keen train enthusiast with a substantial model layout in his spare room. He also used to train spot at the same time as I did and it was reminiscing with him that inspired me to want to do a drawing of this fondly remembered engine. Fired with interest I did some googling and found a couple of photo's of similar engines (different numbers but the same class) online. I used them for reference to recreate engine 41218 in graphite. 

It's been a long time since I last did anything like this and I thoroughly enjoyed every second.

N.B. For any beginners interested I've posted a series of Work-in-progress photo's on my web site.