Coming out to play.

Hello there – long time, no see.

Having allowed over a month to elapse since my last blog entry (which, in my defence, did acknowledge that it might be some time before I’d have an opportunity to post again), I feel mildly obliged to try and bring things up to date.

It’s been a busy period – refreshingly so after the relative dearth of paid work earlier in the year – thanks to a large publishing project which is set to keep me fully-occupied through to mid-December. Prior to publication I’m not really at liberty to post any of the work involved although I’m intending to put together a couple of step-by-step guides at a later date showing the working process and various stages involved in producing the artwork for this job. You have been warned!

All this commissioned toil has meant a lot less time available for little indulgences such as life-drawing and random, personal sketchery – the very life-blood of this blog. There has been some, though – here’s a selection:

First off, a set of life-drawings of Frankie that I never got round to putting up at the time. There were one-or-two sketchers present who had never previously had the pleasure of drawing Frankie and the delighted oohs and aahs when she let her Rapunzel-like hair down for the second half of the session were worth the price of admission alone.

Went to London for a play (Laura Wade’s Posh) last Saturday but got there early enough to also take in the BP portrait show at the National Portrait Gallery. To my shame, it’s years since I last visited the NPG and the first time I’d ever been to this annual show. My loss – the quality of the work on show is incredibly high and I’d urge everyone with an interest in painting to catch it before it closes on 23rd September. Admission free and it’s absolutely inspiring. Well it inspired this somewhat wonky iPad drawing of Lynn (c’mon – the train was moving) on the way back to Brighton, anyway. Unlikely to be bothering the walls of a national gallery anytime soon.

Made with Adobe Ideas app.

One regular break I have been taking from the drawing-board over the last three weeks has been from 7-8pm each day, for the increasingly essential Tour de France highlights show on TV. We watched the entire final day’s stage on Sunday which ended, as everyone now knows, with a historic victory for the British rider and inveterate mod, Bradley Wiggins. His fellow Sky team-mate Chris Froome came second and the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, made it a British hat-trick with a genuinely thrilling sprint finish on the Champs-Éysées. For anyone with even the slightest interest in cycling, it was a memorable event. I made this iPad sketch of our soon-to-be-crowned Maillot Jaune as the peloton raced the final few laps around central Paris, and tweeted the resulting image the moment he crossed the line in one piece.

Made on the iPad with the Procreate app.

Finally managed to attend another life-drawing session this week, the first for about a month. An extremely enjoyable institution, as I’ve said before; from the drawing itself to the meandering banter with the usual suspects over a couple of beers afterwards. This week it was Japanese model Asami, quite appropriate in view of the very Japan-centric illustrations I’m currently working on. The logic behind the slightly psychedelic pattern in the background of the montage below remains obscure, even to me. The two iPad sketches were made with Adobe Ideas.

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