Tamar class lifeboat

This is different from my usual pen and ink, it’s not a building, and it’s not wonky.

This commissioned work is acrylic on 10×12 canvas board. It depicts a Tamar class RNLI Lifeboat.

Although I often work with acrylics on mdf and greyboard, those works are more ‘crafting’ and 3D articles (see my Kim – splash it! blog here on WordPress). Working on the textured canvas, with crafters’ acrylics was a totally different experience, but a learning curve worth the trip.

So, here it is, soon to be in the post to its new owner. Let me know what you think.

Blocking and shadow

A bit of work-in-progress this time.
I recently did a few workshops with Joby Carter – of vintage steam fair fame – looking at fairground lettering and sign writing. One of the fonts he taught was Playbill, and old-school font popular on the bills that were handed out advertising plays. It is reminiscent of cowboys and the wild west.

I’m working on a book cover and thought this would be an appropriate style. So this is it so far. Ink with graphite shading. The word ‘shadows’ is shown but, when complete, the title will be ‘Book of Shadows’.

On a technical note ‘blocking’ is the part of the design that gives the letters depth or thickness, ‘shadow’ is what is cast by a theoretical light source. Let me know what you think.

New shop

This is the new Dan Rox shop in Tiverton, Devon.
A new venture for Dan and Adam selling crystals and rocks, running workshops on all aspects of working with crystals, and having guest presenters along to join in the fun.
And they had a personal anniversary, too!

Wiltshire Wonder

Another commission for Christmas, that has had to wait until now to be revealed. A lovely thatched cottage in Wiltshire.

Contact me if you want to give a special gift, or to treat yourself to something unique.

At home in Wales

When a caricature is commissioned I will not post it to the public domain until it is in the hands of its new owner, and the commissioner has given the go-ahead for me to do so. This means that on the run-up to Christmas I have been productive but have no posts to show for it. But here is my first reveal of 2022, a house in south Wales.

Let me know what you think, and remember – a caricature is not just for Christmas …

Illustrations

Another project that has been a while coming to fruition is the illustrations for a book, a short story called ‘Winter’s Longest Sleep‘, a cruel tale set on Exmoor near the end of the 18th century.

The book is available from Amazon.

It is written by Kelia-Jane Hannaford, a pseudonym of Richard J. Small, who has ten previous titles to his name. Here are some of the illustrations: a remote Exmoor farm, the farriers forge, a cosy ingle-nook, and a writing desk, illuminated only by moonlight now the candle has been snuffed.

From Bad to Verse – revisited

Do you remember, back in December, I posted about Dianne Phillips-Zito’s book of light-hearted poetry, From Bad to Verse and that I supplied the illustrations? Well, here’s a bit more information for you – seeing as that certain time of the year is approaching and you will be needing ideas for presents.

It is available from Amazon (like most things) and is an ideal stocking filler – From Bad to Verse by Dianne Phillips-Zito

These are some of my favourite illustrations from her book:

This poem is about domestic disputes in care homes, and how sometimes a little mis-communication goes a long way.

Things don’t always go to plan – well, not the plan that the boss had. But sometimes you have to wait for the right moment.

And the things we do – or don’t – for love.

You have to laugh

Last year I was fortunate to be asked to illustrate a book of humorous poetry, so I did.
As an illustrator my job is fairly straightforward – read the poem, draw the picture. The difficult bit is with the writer.

The author of these chuckle-worthy gems is Dianne Phillips-Zito, she lives in a rather bleak and remote part of Western Australia, so she needs a sense of humour to start with. She then has to produce the poetry – not the rambling formless excuse for bad prose – but proper poetry, that rhymes and has metre. And she has to produce sufficient to fill a book – and it has to make the reader smile.

For those who have never tried, laying out the pages of a book to look attractive, as well as being the well ordered vehicle for the poems, is another work of art. And getting the whole shebang through the printing and publishing system needs the patience of Job.

It was a long time from idea to book shelf, but she has done it and “From Bad to Verse” is available from various publishers as well as Amazon Books. It is too late for Christmas, but buy a copy anyway, because you deserve to have your spirits lifted – and 2021 is the time to do it – because the cartoons are brill, even if I say so myself! A triumph of trans-global corroboration.

Dianne also writes horror/dark short stories, published in the UK and USA, under the pen name Anna Harris.

There’s no place like Home

There are records dating back to 1650 for this Devon cottage. The modern extension is what used to be ‘the stick store’, presumably where firewood was stored, now kitchen/diner with bedroom and balcony above. It is also recorded as being the place where ‘the pauper in the stick store’ resided, according to census records. Apparently, as a family home the younger couple and their children occupied the main house – and grandma was relegated to the stick store. 

And now my wife and I call it home.

If your home would like the attention it deserves, or you would like to give a unique and personal gift, contact me for further details.

Image is drawn with dip pen and acrylic ink, enhanced with graphite pencil shading. A4 size.

North Lodge, Brockenhurst Park

This Grade ll listed gatehouse was designed by Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) and built in the 1860s by T H Wyatt. It is described as being of asymmetrical composition in a French Renaissance style.

This building often appears on the internet in photographs but this may be the first drawing, albeit a tad stylised. 

A4 pen and ink with shading. POA.