Can I be a mother and a successful artist? Hmm, let’s see

This piece of graffiti is a fairly new addition to an underpass on one of my running routes. I enjoy graffiti and street art well enough, but my goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of it that spoke so directly to my own concerns. I’d like to meet whoever scrawled this andContinue reading “Can I be a mother and a successful artist? Hmm, let’s see”

A week in Barcelona, final part: rainbows, closed doors and iconic pavements

Here’s the final pages of my Barcelona sketch diary. You can see part 1 here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. And part 4 is here. As always, click and click again to see each page at a larger size. Now read on…

A week in Barcelona, part 4: giant heads, small press comics, and food colouring

This is part 4. Part 1 is here Part 2 is here Part 3 is here Click each image and then click them again to see them at a larger size. That blue sketchbook ends up being the one I did my Clovember drawings in. Tomorrow: the final installment.

A week in Barcelona, part 3: flea market, Parc Guell and a gypsy’s arm

Click each page and then click again to see bigger. This is part 3 – part one is here and part two is here Tomorrow: an incredible stationery shop and a nice bit of Miró.

A week in Barcelona, part 2: Gaudi, selfie sticks and a rainbow of shoes

Here’s the second installment of our holiday in Barcelona. Part one is here. Click each image and then click again if you’d like to see them in more detail. In case you can’t see that very clearly, I learned that Peppa Pig is Peppa la Cerdita in Spain – Peppa Piggy. Tune in tomorrow forContinue reading “A week in Barcelona, part 2: Gaudi, selfie sticks and a rainbow of shoes”

A week in Barcelona, part 1: it smells of wee

In autumn half term we rented an Air BnB in Barcelona. It was a nice holiday – it gave us an extra little burst of summer weather when the UK was just starting to turn grey and damp. As usual, I made a sketch diary of our activities; as usual, it took me several weeksContinue reading “A week in Barcelona, part 1: it smells of wee”

Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part 5

This is the final part of the sketch diary. See part 1 here part 2 here part 3 here and part 4 here. Postscript: If you enjoyed this diary, and you live in the UK, you might want to check out, where you can make your own FOI requests, or browse those of others.Continue reading “Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part 5”

Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part 4

It turns out today is International Right To Know day. Well done me for organising these posts to go out at such an apposite time (let’s pretend it was deliberate). This is part 4: see part 1 here part 2 here and part 3 here The fifth and final part is here!

Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part two

Here’s the second installment! You can read part one of this sketch diary here. [I don’t usually Photoshop my sketch diaries, but I deliberately drew these figures in closed lines, knowing that I’d be able to drop in a background. The floor where we had lunch was this kind of crazy paving – much easierContinue reading “Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part two”

Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part one

Did you know that in the UK, as well as in many other countries around the world, you have the right to ask for information from public authorities, and by law they must respond? Wait, you’re thinking, isn’t this a drawing blog? Well yes it is, and hold tight for quite a bit of drawing:Continue reading “Madrid/Freedom of Information sketch diary, part one”

Graphic Brighton: Drawing in the Margins

On Friday night and all of Saturday, I was at Graphic Brighton, a conference about graphic novels and comics creation. The overarching theme of the conference was “Drawing in the Margins”, and it brought together practitioners who represent some form of minority or marginalised group. Brighton living up to its name “I’m going out toContinue reading “Graphic Brighton: Drawing in the Margins”

Finally: my Frome holiday sketch diary

Well, this has to be some kind of record: I’ve only just finished my holiday sketch diary, 22 days after returning home. I think we can safely say that it’s time for another holiday now! I’ve been thinking about why it’s taken so long, and my best guess is that I broke my own guidelinesContinue reading “Finally: my Frome holiday sketch diary”

People-watching and people-sketching on the Level

Have you ever tried to draw while your pages are gently splattered by the spray of a water pistol? Me neither, until last week. Here in the UK, we’ve had an unusually consistent, hot summer, and for residents of Brighton, one obvious place to find some relief is at our new playground, the Level, where,Continue reading “People-watching and people-sketching on the Level”

Sketch of plants that grow by the sea

Click if you’d like to see it bigger Scanning doesn’t do full justice to the white and lumnious yellow inks. But anyway. I enjoyed drawing something other than my comic strip. I wonder if those blobby leaf shapes are under the influence of the Matisse cut-outs exhibition that we saw last Thursday.

Drawing stuff you don’t like

I was thinking of something Emily Gravett said at the Illustrators’ event I attended, the whole time I was drawing this tower block. Each panellist was asked to talk about how they got inspiration for their next illustration project. “I think of something I like drawing”, said Emily, or words to that effect – that is toContinue reading “Drawing stuff you don’t like”

More about sketch diaries – from Katriona Chapman

Since finishing my Chile sketch diary, I haven’t drawn a thing. That’s partly because I am thinking through exactly what I am going to do for the Cape/Comica/Observer graphic story competition. For the first time, I am very consciously examining where my ideas come from, too – it’s hard work, creating a cartoon world outContinue reading “More about sketch diaries – from Katriona Chapman”

Santiago, Chile: sketch diary, installment 3

This is part three of my Santiago sketch diary: you can read the first installment here, and the second installment here. Finally, after “just” three weeks, I have finished the Santiago sketch diary.It’s been a real eye-opener to see how much longer it took than the Bath diary- only because I had to fit it aroundContinue reading “Santiago, Chile: sketch diary, installment 3”

How to make a sketch diary: my top tips

  I’d keep a sketch diary every day if I could, but logistics forbid. After a while, they’d just be sketch diaries about drawing sketch diaries. However, I do enjoy a splurge when I can: my last post shows my Bath holiday diary; last year I kept a similar diary in St Ives, and my Hourly Comic Day entry wasContinue reading “How to make a sketch diary: my top tips”