Inky plumage

Inky plumage

art, drawing
These are ink and wash drawings of a rook and an owl from my small sketchbook. They were drawn with a fountain pen and then washed over with a brush dipped in water. I'm intrigued by birds of the crow family and one day I'd like to do a series of detailed drawings or paintings of these intelligent birds. As for owls...I was once advised by specialist bird of prey breeder and falconer that they are nowhere near as wise as legend makes them out. That said, there is something very compelling about them and I find them fascinating.
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Colourful creatures

Colourful creatures

art, drawing
  More coloured sketchbook pencil and ink drawings. Some are a bit more literally-representative than others, but each was done with a slightly different outcome in mind. At some level I wanted to render the images with a sense of realism in terms of the play of light, shadow and texture but at another level I was concerned with their aesthetic portrayal as symbols or icons. For instance, with the seahorse, I wanted it to look like a seahorse, but I wanted the scale of it to be ambiguous and so I imagined what a seahorse would be like if it had an armoured hide in the manner of a rhinoceros. With the octopus, I wanted to convey its ability to contort itself into knots, and with the weird robot-fish…
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Cool blue cat

Cool blue cat

art, drawing
This drawing of a blue cat continues a theme I was working on for a couple of weeks in which small sketchbook ink drawings were filled using single block colours. In this instance I wanted to convey an air of mystery and other-worldliness. The contoured background landscape is a technique I first explored as a boy when I became fascinated by contour lines on maps. On and off, I've continued to create these sort of ambiguous contoured landscapes over the years.
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Bird of a feather

Bird of a feather

art, drawing
This sketchbook drawing of stylised imaginary bird was conceived as a sort of iconic or heraldic signifier. I imagined it in my mind's eye featuring in an old book illustration, tapestry or in a stained-glass window. Based on the red colourway of an earlier dragon doodle, I wanted to explore the creative possibilities in using only a singe key colour.
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Enter the dragon

Enter the dragon

art, drawing
This started life as an abstract doodle in a notebook. The shapes that eventually came to form the head were where the drawing started. Once I  began to see the potential for a dragon-like creature emerging I decided to let the dragon emerge. You might note that this species of dragon is characterised by a shortage of legs...
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Year of the monkey

Year of the monkey

china, drawing
With the Chinese New Year approaching, I thought it might be a nice idea to create a drawing of monkeys  in a Chinese brushed ink and wash style for my Chinese friends. I used traditional materials of Chinese ink (prepared using an ink block and slate rubbing stone), calligraphy brush and rice paper. I'd had a short lesson in the technique of drawing with a brush while I was at Shanghai Open University and had some sense of the challenges of this way of working. The paper is incredibly absorbant and unforgiving of mistakes. Mark making is not easy and there is no option other than to be brave and just go for it. After scrapping countless sheets of paper and really struggling I eventually got this pair of monkeys…
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