Thursday, December 29, 2016

Basilica di Santa Ciara, Assisi

A view, drawn from life in my sketchbook, of the basilica of Saint Clare - the close companion of Saint Francis of Assisi. She is buried there, in the 19th century crypt.

But the building is 13th century, and is a nice enough example of the rather squat Italian Gothic style of the central Middle Ages. It's basically a huge stone barn, with what are surely the ostriches of the flying buttress world. They barely look as if they could get off the ground at all.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Studio model with mirror

Even when the model strikes a good pose, you don't always get a good angle. I diverted myself with the drapery, and my colleague in the mirror.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


A view of Montrichard, in the Tourraine, France, painted from the far side of the river. It was a nice day, and I was taking a break from watching the local kennel club's agility trials.

Behind the houses is the church of Saint Croix, a largely romanesque structure, although the tower is gothic. I made an etching of its facade, which you can see here. Above it, the fortified keep of the castle built by the irrepressible Foulques Nerra, the Black Falcon, whose wars vexed the region in the 11th century.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Remember the well between the four yew trees

Once upon our great-grandfather's time - or great-great-grandfathers's - a schoolboy named McLeod had a lot of trouble with an in class assignment. He sat and he sat and he just couldn't get the grammar right, until he was the last one left in the classroom. Until suddenly the words came to him, but words he hardly knew and had never seen before: "memento putei inter quatuor taxos." Remember the well between the four yew trees.

McLeod hardly knew what he had written, but his teacher did, and when he read it his face turned pale with fear...

So commences, more or less, M. R. James's A School Story - a great ghost story by one of the greatest ghost story writers. You can read it - and others - here. If you want to enjoy it fully, however, you probably shouldn't look at this picture:

A creepy drawing for halloween, done with a brush pen, various technical pens and markers, and coloured in photoshop.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A view of the duomo of Siena

A famous view of a famous building. How many tourists to Siena turn the corner by San Domenico and stop to see the city rising like barnacles on the opposite hill? I know I did.

This etching is based on a pencil drawing I made on site, which you can see here. I made a quick watercolour as well, as the sun went down. See it here.

Note how both watercolour and drawing show a mirror image of this picture. That's because the process of etching flips the image.

Saturday, October 1, 2016