Thursday, 12 March 2015

Stewart Lee

A quick sketch of Stewart Lee in brush pen. Went to see him at Stafford Gatehouse last night - he was amazing. 

International Women's Day 2015 (8th March)

Just before International Women's Day I was approached by a publisher of women's comics to work on creating art for an existing script. The publishers later turned around and rejected my designs because the female character (a cancer patient) wasn't "sexy" enough and they wanted it to feel more like Frank Miller's Sin City (a comic book series Alan Moore once described as "unreconstructed misogyny".)

(rejected character designs)

I don't feel that female characters shouldn't be sexy. But it tends to be the default mode for depictions of women across the media, and I had hopes that a publisher of women's comics might want to create more three-dimensional female characters.

I've noticed some illustrators and comics artists beginning to develop the way they depict female characters - on some of the blogs I follow I've started to see people experimenting with drawing women with different body shapes and sizes, different face shapes and proportions. It's good for artists to stretch themselves in this way, and it's healthy for readers to have to relate to female characters beyond just thinking "she looks sexy".

There was an article in the Huff Post a while ago about this, setting out a non identikit challenge for artists. And Julia Scheele's work also left an impression on me.


On International Women's Day, I asked people on Twitter to tell me about the women who have inspired and influenced them, creating quick portraits in brush pen over the course of the morning. 

(Should I have made them look sexier?)

Frida Kahlo, artist

Zora Neal Hurston, Anthropologist

Rosa Parks, civil rights activist 

Caitlin Moran, broadcaster and columnist

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space

Mary Wollstonecraft, writer, philosopher and advocate of women's rights

Agatha Christie, crime novelist and playwright 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


Drawing 16th Century Commedia dell’arte characters. 
This is Il Capitano (Scaramouche), a boastful swashbuckling shy coward. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014


"The Palace of Dreams" (click here for close up)

I was experimenting with monoprints last night. I like the grain and the looseness of the line.
I worked into this one with white acrylic, ink and gouache.

a grumpy cat (possibly based on Dan's cat Blake...)

jar of brushes and ink

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Portrait of Ed Miliband

Sophie Heawood in today's Guardian - It’s the age of the geek – so why does Ed Miliband still get such a bad press?  (here)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Nigel Farage

The common, old school, ordinary man of the people, who just happens to be a public school educated ex-banker. Booooo! I'm sceptical of anyone who wants their politicians to be proficient in eating sandwiches and drinking pints - we might as well scrap the leader debates and turn the whole general election into a televised round of It's A Knockout. Curiously, in most pictures Farage wears a blue shirt, perhaps to symbolise his kinship with the struggle of the ordinary blue collar worker. He also seems to be quite fond of pin stripe suits, which tend to be favoured by psychopaths.