Sunday, 8 June 2014


Dan and I are growing gem lettuces, tomatoes, kale, courgettes, peppers, chillies, french beans, strawberries, rosemary and mint.

I know it's not the done thing for an illustrator to have so many different styles, but I am always fighting between making nice little neat tight drawings and making big loose messy paintings, and I can't see how the two can ever be reconciled. I love working in a detailed and precise way in ink or gouache, but it's so much harder to be loose and it's what I admire in my favourite painters...there's something more human and authentic in going against the urge to make things look perfect and tidy, and it feels really good to paint without worrying what anyone might think about the end result. 

If you're in your comfort zone drawing neatly, I suggest you buy a big paintbrush, maybe a Daler-Rowney system 3 SY21 Long Flat Acrylic brush (I know...very precise - it happens to be my favourite brush). You can't be neat with it. It holds too much paint and water. You can use the edge to create lines, but not so precise and not much in the way of detail. But that's good - it's liberating to face up to your weaknesses. It's a challenge to try to suggest something with as few brush-strokes as possible.

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