Doodled face

We have come to the end of the semester at college but have been asked to create a new way of illustration over the holidays. So what do I do? I’m thinking of boiling some spaghetti and trying to colour it then manipulate it? Or getting some play sand and drawing with that. It’s not something an illustration would normally be made of, but why not?

Online lecture

Just watched a lecture by one of our fellow students. It was fascinating to watch. About watercolour and ink and how to use it. She showed us how to use salt and also cling film to add texture, masking fluid to preserve white areas and glue mixed with paint and ink to created textured backgrounds. I will certainly have a go at using some of them.

She also showed us her sketchbooks, she mainly does abstract work, but also does realistic work, (she showed us a lovely painting of a friends dog). It’s great that students are adding to the teaching experience at college….


A collection of watches, new and old. Broken straps, flat batteries. I’m thinking of using some of them in my college course. We have to create an artefact that will show our artistic practice. I can’t show you my ideas as it’s for the course only but I will discuss what I’m thinking about.

My idea is to re use old watches and clocks and repurpose them. A lot of the time (no pun intended), watches don’t have their batteries replaced or their wrist straps break, or they just go out of fashion. There must be old watches in drawers or cupboards all over the country.

My idea is to incorporate them into something else, so that they are useful again. It would mean trying to find watches that could be fixed or reconditioned and then fix them into the body of an object that can then be used a a decorative time piece.

Quiet day

I can’t share my college art work, but I’m busy trying to put a project together to create an artefact that can be used either as a promotion of my work and/or a product to sell.

So what do I have to do? Convert a two dimensional image to a three dimensional object. Something that can be used by people, that is not expensive, non polluting, useful, environmentally friendly.

I have to investigate its context. Whether there is a historical precursor to my idea and research it’s audience, it’s possible outcomes. I’ve got to do a lot of writing now. I hope I can make sense of it all. Fingers crossed.

What is an artefact?

The dictionary says:

‘ an artefact is an object made by a human being, typically one of cultural or historical interest.’

As ppart of our course we have to design an artefact that supports our professional practice as illustrators. Commissioners might be interested in something different. Something that is eye catching. We discussed what an artefact is and came to the conclusion that it could be anything. It might be the simplest thing but if it’s buried and then dug up by an archaeologist it could become significant.

The ideas for artefacts ranged from scarves, tee shirts, books, toys, cards, games, even old game boy consoles. Very interesting.


How do I sync my phone, tablet and PC?

I have had a thing from Microsoft saying I can sync my information ( My gallery on my PC, Tablet and phone are all different) or I could move stuff to the cloud? But I really don’t feel safe doing it. What if there was a solar flare that wiped everything? (It could happen) we think our digital information is safe, but who knows? The earths magnetic poles might flip, or I might drop the phone in the sea? so many worries. Last night I was wondering what would happen when I die? Will I be a digital ghost? A friend died last year and yet I had a reminder of her birthday last month. The grim reaper can be cheated digitally!

I’m in the middle of preparing for another 12 week semester on my college course. Life will be getting complicated again. I need to set up a website just for illustrations and artworks, probably a separate page here. Or perhaps on Redbubble or Square Space? any recommendations….


Passed! Phew!

I was so tense when I tried to find my marks for my college course that I was shaking like a leaf! I had tried to stay calm, but I’ve also been trying to do other things too. I’m sure my blood pressure is up!

I finally found I had passed but couldn’t see the marks. Now I’ve found them and it’s OK. But I need to find the feedback to see what I’ve got right and got wrong. This is the worst bit, I hope it’s constructive and that I will be able to improve my scores next time.



I just wrote a post about submitting my college work because I have been up till 4 am the last couple of nights.

I typed it all up, the college work, then had to convert a PowerPoint presentation to PDF. I rang the college IT section and they explained how, and thank you “smallpdf” website for helping me merge documents…

But WordPress blocks is harder than that , There are more blocks than an alphabet. I typed up some names of them on my first post, but that disappeared. I cant do it all again, too tired.

Anyway my college work got in before the deadline, so i might be here a bit more, but the pleasure has gone out of it….

42 year old etchings

From when I did printmaking at college

I was rummaging around the front bedroom where I’m doing my college work and found a sketchbook that I did when was on my foundation art course.

These are etchings, created on metal plates by painting areas with a varnish and then putting the plates in an acid bath to etch away the surface. Then to get more detail you can cover more of the plate with varnish or a wax resist. Acid bath again, rinsing it off before adding more wax or varnish. You can also use something called aquatint which gives you an interesting background. I’m remembering this from over 40 years ago. So I might not have it right. Eventually you ink up the plates and place them onto paper which you then put in a press and squash them together. These are the result.

Almost finished

I’ve almost completed this

I’m so tired. I’ve been working on this all day. I spent ages referencing all my quotes, adding citations, trying to make it flow. I have to get it in by tomorrow so I’m going to do some more later on. But now, well my hands are aching from typing. Correcting mistakes. Trying to get the writing formatted so it fits into the boxes. I’ve still got to add some questions and answers. Help!