Review of 2017, this could be a yawn.

Single images from each month that I blogged last year, for the full story from each then you’ll have to delve. Lovely word that: delve. If you have been reading my stuff then thanks for dropping by , if you have n’t then I’ll wish you as Happy and Peaceful New Year as the regulars in the hope that a bit of crawling might persuade you to come back.

January 2017 and the rhubarb is sprouting…
It’s a bit slower this year, but then last year was very mild, weatherwise.


February 2017. Can’t remember what the post was about now,
but it really needs no extra words.


February: Spetses in Greece where my chum Ros lives and draws, paints, and prints. Worth looking at her website if you have a minute. Lovely lino-cut prints and paintings with great feeling for light. Blessed by the brilliance of the Greek sunshine,
like my photo.

Rosalind Forster


March 2017
What I draw with. This post went down very well at the time, there’s a lot of interest in how artists get the stuff on paper.there’s a lot of interest in how artists get the stuff on paper.


April 2017
One of the final drawings for my Exhibition that was to happen in August. The theme was drawn from the work of “Pont” a well-known cartoonist in his day, and his days were the late 1930s when he did a series on the British Character. His version of this had more bears and the ice was not melting.Bearwith

May 2017
Another in the series for the exhibition.
Quite a few of these are available from my other website as prints.
Feel free to pop over there and order enough to make me wealthy beyond reason.
My other place where you can buy prints

Pont watercoloursmallweb

June 2017
Walking in the Isle of Skye.
When it gets the sun on it, it really is spectacular.


July 2017
One of the posters for the Exhibition.

My chum Robin helped me with pre-exhibition publicity and helped get me
on to local radio. It was great fun and was a great help.
Some people even listened to me droning on about it!
Big thanks to them, and my chums Grant and Steve for their help in hanging the pictures.

Cartoons on the radio?

Exhibition A4sheddism


August 2017
Not many exhibitors get their shows with added live music, I did!
These are the Gloucester Diamonds, and diamond geezers they are.
As you can see from this they don’t have the very biggest audience
but they pressed on regardless, true professionals.

Take a look at their website right here Diamonds website


This video doesn’t exist



September 2017
After the Exhibition it was good to get back to my plot, and look what I found.
I’m hoping for more of these next year.



October 2017
Another hairbrained scheme. Struck by old posters of haircuts I decided that I’d start a project on them, and this is just one of them.
I put them together for a big poster with all of them featured on it.

I even put them up on Red Bubble, so that you can buy the images there on almost anything, except this one. This one was ‘taken down’ by Red Bubble as they had someone object to it, I suspect the management company that look after someone called Jimmy.



November 2017
Posted a lot of haircuts in the last few months and like with a lot of my projects I expect to go off in a slightly different direction very soon.

This one from November went down well as I recall.
Take a diversion there by clicking on the link below.

Red Bubble Haircuts


December 2017

This is the final poster of all the haircuts so far. This too is available as a print if you just nip over to my other site.

It’s filed under Hairbrained, naturally.

A2Hairposter V32sf

January 2018

Watch out for this coming up soon, just one of the drawings for the little book
by my chum Gordon Thorburn.

Nicky Tams, the King of Nosepipe
Started publishing them on Christmas Day and they will be appearing here
every week until the end of the book…

Wordsmith Thorburn

Then on to something different, or perhaps more of the same, who knows?
If you’ve managed the journey all the way down this page then a big thank you and a Happy New Year.


Scary Mary had other ideas.

Episode three of our series about Nicky Tams and Scary Mary in the Kingdom of Nosepipe

Written by Gordon Thorburn and illustrated by myself.

But never say never.
Scary Mary had other ideas.

After three years of banishment, Scary Mary managed to work out her Spell of Release. Once she was free, she took off her shoes and socks for the first time in three years, scraped out the little black bits from between her toes, and went into the nearest Scabby convenience store to buy what she needed for a Spell of Sitting in a Cloud.

She put the vanilla ice cream in the bucket, added a good lump of the black boot polish, mixed it up and then poured in the lemonade. As soon as there was enough dark grey froth to make a small cloud, she said the magic words, sat on it, and flew to Nosepipe.

The Queen flew along until she came to Nosepipe County Primary and there, in the playground, she could see there was a game of marbles going on.

It took her no time at all to spot her son, Prince Nicky Tams, who was a bit of a wally quite frankly, aged nine years and four months. He was not an unpleasant boy but he was rather easily led.

Scary Mary looked down from her cloud and noted that her beloved son wasn’t much use at marbles. He’d come to school with a brand new set and lost the lot in two minutes.

Then, it was time for school dinner and all the children went in for massive platefuls of sausage, beans and chips followed by chocolate sponge and custard. Yes, school dinners were really excellent in the golden days of King Nicky Tams The Muscular.

Prince Nicky Tams did not go in, however. He was allowed, being the Prince and heir to the throne, to bring a packed lunch. Although he was very fond of sausage, beans and chips, he still felt that as he was allowed, he ought to. And so he did.

Today, he had his favourite: Stuffies. Stuffies, if you didn’t know, are individual cold Yorkshire puddings filled, or stuffed, with different things, in this case a thin spreading of Marmite, then alternate layers of peanut butter, raspberry jelly and mayonnaise, topped with a slice of teddy-bear luncheon meat.

Prince Nicky Tams was sitting in a deck-chair, munching his stuffie, when the only cloud in the sky dropped down until it was hovering just behind him.

“Psst!” hissed Scary Mary. “This is your Dear Mama here, on a small cloud which is hovering just behind you. I am returned from years of painful and undignified banishment, to be by the side of my darling Princikins whenever he needs me. What on earth are you eating? It looks disgusting! And haven’t I told you enough times, cheese and tomato sandwiches with wholemeal bread? And an apple to finish?”

“Hello Mum,” said the Prince.

“Listen to me, son. Tonight – look, put that horrible pile of mess away, will you, it makes me feel sick to look at it, how can you eat mayonnaise with Yorkshire pudding – tonight, I am going to cast a spell on your father the King, and tomorrow you will be King instead. This means you will be able to have your Dear Mama back again, to help you cope with growing up, life, the universe, and foreign and domestic policy. What do you think of that?”

“Cool,” said Prince Nicky Tams, and went off to play Short Tennis. He spent the afternoon running after the ball which his opponents kept smashing past his head, then he went home for his tea.


How to get rid of a Wicked Wife.

Part two of the new story by Gordon Thorburn, published here every week until it comes to a grisly end, or otherwise.

The Writer Fellow

The Drawing Fellow

Nickytams2_545PART ONE

How to get rid of a Wicked Wife.

You can get rid of a cold, but can you get rid of it for good?

Scary Mary had a very strange sense of humour and was highly skilled at magic. She made such a lot of trouble that the King her husband banished her, which means to be sent away from the country you live in and never be allowed back.

Unfortunately she wouldn’t go and, at first, it seemed that they couldn’t make her. Then King Nicky Tams The Muscular had an idea.

He went to see all the people in Nosepipe who had a loud voice and promised them a Brass Farthing each (Olden Days currency) if they would help him. Or, if they wouldn’t, he promised them being fed backwards through a rusty bacon slicer.

The Muscular King was an ace at diplomacy, as you can see, and soon the pick of the people with loud voices were gathered, in complete silence, outside the Wicked Queen’s bedchamber. They listened, in fear and trembling, as Scary Mary cast a magic spell.

It happened to be one she was putting on a football team called Inverness Caledonian Thistle, which had lost four-nil at home when the Queen had them down on the pools for a score draw.

The loud-voiced people listened very carefully as the Wicked Queen cast her spell.

Invercally Thistle men

Every match you’ll lose by ten.

Two left feet is each your lot,

Every back-pass like a shot.

Never ever clean your teeth,

Or you’ll be sold to Cowdenbeath!

Aaaah, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!

When the spell finished, the King gave a sign and all the loud-voiced people shouted out exactly the same spell, which they’d just learned by listening carefully, except they did it back to front.

Inside her bedchamber, Scary Mary’s feet instantly began doing dribbles and sidesteps and big hoofers down the middle, faster and faster. Then she did a simultaneous two-legged overhead bicycle kick and got her ankles in a knot behind her head.

The King’s soldiers carried her to the top of the highest mountain in Nosepipe, which was on the border with Abrascabradovia. Abrascabradovia was where the ghastly Scabbies lived, who never washed their feet. They used the little black bits from between their toes as money.

Laughing, the Nosepipe soldiers bowled Scary Mary down the other side of the mountain like a hoop and watched her accelerate towards Abrascabradovia, never to be seen again.

Here again, next week, don’t miss it!


Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe

Starting today and publishing every week at around this time. This series is written by my chum Gordon Thorburn, a worthy fellow with big writers credentials. It is illustrated here by myself.

You can see more of what Mr Thorburn does to earn a crust right by clicking on the link, before you do, be warned, it involves sheds and bombers: The Writer Fellow

“Life was never like this.”

“Oh yes it was.”

“No, no, come on, it wasn’t.”

Nicky Tams, King of Nosepipe


King Nicholas, the Original Nicky Tams

Also starring

Queen Scary Mary


Olden Days battles? We probably know Hastings, Trafalgar, Waterloo and maybe Killiekrankie. So have we forgotten, actually forgotten, the greatest battle of them all?

In the Olden Days there was a country called Nosepipe. The Kings of Nosepipe were always called Nicky Tams.

On the Olden Day we’re talking about, the King of Nosepipe was Nicky Tams The Muscular, as opposed to Nicky Tams The Fifth or Nicky Tams The Lionheart. You also had Nicky Tams The Cleans Round The Back Of His Neck, and Nicky Tams The Always Does His Shoelaces Up.

Not that every King was such a goody-goody. In the long history of Nosepipe there had also been Nicky Tams The Fat Pig and Nicky Tams The Shoots His Blackheads Across The Room.

The first one, actually, was King Nicholas The Rat Up Your Leg, who knew that the Scottish words ‘nicky tams’ mean the pieces of string tied around your trousers below the knee. So he made it illegal for anybody except him to have these rat-preventing pieces of string, and changed his name accordingly.



King Nicky Tams, The Muscular

Anyway, back to our Olden Day. King Nicky Tams The Muscular had been on the throne for quite a while and, by applying his muscles, had managed to get things pretty well sorted out. The summers were always hot, the winters were always cold, Pancake Tuesday fell on the same day every year and all vegetables, even spinach and sprouts, tasted so nice that you didn’t mind eating them.

The one cloud on his horizon was his wife, or Queen as they call them. She had originally come from Scarborough, which is a bracing seaside place in another country called Ang Gonnasec. As such, coming from Scarborough, she had been expected to turn out well, but she didn’t.

Scary Mary from Scarborough Dairy had been the star of the Nosepipe Royal Wedding but things went downhill after that.

Come back next week same time for more of the same saga.
Thanks for dropping by.





Ready, steady, go!



Another sequence of drawings showing how I get here. First rough, second and final line work. The story, by my chum Gordon Thorburn, features a battle and this scene describes how one army manages to pin down another. Some accurate shooting required of course. The finals will be on view when the story is fully published on here in due course. Although the third drawing is the start of the final, it has to be tweaked a little before it’s fully ready. I’ll add half-tone with pastels and my fingers! It can be a bit of a messy business but is literally hands on. Went out to buy another small scrubbing brush to wash my fingers after this is done today. It can be done digitally of course, but it’s much more satisfying to do it by hand, rather than staring at a screen. Some of the drawings have just a small amount of half-tone, but others, like night time drawings make a big mess and are a lot of fun to do. They change the whole thing around! I’ll show you later.




Coming up next year…


I’m working on a little book written by my chum Gordon Thorburn, ( Men and Sheds ) who apart from writing about sheds and bomber pilots from the Second World War ( Books about all sorts ), has written a little tome about…well, I’ll leave exactly what it’s about until I have it all ready.

I’m doing the drawings for it and hope to publish it on-line in the New Year, or perhaps will be able to make a start before Christmas, as you’ll have plenty of time to read, learn, and digest. We’ll see.

It will be on this site every week, on the same day, until it’s demise. I found it entertaining and witty. I suppose it is aimed at children so it did suit me very well.

Here’s a rough of one of the drawings for it, followed by the next version, some of you illustrator people out there might be interested in the technicalities: there are none. It’s drawn straight onto layout paper with a Pentel sign pen, then drawn again, then drawn again for the final, then mounted onto board with Studio Gum ( today’s equivalent of Cow Gum ) and some pastel half tone and shadow might be added and perhaps a bit of whiting out of some areas with Dr PH. Martin’s Bleed Proof White ( I kid you not! ). If it needs any more surgery after that then I use a scalpel to cut out or amend, cutting through the top layer of layout paper. Then the final is scanned and if necessary some final tweaks are made, digitally.

This is drawing one, followed by drawing two, final will follow when the book is published here.



John Barleycorn, and a reminder of summer.

With the madness that is Christmas and all those terrible ‘songs’ we are subjected to in almost any retail outlet at this time of year here’s something gentle to remind you of summer. My chum Robin ( nothing to do with the Christmas bird ) is here singing by a brilliant field of corn on one of our walks.


When Tolstoy…

siberiamastertolstoySnow has evaporated in London where I am at present, here’s another of my series on Siberian Guards from way back. The last of these for the time being, until perhaps we have snow again soon.

I’m now going to go on a search for a suitable Christmas image that does not include robins, turkeys or white bearded men with a chimney habit.