Far too cartooney.


Is that a criticism? Yes, it is usually. It assumes that it’s not worth its place on the wall if it seems a “bit cartooney”. I’m not sure where one draws the line, ‘scuse the pun, but being cartooney was a criticism all those years ago when I was in art school. It’s a favourite of up-themsleves-art -tutors. I found it also prevalent amongst some art directors and designers, and I naturally avoided them as much as possible. Fortunately, they were in the minority.

Is there a retort to it. Perhaps: ” That’s a bit fine arty” might be one, or one could perhaps shorten that to ‘farty’.

Anyhow, it’s said the Leonardo did come cartoons, not sure if he would have approved of either the description but having seen them, I’m still trying to understand his jokes.


I should n’t like it but I do!

One is not supposed to like one’s own work and, in general, I don’t like my own drawings. This may be because I know I can do better. It’s a phrase that teachers always used to use on me all those years ago at school. ” Davies, you know you can do better”. There was a nub of truth and there still is. Or perhaps I’m suffering from “post school traumatic teacher disorder”. Whatever it is, it’s stayed with me.

Now here’s a drawing that I should n’t like. Looks like a splodge to some. But I like it a lot. It has the advantage of not being done by me. I think it is sophisticated and elegant in a way my own drawings never are. Mine are supposed to be funny, this is obviously not. I love it.


Find out more about it here



Doug Sahm, Garland Jeffreys, ? and the Mysterians : 96 Tears

I just love this blog, it has some stunning music and writing. I’ve discovered music I never knew about here. Give the man a gong!

The Immortal Jukebox

‘One day Frank started playing a little organ riff and we all really liked it a lot. I kinda came up with the chord riff … then Question Mark said he had words for it … I thought he was just singing off the top of his head.’ (Bobby Balderrama)

The 1960s, as any Baby Boomer will tell you, was the decade when Rock and Pop music peaked.

A tidal wave of creative energy was unleashed which is never likely to be matched.

Pick any week from the Billboard Hot 100 chart from the 1960s and you’ll be near overwhelmed by the number of truly great records you’ll find (and the memories they’ll generate).

Competition was fierce.

So, to ascend to the coveted Number One spot was a real achievement.

Take the top 5 for the last week in October 1966.

Pure Pop for Now people from The Monkees with…

View original post 1,157 more words

Looks good on the wall…



I’ve been a busy bee getting together a selection of artists who I’m happy to call friends and trying to make their work a little more available. I’ve had the joy of making a shopify  site for them, which has been remarkably straightforward. Above are small images from their larger pieces.You can see them all on the site by clicking just here.

We are hoping that there will be a large selection of their work available soon. All you can see here will be available as prints, and will look good on any wall! Please take a look and let me know what you think.




Film clippie and dirty fingers

This one is about how to apply soft pastel to a line drawing. Or to be slightly more specific, my way of adding soft pastel. I’m sure that many artists use different methods, but I just like to get my fingers dirty.

For the text for this one please hop over here.

I’ll let the video do the talking!



Others in the series are right here:

Soft pastels and a rubber, the application thereof…

More in my series of “Heritage Drawing Methods for the Uninitiated”, here’s how I put down a bit of half tone. Half tone? Is that a shortening of the name Anthony. Perhaps. I digress…

I always put the tone on the drawing once it is mounted on to board. I generally use 350gsm white uncoated board to glue the layout paper drawing to the board. See this for the gory details:

I don’t normally put a wedge of pastel dust on the drawing but did it for this drawing to illustrate how easily it can be done and repaired.

Drawings featured here are almost finished, but not quite. A bit like all of my work.

This, like all the drawings in this little series, is about Cotswold Wildlife, and in this case it’s the Conductor and Clippie. Here’s the text that goes with it.


Clippie ( Busses clippiesorae )

Completely extinct. No known survivors in the Cotswolds or the UK for that matter. One or two of them may well have turned into Bowlers, but would be difficult to ascertain which. Female of the species went under this name but the male of the species was called a conductor.

Lack of suitable transport was the reason for their demise.When they were common they were able to carry large bags of  small coins and a large ticket machine from which they could dispense at lightening speed whilst staying upright on moving vehicle.

Call: “‘ickets please” spoken very loudly,firmly and insistently, and when surrounded: movealongdabus

Sadly all no longer heard.


China black!


Another in the series of “Heritage Drawing Methods”. This one is quite simple and just about how I sometimes use chinagraph pencils over the top of linework. It’s very quick and can be quite effective. The line drawing done on layout paper is then glued to 300 gsm uncoated white board and then the half tome added. I then scan the drawing at 600dpi and the digital part of this work can go from there.

This series is simply about getting it to that stage.

Like all the drawings in this series this one is about Cotswold Wildlife and will eventually appear in Cotswold Life magazine. It will eventually be available as a print from here.

The text for this one is as follows:

Chucksbry Cryer ( Bellus bellendo )

One would expect the breed to be exceptionally rare, but it does advertise itself very loudly with a loud bell sound. This one only seen in Tewkesbury, usually on festive days. Fortunately, it is unlikely that there are any breeding pairs. Plumage is bright and noticeable from some distance but one is advised not to get too close as the sounds it emits can bring on early onset tinnitus.

It is understoood that other towns and cities in the area might have single species, Gloucester’s is said to be particularly large specimen that goes under a different name.

Male call: “Oh yez, oh yez!” Repeated often with very loud bell sound.

Female: No known sightings by myself, but this could change


This drawing is also done just with chinagraph halftone. Here’s the text for this one:

Greater and Lesser Sheddist ( Creasote Creasotis )

Rarely seen anywhere outside the confines of allotments and some less formal gardens ( Formal gardens have them but they are secreted behind screening and can be difficult to find ) Breeds: there is some dispute which is the greater and which is the lesser – the male or the female. The female nest tends to be cleaner and more organised, the males nest is never painted in any other colour other than black or brown ) Females nests have lately been seen in subtle shades of blue.

Anyone using what was once a Shepherd’s Hut is not a sheddist, unless they use it for the birth of lambs.

Plumage: Both have a tendency to bobbly hats 

Call: A contented low volume contented whistle


Complete white out?

The application of paint!

The little video here shows this drawing without the half tone added here and before the paint has been applied here and there. So the version below is almost the final thingy. It’s one of my series on Cotswold Wildlife for Cotswold Life magazine and will appear there in due course. I’ve added the text so that you can hopefully see the sense of it.

Once the line work is complete, then I generally add and amend with a bit of this paint, which will obliterate almost any marks.

This and all my methods are not necessarily the received way of doing things, they are just my own way. I hope you enjoy the series.offgridder web

Off-Gridder ( Yurtus yurtei ) 

Extremely shy rare breed, sometimes mistaken for a Greater Stroudie. Frequents woodlands, and once seen rarely forgotten.Gives of a rare perfume, female fragrance a little like patchouli, male a mixture of patchouli and woodsmoke. Male has a tendency to be very hairy and stout whereas the female may well be very thin and beady. Tatoos may be evident on either.

Call: “Warrayawant?” is the male call. Female tends to repeat the word “Cool” so can sound like a pigeon.

Stick this one on!





So here’s the drawing after it’s been mounted on to card and had some half-tone added.In this instance the half tones are soft pastel, though I do use chinagraph pencils sometimes. There will be a video about each of these. All the hand work is now done and it’s a digital file where it can be cleaned up and faffed with for evermore.For the techies around I scan at 600 dpi on a flat bed scanner but have sometimes been known to photograph larger drawings so that I don’t have to then stitch them together in photoshop.

As with all the drawings featured in this “Heritage Drawing Methods Series” as someone called them on Facebook, the finals will appear in Cotswold Life sometime in the future and are available as prints from here.

This little video is just about gum and the modern replacement for Cow Gum. Beware it can get messy, and if you do use this stuff, then please keep a window open and plenty of ventilation as the fumes can, I’m sure, make you speak in ‘voices’.

Be careful out there, art is a dangerous business.


Others in the series can be found here:

Coming soon, a series of the inner workings…

and here

Number 1: How did I get here?