Where do they come from?

line poppiesfinal

I’ve been doing some more of my ‘proper’ drawing recently. Building up a collection. Some of these as finished pieces are viewable on my alter ego site: the unknown artist

The same ones are available as prints from here

On a recent posting, one of my friends said that they deserved some explanation. So here goes. The images are all from my own photographs of my travels and holidays. Many come from walking holidays where I can usually found bringing up the rear of any walk while looking for images. Some are a little more local to me here in the UK.

The idea, if there is such a thing with these, is to add to the image in some way. Or to highlight what might not be apparent in the photograph, otherwise, it might be just better to just post the photo and have done with it. It’s all quite self-indulgent as I do it for myself, but it’s great when there’s a positive reaction, or even a negative one at that!

I made my living for many years drawing cartoons and I would not ever say that I can do better drawings than that, as I have great respect for cartoonists and what might be called ‘commercial” artists. I’ve been one!

When I started, I worked for one of the largest advertising agencies in London, briefly, where they had three full-time illustrators on the payroll. Those chaps, they were all men then, could draw in almost any style. I was a very junior art director and if we needed a drawing we’d venture to the illustrator’s studio to ask when they could do a particular piece of artwork. As I recall a Van Goch usually took a day or so. An old master would require a little longer deadline, perhaps a week or two, depending on work load and complexity. For a Picasso, you were told to come back in 40 minutes. I exaggerate, but only slightly.

What I’m saying here was that those chaps were masters of drawing in almost any genre. Much respect.

Anyhow, about this drawing. The image is a poppy field in France, in the South West rather than the North. Poppies peeking through a field of wheat. It’s not a common sight around here any more, thanks to weedkillers, but there are odd areas where we do still get them. The drawing here is the original pen and ink version that I did from the photo, with a plan to add colour later, digitally. So, in a way, this is the absolute original and the final one might be called a collaboration with the programmers who designed photoshop.

I’m trying with all these drawings to get energy into the drawing and a feeling for the atmosphere of the place. If I can get it just with the line drawing, then we’re off to a fine start. The colour can either kill or cure it completely.

The colour version won’t be completed for some time, so for the next couple of weeks I’ll just be posting the line drawings with a small explanation, and like here, the original photograph. Thanks for stopping by.





Singing under a canal bridge, but don’t mention the cheese.

Off we go, walking in the Cotswolds again, perhaps to sing the odd song under a canal bridge. This is what we did today, my friend Robin, the singer, and me. Quietest place on the walk and the best place to burst into song. The Canal is overgrown right here but is part of the Stroudwater Canal running from there to here and beyond, here being towards Frampton Mansell. We did not reckon with the runner coming into view, and she probably thought it odd that someone was singing under a bridge.

From here we wandered down the tow path towards Chalford and then up Dimmesdale, then the edge of France Lynch and on, to get back to where we started which was the Butcher’s Arms at Oakridge. As Robin said: “There’s quite a lot of ‘up’ on this walk”. Brilliant day out only partially spoilt by the world’s most ordinary cheese sandwich at the Butcher’s. £5-99 for a thick piece of bread with wafer thin cheese and a smear of chutney. Very odd really, did they think we’d like it? Beer was good though. I made my feelings on cheese known to the friendly barmaid and she said she’d tell someone.

I’d bet a thin ham sandwich that nothing will change there until there are no more customers, then it will just be converted into a smart executive home within commuting distance of Cheltenham and Bristol, and three local girls and a clueless ‘chef’ will be out of work.

Here are one or two more images from the day. Makes a change from drawing.


Scene of the singing…


There was a slight wiff of the end of Summer, but it all looked brilliant after a night of much needed rain.


Bullrushes. Still plenty of water around in general, but parts of the canal were as dried out as I’ve ever seen them.



No visitors on a Sunday


Hopefully, they were all out getting a good walk in which is what we did, but nobody dropped into here yesterday. It’s flattering when anybody calls by to my blog and even more so when they like or say anything.

Why do we do it? Well, I think it’s a little like going to the pub and bending someone’s ear at the bar. Not something I’ve ever really been prone to doing as I rarely visit pubs these days, or any days really apart from my long gone student times when I successfully managed to make myself ill every time. So blogging is my sober substitute.

This drawing started as a photograph, taken on a walk in the Orkneys. It might have been a Sunday, it was certainly very wet on that day. The rain up there comes at you not on to you. This though, was one of those days when there was no wind and the damp just  hung there, like the clothes on the line.

The black and white line work is done with the old fashioned dip pen and a paint brush, then the original scanned into photoshop for me to add the colour. I’ve been doing a lot of flat silk screen type colour recently but with this decided to do a bit of drawing with the colour too. I’ll be doing several versions in the fullness of time, probably over the winter on wet Sundays.

I’m building up a collection gradually and some of them are already available as prints on www.looksgoodonthewall.com  under my pseudo name: Edward Davies, otherwise known as the Unknown Artist. No one comes to see him on Sundays either!


The last of the series. Did I hear a sigh of relief?


OK, that’s enough of these. This one is a little more local and is from a picture taken down by the River Severn. It’s a meadow and it was another bright blue day. It’s sometimes only after you’ve taken a picture and looked at it again that you realise what a wonderful day it was and exactly how lucky we are right here to live in such a wonderful landscape.

This series has featured places as far away as Canada and the Orkneys, but this one is literally just down the road. The other factor here is that we can walk through these areas without any problem whatsoever, as long as we follow the footpaths. Of which there are loads.

According to my calculations, I’ve published 13 drawings over the last 13 days. Now it’s time for me to convert them to the prints that I’d like to make. So come back soon for the colour versions.

I’ll be doing the odd cartoon here and there too, mustn’t forget my true calling.



One of the few from Crete


Some years ago we went walking in Crete, with olive trees at every turn I took loads of pictures. This is from one of them. That black sky on the top right will be blue, leaving me to get the rest of this to look as it should, baking hot with cool shadows.

The truck below was on the same walk, but I won’t be drawing that. The plan is to make the truck a photoprint version. I think it’s a volvo!


Have you had enough of these?


Still in Yorkshire and near Sheffield. This muddy track’s brightest feature were the pools of water. the lines in the background are the web of fields surrounded by dry stone walls. Unlike some of the other drawings, I’m confident that I can make this one work well. Watch this space!

And another…Number 2, this one’s in Yorkshire.


This one’s in Yorkshire and a more recent inspiration. March saw a late fall of snow around Sheffield and this is a drift juts up the road from where we were staying. Lovely dry stone walls around there and this smooth snow drift in front of it. Of all the recent drawings there’s something about this that might be just leaving well alone. Being snow might make it a print to leave in black and white, white mainly!



“Even more!” Number 1


We are still in Scotland and in the Orkneys. We were about to take a small ferry across to the island in the background. Small jetty is out of the picture to the left. I’m not sure if it was this ferry crossing or another where we encountered French Driver. An elderly chap with two female companions and a beat up old French vehicle. Despite his advancing

I’m not sure if it was this ferry crossing or another where we encountered French Driver. An elderly chap with two female companions and a beat up old French vehicle. Despite his advancing years he was not desperately confident in his driving, but perhaps because of his advancing years, could not care less if he bumped the odd car nearby or shot backwards to his own and everyone else’s surprise. We encountered him on several ferry crossings and his car was more and more battered at each one where we met. Our own mini bus guide sensibly made sure he parked well away from him. His female companions seemed oblivious to the damage he was doing to both his car and France’s reputation in driving skills. I suspect they just did not like to mention it.

Back to the drawing, I’m hoping the print will convey the peace and quiet of the place and perhaps I can do that with the addition of colour.


“Oh so much!” Number 7


This too is on the Orkneys and is an ancient building. The foreground here is seawater, and in the original is a bright turquoise. The strata of rocks in the backgound are grey and in some places orange. The sky was blue but is unlikely to be so in the final. It was pretty wet on the Orkneys and as we were on a walking holiday, we got wet now and again. But it’s well worth it, atmospheric and calming in many ways. The rain rarely comes down, it comes along parallel to the ground, giving a very strong tingling sensation to the eyeballs. Try it soon.

Artist’s Specs…

van g glasses

Found this when sorting out computer back up. The start of an idea that really never got much further. Has it got legs? Perhaps not.


“Oh so much!” Number 6


Anyone looking at my blogs will know how much I like sheds. This one is on the Orkneys, so we’ve moved on from the Canada pictures and are onto the Orkney ones now. So don’t expect any more trees for a while, there are none, or very few, on the Orkneys. The final print of this ought to have brown, blue and green in there but I tend to make up my mind differently and not necessarily follow the colours in the photo, otherwise I’d just publish the photo. I might even do that, when the whole project is finished, so not for months.

I’ll need persistent rain to get this lot done. Creative weather.

“Oh so much!” Number 5


The last of my Canada drawings for the time being. Again this is near Ucluelet. It’s been a lot of fun doing these and I hope I do the place justice when it comes to producing the colour print versions. This one will have much darkness in the foregropund like this has on the leaves and trees, but I need to go a lot of work on the bits between the trees and to the right to make it work properly. In addition, there was a sea mist in the top left, not sure just yet quite how I’m going to achieve that.

In many ways, this is the definition of an original, in that it is just ink and Dr PH Martin’s bleedproof white here and there. I wonder what he got his doctorate in? Perhaps “tThe qualities required to blank out large areas of naff drawing without the original work showing through: A treatise”. Discuss.