Rocky Topp, what he did at the coast.

There we are in sunny Pembrokeshire taking in the beauty of the area and there in the distance is a rock, as you’d expect.

“What’s that on the top there?” says someone. ” It’s a bloke in a chair!”

As he gets home from his holiday this chap will tell his chums on a Monday morning that he went down to the coast and took in the view, as well as did a bit of climbing, with the most important but of equipment of course, the fold-up beach chair. A knotted handkerchief on the head might have completed the picture.

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How on earth do you do that with a pencil?

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Off to West Wales to see my old chum Graham Brace. Graham was the person responsible for my early career by persuading me to go into business with him. We’d both lost our jobs in advertising in similar circumstances and redundancy at such an early age was I suppose, one of the best things to happen to us. We struck out on our own.

The partnership lasted four years before Graham, a native of West Wales, went back home. The friendship has lasted since.

He became one of the four-most exponents of colour pencil drawing and his eye for detail and light are just incredible. It’s not what we did when in partnership, we were ‘visualisers’ supplying the advertising and design world with a good pair of drawing hands for them to present their ideas to clients. It worked, the partnership was successful, and we made a strong reputation for ourselves in the London design and advertising world. Both of us went our own ways when Graham went back to Wales. Myself into more cartoon and illustration work and Graham into graphic design with an illustration extra. If you go down to a beauty spot almost anywhere in Pembrokeshire and there’s a guide map on an information board, it’s likely the drawing was done by Graham.

Graham’s more recent work over the past several years if of a different order. Atmospheric and stunningly realistic. I find it difficult to comprehend how anyone can do that with a coloured pencil. I’m particularly fond myself of the more abstract works which to me show Graham’s great eye for composition and challenge the viewer to look more closely at what they might be missing.

Take a look for yourself right here: Graham Brace

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