Monday, 8 February 2016

Encre et Stylo: out now

My new book Pen and Ink is published this year, and first out of the blocks is the French edition, Encre et Stylo (Editions Pyramyd), on 11 February. Editions in English, German and Spanish are published later in 2016 – more news here when these come out.

The 208-page book explores the wide variety of approaches that the medium embraces, the range of pens and inks the artists use, and insights into how and why they use them. It includes around 100 images, by international illustrators, artists, urban sketchers and students – some you may know already, some you probably won't.     

Who is in Pen and Ink? Here's a list of the 34 artists who generously agreed to let their images be used. My heartfelt thanks to them all.

Phoebe Atkey, UK
Cachetejack, Spain
Cynthia Barlow Marrs, UK
Michelle Cioccoloni, UK
Caroline Didou, France
Nicholas Di Genova, Canada
Jedidiah Dore, USA
Rohan Eason, UK
Joan Ramon Farré Burzuri, Spain
Pamela Grace, UK
Marina Grechanik, Israel
Tyga Helme, UK
Amer Ismail, UK
Sabine Israel, France
Nina Johansson, Sweden
Loui Jover, Australia
Òscar Julve, Spain
Eleni Kalorkoti, UK
Fred Kennett, UK
Olivia Kemp, UK
Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Malaysia
Chris Lee, UK
Dalit Leon, UK
Michael Lukyniuk, Canada
Fred Lynch, USA
Joe Munro, UK
Fraser Scarfe, UK
Rolf Schroeter, Germany
Suhita Shirodkar, USA
Mike Slaton, USA
Swasky, Spain
Susan Toplitz, USA
Patrick Vale, USA/UK
Wendy Winfield, UK

There are some drawings by me as well.

You can order the French edition on Amazon now.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The view from a Welsh window

Here's a view of the cottage in which we stayed over the new year: a good, deep window ledge on the first floor, well-insulated windows, half-finished cake, the Guardian's prize cryptic crossword (also half finished), the strains of BBC Radio 4, and wild acres of rain-drenched Welsh fields across the valley to draw. And time.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Back from the Beacons

We had a quiet few days over the new year in the rural isolation of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Isolation is a relative term – it was only a few hours' drive from London along the M4 – but from the window of the converted barn at a sheep farm we were staying in we could see only one distant farmhouse in the broad panorama across the valley. When darkness fell, theirs was the only light we could see. Apart from one night, New Year's Eve, when the clouds drew back to reveal a dazzling range of stars of the kind you never ever see in London, our time there was accompanied by long periods of rain and more rain. The fields oozed under our feet, and torrents ran down the lanes.

The broad window ledge of an upstairs room was an ideal place to perch to draw the scene. Buzzards, or perhaps red kites, sometimes as many as four or five, drifted across the sky. Occasionally, the heights of the distant hills would become blurred by passing clouds. The number of cars passing outside our barn at Tircapel Farm during our entire stay? We didn't see one.

The UK is a small, highly populated country, but its green lungs, such as the Brecon Beacons, remain fantastically unspoiled. And uncrowded, too, at this time of year and in this kind of weather. But with thick stone walls and few, small windows, the barn was a calming refuge.

Happy new year.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

New from Simone and Pete

Two new books have been published in the past few months by artists well known in urban sketching circles, and I have drawings in both of them. Archisketcher by Simone Ridyard and Creative Sketching Workshop by Pete Scully are both published in the UK by Apple. With Katherine Tyrrell's Sketching 365 and my own Sketch Your World, they make up a quartet of drawing books published by Apple that reveal themselves through the similar covers and designs (well done that RotoVision team).

Simone's Archisketcher focuses on the nitty-gritty of urban sketching: architecture. It has drawings by about 40 artists, and I particularly like the way it gets beneath the surface to look at how cities have changed and developed, focuses on different architectural styles, and explores the characters of neighbourhoods well known to particular contributors. It is great to be led through the streets by Simone, who is a Manchester-based architect and senior lecturer — she is playing a central role in the annual Urban Sketchers symposium that heads to that city in July 2016.

Pete Scully is based in Davis, California, but English — we've only met once at a sketchcrawl he organised through the East End. His book, Creative Sketching Workshop, takes the form of a series of workshops by 12 artists who each explore their own approaches to particular themes, such as drawing in bars, making travel portraits or street sketching. Each section starts with a jumping-off point to get you started, followed by a series of examples by the artist. It's a book, like Simone's, that urges us to get out and draw.

They are on sale in the usual places, usually close to Sketch Your World and Sketching 365.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Coming up in 2016: Pen and Ink

I have a new book out in 2016. It's called Pen and Ink, and it's published in the UK by Frances Lincoln in June. Before that, in the new year, it will be published in French and German editions. I'll post more details of these — and other editions — when I have them.

The book features the drawings of around 30 artists (some old favourites, others new discoveries) who, as the title effectively suggests, work with pen and ink. It's a medium that is broad in scope, as are the works that are featured in it. It's available for pre-order now, but I'll post more about it, and the artists featured in it, in time.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My Garden an Amazon Best Book 2015

Good news. Dream Draw Design My Garden has been selected as one of Amazon's Best Books in 2015. It's one of the Editors' Holiday Gift Picks in the Design, Construct, Create section, meaning, I think, that it will make a great Christmas present. Who am I to argue?

There's more about it here. It's available from other online places as well, and your real-life high street book store. (It's just as good wherever you get it.)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

St Paul's on a latte cup

My drawing of St Paul's and the city skyline are on the takeaway latte cups of the Timberyard chain of coffee shops for the next few months (while the stocks of 50,000 last). Get a latte, get a drawing.
It coincides with an exhibition of drawings by the London Urban Sketchers group from 2 November to 30 April 2016 at the brand new Timberyard Soho branch (4 Noel Street, London W1F 8GB). I'm showing (and selling) prints of the drawing (below) — email me for details.
I drew the view from Blackfriars Bridge as I cycled home one night after work. I've always liked the way the taller buildings towards the east appear over the top of the solar panelling of the railway station that spans the river: the Barbican towers, St Paul's, Tower 42, Cheesegrater, and a glimpse of the Gherkin pop up. There's another second part of the drawing that continues around to the south, showing the Walkie Talkie, Shard and Tate Modern. I drew it all with my cycle helmet on.
The bridge is the only one in central London that runs directly north-south, so the sunsets viewed from it can be spectacular. (It sounds ridiculous, but close your eyes on the windier days and it's the closest London has to offer to the feeling you get by standing on top of Henna Cliff, Morwenstow. Traffic, planes, sirens, commuters, architecture and everything else apart, that is.) The bridge isn't a friendly place for cyclists, but I like it.