Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Mole Man's house, Dalston

I stopped to draw the Mole Man's house in Mortimer Road, Dalston, as I cycled home the other day. It's been like a building site for years, but now there is activity above ground as it is developed for the artists Sue Webster and Tim Noble, who were reported to have bought it at auction before Christmas. It was previously the home of William Lyttle, aka Mole Man, who tunnelled beneath it in all directions over more than 40 years, until complaints led to his eviction. (He was rehoused in a flat and, with nowhere to dig, was dead within a few years.)
Papers report that the architect David Adjaye, who designed the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture in the National Mall, Washington, DC, among other buildings, is overseeing the development, although it doesn't look anything special yet, apart from being a shrine to scaffolding and corrugated iron.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Euro-Coaster, Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

The big winter fair in Hyde Park over Christmas, called Winter Wonderland, had this roller coaster among the labyrinthine commercial sprawl. Euro-Coaster? Get on that, Nigel Farage.

I drew these on a recent numbingly cold sketchcrawl with London's Urban Sketchers: why not drop in on the group's new Facebook group page.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas on James Street

The 73 bus at the end of our road runs to Oxford Street and there are still some presents to be bought, so we head on down. What possesses anyone to shopping there at Christmas? We take a break at a quiet cafe down James Street as darkness falls.
Season's greetings! I'll be posting images on Instagram and Twitter over the break, do drop in and follow me if that's your thing.
Have you just been given a copy of Sketch Your World? Visit its Facebook Page at

Friday, 21 November 2014

From Piccadilly to Docklands

At Waterstones Piccadilly

It was a busy weekend this week, first at Waterstones Piccadilly's first art book fair, where it was great to meet publishers, writers, artists and book lovers in Europe's biggest bookshop, and sign copies of Sketch Your World. I sat with Owen Gildersleeve, the author of Paper Cut – he cut paper rather more meticulously than I drew the scene through the crowds to the Tate Publishing desk opposite.

The O2 arena across the Thames from Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
The following day London's Urban Sketchers joined the Dining Room Drawing Club at Trinity Buoy Wharf at Draw Britain Now organised by the Campaign for Drawing. The wharf is post industrial, right across the river from the O2 arena, the home of London's only lighthouse, and hosting work by 23 artists shortlisted for the 2014 John Ruskin Prize (the exhibition continues until 30 November). The rain came, and it started getting dark in mid afternoon, but there was still a lot of drawing going on when we met to compare work at the end of the day. (The Fatboy Diner got a lot of sheltering custom that afternoon.) The wharf is a great place to visit – I'm going back.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly

The view from a Piccadilly cafe
Waterstones Piccadilly is hosting the first Piccadilly Art Book Fair on Saturday 15 November at its five-storey bookshop in the centre of London – Europe's largest bookshop — and I'll be there signing copies of Sketch Your World. (The store is about a two-minute walk along Piccadilly from where I drew the cover image for the book.)

The fair runs from 1pm to 5pm, is free, and a great chance to meet artists and authors, get involved in drawing workshops and see what great art books are out now. Come along and say hello. I'm taking some sketchbooks. Bring some of your own to show me!

There's more information at the Waterstones website.

The following day, Sunday 16 November, there is a London Urban Sketchers sketchcrawl at Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the East End. There's more information about that at the London USk website. I hope to see you there, also.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Out now: Sketch Your World in Chinese

I'm not sure I saw this coming when it was first published ten months ago, but with the recent release of a Chinese edition, Sketch Your World is now available in six languages.

Along with English editions in the UK, US and Asia, it has also been published in French, German, Korean and Taiwanese.

The US edition has recently been reprinted, and the UK edition has been reprinted three times.

There is more on this Facebook page about Sketch Your World, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'll be posting shortly about some forthcoming events.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Gabriel Campanario's new book

Gabi's new book
I am happy to say that I have a drawing in Gabriel Campanario's new book The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes published in November (US) and December (UK) by Quarry. Gabi is the founder of Urban Sketchers, a staff artist at the Seattle Times, and the author of The Art of Urban Sketching (2012, Quarry).

This new book, the first in a series on urban sketching, comes in a format that matches Moleskine's A5-sized sketchbook, complete with elasticated band. It's easy to imagine it being dropped into a bag with drawing equipment by people on their way out.

Melanie Reim's drawing on the left, mine on the right

A few other old mates also have their work in the book:

• Inma Serrano, who I met in London this summer

• Simone Ridyard, who I kind of met over different microphones when we were on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live earlier this year, and

• Melanie Reim, who I met in New York a couple of years ago.

Many of these, and Gabi, have drawings in Sketch Your World.