Bridge at Ronda (in progress)

Bridge at ronda (wip)

A work in progress – as you can see. This one is tricky – again – it’s small – and I don’t want to resort to small (000) brushes but it’s hard not to given the detail in the bridge. I can see that need to increase the arch on the upper left hand side – but this is stuff you miss when you’re doing detail. The colour still probably needs to be adjusted (less grey, a little more taupe), but as stated – a work in progress.

Sketch/painting Venice

Venice gondolas

I’ve ignored paintings since working on a piece of Fernando Alonso winning the European Grand Prix of Valencia in a Ferrari. This seemed to be the perfect subject – and I had all the reference and this painting was going to be GREAT. It wasn’t. I worked and worked. I painted gesso over half the painting and tried again. But the more I worked the worse it got.

I sketched a lot after this, 🙂

Evelyn has been bugging me to paint (clever woman) and so I took on a couple of smaller projects – the above is from a shot I took in Venice (bet you couldn’t tell, eh?) back in 2014. It’s small… about 30 x 15 cm – which was a mistake – the smaller painting take as long as a larger painting because of the detail – but it was a good way to work myself back in…

Alfa Spider Concept

alfa concept18

I’ve been busy of late, but not posting, as you’ll have noticed. My students were recently working on a “classic redesign” and one of the subjects (surprise, surprise) was a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce. Wonder where that came from? Well amongst many others there was a Mercedes 300sl convertible, a Dino Ferrari and a Jaguar XKSS  – none of which  ( /-: ) I own… still I pitied my students their work and did a little myself. I thought the drawing of the original car was quite good… but the re-design??? Shock – horror… welcome to 1990… Uggh. I’m getting old (or perhaps I’m already there).


Porsche 914, Watkins Glen


I drove down to Watkins Glen last week and visited the old F1 track for the first time. The area is beautiful and the drive from the interstate alongside Seneca lake was lovely. I had the convertible hood of the Alfa down and got a sunburn.

I was visiting some friends at the Glen and they were doing a couple of track days there. The track days were organized by Porsche, and thus most of the cars there were P-cars, and most of those were of the newer GT3/GT4 variety, though there were exceptions, and this was one of them. This was a 70s vintage 914 in what I guess to be “signal orange”. This car was running a flat 6 engine which must have made it very interesting to track, indeed.



I have been remiss – I have allowed an excess of self-imposed projects to impede my posting here – but – I will rectify this now with this belated posting of a sketch from the Muslim quarter in Granada from May… Better late than never!

Sintra, Portugal


Another sketch from our recent travels, this one from Sintra, Portugal – a lovely area just north west of Lisbon.

Ronda, Spain


A sketch from our recent trip to Spain. This is a clock tower in the “Plaza Duquesa de parcent” in the eastern part of Ronda. Like most of my sketch subjects it had a comforting proximity to a patio that served beer… 🙂


In the same sketchbook (circa 1985) that I found the Tower of London (previous post) I found this – and I find this vastly amusing.

I remember staying in this Youth Hostel back in early July of 1985 – I’ve said that it is in “Leuven” – but it was not – it was rural, definitely outside of Leuven. Why is this amusing to me? My sister-in-law and her family live in Leuven and thus we are frequent visitors there. I had completely forgotten about this place, but have tried (since re-acquainting myself with this sketchbook) through various searches and search methods to see if I could locate this youth hostel/farmhouse but I have not been successful; Leuven has grown, I have no idea of how close (or far) this is from Leuven or indeed, what direction it was in relation to the city, and of course, it is almost certain that this place is no longer a hostel.

Still, I find it hilarious to imagine that I, as a feckless youth toddled around so closely to my soon-to-be brother in law (who would have been a mere 8 or so years old at the time).

Worst, looking at this sketch, I fear my drawing style has not evolved as I might have wished it would. “sigh”.

Old School and new.

Tower then and now

When I was 18, I went to Europe – good move, I think – it altered my perceptions and changed my life – but I digress. Even back then, I sketched… and on the left you see a badly aged sketch of the southwest tower of the Tower of London that I recently found in an old sketchbook which dates back to June of 1985 when I was a tender and innocent ( 😉 ) 18 years old. On the right is a sketch that I evolved into a loose painting in 2005, when I was living in London. When I did the second sketch/painting, I was completely unaware that I had done the one on the left… Almost the same viewpoint. I’m not sure if this testifies that monuments never change or artists don’t. Or maybe the best viewpoints are limited?

Really the message here is; NEVER throw out your old sketchbooks.



Please excuse the roughness of this – the final sketch in my “ABC” series – this is a sketch done in 6H pencil as a preliminary underlay for the final. The alliteration for this one (not printed out but slated for the top left corner) is “Many Minis making minimal movement in Milan”.

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