pencil drawings of birds


birds sketchbook 1People ask if I draw a lot of birds and I say, ‘No, not really…’  Then I think back over the subject matters I’ve worked with and actually, there are a fair few birds in there.  So here is a lovely collection of my feathered friends, from sketchbook, to the final few I worked up into my birds series.

There’s something I like about their demeanor – short quick movements suit my short quick drawing style; the tilt of their head gives them a human-like quizzical expression.

So as I draw and draw, a few start making themselves known as the ones to paint.  It all started with this cardinal a long time ago…

cardinal bird a garden bird in america

To which I added four more… They’re all available to buy online in my redbubble shop, in various retail places in Bristol, and they’re currently in an exhibition at the Better Food cafe until Saturday 13th December.  I’m hoping to send them on a little tour around Bristol, so maybe you’ll see them up…

watercolour painting of Splendid Fairy Wrendiademed tanager redbubbleKing of saxony

Big Toothy Robot

Today I drew and painted up a toothy robot, inspired by a pencil sharpener (if you can believe it).  It doesn’t have a name yet – what do you think it should be called?

Pen and ink drawing of a robot from 2 different angles

pen sketch illustration of a Tuojiangosaurus

Tuojiangosaurus Gets Some Publicity

So why is it that the T-rex gets all the popular media coverage?  I think we should be talking about Tuojiangosaurus more, if only because it’s pronounced ‘Two-wang-oh-sore-us’.  I love the way it rolls off the tongue.

pen sketch of the dinosaur skeleton of Tuojiangosaurus


This sketch was drawn at the Natural History Museum in London.

Moley Moley Mole Popped Up To Say Hello

Sometimes I get these drawing urges, like, I have to draw, RIGHT NOW.  Not being one who wants to ignore that voice, I got out my inks, found some reference, and Mole happened.  As if he had mined his way through my subconscious to pop up on the page.

pen and ink mole drawing

Bumbling along in Olomouc

Well, after my cliffhanger, turns out that I can wing it after all.  Although that being said, the hostel I am staying at is a little bit odd, but hey, that makes the story a little more interesting and beggars can’t be choosers…

I eventually find the tourist information in Olomouc, it is a sunny day and I walk past a beautiful park thinking I will have to revisit it.  The info centre find me a room, and pack me off with directions to the local swimming pool.  I turn up at the pool, wait in a queue with others holding gym kits and goggles and feel a little out of place.  To be honest, it is  a feeling that is getting more and more prevailent…  At the desk I ask if they speak English – in Czech of course – one girl does, a little, and confirms that this is a hostel. I have a triple room all to myself, which at first was a bit lonely, it’s clinically white and smells of disinfectant.  And showering was an interesting game this morning.  The little curtain to pull across the door was about three quarters the width.  Fortunately I am not too bothered about this kind of thing but as it happens no one came in, so phew…  This is what you get for winging it but at least I am not in the train station with my sleeping bag. I head out, it is now raining and Olomouc is practically dead.  So much for student town.  Saturday night and nothing is going on.

It seems hardly anyone speaks English here, already I can tell it is going to feel weird coming back home and be understood without hand signals and pointing at my phrasebook.

So after a quiet and a little depressing start in Olomouc, I have been able to sleep well – aside from people banging the heavy bathroom door – and got free entry to the art museum and one other because it is Sunday – hooray – enter exclamation mark here, I cannot find it on the kezboard.

There is a theatre here, I am going to see a Slovak – I think – band tonight, I saw the word accordion and was sold.  I am also going to see a dance performance and more music from a polish band tomorrow.  So my evening entertainment is sorted for Olomouc, I am quite excited, especially as all the tickets were so freakin’ cheap.

So more duh moments, I was walking back to the hostel and there were a group of three scruffy rowdy men walking up a side road towards me.  As I turned down the road to pass them one said something to me.  I shrugged and said in English ‘I do not understand’.  Then the buggar knew how to ask me for money in English.  I ignored him and confidently strode down the road.  The confidence was short lived as it turned out I was walking into a cul-de-sac.  Nuts, wrong road.  The guys had carried on walking but could see one keep turning round to look at me.  So I hung back, waited for them to round the corner and carried on in the correct direction, pretending that I wasn’t so stupid…

I got chatting to a nice American couple on the train to Olomouc and I said that I felt very much like I was bumbling my way along.  They said that was what they had been doing for the last 40 odd years.  I guess bumbling can work…