Introduction to my studio

I could start with a detailed description of my converted single garage, complete with a layout plan and photos of every nook and cranny; but you’d probably be asleep before too long (which may be a good thing – you spend too much time on the internet anyway). So I’ll just stick to a paragraph here and a photo there, as it occurs to me.

For starters, meet my drawing sticks.

Faber Castell are my favourite pastel sticks, just the right semi-hard consistency. Can be used for light delicate shading, or bold rich colours. Very controllable, but getting harder to find; they seem to be cutting back on their colour range. The Contés are very hard, and are good for delicate work, like light shadows. Cretacolors are hard, but some colours tend to glaze up when used on fabric, which is not so handy. The Gallery Mungyo pastels are called semi-hard, but are actually quite soft, so must be used carefully for delicate work. The soft pastels, Rembrandt, Art Spectrum, and Roymac, are really good for broad, rich colours, but not much else.


Of the pastel pencils, the Stabilo CarbOthellos are by far the best in every way. The Contés are very good, and the Derwents, although good, do glaze up in some colours on fabric. For graphite I’ll stick to the Franchevilles, much richer than the Derwents for the same grade. My charcoal pencil of choice is the peelable General (soft); no wasted charcoal, line thickness variable by adjusting the pencil angle. Conté charcoal sticks good for broad areas of black. But the Conté Pierre Noire pencils are simply wonderful; rich, velvety, controllable.

Kneadable eraser for when things go awry, or need holding back; blu-tac is good for this, too.


Here is my physical archive of sketches on (mostly) calico. Several hundred of the blighters, divided alphabetically according to last name of subject. Björk gets her own section, as do cars, commercial work, and people whose names I do not know. A few dozen of these drawings have already found their new homes, mostly in the USA, some in the UK, and some here in Australia. If you’d like to give some of these pictures their freedom, I’d be happy to let them go for just the price of postage (about AUD25 internationally for one, up to around AUD50 for half a dozen, int. About a quarter of that domestically).

And for an idea of the size of my work, here is a photo of an average-sized man (wearing his day job work shirt for the third-last time), standing next to a portrait of Mr Bowie (whose new album, The Next Day, I highly recommend).


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