I thought it might be fun to share a work-in-progress.

This project was inspired by a song lyric. At around 3AM I was saved from the tedium of insomnia by a documentary on the music of the 1960s. The show offered (amongst other treasures) a rendition of ‘High Flying Bird’ recorded by Richie Havens in 1969 (authored – so far as I can see – by Billy Edd Wheeler).

The vocals were wonderful…and one line in particular kept leaping out at me. It needed to be drawn.

Above is my initial (very rough!) sketch, along with the snippet of lyrical inspiration from which it sprang.

I then used the rough as a guide to block out the figure in more detail, adding some light and shade to solidify the form.

I’m quite pleased with the sketch so far and looking forward to tackling the next stages … watch this space 🙂


All change!

Starting today, I’ll be trying out a new posting schedule. I’m aiming to bring in some different types of post, as well as making more of those I especially enjoy. My hope is to make the site as interesting, useful and other good stuff as I can – whilst also allowing myself some extra time for study, projects and play 😀

To those of you who have been following along with me – thank you all so much…your support is truly appreciated. Hello and welcome to new friends, too 🙂

Today’s image belongs to a category I’m calling my Doodle Book – these posts will be given over to doodles which help me capture ideas for further development.

For me, this type of playful, free doodling is so important – I try not to worry too much about accurate rendering, and focus on the ‘feel’ of the piece. Sometimes I’ll move straight on to a more finished illustration – and sometimes I leave it to simmer on a low heat!  Either way, the doodle process is a really useful exercise for me. 

Happy new week lovely people 🙂


Another pencil texture to test today. This one is more binary than yesterday’s – the marks are more defined and repetitive.

Testing the texture using a quickly snapped photo of my sketchbook page, I made today’s quick fishy doodle. I quite like the effect in the background, and I reckon this one will be great when blended into areas of foliage 🙂

Graphite Therapy

There is something wonderfully therapeutic about making marks on a page. A simple pencil, applied to a page, provides a hypnotic pastime.

I used a sketchbook page and sat happily making marks for another digital texture. I took some snaps along the way, to show the different kinds of marks I made to build up the layers.

To test the texture  I made a quick image in a sketchbook app, using just the photo to apply the texture. I like the general effect this gives, so I’ll go ahead and make a high-resolution scan. The scanned image – after some digital tweaking – will give a much more nuanced effect when used to apply texture to a high res illustration. 

Making textures like this one is a great way to make digital artworks more organic and personal to you. They can be used singly or in combination to build up unique textures in your art.

Most importantly, though – this is loads of fun 🙂

Making marks

This week I plan to work on creating some textures to use in my digital images and modelling projects. I’ll be using a variety of techniques to make these.

Some will be made using traditional media, then scanned and edited digitally for optimising. I will draw others in a digital sketchbook app –  though these too will go through some further processing before I add them to my collection of textures.

Along the way I’ll be testing them out with some quick digital doodles. This will give me a feel for how well the textures work before I start optimising them for more creative uses 🙂

I quite like the results in this quick test, though I think I’ll scale the texture down some before using it in earnest.