Ogres in Italy

b/w, colour, drawing, exhibition, painting, sketchbook, travel
A piece for the Orchinfabula exhibition at the National Archeological Museum in Paestum, Italy. As part of the Festival of Fairy Tales, the exhibition centered around the theme of myths and ogres.

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Exploring mythology for this piece was a departure from my usual work, it’s nicely timed with the new term I’m teaching at The Prince’s Drawing Clubs as we’re exploring myths and legends too. The exhibition lies just across the road from an incredible archaeological site preserving temples of the Greek gods Athena, Hera and Neptune, I’ve just come back from there and tried my hand at painting its surroundings. Working with colours in watercolour was fun and foreign to me since I paint with black ink mostly. Here’s the muddied result along with a couple other quick drawings done whilst waiting for and on trains.

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Italy-11…and a few panels of my Uffizi tour with Jon. Negronis will feature later if I finish this little strip.

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And one last drawing copied from a painting…from which I cannot recall the name. But I loved the dramatic lighting cast over the majestic figures swooping all over the canvas.

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On the outskirts of HK

b/w, drawing, sketchbook, travel

Went away to HK last month, and spent some time exploring the quieter, more residential areas of HK. I forwent my usual brush pen and heavy graphic results, working with a graphite stick most of the time instead. It was nice to achieve a wider tonal variation, but I missed the decisiveness and the process of working with my mistakes the way I did when using ink.

Summer fun in NY

colour, illustration, process, travel, typography

An illustration of summer experiences in NY – sweaty, sticky heat, short shorts and ogling men, iced drinks, outdoor movies and rooftop bbqs – what more could you want? Below is one of the initial sketches, and my first attempt at a final image, though I didn’t like the overloaded detail and went back to a simpler, cleaner process, as above.

Italy DRAWN: Last days in Perugia

b/w, colour, sketchbook, travel

I spent my last days of this five week trip in Perugia, paying one final gallery visit to the National Gallery of Umbria.

I couchsurfed a lot of the way through Italy, its such an awesome way to meet people and experience the country in a different way, they helped answer a lot of questions I could only glean from the surface as a tourist. In Perugia I was hosted by the lovely Fabrizio, who got a snazzy haircut and taught me how to say almost! in Italian whilst we played basketball – quasi! Probably the only Italian word I’ll remember since it was repeated so often.

Waiting for Fabrizio one day, freeeezzzing cold and super hungry (badly dealt with by a big bar of chocolate) I caught the leading cast of Lezioni di Cioccolato filming a scene for the sequel, not too dissimilar from a repeated scene in this trailer, with a whole lot of chasing and shoving going on.

A bit of live music with The Dad Horse Experience – German playing a banjo and occasionally the keyboard with his toes. Not usually my kinda thing, but fun nonetheless, and nooo love songs! Just songs about dead dogs he saw on the highway…good stuff.

Went to check out Rocca Paolina – a 16th century fortress, stumbled upon a cheese fair, as you do in Italy. Really friendly stall owners gave me a free and tasty lunch. Nom!

I ate too much on this trip. And now I’m several pounds heavier for it..dammit.

Italy DRAWN: Easter in Rome

b/w, colour, sketchbook, travel

Paid a brief visit to the Vatican City, sending off another postcard. The Pope was in the house, it felt like some sort of concert, ‘And thank you to the students of Ohio…’ ‘WOOOOOOO!!’

Some rather dramatic sculptures walking along Via della Conciliazione.

A mish-mash of Rome’s most famous sites, a lot of queuing and yet more tour groups. Not having brushed up on my Italian history, and not being the biggest fan of sightseeing, a lot of the things I was seeing went straight over me.

Museum of Criminology, probably my favourite museum whilst I was in Italy. Really interesting displays, some crazy torture equipment, and a good place to get away from the tour groups – I don’t think this was on their itinerary list.

Most of the places I visited were small enough to get around by foot, but there were days in Rome when my little feet couldn’t take it in anymore.

Italy DRAWN: Starting in Florence

b/w, colour, portrait, sketchbook, travel

After three major scanning sessions, here is the first part of my five week excursion in Italy. Starting in Florence, I took a two week drawing class with Glenn Vilppu, with some awesome classmates to keep me company.

We did a spot of people watching..

I couldn’t get over how picturesque everything was, really, EVERYTHING! Landscapes, streets, ceilings, you name it.


I even started drawing the door knobs,

and there was no way I could miss the statues.

There was a marathon taking place the first weekend. Funny, I’ve never been interested in checking out the London Marathon (and even less so about participating) but when in Rome…well not quite in Rome, yet. When abroad then. Plus everything was within such a lovely walking distance from each other it would have been hard for me to miss it.

I loved the Duomo, rising over all the narrow winding streets which also acted as the perfect frame for this looming piece of architecture.

My brother came to visit during the second weekend, but being a bit of a dope, accidentally booked his return flight for early Sunday morning, so he only stayed for a day, getting a brief glance of the city.

Luckily, Cultural Week had just started which meant free entry to a lot of places, so we popped into the Boboli Gardens. I spent my last day in Florence wandering around the Galleria Accademia and the Uffizi. Considering how the Uffizi is such a popular place for tourists to visit, the gallery was really badly laid out. As it was also teeming with tour groups, I was more than happy to get out of there, but not before checking out some more statues..

and sending off a quick postcard.