Judith in The Battle of of Carlingford Lough, 2015

The Battle of Carlingford Lough

A commission I finished a few weeks ago: Judith Campbell emerging triumphant from “The Battle of of Carlingford Lough”. This was fun to draw, quite a bit more fun than the swim looks like it was at the time, though of course I imagine it’s fun to remember it now. An 8.5k swim worthy of immortalizing in a drawing! This is a digital drawing, drawn on a tablet, like most of my swimming drawings. If you haven’t seen these before – most of them reside in my other blog, the confusingly named Cat-of-the-Day.)

The finished picture

The Cumbria Flood Appeal drawing

Back at the end of last year Cumbria was suddenly rather underwater. I live in Somerset, where we know a bit about flooding, but this is also a place where I have spent a lot of time over the years. I know people there and I know some of the roads and landmarks that got washed away, so I decided I would hold a little charity auction in aid of the flood appeal fund. The winner of the auction would get a drawing of a subject of their choosing that I would create from photographs and imagination – but I…

'Waterbabies' - digital drawing


I have been slacking, I admit, in updating my website lately, but this is because I have been actually getting on with some artwork. So it’s about time I showed you a picture or two. Here is a commission I did recently – one of a growing number of digital drawings I have done for people because they have seen my swimming drawings and asked me to draw them, or in this case, their daughters. Sometimes these commemorate certain events, in this casethe youngest daughter’s first experience of open water.

Andy Barton’s Brutal Swim

This was a commissioned digital drawing I did for Andy, commemorating a memorable swim. It gathered together the correct elements – hat colour, the buoy in the background, etc. to create a memento of a swim he did this year, The Big Brutal Swim, Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, North Wales. The photograph is in fact of the previous year, but the same place. The camera is so particular about such details, but with the persuasiveness of the pencil (or digital stylus) I re-created the scene for this year’s swim. The photographs: (I am sorry I don’t know who took these. If…

Commissioned portrait: Jude, Al & Star

Jude & Al’s portrait

From my blog you’d think I haven’t done much work lately and only post sketches to cat-of-the-day, but this impression is partly because I’ve completed two commissioned portraits this year which had to remain sectet. One of them can now be revealed! THis is Jude and Al, and their dog Star. In pencil and gold leaf, and the composition designed for an oval frame. As you might expect, people don’t generally ask me to draw or paint their portrait unless they have something special in mind.

Pudding Bridesmaids

A last-minute riot of Bridesmaids

All other work went on hold from Wednesday to Saturday this week as I did a rather last minute commission for a friend. Not that it had been last-minute from the outset, but I hadn’t been the artist commissioned to do it to begin with, the other one ran away, reasons unknown! This is the blushing bride, surrounded by her hen party all as imaginary bridesmaids, all in fantastically awful pudding bridesmaids dresses (there was a back story here but I think the idea stands on its own without it). I had a photo of each of the girls, and…

Pauline Squire, swimming coach

A digital departure

I am busily painting knickerless witches, but it is time-consuming, so in the meantime I wanted to show you my first actual commissioned digital drawing – so far all the digital ones have been done to please myself, and have generally appeared on  Cat-of-the-Day (not daily; not all cats). This is Pauline Squire​. Based on a photograph, but I think the trick with drawing from a photograph is to use it only as a guide, not to slavishly try to reproduce it. Rather like my drawings that are done as an image of how I think a scene might have…

'Relax' in Steampunk / Victorian Octopi

A composition of glorious non-sequiturs

Think of three unrelated things: a noun, an adjective, and a verb… Octopus Steampunk Relax Can I please paint the word ‘Relax’ in steampunk octopi? Ok, no problem. The result is arguably a little more ‘Victorian Farce’ than proper ‘Steampunk’, but I thought a lot of tiny steampunk details would probably get lost, or worse, make the word unreadable. Squint in a drunken way, preferably from your lovely warm bath, glass of wine in hand, and they clearly say ‘Relax’…