Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Dum-dee-dum Delightful...

Nothing like a bit of 'Die Hard' for some festive inspiration. Thank you, Dundee Contemporary Arts.

Also for those unfortunate enough to have not seen 'Die Hard', or can't recall what happens - here, 'Die Hard in 5 Seconds'.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Add A Little Colour

Just a few more pieces of work I've been playing about with.
Sometimes I feel like I can't draw.

Remember 1995?

Colourful Bike.


Cowboy 1.

Cowboy 2.


Monday, 6 December 2010

Snow Days

I do like the snow, but I'm growing tired of it now. Not enjoying being insular and not being able to drive my car. How do you drive again?

Monday, 22 November 2010


A few drawings I've been doing in the sketchbook:

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


So, we've just got back from our short break in Gothenburg last week. Had a great time and would love to go back to Sweden at some point. I'm not really sure what was my favourite part (certainly not the flights) but I really enjoyed being somewhere different than Dundee even Just for a few days. The weather was better than expected too, it was sunny and warm every day and just started to get a little cooler towards the end of the week which was fine as we were well equipped with gloves and scarves.

A walk down Vasagatan on our first day.

In brief we spent a lot of time walking about enjoying the autumn sun, drinking coffee (well, Jen had tea) and eating Kanelbulle and other cake type things. We also spent a day shopping and wandering the streets of a nice little area called the Haga which I'd recommend to anyone who visits Gothenburg.

Sitting on a small dock kind of thing on Asperö Island.

One of the things I wanted to do was to take the Ferry over to Asperö Island - so with the weather being what it was we did that on the second day. A lovely picturesque island but it was incredibly quiet due to it being autumn - apparently during the summer it can get somewhat busier with many tourists using the ferries to visit the Southern Gothenburg Archipelago. Oh, and there was a lot of cats on the island - I think we saw about just as many cats as we did people.

I still make Cat friends, even in Sweden.


On our last day we did a little more shopping and visited the Röhsska Museum (Design Musuem) and the Natural History Museum before heading back to the Haga for some awesome Vegetarian food at a small, but very popular café. Being in a foreign country without having any grasp of the language whatsoever has got me inspired to take up learning a language again - I think I would quite like to learn French although, having done German at school I should probably take that up as I image most of it will come back to me, it's just a shame I no longer have my old school text books.

Crazy Pilot Fish in the Natural History Museum.

All of the above and a few more pages of sketchbook based work on a couple of productive days off since being back brings us back up to date. I really loved the simplicity of the Swedish transport network - Something that we in Britain should probably strive to emulate - if only it were that easy, when are Edinburgh's trams finished again? The Strong Man drawing is hopefully going to fall into pace in one of my comics that I'm currently planning.

Strong Man.


(Photography by Jen as per usual)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A First Shot at a Panel

I finally got down to creating a panel for my comic after sifting through hours of recordings and doodling little bits and pieces, I'm not overly happy with it to be honest and will probably end up redoing it, but a start's a start. I think I've decided provisionally on a title too - 'An Inherent Appreciation of His Own Absurdity', as I feel it sums up exactly what I'm hoping to capture.

If anyone's interested in giving me their thoughts on it all or just wants to see some comical childhood photographs can visit the facebook group page for the project here.


Hope this goes as well as it looks inside my head.


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Does anyone else miss the fast show?

Right? RIGHT?!?

An Inherent Appreciation of His Own Absurdity.

It's been a good few weeks since getting back to part-time hours again. I had my driving test a week or so ago which sadly, I failed. I must admit though that it went a lot better than I was expecting, which is positive for my next test. Having the extra time on my hands, I should've started doing a whole lot more drawing and such but I've only really gotten down to that this week, I've spent the last few weeks transcribing from recordings I made back in March about family stories that I'm hoping to form into a collection of comics. I've also been enjoying experimenting with cooking again including three new soups and new homemade veggie burgers (also the leftover Veggie Burgers made quite a nice addition to a veggie pasta).

Homemade Veggie Burger on a whole-meal handmade roll with Sweet Potato Chips.

At the beginning of September, my friend Mark and I headed down south to watch Everton. As I mentioned in my previous blog post I hadn't been to a Premiership game in 10 years, and what a game it turned out to be. Unfortunately Everton's season is proving to be the worst in quite some time, but the game we chose definitely gave us our money's worth - 6 goals (3-3) with some amazing last minute action that left me with quite a sore throat and resulted in me not being able to speak properly for the next three or four days.

Our view at Goodison.

Following the game we headed back to New Brighton to attend the Magazine Hotel's beer festival and to say farewell to Dave and Jen who are off travelling around the world at this very moment (jealous much). All in all a very good weekend and I can't wait for my next premiership game (well at least if Everton can pick themselves up sometime soon) and trip to Merseyside.

Our Beer ratings.

Yesterday I rooted out my sketchbook after finishing the longest of all the transcriptions and just started some drawings, some related to the comics idea and some not at all. Still it felt nice to be drawing for drawings sake and not from making myself feel guilty for not having done any drawings in such a long time.

Work space, mid-transcribe.

Over the next few weeks I've got a few things going on. Including my driving test, our trip to Sweden (which I can hardly wait for), brand new FIFA for the XBOX on friday, setting myself the task of producing (at least) a drawing a day and a blog (at least) once or twice a week (depending on whether I actually have anything interesting to say). The latter two means I will actually be ensuring that I now take a sketchbook with me pretty much everywhere I go, something that I used to do but have gotten out of the habit of doing since it was basically just taking up extra space in my bag and meaning that I was risking losing my favourite pens (somewhat of a defeatist attitude, I know).

Grandad affectionately became known as 'The Cockleshell Hero' after crashing his van through the promenade railings and ending up on the beach.

Evil Eric Sykes with Big Hand. Reference for a possible character.

Bat-Man Jacky? Grandad had a very posh friend who never owned a television.

The Case of the Missing Forty Pages.

Jen's St. Michael Cash Register.

Fem Hundra Kronor. Can't wait for Gothenburg.

Back to the sketchbook!


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Part-Time Fun-Time

It's been far too long (again)

After a few months worth of supposedly hard work I'm moving back to my old part-time hours, and must admit I have pretty mixed feelings about it. I'm glad that I'll have more time to myself after some pretty intense work hours over the past months but the change is coming as somewhat of a shock to the system (Well not THAT much of a shock as the past few days off I spent making the most of the sun, buying new books in charity shops and reading Thomas Harris, I guess I've not really got much to complain about.)

A selection of books, read, reading and to be read.

One bonus of all the extra work I've been doing has meant I've started to read again (taking advantage of my half hour breaks) and I've been enjoying it a lot, I haven't enjoyed reading quite so much in a number of years (maybe I've just been reading the wrong things). Out of them all I've particularly enjoyed My Year of Meat and The Moneyless Man, eye opening in their own individual ways and also more recently Red Dragon, just because it's nice to get stuck into some decent well written fiction from time to time.

Now to drawing, I've not done much and I always feel a pang of guilt when people ask me if I've been doing any and my answer is simply "No". I suppose I've done more than I would've expected to though in reality and thanks once again to Jen who has inspired me to do some drawings for a zine we both decided to take part in. I think I started to beat myself up a little over how some of the drawings were turning out but Jen reassured me that it was just to be a fun project and so I did have a lot more fun with it it after that.

Koala in a Tree (for Animal Club zine)

We've had a few weekends and the odd weekday out and about and finding little bits of sun here and there to chill out in. It's been an okay summer weatherwise I guess, and we have made the most of the sun when we've had it with beach trips, days out in Edinburgh, trips to Merseyside and a picnic. I do enjoy the beach but the Mersey, the Forth, the Tay and the North Sea are all bloody freezing for paddling in, even in the summertime (Also I'm not sure I can ever really condone paddling in the Mersey, it's just not right). This weekend we're off to stay at my Dad's in Merseyside again and then to see Modest Mouse in Edinburgh on Sunday. The following three photos have been borrowed from Jen from trips to North Queensferry and the Picnic at Balgay Park (where I made a cat friend on the way home).

Shell Nose (with beard)

Beach Feets

Cat Friend

I'd been wanting to grow a beard again for sometime and in March, I finally felt it was time to give it a go. I must admit, since getting my job last year I was concerned as to what my employers stance on facial hair was but alas, they never muttered a single word about it, as a result I grew my beard to the longest it's ever been. Anyway, it did get a little out of hand in the end so I decided to shave it off just under two weeks ago and had some fun messing around with different facial hair styles. Very enjoyable. I guess I'll grow it back now.

Beard Fun

In other news, I've vowed to myself to make it to a few football games this season after witnessing Everton's reserves enjoy a victory at Station Park against Forfar in July, it was a great evening and a more enjoyable game of football than I'd been anticipating. Everton won 3-2 with about 5 minutes left to play.

Forfar Vs Everton "Souvenir" Programme

Dundee United Vs. AEK Athens

This year's second football venture was on Thursday night to see Dundee United take on AEK Athens at Tannadice. My first ever European game. Sadly United weren't really up to it, and got beaten 1-0. They don't seem to have got off the starting blocks this season sadly. The game itself wasn't awesome but I did enjoy being at a game again and the atmosphere was pretty good at times. All in all it was a good night out with a few folk from work. I can only wish United all the best in the return leg in Greece. It would be good to see some more European football in Dundee this season, failing that I suppose there's always the cup and the league hey?

Ticket for the Europa League game

Room with a View (Park End seats)

Coming to September I will be off to Merseyside to see Everton take on Manchester United, hopefully Everton will have picked themselves up from a poor start to the season and had a chance to build up a nice run of form by then, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see. It is promising though that we actually managed to take three points from United at Goodison last season. I haven't had the pleasure of going to Goodison since Everton drew with Manchester United
1-1 on the opening day of the 99/00 season (Thanks again, Jaap Stam for that point, we needed it).

Another football related sketch (why have two grounds so close?)

Back in the real world I passed the Theory section of my Driving Test and have now booked my Practical for an early morning slot on September the 21st, nerves are setting in already but I am quite excited by the fact that there's a possibility I will be able to drive in little over a month. Here's hoping.

Also, I hadn't intended any drawing this week but I somehow managed two! I know they aren't spectacular but a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

Here's to sun, beaches, reading, football, music, drawing and blogging (and above all free time).


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Come, Come to the Animal Club

It's been so long since I've drawn anything or blogged at all due to going from working part time to working full time (well probably more than full time) hours at work. It's a shame because I have missed drawing but it's one of those situations when you've been working all day (or all week) you just want to go home, sit down and do nothing.

As you can probably gather, my artwork has taken a bit of a hit due to the extra hours but I suppose it does have some positives, I'm finally saving up a little money and as a result have been able to afford to take up driving lessons again (which I am enjoying a great deal more than when I was having them about 6 years ago). I'm also finding the time to read some more books, although I can hardly say I didn't have time to read before I just never read as much.

So, anyhow, Jen has inspired me to get back into my drawings more despite my working hours and although the drawings are fairly simple at the moment I've really enjoyed to be putting some bits and bobs into a sketchbook again.





Vroom vroom*


*(The sound of too much clutch and gas).

Friday, 16 April 2010


I'd been wanting to do a new self portrait since re-growing my beard for the first time in an age. Here it is.


Monday, 12 April 2010

A day out at the Ferry

Drawing plans have hit a little bit of a snag due to the amount of overtime on offer at work at the moment - and I need the money so I'd be a fool to say no to any of it.

I did manage to get a good start on my project idea when I was off two weeks ago and visited my Dad for the week, I got the chance to record him and my Uncle Derek reminiscing about their Dad over a few pints at our favourite local and then spoke to my nan about my Grandad too. Sadly after returning home and working so many hours motivation levels concerning drawing and such have been at an all time low. Finally have a day off today and after a grand day enjoying the sun in Broughty Ferry with Jen I decided to finally get some of the drawings from two weeks ago online.

The ideas are there but the time doesn't seem to be just now.


Me and Mum


Dad, Uncle Frank and Robbie impersonating Deputy Dawg (with socks)

'Year 5' - Comic based on a book of memories my sister made whilst at primary school.

More to come soon...