As an illustrator most of my time is spent drawing relatively cute and pretty pictures aimed to appease conservative publishers and appeal to a young market. Thus, my private sketchbook is a haven to unfetter my brain on paper... (If you are looking for my usual work in children's literature, check out my regular blog at

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dr Sketchy's Brisbane - November 2011

Rita Fontaine...
1-2 minutes
...That's not her in the top-left, that's a sketch of a puppet I made recently.
2-5 minutes
Spot the odd one out. A few of the sketchers posed with fake moustaches (Movember), this was one of them. And the sketch to the left of him was drawn with my right hand. I'm a southpaw usually.

This next costume was pretty busy, so it was hard to get all that detail down...
10 minutes
10 minutes
...Sometimes the costumes are a little too elaborate for such short sessions. 15 minutes is a good length of time though...
15 minutes
The lighting was really good tonight, so I took advantage of the shadows and highlights. I was pleased with how this one turned out. Ms Fontaine liked it too, so I got a lovely prize for it, this poster:
(Photo by Kahlia Litzow)
...It'll go nicely on my studio wall next to my Elvgren ladies!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caricature I

Everyone's favourite doomsday prophet...
Harold Camping
This started out as a straight portrait, intended to be another 'interesting face', but it wasn't working out. So I turned him into a caricature instead. Harold Camping has such a feeble and benign appearance, it's hard to imagine anyone taking his predictions seriously. I didn't know anything about Camping until one night my wife and I drove past a billboard advertising the end of the world, predicted to occur on May 21st this year...
Family Radio and Harold Camping spent $100 million on a worldwide advertising campaign for this nonsense. Read more about it here... We had a wedding to go to on the 21st, so lucky for our friends Lou & Russ, none of their guests were raptured away.

And as a sheer coincidence at the time of doing this picture yesterday, apparently today, October 21st, is Camping's revised date for the end of the world. Let's hope he's right the third time, his reputation could be damaged...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interesting Faces IX - Miscellaneous

Some acrylic sketches...
"Jubilee Charger"

"Don Ketteringham"
These were referenced from a book of photographs by Bill Bachman called 'Local Colour'. I bought this book as reference for Cowzat, not that I used it much then. Though if I do anything with an outback setting down the track it will be invaluable.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dr Sketchy's Brisbane - October 2011

The Strawberry Siren...
1 minute

2-3 minutes

I was struggling with proportion with next few, evidently. Probably because I was sitting up front, closer than usual. I think I find it a bit easier sketching from a slight distance...
5-10 minutes

I stuffed up the final 15 minute pose. I got the proportions all wrong with her top half, so I abandoned that and focused on the lower half...
15 minutes
 I love this photo by Kahlia Litzow:
The Strawberry Siren
... it reminds me of something by Rolf Armstrong, one of my favourite pin-up artists from the first half of the last century. Kahlia's stunning prints are available for purchase at this link.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interesting Faces VIII - Kokomo Jr.

There's just not enough ape TV personalities nowadays...
... footballers don't count!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interesting Faces VII - Marty Feldman

Marty Feldman has some of the coolest eyes I've ever seen...
A comedian must feel blessed when they have such wonderful features like this.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interesting Faces V - Peter Lorre

The incomparable Peter Lorre...
I'm not sure if I've captured the likeness 100% here. His features are slightly more subtle compared to the previous subjects, so he was a bit trickier. It's his distinctive eyes I particularly like, though I think he looks a bit too sad here. I might try him again sometime, from a different photo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interesting Faces IV - Daniel Emilfork

Here's another face I've always admired...

Daniel Emilfork was perfectly cast as 'Krank' the crazy scientist in the exquisite City Of Lost Children.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Interesting Faces III - Rondo Hatton

You don't get a more distinctive mug than Rondo Hatton's ...
I've never actually seen any films with him in, I've only seen photos of him in my Famous Monsters magazines. Such a great face to draw. His extreme features were the result of Acromegaly. The poor guy died from the condition in 1946 when he was 51.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Interesting Faces II

Another prune from the same ad campaign, I think...
 ...I went a bit Alfred E. Neuman with the eyes here. These sketches are spontaneous without any mapping out in pencil, so a few small errors are inevitable.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interesting Faces I

I did this sketch the other night from a magazine clipping...
I think it's from a bank or insurance ad originally. I just found it an interesting face, with it's asymmetry and heavy creases.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I made a new sketchbook recently. It needed decorative endpapers...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dr Sketchy's Brisbane - September 2011

The beautiful, the stunning Lila Luxx...

...I'm not overly happy with these preliminary sketches, they don't look quite right.

The following ones are better. I tried working on a tinted background this time. The white highlights are done with liquid paper. This approach is kinda derivative of cartoonist/good girl artist Bill Ward...

And, a face!...
... Not the best face (Lila's face is far prettier than this), but a face nonetheless!

There was a 15 minute pose that we finished off with, but my sketch didn't hold up, so I won't bother posting it. The proportions were wrong, and the second face I attempted this night looked dreadful. There's little room for error when working with no pencil or eraser, that's the downside of ink.

(Photos by Kahlia Litzow)
That's me in the hat.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dr Sketchy's Brisbane - August 2011

The lovely Coppelia Jane...

Tuesday night I stayed around to mingle with a few fellow artists, and I had the privilege to flip through a few sketchbooks. I get such a thrill from seeing other peoples work up close, especially the unbridled scribblings of an artist's sketchbook. One such talented artist was Shelsey Birch, check out her work here: Amazing!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dr Sketchy's Brisbane - July 2011

Before long ago I'd never heard of Dr Sketchy's. I only stumbled across it by accident on Facebook, but it sounded like an intriguing idea — On the first Tuesday of every month, artists - professional and amateur - get together and sketch models of different sorts, mostly of the Burlesque variety. Before now I hadn't done any serious life-drawing since I was doing animation at TAFE, that was back in the mid to late 90s, so needless to say my skills in that area were rusty at best.

I won't even bother uploading any of my sketches from the first week I went to Dr Sketchy's, they were really bad! Which is a shame because the model was a nice 50s pinup-style beauty. Unfortunately, I'm  no Gil Elvgren so my sketches didn't do her any justice.

The second time I went was early this month. After my first poor effort I wasn't expecting much, but I surprised myself. I didn't think these were too bad...

(2-5 mins)

(10 mins)
(10 mins)
(15 mins)

These were done with a black pen on paper. Clearly I'm intimidated by realistic faces, particularly women's. I didn't even attempt these. There's a fine technique to drawing a pretty face, and I'm out of practice. If I was drawing grostesque crones I'd have no trouble!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Teeth & Gums Part II

As I mentioned in my first post I like drawing teeth and gums, evidently. But at the same time I find them unsettling, and even terrifying. I have recurring nightmares about my teeth falling out, and chewing on them, sometimes choking on them. The thought of losing a tooth in real life disturbs me deeply, so I'm a fanatical brusher and flosser (and picker).