Shimeji Mushrooms

Enoki Mushrooms

Artisan Roast

Artisan Roast

life drawing at the botanics

Life drawing at the botanics

Colour/light and atmosphere tests


Nico Delort on twitter posted these series of studies by Hiroshi Yoshida of the same scene with different lighting conditions and atmosphere. I’ve been aware for ages of wanting to expand my knowledge of how light works and not being shy of trying new colour combinations.

I think one of the aspects of sketching out doors is that you can end up drawing when the weather is great, this can unintentionally end up with paintings that look rather same-ish. A nice blue sky, green grass and if you’re painting buildings especially with sandstone tenements the end results can look a bit primary red, blue, green (I’m guilty of this).

Rhu parish church graveyard

Here is the original sketch it was a beautiful day but again its the classic colour palette.


I redrew the scene and after scanning it in I brought it into photoshop and tried the different colour combinations. I thought this might save time as its much quicker and easier to change and try out different colours and see how they work together. From here I printed out the pencil sketch onto watercolour paper to add the paint.


I didn’t stick too closely to the photoshop tests and really used them as jump off points and by the end had more confidence to ditch them all together.


After a while I started to think more how some parts of the landscape are lighter than others. For example the hills furthest away is obviously lighter, the sea is generally darker than the sky but lighter than the hills. It feels like you’re slowly building a scene with its particular rules and its something I started to really get into trying to work out how it all fitted in together.


A glowy sunset, slightly exaggerated.


A moonlight version with a colder/greenish light.



286 Places of Worship

286 Places of Worship

An installation by Nathan Coley over at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. Its made up of lots of cardboard models of all the religious and spiritual building listed in Edinburgh’s yellow pages.

It was strange to draw as normally if you’re drawing a city the streets make it easier, here all the models are arranged in a higgledy piggledy manner.

Lunch at the Singl-end

Whitebait and Italian bread

Lunch at the Singl-end, whitebait and Italian bread.
On Renfrew Street, Glasgow, beautiful Italian rustic food.

Trip to West Sussex


Heading down to Chichester, West Sussex on an illustration job. One of many stops to make the drive a bit easier, drawing smokers and texters hanging outside the service station at Gretna Green.


First night after setting up my tent popped into Portsmouth for some fish and chips and drew HMS Warrior, the first ironclad armoured warship in the historic dockyard.


In the morning after a recommendation from a local visited Bosham harbour and had breakfast with an amazing view of the coast at Breeze Café.


Back again at Bosham drawing the pier house.


And finally drinks at the Coal Exchange.

Summer debris

Summer debris

Commonwealth Flotilla 2014

Commonwealth Flotilla 2014

This Saturday a large flotilla left from Greenock to head to Glasgow for the Commonwealth games.