Monday, 21 December 2020

Hop Picking


This took a bit of working on and I could have tweaked it here and there. This is a hop picking machine I visited in September in Worcestershire. The two workers are attaching the hop bines brought in from the hop yards to the trackway. The hops are then lifted into the picking machine which strips the hop cones from the bines, removes all the stalks and leaves, and carries the cones off to to be dried. Just outside the shed himalayan balsam and woody nightshade were growing. I added them in, along with a few hops at the top, to frame the image.

I started by drawing a outline A3 sketch in pencil which I then scanned. From then on I worked entirely on the iPad, using the split screen function to view reference photos and my working image side by side. The final image was A3, 300 dpi and 190MB. With such a large file size I was limited to 30 layers so had to keep flattening parts as I progressed. 

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Classic Pizza Company

 The Classic Pizza Company at Orleton Court Farm in Worcestershire serving up delicious pizzas paired with craft beers brewed onsite with home-grown hops. This illustration took probably the longest time I have ever spent on an artwork in terms of production, not actual drawing time. I have been dipping in and out of it over several months, eager to work on it but somehow finding it hard to concentrate on the detail and apprehensive of what direction it was going to take. I am fairly happy with the result, though  I had considered redoing it to make a few improvements.

Monday, 19 October 2020


Another example of me not drawing what I had been planning to draw, but what I wanted to draw.


Sunday, 11 October 2020


Have done very little in the way of creating pictures for several months now. I spent quite a while concentrating on my writing and then got buried in decorating the house. There are a couple of picture ideas I want to work on but they will be time consuming and I am finding it hard to get motivated to start them. I began one, then decided to have a fall whilst decorating and bruised my ribs badly on the back of the sofa. In an attempt to do something creative whilst recovering I drew the above mainly as a playful doodling exercise to see what would appear.


Monday, 31 August 2020


New woodshed made from odd bits of wood and metal sheets lying around the garden. Now I will have decent dry wood for the chiminea.


Sunday, 30 August 2020

Sketching People

Sketches drawn over a few hours in Hitchin yesterday. The basic line work was created with a fountain pen and then I added the watercolour washes and some bolder ink lines at home to enhance the images.


Last year, fields of maize were harvested for biomass near Hitchin and the chopped maize stored in long sealed bags at the field edge (at a guess about 15ft wide and well over 100ft + long - like an enormous sausage). Passed the site today and saw this machine, a Ropa Euro Maus, waiting to unload the bag into a large articulated lorry. Unfortunately, I didn't see it in action because the lorry it was loading had got stuck in mud. After a few attempts of using a JCB telehandler to push it free, the lorry had to empty out its load (walking floor, not a tipper) until it was light enough to be pulled out using the JCB and a heavy chain. The lorry then drove off, empty.

I had only ever seen machines like this on YouTube used to load sugarbeet from stockpiles in fields into lorries - with a different header. I decided to adjust the photo I took and make it into a rather more interesting illustration on my iPad.