Line by line

I’ve been teaching myself to draw.

It’s a long time since I’ve picked up a pencil for any meaningful length of time and I’m loving it. The results are patchy, but there’s a great deal to be said for spending some time on an exercise in intricacy. Speed, the essential ‘attribute’ of our times, isn’t a universally good thing. Working on something line by line and watching it develop is really important.

I’ve noticed that in most cases getting something down on paper quickly can be quite pleasing. Then there comes the ‘all is lost’ moment when abandoning something seems like the right thing to do. But when you push through that, there’s always a point where something better emerges – and it is always a lot better than the thing that felt quite good in the first place. What’s the lesson in this? Sometimes ‘quite good’ is the best answer because time is the dominant consideration. A good question in every context is ‘how much time do we really have?’.

This is a north London garage door, based on a photograph by my son. It’s the ‘oh sh@t, I forgot the ‘R'” that caught his eye.
This is a motel in the Blue Mountains, near Katoomba, west of Sydney. Neon can look as great in the day as it does in the night.
This is the back of an antique dealer’s front door. I love the strangely methodical nature of it.
This is a self-portrait in my sitting room.
I can’t remember where this is. It’s based on an old photo I found on my laptop.
This is my amazing daughter.
This is my amazing son.
This is from the train, heading south from London.
This is based on a pic taken of the brilliant work by Led By Donkeys.
I collect Horror Knitting Patterns. This is a drawing of one of them.
This is the famous barred list from the Half Moon Pub in south London. There are so many stories on this page.
This is the approach to fog-bound Luton airport.
This is a shop from the car window. I’m fascinated that they focus on two products.
Duelling Manifestos.
The Underwood logo sits under the paper, which is made of wood. So that makes sense.