Doodles in the margin from an artist living and working in the Scottish Borders.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Paws For Thought

It's probably about time to stop work for the holidays and have a glass of something red and fortifying.

Thank you to everyone who stops by from time to time and has a look at what I do, your interest is very welcome. I hope you like at least some of what you see. Thanks too to the many, many fantastic artists I've been following this year, your work has been inspiring and daunting in equal measures.

Just a quick preview of what's coming up in the near future, for which I have made my blog tantalisingly wider.

Merry Christmas to you all. It's a pleasure to share an internet with you.

Draw Hellboy

A quick Hellboy sketch for @themooks 'drawhellboy' hashtag thing on Twitter. Get me.

And a quick colouring job I did on Christmas morning. I woke up thinking about it.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Handsome People - Gail.

Gail with the Golden Hair. 

She goes barmy in the end.

Out in the red rock desert   /   sitting on the roof of my car
drinking cans of warm beer   /   watching the sky get dark
Gail and I shot our empties  /    with an old, rusted rifle
Her golden hair went flying   /    like a wild, brush fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk

time passed in the burning desert  /  & the tumbleweeds they tumbled
we lay in a golden fire  /  as the screaming buzzards circled
far down in the darkened valley   /  the city lights still twinkled
but my eyes saw only Gail    /   and her hair in golden fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk

but the fire burned right through her  /  Gail followed unseen voices
they led her to the city  /   deep in the darkened valley
I drove circles through the alleys   /    calling my burning lover
but Gail ran deeper in the gloom  /   screaming at the street lights
and I lost her there forever   /   deep in the valley’s darkness
my Gail with the golden hair   /   that burned as bright as fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk
Lyrics by Renee Sparks.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


A meeting at the crossroads.

I'm practising computer colouring by doing something else but I got sidetracked into colouring this because I wanted to see how it turned out.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Hubert Sumlin

Hubert Sumlin, long-time guitarist for Howlin' Wolf, has died at the age of 80. There were few electric blues guitarists more electric. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Handsome People

Inspired by Dan Berry's splendid 'After We Shot the Grizzly', I've spent the last couple of days listening to The Handsome Family again. Not only are the songs great - peculiar, condensed short stories - they are full of intriguing characters. Last night I sat down with a glass of wine and a sketch book to see who emerged as I listened.

For the magnifying glass boy, I was going for some sort of mutant Norman Rockwell kid. He looks too old, but mutant enough.

Once I've done some other stuff, I'd quite like to work these up into more finished portraits.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Casting a Net.

eVole prepares to unleash the Netzooka* while Mouse makes for the controls of the Wobbulator.

*(It was a Net-o-Matic until I was preparing this blog post, when I realised I'd not drawn the name on, and then I thought of 'Netzooka' anyway. A happy accident. I like it when that happens.)

I also know there's two rungs on the ladder where there should only be one. It'll aaaall get sorted. GIMP covers up a thousand things.

Friday, 18 November 2011


(Says Mouse.) You know... for kids.

Behold, the original wobbulator. The brown box under the one Lenin is leaning on (while Jackie Stewart and Fairport Convention look on) - that's the wobbulator.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


 New squarescapes.

From Lindisfarne, Out to Sea, oil on canvas, 20cm x 20cm.

Mainland, From Lindisfarne, oil on canvas, 20cm x 20cm.

Moonrise, Chirnside Station, oil on canvas, 20cm x 20cm.

Snow Shadows, oil on canvas, 20cm x 20cm.
Sketch for Snow Shadows.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


I like comics. I like the Handsome Family. But what are the odds that the inhabitants of this overlapping area of the Venn diagram could be satisfied by one single item?

Why, look! - 

'After We Shot The Grizzly' - words by the Handsome Family, lovely pencil and ink wash illustrations by Dan Berry. Crashed airships, human skulls in caves, skin and bone rafts - that kind of thing. But, you know - charming.

"I've always thought that any song on that album [Last Days of Wonder] would make a good comic," Dan writes, "as their brand of narrative songwriting is consistently superb. I urge you to go and buy their albums."

Buy album and comic together and you can have a macabre and enjoyable three minutes to yourself, any time you like. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Black Hat

A work in progress, the second story featuring Wendell Hicks, Frontier Librarian.

Observe how, using incredibly subtle iconography, I create a Bad Cowboy:

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bruin Up.

A bear, taking tea.

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Price of Fish: Grey and Green.

KY grey and green, oil on canvas, 46cm x 60cm.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Looking Forward ---->

The Price of Fish: Prospection. Oil on canvas, 50cm x 60cm.

Prospection, the latest in the 'Price of Fish' series. It's going to be available in the Found Gallery, Dunbar, along with a companion piece 'KY, Grey & Green,' which is titled but just lacking some finishing touches.

I can't recommend the Found gallery enough, not just because they have the pleasing habit of selling my work and asking for more, but because of the beautiful work on display. Go in for a look if you're in or near Dunbar.

Update: it's now in the Found Gallery. The FOUND GALLERY, Dunbar High Street. Ideal Christmas present for the ferrugipiscophile in your life.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Rosetta Stone: A Piece of Cake.

I've had Rosetta in my head ever since she leaped in there fully formed with her name when I was lying in bed one Christmas and I sketched her out. I've even scripted and started a full graphic novel version of her story, but become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of the drawing.

I lifted a couple of frames (the first two scene-setting panels) from that for this, a sort of short introduction to the world of Rosetta Stone. 

Originally it was an entry for the Eagle Initiative competition but that was called off because not enough people entered. I took the opportunity to redraw some panels (terrible faces), re-do the lettering and speech bubbles, add an extra page (more fighting, essentially) and expand the big set-piece ending panels.

Anyway; Rosetta Stone.

(If you right click and open in a new tab it's a lot easier to read...)


Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Page one of a six-page strip I drew up from a script by Matthew Craig, for Strip Magazine's 'Spotlight' competition. (We didn't get in.) Small tribute to 'The Right Stuff' in the bottom left hand panel, there.

The rest of it is posted up on my website here.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Bit Fruity.

New painting, a still life. Oil on canvas.

I do like doing still lives, they're soothing.

Still Life With Pomegranates, 51cm x 41cm.

Frank Kettlewell

Pioneering Canadian association footballer, Frank Kettlewell. Shirt and torso possibly supplied by Frank Brennan, I don't quite remember.

(Also available at the home of Grizzly Bear artwork, Grizzly Bear Thursdays.)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


This is Rosetta Stone.

Although Miss Stone's hair is the least of her problems, it is troublesome.

Pawn Movie

Quite apart from their huge historical significance, the Lewis chessmen are masterpieces of carving and design, full of charisma and character. Their bulging eyes, thoughtfulness, melancholy overbites and shield-biting rage hover between humorous and unsettling. Hugely tactile, though - don't you really want to pick one up?

Thanks to Archaeos0up for the splendid, thoughtful video.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Quiet Comforts of the Victorian Home

This is how the angry, poker-wielding gentleman ended up. Inking is done and it's been slightly tidied in GIMP. Awaiting proper cleaning up and lettering.

This page drove me up the wall. The overall layout changed several times as I was sketching it out, then again as I drew it, then I had trouble with most of the panels and re-drew them at least twice. 

The poker was too small, then too large, you couldn't see the companion set clearly, his hands gripping the chair were wrong, his hairline was wrong, his ears were in the wrong place on his head, he was disappearing into the background of the fireplace in two panels, everything was creeping towards the point of being a completely black page - and on, and on, and on. But, as Bob said, when something's not right it's wrong, so it had to be re-done. Is it successful? I don't know.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Price of Fish: BK Blue & White. Oil on board,  40cm x 40cm.

Another 'Price of Fish' painting. Beautifully framed by the Chirnside Gallery. Slantily photographed by me.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Online Poker

Look out! 

Work in progress; first lines inked in after pencilling. The provisional dialogue for this panel is 'AAAAAAHHHHHH!'

Part of my ongoing graphic novel adaptation of 'Pride & Prejudice.'

Update: ink lines more defined - 

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Welsh Slate, pencil on paper,  14cm x 21cm.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Sneak preview! Detail from a still life that's nearly completed.


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