Lazy Blog

I try to update this often with images, projects pics and adventures in drawing.

Donkey Skin

A series of new sketchbook images developed during #fairytalelab with 154 Collective based on the Donkey Skin Fairytale.

More Wax...

This week I have continued with paper based explorations using water soluble crayons. I love the intensity of colour that can be achieved pretty quickly along with the quality and diversity of marks that can be produced. Having much fun!

New Adventures in Wax

A new body of work started to appear this weekend following a few influences that have been bubbling away for the past few weeks. Firstly I have been delivering a number of weekly mark-making session as part of this project which has got me playing with lots of materials I have overlooked for some time. And secondly I bought a new set of water soluble wax crayons from the nice folks at my local art supplies shop. There is something really nice about the friction and resistance felt when using a wax crayon on paper. 

No Outlines - just colour and wash

I've been working on a series of new images that don't quite fit into the categories of painting or drawing. They contain a bit of both. Using Faber-Castell large brush pens on Fabriano paper and a splash of water from a Derwent Water Brush pen  I have started to push around images that don't rely on an outline, that feel less contained but are immediate and have a high colour permanence. These works are an extension of the images I started here. More to come.....

A short trip to Lewis

Last week I was fortunate enough to return to the Isle of Lewis. I had plans to create new work in situ, and with that in mind I had lots and lots of art materials with me. Unfortunately, a nasty flu bug ensured that none of the art materials were touched, and instead I made a number of new iPad paintings from the comfort of my bed. Revisiting the Procreate app on the iPad was a lot of fun, as was pushing around imagery and motifs that echoed my experiences of the island.

Pylon Clusters - digital doodles

After a long period of producing very little on the Surface Pro (partly due to misplacing the power pack), the past couple of days have seen a flurry of activity on the much neglected Windows device. I have revisited Fresh Paint and Sketchtime, and tried out Mischief for the first time.

Each app offers a very different experience for me when creating digital doodles.

I had forgotten how very different the Surface Pro 2 screen is for drawing on when compared to the Cintiq Companion or the iPad, and I realised that I quite like the solid glass screen and the lightness of the flimsy pen.

Enjoyable sketching fun!

I must put the power pack inside a fluorescent sock and nail it to the Studio wall so i don't misplace it again.

Made with Fresh Paint

Made with Sketchtime

Made with Mischief 

Made with Mischief 

Bird Boxes now on display at Huddersfield Art Gallery

Great to see the Bird Boxes on display at Huddersfield Art Gallery, apparently they could be there for the next 3 months. I made / designed them in collaboration with 10 schools across Kirklees as part of a commission for the Huddersfield Festival of Light 2014. Great photographs by Yvonne Roberts.

SoreEye Returns

After a hiatus of several years my sore eyes have returned (inflamed red and itchy skin around my eyes), and with them my character SoreEye. Around four years ago when I first had this problem I realised that if i drew SoreEye (the character) my sore eye symptoms subsided. So here is a selection of my first self medicated series of SoreEye doodles for 2015, all snapped in haste on my iPhone.

SoreEye Power Yoga

Animating in the Forest

Last week as part of my 'rest and relax' December regime I took myself off to this lovely cabin in Dalby Forest.

The plan was to rest, do a little drawing, maybe a bit of animating on the iPad, but nothing major. Following a brief walk in the forest as the light was starting to fade to a wonderful turquoise blue I started to play around with Tagtool Classic on the iPad, aiming to make a couple of cinematic loops utilising a limited palette. Much of the imagery I had created the previous week in Inverness was still very fresh in my mind and fed straight into the Tagtool images I created. Over the course of the next 24 hours I put together a number of sequences all based around a similar theme and colour palette. The resulting images felt like they would hang together well as a short animated piece, although I was thinking projected immersive installation rather than a small screen based work.

I fired off a request to hoping I would be granted permission to use the track '18' as the template for the edit. The answer was yes and the final edit can be seen below.

Mono-printing in Inverness

Following a full on year and a huge amount of wonderful projects I have decided to take a step back during December and leave aside any deadline related work until the new year. Having not taken any time off in the summer I am certainly feeling like my batteries need recharging.

So first stop Highland Print Studio in Inverness. Great facilities, great people and a lovely creative positive environment. The first day was a bit hit and miss with a couple of overworked prints as i wrestled with the process of mono-printing (which I hadn't done in quite a while), but then things started to click, I found my rhythm and the outpouring began. Eighteen prints by the end of day two (at which point I realised i needed to stay on for a couple more days) and now I am looking at a body of work containing over 30 mono-prints and drawings.

Inking up the acrylic plates

Mono-printing is a fantastic process which gives lovely rich results, subtlety of mark and tone and seems to really complement the way I work - upward and onward! A big thank you to Highland Print Studio for accommodating me and for inviting me to present a talk about my work to their 'Wise Guys' older mens group. It was a blast!

Daughter and Dad

Here's a lovely commission that I completed this week. I was contacted by the daughter of a dear old college friend and asked if i could create an image for her Dads birthday. The starting point was a tiny (literally thumb nail) photograph, but it was a real joy to make. The painting started as a watercolour and pen drawing which was then scanned and completed digitally.


Festival of Light Birdboxes


This was a fantastic, if not slightly bonkers project. I was commissioned by the Kirklees Arts Team to work with 10 schools throughout the Kirklees area to design and make 10 oversized sculptural 'Bird-Boxes' with a wildlife theme. The finished sculptural pieces were exhibited as part of the awesome Festival of Light celebrations and really looked the part on custom made plinths sited in front of the illuminatedTrain Station. Thanks to Yvonne Roberts for the nighttime shots.


Barry The Pigeon - Wakefield Lit' Fest

Ric Neale and I had a wonderful time in my home town of Ossett yesterday with 'Doodle Ventures', a wonderfully fun family performance / workshop that we delivered at Trinity Church as part of Wakefield Literature Festival 2014. The 3 sessions involved lots of drawing and song inspired by our lead character Barry the Pigeon. I was really pleased by the level of participation and the splendid drawings that were created. 

Thanks to the festival for inviting us along, to the awesome Jacqui Wicks for her passion and enthusiasm, and to Yvonne Roberts for the fantastic iPhoneography. 

Walter LemonFace

Almost a year ago I was approached by Wakefield Literature Festival to deliver a family focussed story-driven and highly visual event as part of their program. After several days of head scratching and chin rubbing, I took the first letters of the festival name (WLF) and came up with Walter Lemon Face. After working with fellow 154 Collective artists Dan Mallaghan, Benjamin Rabe and Nick Lewis, the stories, images and sounds of Walter's world started to emerge. We had the vision of a mini pop-up cinema style tent that could house a large projection screen, 3 artists and a small audience. After a period of research we acquired a 4m x 3m blackout gazebo, a screen and repurposed a projector from another project, and it just worked!!

Initially the stories were simplistic and a little bit clunky, but they were also creative, slightly bonkers, charming, and most importantly of all, fun! 

Nick performing with Walter

Nick performing with Walter

Since those early days Walter LemonFace has shared his stories at a number of venues and events in and around Yorkshire, including Bradford, Halifax and Saltaire Festivals. He has also delivered shows at Arc Stockton in the North East and is poised to embark on a week long residency in Kirklees Libraries during October half term, following a show at Leeds Central Library.  Recently Walter LemonFace and the 154 Collective have received a small grant from Arts Council England to develop the show, and are working on a feature length piece to tour cinemas in 2015.


Walter LemonFace is a joy to be involved in. It fuses live drawing, animation, music and storytelling into an intimate family show that appeals to children and adults alike.

Catch him at a venue near you soon!

All photos by Yvonne Roberts

Dan and the audience recording sound effects at Walter's request

Dan and the audience recording sound effects at Walter's request