Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daddy long legs

Brushpen in sketchbook

Monday, April 28, 2008

Moving head

I don’t bother to ask Xavier to stay still. There’d be a greater chance of Robin announcing that he’d had enough of sport and was going to take things easy from now on. So I sit there quietly waiting for moments that I can hold in my mind’s eye and scribble down on the paper. As you can see my mind’s eye seems to think I have four different five year old sons.
Brushpen in sketchbook

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Resting after skateboarding

Hugo always seems to adopt the best poses – arms flung over his head, legs twisted round. And despite the fact that he’s the fidgety one in the family, he will stay still for a bit if you ask him nicely.
Brushpen in sketchbook

Friday, April 25, 2008

Robin in his Xavier hoody

Robin loves entertaining his littlest boy and so was very pleased to surprise him by wearing this hoody he bought on e-Bay.
Pen in sketchbook

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Pen in sketchbook

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And now in colour

Dip-pen and watercolour on Arches HP

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rufus looking at Sutton’s Farm

This is the first of two showings of this illustration. I find that sometimes those ‘permanent’ inks are not so permanent once you’ve sploshed a load of watercolour over the lines, so as an insurance policy I’m scanning stage one first.
315mm x 235mm dip-pen on Arches HP paper

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Living sculpture

Photograph of all four children at Perry Green creating their own ‘Henry Moore’.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Self portrait

Shame I didn’t buy one of these triple mirrors when I only had the one chin.
Brushpen in small sketchbook

Friday, April 18, 2008

Big-headed Tom

Happily, my children are confident and self-assured. I’m not suggesting a surfeit of these qualities in Tom with the title of this post, but rather making a comment on my flawed drawing. Oh well, the head is the most important bit and maybe the proportions reflect that.
Brushpen in sketchbook

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our pirate serving wench

Pen and brushpen in sketchbook

Pirate invitation

Robin and I have birthdays that are only two days apart. My lovely son Tom made the card. All three older children produced the most wonderful meal. The table was decorated with candles, doubloons, swords and various pirate paraphernalia. Hugo provided the random Bollywood dancing entertainment. A truly memorable delightful evening, which I hope they’ll repeat, hint, hint.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lounging on the settee

Pen in small sketchbook

Saturday, April 12, 2008

That boy needs a haircut!

Hugo has been subjected to numerous weird and wonderful haircuts. The less said about the time we were trying to master the home barber kit, the better. So at the moment he’s determinedly clinging onto those long locks.

Brushpen in sketchbook

Friday, April 11, 2008

Foreign language

I have at last reached the point where my children patronise me (in the kindest possible way) by explaining everything vaguely scientific or technical in words of one syllable. Anyway, although I am 50 tomorrow I have in the last month taught myself how to send text messages on my shiny new mobile ’phone. You never know, I’ll be programming the TV recorder and driving on motorways next.
Pen in sketchbook

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Train people

All in their little bubbles of separateness. The only way of coping with the enforced togetherness.
Pen in small sketchbook

Looking blue

Maybe he’s looking blue because when he googles his name he’s pushed off the front page by the more famous Robin Oakley. We’ve all done it haven’t we? And I’d just like to say, although her work is admirable, I am not the Julie Oakley who is campaigning on behalf of bullied school children. And please, please don’t confuse me with the other Julie Oakley who was convicted of cruelty to animals. If you have any interesting stories about google namesakes do let us know in the comments.
Pen and watercolour in sketchbook.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The house that Dave built

Pen in small sketchbook

The usual tangle of limbs

Some of you may have wondered why I seem to have stopped adding the incidental text that often goes with my pictures. Well, I don't mind opening up my life for you. You can sympathise or laugh along with me, and I welcome you. But when sad things happen to friends and it’s all I can think about, it’s not something I want to, or ought to, write about here. However I fully intend to restore normal service as soon as I can. In fact I think I might insist on normal service.
Pen in sketchbook

Robin after paddling

Pen in medium sketchbook

Friday, April 04, 2008

Quick sketch before bed

Pen in small sketch book

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Where we were today

I drew Tom on the tube train en-route to his appointment with Arkwright scholarships. He had a fun morning at Imperial College working on a team-building engineering exercise followed by an interview as a candidate for a scholarship, which if he is given it, will provide funding for himself and his school for a couple of years. While this was going on I drew some of the buildings nearby. I spent three years as a student in this part of South Kensington without once thinking of drawing any of the buildings – shame I hadn’t thought of ‘One Mile from Home’ at that point in my life.
Then I went back to the College and drew the Queen’s Tower, the last remaining bit of Victoriana, in the midst of all the concrete and glass of this monument to science.
Pen drawings in small sketchbook