Silverpoint Angel

It’s Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. This copy of the angel from the ‘London version’ of his Virgin of the Rocks was drawn in 2012 in silverpoint.


Silverpoint on gesso-coated paper, 115 x 110mm.

The copy did not turn out to be quite an exact one and inevitably has something of my own in it. I very much enjoyed silverpoint, though I haven’t returned to the technique again since this drawing. Perhaps I should.

This drawing now belongs in the collection of my friend and fellow artist, Claudia Hahn.


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Draw a Bird Day

I only just discovered that today is Draw a Bird Day, thanks to BBC Radio 3. Here is a subalpine warbler I drew for the occasion.


Pencil on Bockingford watercolour paper, 3.5 x 2.5 inches.

I may change it to be perching eventually and paint it in, but this will do for now.

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Edward Ferrars


‘…the figure of a man on horseback drew her eyes to the window.’
Watercolour with a little gouache on (old) Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper.

Edward Ferrars’ final visit to Barton Cottage — to propose to Elinor. Illustration for the Bath Bicentenary edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, published by Palazzo Editions, 2011.

Another older piece to keep the Year of the Horse theme ticking over.

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Pudgy Horse eats cake


Pencil on ‘parchment’ paper, 89 x 101mm.

Drawn yesterday for my friend Ingunn of Mosjøen, Norway, and for Charles Darwin (though mostly for the former, admittedly); they share a birthday. Pudgy Horse wishes a happy birthday by eating the cake. This sketch also handily becomes another piece for the Year of the Horse.

The plaited mane (because it was a special occasion) was drawn after the historic Lipizzan horses as painted by Johann Georg von Hamilton.

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Quatrain IX, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

I keep meaning to create galleries for some of my books but still haven’t managed to do so. For now, I thought I might share this older piece from the Rubáiyát to keep the theme of the Year of the Horse going.


Quatrain IX
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustam lay about him as he will,
Or Haitim Tai cry Supper – heed them not

Watercolour with touches of gouache on (old) Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper, 280 x 200mm.

lllustration for the 150th anniversary edition of Edward FitzGerald’s translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, published by The Folio Society, 2009 (edition sold out*).

I ‘cheated’ a little with this quatrain: this piece properly illustrates only the third line, rather than interprets the sense of the quatrain as a whole. But it gave me the chance to depict an episode of the Shahnameh in which Rustam (a kind of Persian ‘Hercules’, if you will) and his horse, Rakhsh, fight the dragon.

*The Folio Society has released a smaller, less costly new edition reproducing all the illustrations without the original binding or the limited edition etching.

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Year of the Horse


Sepia ink, white Conté and gouache on Strathmore grey toned paper, 127mm diameter.

If to be late is fashionable, I’m afraid I am perpetually on the cutting edge. But Pudgy Horse and I would like to wish everyone a happy Year of the Horse.

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The White Rabbit


The White Rabbit
Pencil, ink and gouache on recycled paper, 2.5 x 3.5 inches (ACEO)

This was begun on the 27th January in honour of Lewis Carroll’s birthday, but I would be doing my reputation for lateness an injustice if I actually managed to finish it promptly, so here it is, two days later.

WhiteRabbitWIP1-650When I shared this progress stage on my Facebook illustration page, it received (for me)  unprecedented attention, with, as I’m writing, 179 ‘likes’ and 46 shares. Might this be sufficient inducement for a publisher to commission me to illustrate the Alice books, do you suppose (tongue firmly in my cheek)? Much as I’m sure that the world does not need yet another edition of Alice.


Progress stage photographed with a penny.

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