Tag Archives: Artwork


…but if nothing else it’s been lovely to get back to teaching. Currently focusing on Photoshop as a: I can teach that while falling asleep and off a chair (my current teaching style) and b: I’m supposed to be teaching 3DS Max to two classes but the room doesn’t have it installed in yet. Sigh.

Actually, according to one of my beloved brats esteemed students this is my teaching style… I do think a nerf gun would help me occasionally in a class.

Anyhow: 4 classes in and the students have already made abstract backgrounds for text placement, used non and destructive filters, had a brief soiree into screen ratios and pixel depths, learnt how to use the scanners and printers and knocked out a couple of hand drawn, scanned and coloured images. Hurrah.


…and for an accidental bonus, while showing the beloved brats esteemed students how to properly use the lasso tool (freehand and keyboard shortcuts FTW) We also drew technicolour lizards 🙂

Which is new to a class (I do occasionally divert from the lesson plan if the shape allows – see the taking a line for a walk pictures I occasionally do) but I think he’ll stick to the scheme of work from now on in.

Shudder. I am now blogging about lesson plans and schemes of work. The Compliance Dalek has got me. Gutted.





Way back when, when I was a different me… (4).

A long while ago I wrote books (that’s probably a blog post to come) and then, when the time wasn’t there to write them I decided to draw them instead. Then, going through my backup CD images and finding a very cool website called Blurb.com I decided to put the two things together and make a printed art book.

Probably sounds very vain. Sort of was, but mainly I was trying to come up with different ideas to present my work in a portfolio style format which I could take to work interviews. Actually there’s probably a blog post about that sometime soon but I can’t find one of the things I would need to write that one…

So anyway, some images from a book of my artwork from the mid-80s to mid-08 when I was primarily computer bound:

This last one sort of catches the whole 20 years in one 48 image spread. Games worked on (Populous 2 Mac version – never released, Theme Park, Top Gun, Top Gun 2/The Cabal – never released, Burning Ambition – never released- spot a trend?), speculative games (Heroes Inc., Ro-Ra, Sunchasers), 2d, 3d, comics and all sorts. I suspect if I’d focused on something I’d possibly be more organised and methodical but then again that’s very much not me and I’d likely never have hit the tablets… Screens that is.

On the very unlikely chance this has whet your appetite for more scribblings prior to my hitting the tablets you can buy it (and more than three of you doing so could double the sales figures 😉 ) >>here<<*

*Actually, blimey, I wouldn’t blame you for not. Blurb’s prices seem way higher than I ever remember them. Yikes.

Way back when, when I was a different me…

So for a variety of reasons I’m chucking out and binning a lot of stuff, some of which reminds me of different aspects things I’ve been up to over the past 20 or so years.

From 2005 (?) to 2010 (?again 🙂 ) I managed a very wonderful youth arts centre. Marvellous fun it was too with lots of music and film evenings and pretend journalism courses and artwork nights and drama and all sorts. Some amazing teens walked through our doors and I’m still convinced that one day I’ll hear their names in a context that their talent deserves.

We were, in many senses of the word, a fantastic team. Not just the youth workers but the kids as well (and many of their parents too).

We even did gigs at Woking band stand, generally in ABSOLUTELY freezing or rainy conditions, and I often look back at those adventures and smile.

But one of the things I remember most is the bus journey to and from work. It was actually a very happy 75 minutes either way in many ways. I didn’t have anyone asking me questions, giving me tasks, all that fun stuff. It was just me, my music, and whatever I was writing or drawing at the time. Occasionally I’d tell people I love drawing on busses and, more often than not, they’d get the wrong idea.

I’d often (and still do) listen to podcasts and one of my favourites, then and now, is Mayo and Kermode’s film reviews. So one day, one a bus, I drew this:

… and then the next time I was on the bus (I seem to remember it being Tuesday and Thursday nights) I turned the sketch into this:

Now all I remember about it really is that I was on a bus, with my laptop perched on my knees, anticipating the curves and bumps of a journey I’d done for 10 years or so (having used the same bus for my prior job as a computer games artist).

It would have been around Jan-Feb time (as I was testing out not only a new piece of software on the lappie – Microsoft Expression Design – but also some lovely fonts from Comicbookfonts.com – something I used to treat myself to once a year). I vaguely remember this being, almost word for word, what the two said to each other (may have added cruxial but bearing in mind MKs mastery of the English language I may not) and it made me giggle to myself on the bus. So I drew this.

I miss being able to time artwork to bus timetables.

Loads of shrink plastic stuff…

I’m very much not, but neither am I Lex Luthor I guess… Hey ho.

But brilliant daughter made me this to say well done for doing a shrink plastic session with LOADS of kids, despite the fact that I couldn’t have done it without her and her cousin helping out (so many kids! Aaargh!! but was loads of fun as they always are at the ‘Leccy).

Also did a small group making consequence characters and had to make one to show them what they might look like… Hence, of course, Mar-One – the robotic Marmite on toast maker:


… and popped into the Electric Theatre to drop in the final piece of what we did – a large montage picture that everyone contributed to and made consequence characters named after all of the ‘Leccy staff…




The Electric Theatre Big Draw and Family Festival…

Could say loads, shan’t, just yet. Tired (still) and apart from the normal ‘kids are brilliant aren’t they?’ post I can’t add any more to what I normally say about a session. The Electric Theatre remains as lovely a venue to work in as it ever is, the staff are wonderful, the kids were brilliant and the  5 hour session and two 2 hours sessions flew by in a happy and energetic cloud of exuberant creativity.

As always makes me happy to do, working with young people doing creative drawing things is always a magical thing to be involved with, especially when shrink plastic is involved…
So, anyway, we made shrink plastic consequences characters, as part of what we did during the sessions, and that was lovely too… even if the brief was to create scary monsters to be given to the ‘Leccy staff.

Hudl painting…

More to come on this subject but I’m very keen on the new Tesco tablet – the Hudl. For the price it’s an absolute corker of technology and capability. I’ve been using it for personal artwork creation, in my teaching and in youthwork and it’s done the business in all three places.

For the moment though let’s stick with this: the excellent Verso, Dr Happy Mac and I do a semi-weekly Comic book podcast and, somewhere along the line Galactus versus Lucy Van Pelt came up in conversation.

The following day found me in a pub for a quick decompress post teaching and youth work so, while it was on my mind:

And then continued on the bus home:

And then, later that evening, to finish it like this:

Drawn using Nomad brush and Dagi Accu Pen stylus on Tesco Hudl tablet using Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile, if you’re interested in the nuts and bolts… Not bad for a nights drawing on a bumpy path…

The British Tech Bash and other adventures…

So, yes, I know. Lack of posts and business shouldn’t really be an excuse.

But there’s just so much on! Yowsa! Only a short post to say hi, I’m still here. Mostly sane. Waning in places.

Last week was taken up with the same thing as most other weeks this year: getting a very mixed bunch of students through to marking and EV. It was, at times, a very stressful experience but now done I’m looking at (unless they are challenged at all) my highest bunch of stats for a few years. The lowest stat is 87% and the majority 97 – 100%. Which is nice. But OH BOY did I have some students who wanted for all the world to fail. Sigh. Most were brilliant and I’m VERY happy with the standard of artwork I got from the students but it’s had a good few moments. Next year is stupidly exciting as I really like the students who I’ve interviewed and offered places to, including the four Asperger students which is an interesting addition to the class. Really intrigued by how next year will work.

This week? relaxing into everything I’ve not done for the past 6 as the stress levels ramped up post half term. Not all done but some are, which is nice. To come? A 50 strong yr 9 – 10 iPad art showcase and interactive session, a July 4th celebration with publishers in London, the British Tech Bash on Friday/Saturday, artist in residence at one of the Adobe Creative Week events, another school event (shrink plastic this time) an prepping for a couple of summer schools. Which, actually, is a heck of a lot calmer than I’ve been for yonks.

The British Tech Network? Who dey den? Well, if you know your podcasts you might be aware of the TWiT US tech network. I’m fond of their shows but the UK equiv, the up and coming BTN have a huge amount of heart, soul and character. And they’re the local vote. And they’re better than TWiT in a lot of ways. I’ve been invited to join in with their weekend meetup and I’m looking forward to it a HUGE amount. I’ve also created four bespoke images, just for them, which went off to print this morning and will be sold on the Bash weekend with all proceeds (over costs, sorry, I’m as broke as a broke thing and have been since going down to two days teaching a week) will go to the NSPCC. I really hope it’s successful* so that I can do something similar for the National Autistic Society (people who know me will know why) but the Bash charity of choice is NSPCC which is cool. Very happy to have done the posters for the Bash with them in mind.

*hahahaha yes, I know. I’ll keep on plugging away. Something I do has to work out sometime right? Tenacious is my middle name (if you jiggle the letters about and swap a couple).

Sample, teaser, tweeted images here:

(using the hashtags #btnb12 and #nspcc if you wanted to seek it out and retweet away. All of the artwork was created on iPad 2/3 using ArtRage – except one made using Brushes app. All were created using a mixture of styli but Nomad Brush being the key stylus on each image. I know each pic was taken with the images in Photoshop – in retrospect that’s a smidge confusing but that’s the program I used to resize them all to the correct paper size and check for CMYK gamut warnings. For the most part I think I still like Pixelmator a smidge more than Photoshop but the latter program still wins for large size work and gamut checks).

Apart from that? Probably forgotten a whole heck of a lot of stuff and hope to update the blog again in the not so distant. Exciting stuff on the horizon though, just a bit weary plodding through the maze.

On Collaboration.

Recently I’ve been asked a number of interesting questions about collaboration by a number of people who seem similarly minded to me on the subject.

So first off, that’s nice. I’m not alone in my occasionally mad machinations.

Secondly an app has sprung up recently which REALLY inspires my love of collaborative work. It’s a lot of fun, something which, from the get go, I wanted to share with the world and so, over a range of social networks, I have. This is not a post about that app, more on the collaboration it has inspired.

And no, it’s not Draw Something, although I love the fact that that app, more than any other, has got the mobile device world drawing on their screens…

The app I’ve fallen in love with is called Sketchshare and, from the instant it first booted (hah, there’s a blast from the past word), it blew my mind.

Remember when the Nintendo DS first appeared? What inspired people the most? Mario 64 on a handheld? One of the left-field games? (I didn’t come to a DS until a little later so, for me, one of the launch games was Feel The Magic which I thought was gloriously odd and made some brave and clever decisions). For me it was the chat room and the ability to draw and type at the same time. Fast forward to now and, Netsketch aside, no app has made me want to draw with people as I put stylus to glass screen (although I am growing to like Draw Something as well)…

Anyway, this post is about the collaboration aspect and last night I came back from a family birthday party with a stinking cold and opened up an art chat with the amazing Mr Dave Hall. Fun it was and we spent a wonderful couple of hours creating this image together:

The time flew by and was only interrupted by the fact that my sons bedtime took priority (or, more truthfully that my wife reminded me that my sons bedtime took priority) and that was the spur to finish. But we could have gone on and on… Fun it was, and more fun it will grow to be.

The fact that up to four people can draw at the same time? Lovely. Haven’t managed to get four people drawing at the same time but I will, I hope. As it is all of the sketchshare collaborations I’ve had, with Roz, Rose, Ben, Stefan, Chris, Stew, Richard, Mr Rama, Mr Stick and Mr Siggs, Lenny and the Grauel and, of course, the luminescent Lumilyon… All have been wonderful moments, chatting and doodling and seeing what happens when pixels are herded together by more than one pair of hands.

Long time readers of the blog will know that 2004 – 2009 were lovely art collab years focused around the Big Book Draw. Is there a way to get that and the newly found collapp work put together? I really hope so… We’ll see… For the moment? Onwards, onto the next picture, and the one after. My favourite ones being those that friends are a part of, rather than simply the audience of.

Why collaborative art? Because enthusiasm is infectious and is a bug that wants to be caught…


A Paper review, tweet by tweet.

Yes, I know, I should be talking about the life drawing, or the app showcase from last week or a million other things. I will, but am still cutting videos etc. In the short term: a tweeted app review!

Accidentally reviewed Paper (by FiftyThree) over a few sequential tweets so thought I’d add that here before I can never find it again…

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Initial thoughts on paper: undo icon ((action)) is very misleading (read macworld review for fix), LOVELY pad implementation, tools feel expensive ish.

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Then again Paper’s free. Trial pages could be easier to use, it’d be nice to clear whole screen in demo area to really play. No zoom is..hmm

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Overall though Paper looks great+for free = more than worth a look. Dunno if it’ll take over from brushes/art rage/ideas/sketchshare for me.

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Last couple of paper thoughts: no portrait mode? Again, pure or limiting? +the note title fonts so densely packed Journal looks like Joumal.

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Paper: also – I can understand no tool resize on pen (still feels a bit rich re buying smaller sizes) but no resize on watercolour limits.

Overall, love it with reservations. Don’t know if no zoom is big thing or adds to purity. Beautiful inky lines.

Paper again: things we’ve become used to not there, gorgeous, lovely pad integration. Didn’t like the initial opening screen paper texture.

Paul KercalPaul Kercal ‏ @Kercal

Between @Sketchshare, Draw Somethng+ Paper has there ever been more iPad drawing? Hope it’s start of lots of people finding their art 🙂


So there we have it. A potted review of one of the new vogue art apps. Updates soon I hope with things like clock hands for undo (to see how far you’re going back and forth, resizes on watercolour, zoom etc. But it’s a LOT of fun and the closest thing to having a Moleskine in your pocket. On a screen. Doodles below, will carry on using this app, I think.

iPad and friends art exhibition, buying an iPad 3 and what happens next…

So it’s been a lovely bonkers week, only some of which I remember.

Weds was the opening of the art exhibition. For those who’ve not read prior posts: I organised an art exhibition of my students and those in the photography and Fine Art departments. It wasn’t without issue but it was a lovely show. The original plan had been for the tutors to follow it up with an exhibition of their own but, for one reason of another they mostly dropped out leaving me with a couple of weeks of exhibition venue to fill, if I wanted to. My workload should have dictated that I said no and that I’d pass but I’m a little bit too stubborn and stupid to do that. So I phoned around, got a few other artists to join in and then we had a magnificent 7 artists doing a lovely collaborative exhibition of everything from soft toys to coil guns, pen and ink to iPad art with fine art in between. Lovely stuff.

So we filled the room full of people, everyone seemed to have a very merry time and it was all lovely.

Thursday I don’t really remember, Friday I taught for the morning, dashed up to London to buy an iPad 3 or two, dashed back, did youth group, got home to draw and was so tired I fell asleep almost instantly, which is where things more or less remain. Saturday and Sunday, father in laws birthday/Mothering Sunday notwithstanding, have been very dozy days.

(didn’t take any photos of the iPad 3 dash – it was a little frenetic and I felt guilty about walking in and out of the store without having to queue – but I did take a couple of snaps at Chin Chins 🙂 Also: tweeted the next image to a twitter contact which I hope entertained him in a q for a few seconds or so…)

Next on the list is next Saturday (photo and art walk around Camden Market – more of which later), the week after is the Hockney exhibition with my students and the world’s first iPad and tablet only life drawing session…

So: lots on the menu over the next couple of weeks and then have a week COMPLETELY booked off. After that? We’ll see. Still no idea on the iPad art book hitting the bookstore – the EIN/ITIN/SS4/w8-BEN/W7/US IRS/Apple accreditation side of things still being all ways up in the air – but stuff to come, that’s for sure…