jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

I’ve been drawing jellyfish lately… and I realised pretty early on in my attempts that, despite the plethora of photographic reference material to be found in books and online, without access to a real live model I had no idea how to articulate the twisting, undulating, entwining, knurly oral arms of these compelling creatures.

What’s the next best thing to observing a live model (without leaving your desk)? A highly scientifically-inaccurate dummy hastily constructed from scrap paper, pipe cleaners, tape and bits of yarn, of course!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

jellyfish stand-in

Fun to make… and it really did help me to figure out how I might draw those tricky, twisty oral arms!

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

Taped to a window, the overlapping paper ‘arms’ coupled with the play of light and shadow create some interesting abstract shapes too…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

My trusty assistant has been on hand to offer advice on the best brush for inking…

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

… and to engage in a bit of virtual interspecies arm-wrestling.

jellyfish drawing, work-in-progress

More jellyfish WIP to come…

" "

Gent, Belgium

The images above bring to mind an entranceway to a tea party hosted by The Hatter & the March Hare and, if slightly more amber-hued, the road to the Emerald City…

… and Belgium’s Gent is kinda magical that way. Revisiting these photos taken on a two day visit to the city last month I’m reminded of Gent’s many storybook qualities. While we were there the ominous-looking stormy summer skies added a gratifyingly brooding quality to its atmospheric architecture and cobbled medieval streets. But it’s not all gloomy Gothic stonework – bright bursts of colour and contemporary character abound. It’s a fascinating place… and the beer’s not bad either.

Gent, Belgium

spired, steepled, stained

Gent, Belgium

knotted sanctum

Gent, Belgium

magic number

Gent, Belgium

blue hide  |  delirious pink elephant

Gent, Belgium

passionate vine  |  sinuous mosaic

Gent, Belgium

city’s skin

Gent, Belgium

summer greens

Gent, Belgium

luchador ligature

Gent, Belgium

chair stare

Gent, Belgium

hollyhock cyclops

Gent, Belgium

third eye

Gent, Belgium

loaves & fish

Gent, Belgium

literary leanings

Gent, Belgium

“the wool is thataway!”
(gent’s 14th century textile industry hero, jacob van artevelde)

Gent, Belgium

façades

Gent, Belgium

parrot parlour

Gent, Belgium

faded flourishes

Gent, Belgium

harlequin house  |  chimay triple – everyone’s favourite tipple?

" "

the wonderful photo manipulations (titles unknown, my labels: ‘luchador ligature’ and ‘third eye’) were seen at superette and were made by atelier l’ami

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

They say time flies when you’re having fun… but can it really be four months since I last posted here?! Apparently it can…

My summer has flown by, too fast, in a bright blur of visitors, first forays into roof-terrace ‘farming’, city explorations, art gallery visits, plenty of enjoyable reading, some interesting client work, and lots of drawing for projects of my own. My camera has been working overtime so I have many pics to share and I’ll be trying to catch up on some of the summer’s wanderings and meanderings in my next few posts. Kicking off the catch-up, here are some more pages from the sketchbook/notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko…*

A recent project for a client required lots of mushroom research and drawing, so I used the notebook as a place to experiment and play with ‘shrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours.

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – work-in-progress (animated GIF)

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam]
dreaming of mushrooms | work-in-progress detail

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – left side of double-page spread

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

notebook [amsterdam] – right side of double-page spread

During my research** I encountered many weird and wonderful mushrooms – the world of fungi is mind-bogglingly diverse and fantastical! Although the patterning and colouring of my mushrooms is mostly imagined, it would be no surprise if these curious specimens do exist in nature. However real or imagined though, I’m pretty sure those purple ones above are poisonous enough to drop a human at thirty paces… even if they’re apparently quite harmless to snails and ‘mourillos’***

Yoko’s most recent pages, as with all her previous entries, are filled with magic and mystery. Finely-detailed etchings of a unicorn and a nesting bird atop a kingdom within an apple are incorporated into a collage of beautiful old stamps, mulberry-paper leaves and delicate drawn elements.

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – double page spread, and a right side page detail
(all artwork by yoko hayashi)

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – left side page details
(all artwork by yoko hayashi)

Yoko also included a treat for me on the next blank page of the notebook: a glassine envelope containing more beautiful old stamps – inspirational triggers for my next entry…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

notebook [tokyo] – details (all artwork by yoko hayashi)

" "

notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo.

The preceding four Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) (2) (3) (4)

" "

* Yoko and her husband visited in July and it was the first time since we embarked on this project that the two notebooks were in the same place at the same time :)

** I highly recommend checking out the photographs of Steve Axford for lots of fantastic fungi! Many of my mushrooms were inspired by his photographs

*** mourillos: as christened by a friend, when they first appeared here, for their resemblance to a cross between a mouse and a tiny armadillo

" "

On a recent day off we took advantage of the fine spring sunshine and made the brief 42 minute train journey to Delft. Despite its proximity, famous blue ceramics, and Vermeer connection I hadn’t visited the city before, and was hopeful to catch a glimpse of that particular quality of light and shadow so singular to Vermeer’s paintings.

      Johannes Vermeer, View of Delft, c. 1660 - 1661

view of delft, johannes vermeer, c.1660-1661

view of delft, april 2015

views of delft, april 2015

However, the uncharacteristically clear blue sky and intense spring sunshine had other ideas… and made for far less subtle, but equally rewarding, colours and contrasts.

view of delft, april 2015

delft blue

view of delft, april 2015

play of light & shadow

view of delft, april 2015

building bling!

view of delft, april 2015

for the cows
(as a vegetarian i find the consumption of veal [kalfsvlees] one of humanity’s more dismaying culinary practices… but i’m not averse to a nice bit of art deco stained glass typography!)

view of delft, april 2015

blue segues into green

view of delft, april 2015

city garden

view of delft, april 2015

magnolia, grape hyacinth

view of delft, april 2015

gateway to oz?

view of delft, april 2015

beneath our feet – spring growth, and a handpainted
reminder about what’s important embedded into the pavement

view of delft, april 2015

paparazzi-ing the locals!

It has been a while, but here is the next instalment in the collaborative sketchbook project I’m working on (at a slow but steady pace, across continents) with my friend Yoko [the preceding three instalments can be found here (3), here (2) and here (1)]

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

yoko followed on from my previous entry (above) with a line of
ghostly trees leading us deeper into the woods…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

… with a turn of the page the moon has risen,

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

and in this magical forest wolf takes on the visage of a deer

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

from little red riding hood’s basket spring bursts forth,
to conquer the frozen landscape

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

but she keeps an apprehensive eye on this other woodland wanderer…

mujinotebook (amsterdam)

… wary of his bloodied paws.

(this is notebook [amsterdam] * – artwork by yoko hayashi)

" "

mujinotebook (tokyo)

my intervention with yoko’s previous entry in the second of the two notebooks (above) introduced a plump, purple caterpillar…
a juicy snack for the watchful crow perhaps?

mujinotebook (tokyo)

or can he crawl to safety, over the page,
and fulfil his destiny…

mujinotebook (tokyo)

… as one in a whisper of moths?

mujinotebook (tokyo)

I drew these moths with Indian ink and a dip pen, and was once again reminded of how tremendously satisfying the scritchy-scritch-scratch sound of a metal pen nib on brown kraft paper can be! I’m also rather partial to the unintended, random patterns that emerged on my ink blotting sheets (as seen in a couple of the frames in the ‘work in progress’ animated GIF below)…

mujinotebook (tokyo)
(this is notebook [tokyo] *)

" "

* notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam, and notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo.

Since Yoko and I began this collaboration I have moved from Amsterdam to Haarlem. But as the two cities are extremely nearby neighbours we’ve agreed to stick with the ‘Amsterdam/Tokyo’ label for the project to avoid confusing ourselves (and Yoko informed me that ‘Haarlem’ (NL) and ‘Harlem’ (NYC) are spelt the same in Japanese… which could indeed be confusing!)

Previous Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts: (1) (2) (3)

 

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation

Photos on Flickr

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

'Octopus & Anemones' Screenprint

More Photos

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,052 other followers

%d bloggers like this: