Illustrated Map


This week, as March comes to an end we’re coming to the end of a month of botanical drawings in the 365 Days to a Portfolio challenge. There’s one more drawing to go but today’s prompt was ‘garden map’.

This was the first illustrated map that I’ve made and I chose to create a map of Postman’s Park, which is a small park/garden in the City of London. It was a challenge because it involved creating lots of individual drawings and hand lettering, and then assembling them in Photoshop. But it was fun and something that I might do again.

I’ve also created a second version of this map, which I’ve submitted to They Draw and Travel. You can also see that version on my portfolio page.


Preparing for The 100 Day Project 2017


The 100 Day Project starts again this year on 4th April. If you’ve never heard of The 100 Day Project, it’s a free art project open to anyone, where you choose a creative action to repeat every day for 100 days.

I took part for the first time last year and created 100 patterns in my tiny sketchbooks. I really enjoyed it and creating technical repeat patterns from my artwork has become almsot second nature to me now.

I’ve not decided yet what I’m going to choose for this year’s 100 Day Project. I have a few thoughts but nothing nailed down just yet.

Have you taken part in The 100 Day Project? Will you be joining in this year?

One Week 100 People 2017


This week, alongside my usual drawings I’ve been taking part in a daily drawing challenge, which was announced by Liz Steel. She got the idea from Marc Taro Holmes a few years ago but the aim was to sketch 100 different people over the course of 5 days.

Although I enjoy going out with the Urban Sketchers I usually exclude people from those drawings because they seem too complicated, or they move around too much. So this was a really good challenge for me because every one of my 100 people was drawn from real life in a public place.

I still feel a bit nervous because the people you’re drawing (and sometimes the ones you’re not drawing) might notice what you’re doing or at least notice that you keep looking at them, but the good thing is that I completed this challenge anyway and that feels like an achievement.


My sketches started off on Monday as scratchy little figure drawings done from a distance but by this morning I was sitting in the middle of a busy cafe making sketches of people’s faces.

In the past if there’s something I’ve wanted to get better at drawing then I’ve often pushed myself to do it every single day for a month (or longer in the case of my patterns last year). This was similar but much more intensive because instead of drawing one thing each day I drew 15-25.


The real challenge though, is to keep working on this skill now the week’s over.

Is there an aspect of your creative work that you’d like to improve but keep avoiding? Do you think an intensive daily challenge like this one could improve your ability and confidence?

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Urban Sketching: Challenging Interiors at the Barbican


On Saturday I was out again with the London Urban Sketchers, this time sketching in and around the Barbican Estate in the City of London (not to be confused with London, the city!). It was a cold day and after spending the morning sketching outside we headed indoors for the afternoon.


Unfortunately we were asked to leave one particular area of the arts centre (half way through my sketch of a view from a window) because there was a wedding taking place, so we moved to some seats just outside the theatre and gift shop to sketch some of the inside of the building. This was a bigger challenge than I’d anticipated when I sat down and I made more than one mistake (as you may be able to tell in my sketch).

I also ended up leaving out a large and complex sculpture that was hanging in this space and have toyed with the idea of drawing it in afterwards using a white pen but so far I haven’t had the inclination (or courage?) to attempt this!

I’ve also noticed my tendency to exclude people from my urban sketches, but more on that some other time!

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