The Glower

Drawn in response to this much nicer picture of Mona Williams (Mrs. Harrison Williams of the Cole Porter song ‘You’re the Top’), later Mona Bismarck, sketched by Rene Bouche.  When I do that it's not nearly so attractive, but no matter what it may look like, I am not plotting your assassination, I promise.  Really.  The glower is just sort of built-in.

Infinite Monkeys

Mark Gatiss had a guest appearance on The Infinite Monkey Cage, a science/comedy show on BBC Radio 4.  Why they brought on a champion of the imagination and then set about belittling imagination is beyond me, but it was hard not to pick up on the snub.

I'm a big fan of science and everything, but I'd pick Mark Gatiss over Richard Dawkins any day.


Hushpuppy, from Beasts of the Southern Wild.  I quite liked the movie, despite it being noting at all what I was expecting it to be, but I would have liked to have been warned it was all shot hand-liked ...

Cabin Pressure

Thanks to the iPlayer, I have never really been able to picture the characters in Cabin Pressure as looking anything unlike the actors who play them ... this is fine for Douglas and Carolyn, but Martin in particular is supposed to be the opposite of tall and authoritative Benedict Cumberbatch, so as I was listening again, I tried to force myself to picture him in a new way, and came up with someone who's somewhere between Steve Punt and Schmendrick the Magician.

Plus bonus Arthur and poorly-executed Douglas.

Swashbuckling Etudes

I had to get back in the swing of drawing dynamic poses from scratch again, so in lieu of some insane figure drawing class I decided  to do some quick sketches off Pirates of the Caribbean

I could stand to do a lot more of this ...

What I find particularly fascinating is that, dynamic as these sketches may appear, I could never get as much energy in the drawing as I saw in the frame of film. Draw from life, folks! (Or filmed life, at least ...)

American Woman Journalist

Radio 4 Extra recently reran the BBC's most excellent radio dramatisation of Robert Harris' Fatherland, so I took the opportunity to draw Charlotte Maguire. Those darn spunky investigative female journalists, they come along and ruin everything . . .

The 2 1/2 hour dramatisation is, luckily, available for purchase, and I highly recommend it as fantastically produced and acted audio drama, much closer to a movie than to a play. Weirdly, the commercially available recording has slightly different incidental music to the radio one, but everything else is there, from the brilliantly-delivered dialogue to the masterfully atmospheric sound design to the perfect interplay of timing, acting, and editing which tell so much more story than the dialogue could do alone.

Lovelace and Babbage in a Physical Object

If you haven't seen The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, a Steampunk AU webcomic about the pioneers of computing, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not follow that link. Artist/writer/researcher/all-round-brilliant Sydney Padua has landed a book deal with the exalted and discerning publisher Pantheon to put their adventures out in hard copy! I am very much looking forward to clutching the finished product in my hot little hands ... In the meantime, there's an iPad App! I do not have an iPad myself, but have had the opportunity to play with this app, and it is the only thing to make me sort of think about wanting an iPad. There are annotations, and primary documents, and authentic original visual aides, enough to make a nerd's heart flutter.

Doublet and Hose

One of the benefits of travelling in the off season is you get to see winter fashions that never really make it to LA. This seemed to have been the 'look' on my most recent trip: double-breasted wool coat, black tights, and brown shoes. (I assume there is a miniskirt or something in there somewhere...) I bet no one thought the doublet-and-hose look would ever come back. This comes so shortly on the heels of skirt-over-jeans and shorts-with-tights, things I'd have thought looked so ridiculous no one would ever wear them in public. Fashion is mysterious. Incidentally, it appears that listening to French-language radio has a beneficial effect on my drawing skills. Perhaps this is the secret of all those ridiculously talented bande-dessine artists?

Clarisse McClellan

It's impossible to say how much Fahrenheit 451 influenced the direction my life would take, or how much I was already a dangerous nonconformist by Grade 9 when I read it, but when I revisited the book for the first time recently I was astonished at how familiar Clarisse McClellan seemed to be . . .