Saturday, 18 October 2014

Peace Festival at the Jeju Horse Park




i) Faces from the coffee shop in the Horse Museum. A welcome relief from the heat and lack of indoor toilets. ii) On the first day a peace shrine was erected. The yellow ribbons may represent the Sewol disaster. iii) The cairn. Horse related sculptures are scattered all around the park, although most seem to congregate around landmarks. People mostly slept on the benches.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tornado Potatoes and Long Shadows

-View from an alleyway in Insadong-

-Insadong street signs-

-Visitors to the Palace District-

               Returned from a very quick final tour of Seoul. We packed in fireworks and palaces, and met two friends whom we've been missing for a long time. The sun was low and dazzling, and the streets were like swollen rivers full of people. I sat in a shadow from a sign to draw and had to move from time to time as it slid away from me. Seoul doesn't smell that great at this time of year, but the company was excellent.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

New Sunday Drawing Club

I started a thing! The next week will be important, as I was directly paying the model this time. I wonder if people will still come if they have to chip in a bit. Let's find out! The model is the amazing Daniella LaBosseire.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


The coast road west of Shin Jeju is just gorgeous. I finally took the wheel (handlebars?) after passing the first part of my Korean driving test. Nobody died! We're having the best vacation ever.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Yoga Pose

Cynthia, 15 minutes pose, 2b pencil on watercolour paper.
-by Ewan Green

Friday, 8 August 2014

Life Drawing Collected

The Ghibli Museum

Like most people, we followed the river from the train station to the Ghibli museum. It was a gentile, and almost pastoral route, with basket-laden bicycles passing us on the narrow road, and trees throwing dappled shade across the pavement.
We passed a wrought iron totoro in a hedge with a sign in its teeth, and approached through a metal gate attended by a security guard. The building looks surprisingly small from this side. It's only from within that you can see it goes down as well as up. Everything has been allowed to be overgrown with ivy, and a certain tree spirit was waiting as if to take our tickets behind a false foyer with the ubiquitous ivy pouring down the sloping walls as if from above.
From this point on I'll swear myself to secrecy, as I don't want to spoil it for any future visitors. Cameras were not allowed, but I did this one sketch inside the 'high ceilinged hall'. With thanks to my subjects for staying still for so long.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Nikko and Temples

             On Monday we took a long journey by train out to Nikko, where the first Shogun built enormous shrines and temples among the mountains about nine hundred years ago. Clouds were shooting across the sky, and although it threatened rain nothing much ever fell. Except for the odd splat of a drop from the trees, which were mostly gigantic cedars and surrounded the temples.
The first drawing is of the stairs at the entrance to the temple area in the forest. It's across from a beautiful river. The restaurant in the second drawing is set on the other side of the bridge. It's a deep red in reality. Red and green are the colours of Nikko. The stairs were absolutely enchanting. They run away under the shadows of the great cedars from the bright roadside, and the shrine gate you can glimpse is like the statue from Spirited Away, promising magic beyond.
              The other one is from the top of the stairs near the shrine of the sleeping cat. I can't imagine a more badass deity. If I was a monster, I would go nowhere near a sleeping cat-protected house. There's no knowing what it would do if it woke up.
             Finally, it's the bottom of one of the eldest cedars in the park. Every ancient stone was covered in moss, which tiny leaves and ferns erupting from the gaps. There was an incredible sense of the weight of empty space around the gates, temples and trees. It was magical.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Asakusa and Central Tokyo

- Aki Oka at dusk -

- Tokyo seabus -

- Coffee sack umbrella -

On Saturday we went on a grand tour of central Tokyo. We saw Kaminarimon (Lightning Gate) which is at the head of a busy market full of fun touristy things and leads to a beautiful shrine. I had a shot at wafting smoke over myself, but can't say for sure that it healed anything. Got smoke in my eyes waiting for Adrienne to take a picture. It was ridiculously hot, and as atmospheric as you could hope for.
We were taken on the seabus. I have no idea how we would have fared without Kuni and Akemi to guide us, but it would not have been nearly as rich and full a trip. Some of the sketches below are from the boat.
We ended up in an indoor craft street called Aki-Oka. Superb handmade stuff of all descriptions, and we ended up in a coffee roasting shop. The barrel is full of unroasted coffee beans, and is sporting an umbrella made from a sack. The photo is of the street outside. Many of the shops were beneath the skytrain.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Colour Thumbnails

Beginning to experiment with colour. I enjoy this so much more than trying to pull a colour out of the air and find it's match in a photoshop palette.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Life Drawing in Namwon

We met for plum tea and life drawing in a 70s style Jeju house. Soo Yeoun Baek was welcoming and charming, and told us she had studied in Wimbledon. Hence the name of the group. Very satisfying day.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Drinking Problem

I got to correct my mistake about which side women have their zips. That means it's definitely her mum's jacket. Thank my errant foot, because her father is tiny and her jacket is way too big to have been made for either of them.

Saturday, 10 May 2014


A detail from Lee Joongseop street in Seogwipo, named for a local artist. It is absolutely beautiful, and full of little craft stores and attractive buildings. I picked the least picturesque thing on the road to draw, but I love the clutter on the outside of ordinary buildings.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Night on the Farm


The sheep dog sleeps beneath the gutter,
its back legs shake, and it's eyelids flutter.
It runs in dreams, its head bowed low,
Its paw prints fresh in the virgin snow.
The wolf within begins to stir,
A thing of teeth and matted fur.
The dreaming dog gives joyous chase.
The perfect dog, in the perfect place.

The nesting hen amongst the hay,
Shut inside on a sultry day,
Dreams of claws and scaly armour,
And of eating Andy Todd the farmer.
A set of teeth replaced her beak,
Her talons glistened, sharp and sleek,
And mammals fell beneath her claws,
And squeaked their last between her jaws.

Eyes wide open, staring, haunted,
A good night’s sleep was all he wanted,
So at 2am, Farmer Todd,
Got up, and kneeled, and prayed to God.
“At night,” he says, “I’m all alone,
Cold and naked, far from home.
The dark has teeth and trees have eyes,
In a strange land, under foreign skies.”

-Ewan Green-

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Stevenson Sketch

-Elaine Breck Stewart-
After a character from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
I would love to see a gender-reversed version of his stories, so I did this. :D

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Parrot Soldier

Sgt. Jacques Oiseau de la Plume Rouge
(morning sketch)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tamika Flynn

"During the weather, I got word from some witnesses at the helicopter accident. The Sheriff’s Secret Police found several large slingshots and heavy stones nearby that matched, in size and shape, the dents on the helicopter’s engine casing. They also found a well-worn and heavily-notated copy of Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather."
- from “Missing”, episode 36 of Welcome to Night Vale by Commonplace Books