July 26, 2015 0

Watercolour Clematis

By in color, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


Painted clematis spilling over the newel post, while sitting on my friend’s porch.

July 21, 2015 0

Morning Face

By in sketches


Just some anonymous imaginary person, painted on the little computer.

June 25, 2015 0

Digital Painting of a Building

By in digital, montreal, sketches


I assure you, these are hard for me to do. Trying to retain a bit of the handmade charm of the drawing, while the machine wants everything straight and boring. Also, choosing colours is difficult in this medium. In watercolours there are only a few tints, which you get used to. Still, even though this isn’t a terribly accurate drawing of the real place (just down the street from here), it’s convincing enough for me.

Later, I can put a grumpy person walking by in front, as per usual.

June 25, 2015 0

Review of The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, Vol II.

By in Book Reviews

I’ve read The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, Volume 2, Peter Robinson ed. Easy book to get through – reading story after story is like munching potato chips.

I’ve now got the idea that a crime story is about conflict, but taken to the level that most of us rarely aspire to. We can hate a boss, but very few of us will execute a plan to slit his throat, and then dispose of the evidence. In real life we may sit and fume, but the fictional version where violent and decisive action is taken is satisfying.
Of course, in fiction at least, crime doesn’t pay (except in those cases when it does).
Through reading these stories we can play at being the perpetrator, or the sleuth. These are plot-driven stories, so the action is straightforward. This is unlike the literary tale where, for instance, someone is crying at the end, and the reader has to review all that went before to put together the pieces and find out what has changed. Hence the crime story’s quick read, and a general sense of satisfaction at the conclusion of each tale. Justice has been arrived at. Or a clever plan has been executed.
Reading crime books and stories as I’ve been (thanks to a friend with a big and often-updated library), I’m finding elements of formula. Too many of them take the same tropes and play them over, again and again. I might try writing something like one of these. It will take a bit of research to create the characters I have in mind. Doing suspense looks like fun, and then there are the twisty plots, which I am less fond of.

June 15, 2015 0

Peggy and Stan

By in heads, sketches, watercolor, watercolour, women


Did a picture of Stan, who is Peggy’s hairy friend on the “Mad Men” TV show, when I realised I had space on the paper, and should probably do Peggy too. She was much harder to draw, and I spent most of the morning on that. Oh well.

I like this paper.

June 9, 2015 0

Something New

By in ballpoint pen, color, sketches, watercolor, watercolour



In a bit of a mood. So, these people are appropriate. I still love drawing with the ballpoint pen, no matter how unarchival it may be.

June 5, 2015 0

Small Paintings

By in color, sketches, watercolour


I first thought of titling this post “Fairly Insane Paintings,” but am trying to be kinder to myself.


These all measured seven and half-inches wide, and I think I’m going to do a lot more of them, but on better paper. They were fun to paint.


I don’t know what possessed me to put a cute puppy dog in with Dante and Virgil, but sometimes one’s first idea isn’t always the best. But they’ll only get better.


June 5, 2015 0

Wedgewood Image

By in color, storyboards, watercolor, watercolour


I’m very pleased with this image from a current project for filmmaker Jonathan Balacz, WEDGEWOOD. Even though it just appears as an image on a screen inside an image. The two figures are on separate layers, and I hope will be animated to chase each other through the scene, like Punch and Judy puppets.

June 3, 2015 0

How not to Watercolour

By in color, heads, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


Doing studies of faces today. Also watching Youtube videos detailing all the mistakes I’ve been making doing watercolour. It’s nice to know, but I still have fun doing things my way. Learned stuff, though, which is always good. [Link here!]


June 2, 2015 0


By in color, digital, paintings


This digital painting seems nicer with the “saturation” turned down. I’m still not happy with my digital work, as it doesn’t seem to come as easy, or look as natural, as the watercolour. Still, it’s an interesting challenge, and things always improve as you work on them. To make nice lines with the stylus, I have to use my arm, which doesn’t allow me to control things as tightly. Plus there are all those switches and layers to remember. That’s very left-brained. The stylus is not as nice a tool to wield as a brush is.

One might say “why bother,” but I think it’s a valuable skill to master. I want to be able to do it as fast and as quickly as the brush or pencil.

June 2, 2015 0


By in color, heads, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


Painting characters the other day, while watching season one of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” which is an often excellent cartoon series in terms of storytelling and characterisation. [Excerpt from Avatar: The Last Airbender]


These faces aren’t from that series, but the line about the power plant was.


May 30, 2015 0


By in color, paintings, watercolor, watercolour


Here’s another landscape. My family has a lot of landscape painters in it. Don’t know if I’m really keeping up the tradition, but it’s fun to smear paint around sometimes.

May 27, 2015 0

Two Paintings of Montreal

By in montreal, paintings, watercolor, watercolour


I need to take better notes, because it would be nice to know exactly where these places are. One is Ave Laval, I think. The one below is a converted firehall on rue Notre Dame West. Or, I could be way off.


May 23, 2015 0

Some Paintings

By in color, montreal, paintings, parks, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


Doing a lot of paintings at the moment. Up there is the control building for the revolving bridge that no longer works. It’s from a 2012 photo, and the graffiti is old, and the bike path doesn’t even go by it at the moment.


These two pictures are painted on terrible paper. Sort of like painting on the paper towels you dry your hands with in washrooms. Still, it affords its own effects.