January 23, 2020 0


By in watercolor, watercolour

Back into watercolours. They’ll get better, I promise! Will use reference next time. Gee, there seems to be no shortcuts when it comes to stretching paper. I tried a lot of them, and no thanks. Paper tape and staples do the job.

January 21, 2020 0

New Coloured Pencils

By in color, Coloured Pencils, men, pencil, Portraits, ruttan's place, sketches, women

A generous friend sent me a set of 168 wooden coloured pencils. (Is it “coloured” or “colour”? The last one sounds slightly illiterate.) I’ve taken them out of their packaging, where they were inaccessible, and put them into yogurt containers, where I can reach them and see what I’m drawing with.

Some of the pencils crumbled inside the twisty sharpener, so I’m sharpening them with the razor blade, as shown. It’s more like gentle stroking rather than a twisty reaching motion, and easier on the cores.

Here’s an example of something I drew. The pencils are called “blendable,” but they are only just. Maybe some sort of solvent will work.

There’s a list of colours you can fill out with the accompanying numbers in case you need to buy a new pencil, but I wish they had come up with even dumb names for the colours, because I like those.

January 18, 2020 0

Hot Lemonade

By in paintings, sketches, watercolor, watercolour


This is kind of cute, and seasonal. I’ve forgotten where it appeared, or what things were supposed to have gone wrong.

December 27, 2019 0

Red Pencil!

By in cats, color, Coloured Pencils, heads, sketches

December 25, 2019 0

Metro Sketches

By in ballpoint pen, black and white, pen and ink, sketches

Sketches done on the Montreal Metro, trips over and back to Verdun. I waved at a baby, and he waved back! 

December 16, 2019 0

Even More Pages. In Watercolour and Watercolour Pencil this time.

By in sketches

I think I’ve solved the “what to title the post” problem for the moment. Even my tools seem to be working better now. Still little strange things, such as how to make the pencil line bigger and smaller in something called InkScape. Who figured out that interface?

At least watercolours and pencils don’t have little numbers you have to enter in….



December 13, 2019 0

Various Pages

By in ballpoint pen, black and white, color, Coloured Pencils, heads, machines, paintings, pencil, sketches, watercolor, watercolour

It’s hard thinking of witty titles for these things. I’m putting up more pages. Not the stuff I did the other night when I couldn’t sleep. That was weird and also messy.

December 10, 2019 0

Neon Gel Pens

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


Over the past couple of summers, a depanneur (convenience store, for you non-Montrealers) had a jar of gel pens for sale. When I was buying beer or cat food, if I was feeling flush, I’d pick one up. They are fun to play with, and I had a set of kid’s fluorescent paints to play with as well, but the scanner and putting it up on the internet takes away some of the vividness.

Ah well, I guess it’s like William Blake’s handcoloured poem prints. I’ve seen them for real, 200 years old, and reproductions don’t do them justice. Not that I’m comparing myself to Blake, but he’s one of my heroes.

Sadly, the neon pens aren’t very lightfast, and will probably fade to white in a few years. We will see.

Ha, I just noticed the oddness that this ancient scanner introduced up top. But this is the first time I’ve got the scanner working with the new computer (thanks to some old software), so I’m still thrilled.

December 8, 2019 0

Sober Cat

By in cats, digital, pencil, sketches

December 7, 2019 0

The Wind in the Willows Update

By in sketches

I’ve finished the Project Gutenburg edition of The Wind in the Willows on my Kindle. I can relate to it, because I used animals dressed as people to tell stories, in my Books in Canada cartoons. Still, the characters here are perfect English gentlemen, even if they take breaks to snap up flies once in a while. How does Mr. Toad have hair, if he’s a toad, and not wearing a toupée?

It scarcely matters, because reading about the book on the web after finishing it, I find the novel was based on stories the author made up to entertain his son at bedtime. That son committed suicide at school aged 20, which makes these stories more moving to me. Stories, at least of that era, had to have a happy ending.

They’re in the mold of Robert Louis Stevenson or Walter Scott high adventure, also with a love of nature. So, the actual events are hard to believe, but the general effect is charming. Very happy to catch up with this, another piece of my early childhood.

December 5, 2019 0

Blatant Sketchbookery

By in cats, color, Coloured Pencils, Gouache, Jack's House of Cats, paintings, sketches, watercolor, watercolour

For some reason I’m back into the blog. I don’t think anyone goes here, and the “Blogoshphere” has become a little like one of those abandoned theme parks adventurers like to seek out. Anyhow, I’m baaaaaakk. Not posting as much as I used to, just cool stuff out of the sketchbooks, which are taking too much space around here.

Above…. Looks like Same Face Syndrome! I’ll just pretend that it’s the same imaginary actor playing all the parts.

Still the usual inability to draw those Barbie-like women who are so popular among internet artists. Oh well. Better watch a dozen more Youtubes about the topic.

December 3, 2019 0

Birdies and Mr. Boggedy

By in cats, color, paintings, sketches, watercolor, watercolour

December 1, 2019 0

The Wind in the Willows

By in ballpoint pen, Book Reviews, color

I’m finishing off The Wind in the Willows. Very curious book. I remember it being read to me in class when I was tiny, and at that age I didn’t always get all of what was being read or shown to me. Such as when I was watching the movie Mary Poppins, which I loved. But what was a Suffragette, or a run on the bank? I just thought they were excuses for dressing up, or going crazy.

Anyhow, the lesson I learned from The Wind and the Willows long ago was that stoats and weasels were evil, and Mr. Toad was a wild adventurer and hero. Maybe in his own mind. Re-reading it now, Mr. Toad is a horrible aristocrat, stuffed with upper class privilege, who steals a poor person’s horse, not to mention someone else’s car, and escapes from prison. Truly a first-class felon, and egotist. The book explores this a bit. I suppose I identify most with the Mole, who is everyman, or every-animal. My favourite character is Badger, who in the movie I think would be played by the deep-voiced Christopher Lee, in his non-villainous aspect.

I’m not really sure how animals fit into this world. In the illustrations that came with my e-book, they are naturalistic, naked and almost natural size. Maybe a little larger so that they show up. But I think of them more as English gentlemen (no ladies in this story), wearing animal heads. At least person-size Beatrix-Potter type creatures who move in the world of Edwardian England just as most human being did. As I child I took this for granted. As an adult I seem to need more explanations. Which are boring.

So I’m moving forward through the book, into the last part where I’m sure the nasty stoats and weasels will be defeated. One thing I’m not fond of is how certain creatures can get an evil reputation simply because they don’t look as pretty as others. Opossums and hyenas, for instance. I want to see virtuous examples of those, just like there could be mean-spirited elves or honest orcs in a Tolkien-type story. I think I’ll look at Charlotte’s Web next. I’m enjoying these old kids’ stories, which are not really just for kids.

April 13, 2019 0

Puddle Brush Cat

By in digital

I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve not been posting here in a long while, and I almost lost the blog to some sort of server issue, so I got the blog back, and I thought I should post something. Here it is.