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An online sketchbook
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Here's another sketchbook that I've just about finished. I'm not sure of the brand, I bought it because I wanted a different page shape and size from the Moleskine and this had nice thick paper too. I've really enjoyed working on a more panoramic (?) page and will need to replace it with something similar if I can't find another of these.
I made the top drawing at a field day that had all sorts of events going on. I'm really happy with some of the lines I achieved in this drawing. I used a fine liner and a calligraphy pen to get them. And, the one below is from one of our Dr Sketchy
The rest of the drawings from this book can be viewed HERE
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Four drawings, three places in one sketchbook.
And, a shedload of different pens and pencils.
Red marker pen, two red ballpoints and two red pencils.
Various green pencils.
Blue fine liner and blue brush pen.
Black fine liner, 3B pencil and various colour pencils
Blue, pink and yellow fine liners.
Blue, pink and yellow pencils.
All made in the small Moleskine
sketchbook. I was never that interested in using such a small sketchbook before I got this. It took a few years of drawing before I bought it and I still wasn't convinced. It sat on my shelf for another year or so. Now I'm coming close to finishing this sketchbook - just a few pages left
. I really must get a new one in because it's become one of my favourites. A sketchbook I wouldn't be without.
Stay tuned to find out. 'Citing!
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Here's a new drawing. Well, it's a new old drawing. You may well have seen it before. Quite recently actually.
I have a string of half finished drawings hanging around the house. I come across them all the time. In the strangest of places. Drawings that I've given up on for various reasons. Now and again though I'll try and breathe new life into them. This is what happened here.
This drawing must be at least three years old. It actually had a shoe print on it that I had to erase (I really do find them in strange places). I remember that I'd had this great idea of drawing each and every one of my pencil cases. I got half way through this before realising what a rubbish idea that was.
There was, however, another reason that I resumed this drawing; for a long time now people have been asking me if I'd considered making a film of me in action (drawing that is). When I came across this drawing I felt it could be used to show how I go about cross hatching. So, that's what I did - I say that's what 'I' did but I actually mean that's what a friend with the technology and know-how did. Thanks Tim!
You can see the film in my last blog post or HERE.
Plus, you can get your hands on this drawing, and film star (haven't you always wanted to get your hands on a film star?), as it is for sale in my little Etsy shop HERE
Okay, so after years of people asking, I've finally made a little film of me drawing. I say 'I've' made a film but that's not strictly true. Here's a film that my friend, with the technology and know-how, made of me drawing.
I'd found this old half finished drawing, hanging around the house, so thought I'd complete that for the film. It was filmed over half a day - so, you can imagine how long we'd have been filming if I'd completed the whole thing. Too long.
Can't think of much else to say. I've just received the film in my inbox and am excited to post it. Please ask if there's anything you'd like to know.
Oh and a big huge thanks to Tim for making this and for everything else he does.
Probs, best watched HERE
Recently I've been organising the scans of all of the drawings I've made over the past few years and put them into folders and onto memory sticks etc. It's amazing the things you find to do when you have no internet. I came across a bunch of drawings that I did for a job a few years back. It was for the launch of a new Cross pen
(yes, THAT Cross pens
). It was a great job. I was approached by Cross
to make a series of drawings and to attend their launch night, at the top of the Gherkin (yes, THAT Gherkin). I had to draw a series of iconic buildings and I drew them in the only way I knew how - back then - in the form of souvenirs.
I remember it was a real quick turn around job and that I went right down to the wire with the deadline. Hell, I was still drawing them on the train down to London! So, unfortunately I didn't get to scan all the drawings. I'm particularly annoyed that I didn't scan the New York Museum of Modern Art in a snow globe. Still, it was one of those gigs that was a joy to do (and, let's be honest, it's not often you get to say that). Plus I got to watch the sunset at the top of the Gherkin and to see all the lights go on over London town.
Here's a brand new drawing.
It was never really actually meant to be a drawing, if you know what I mean? No?
Well it started life as a series of little drawings...
They were just individual drawings of individual pens.
Some of may favourite pens to be precise.
That's all they were ever meant to be, but sometimes I cannot leave a page be.
I cannot rest until I've filled it full of stuff; words, doodles, daydreams...
I originally drew the pens to decorate the pages of my latest little zine
But then it grew and grew and grew.
Into one big daydream.
You can buy the original drawing HERE
Or if your budget does not stretch to an original (I know mine doesn't), then you get buy the zine HERE
Cheers, my dears.
So, Tim here, Andrea's friend, stepping in as her technology has failed her yet again.
Obviously there must be a reason for the need to post something, anything, this thing. The reason is that Andrea is about to release a, wait for it, brand NEW zine! Hooray!, I hear you cry. So here is a first glimpse of 'An Idle Daydream Based On Colour' a pen review (of sorts); as it is titled.
This Daydream is all about pens used in making some of Andrea's iconic images. So if you like pens, or like the work of Andrea, or both, or are just interested in the tools of an artist then read on.
The zine is A5 size, professionally printed on a lovely 170gsm silk paper, 12 pages and includes not only images from this very worldwide blog, not only a story about the pictures' creation but also a new illustrated pen on most of the pages, representing the pen used (sometimes) in that pictures', er, creation.
I have one of the 'Daydream's here and it is smoothly gorgeous. They will available worldwide from the Etsy shop
SOON. Possibly by the time this is read by you, you lovely followers of the wonderful work of Miss J.
Thank you letting me bother you, and do check out the new zine, I think you will like it.
Oh folks, my technology issues continue. But, as bored and frustrated as I am with it all, I'm not letting it get me down. No.
It's giving me more time to draw, create and make some new products ('citing!).
Still haven't got around to cleaning though, as you can see.
So yeah, I'm coping.
Missing you guys though.
If you are near the Buxton Gallery
in the next few weeks pop in and see the Derbyshire Open Art Competition
. This drawing, of mine, is in the exhibition. It's of the gorgeous Atticus Boo in Buxton. It's the shop where I buy my Moleskines and other sketchbooks and is jam packed full of gorgeousness.
So get your arses along to the Museum. You can also vote for your favourite piece, so vote for this! Even if it's not your favourite still vote for it. There's a cash prize. And, boy, do I need cash prizes.
My favourite way to spend a day is just drawing for fun (hey, I know that's not everybody's idea of a riot but different strokes and all that). I feel that I haven't done that for months. I've either been drawing for work or I've been out and about practicing my skills. But, what's been missing in my drawing life is to do it just for a laugh. Now, yes, I know this one also has a purpose. Sure, it's also an promo for our next Dr Sketchy Sheffield event
, but it never at any point felt like I was doing it for anything else but for fun. And, I hope that shows!
I'm very excited to announce that I am now one of the branch directors of Dr Sketchy Sheffield
. I love these events and am hoping that the skill sets that myself and my new business partner Miss Hell's Belle
(!) will bring to this very glamorous table will not only ensure it's future in Sheffield but will also see it flourish. If you want to know anything more about Dr Sketchy
ask away, and if you live in and around Sheffield come along. It's huge fun.
A word about the drawing, I made this drawing of the girl and woodsman at our fairy tale Sketchy event
. It was just an outline in various pens - mainly markers. After these events I always lay out all my drawings on the settee, for a day or two, so that I can deliberate, cogitate and digest as I'm walking past them or sat in the armchair. I then let the drawing tell me if it needs any more attention. Sometimes they need nothing, but with this one I kept seeing the 50s comic artwork and specifically Roy Lichtenstien
. So, I went out and bought a Bingo pen.
To say the last few days have been stressful would be an understatement. I've had no internet, at home, for ten days now. I've spent hours on the phone to my internet provider getting technical 'help', had one massive sweary rant at an obnoxious member of their 'customer care' team and then broke down tears to an overly nice lady in their Essex office (I've spoken to every office they have). It sounds pathetic, I know. But when your business and livelihood relies on you being online it's more than just missing messing around on Facebook or Twitter. Although, I've missed that too.
And things just seemed to get worse and worse. Mostly brought on by myself and my inability to function as an actual human being in the real world. By Saturday, and after a series of unbelievably embarrassing Larry David moments (I'll tell you about it another time, it's still raw), I just never wanted to leave the house ever again. But I did, and on Sunday I had a lovely afternoon, chilling and watching (well, drawing) some cricket with my sketching friends. So, everything feels better now. And, suddenly I have internet. It just started working. I have no idea how long I'll have it for but as soon as I noticed it was working I rugby tackled the laptop and started typing this.
These are all drawings I've made, out and about, over the last few days. I found some old calligraphy pens that I haven't used for years and have been getting hooked on the gorgeous unpredictable flow of a fountain pen nib. Below are some piss poor figure drawings from the cricket match. There are some moments and lines I like though. Specifically the ones that I picked out with that thick nib.
Well, while I am away working, I thought I'd fill the picture gap with a shameless plug (which includes some good news).
The plug being if you pop along to my little etsy shop: AJ Etsy shop
you will find an array of goodies to buy - official AJ merchandise, that is. Including the latest of the AJ Dickie Birds - Gertrude and Eric, the not-so-lovebirds.
And the good news? Well, with nearly 1000 (that's one thousand!) copies of my first illustrated tutorial-ish Zine 'How to Draw Like a Nut'
sold there are literally only around 20 left in the whole world for sale*
So a big THANK YOU if you have already bought this now much-sought-after item, and if you haven't then hurry, hurry, hurry, as they say in the circus!
Also another big THANK YOU to all the correspondence I have received with words of support, along the lines of 'keep it up!', gosh folks, I do appreciate it. As well as the FAB feedback in the shop from you lovely people buying/supporting a real struggler! Thank you.
*possibly, maybe, I think so, unless a few turn up at the bottom of a cupboard
Next Saturday (the 6th) I will be 'demonstrating' at the Great Sheffield Art Show. It's more of a talk really. I'll be talking about illustrated journaling (still not actually sure that that is an actual word). Plus, I'll have my illustrated journals there for people to look through. And, throughout it, I'll be creating a spread in one of my journals. So, in some ways it is a demonstration.
So, if you'd like to come along please do. It'll be nice to see you. You can read more about the show HERE. You can possibly book a place too, although I'm not really sure. I'm not in charge of that stuff.
I don't know what it is about shops at the moment, but they seem to have unintentionally become a theme.
I ADORE this place; Patricia's. It's in New Mills, our 'local' town. I've been driving and walking past it in awe for some years. And, always, thinking 'I have GOT TO draw it'. I was saying as much when I drove past, a couple of weeks ago, with some friends. They said 'do it, do it now! Or otherwise you'll drive past one day and it'll be gone, boarded up, renovated'. I know it's true. There was another old hair salon in another local town (the town where I drew the flower shop in the last post), very similar to this, called Cynthia's. It had net curtains and polystyrene mannequins wearing bonnets and baskets full of dried flowers and Easter chicks (not, real ones). I almost came to a stop every time I drove past it - which always pleased everyone else on the roads. Anyway, I drove past one day and it was gone. It had become a shiny new beauticians. I was sad. Very sad.
Anyway, yesterday, I finally stopped outside Patricia's, parked up and got my pens out. There's such a melancholy about these old places. As I was drawing I could hear the ghosts of yesteryear filling the place with chatter and gossip, as it would have been it's heyday. Damn, I'd LOVE to have a look inside.
Since I posted the, above, sketch on Facebook I've been informed that "it (Patricia's) ". That's exactly how I'd imagined Patricia (thanks for confirming it Alison).
A couple of other things about the drawing. People often ask, when looking through my sketchbooks, "what do you do if you go wrong?" Well, two answers; collage or, as in this one, draw over it! You maybe be able to see the ghost of another drawing under Patricia's. Somehow that felt fitting. Also, whilst making this drawing I decided that I was going to buy Patricia's and keep the facade exactly how it is. Behind it I'd have a modern swanky studio and gallery, but up front nothing changes. 'Cos we really need these old places on our High Streets.
Oh, OH! And, when I finished drawing I went to adjust my car seat and saw this piece of paper on the floor. I don't remember writing it, but it is my writing. I am a sucker for a great quote and have to write them down where and whenever I hear one. I'm guessing this was something I heard on the radio. It was just one of those moments though. You know? Just one of those moments.
Plus, it was a ready made title for a blog post.
This is Foster's flower shop
in the town of Chapel-en-le-Frith. It's another of those places I drive past often and think 'one day I'm going to stop and draw this'. Finally, I did.
Sometimes, actually most of the time, when I see a place like this, I imagine the drawing in my head. It's very brief, it's like I take a mental photograph of it, which I then store until I get around to making the drawing. When I take that 'mental photograph' I can see the colours, I know exactly which pens and what paper I should use.
This flower shop, well, I always saw it in bright primary colours. Just red, blue and yellow. But as I sat, in my car, drawing it I couldn't bring myself to add any other colour. Maybe it was just fear. Or maybe, it was just meant to be blue. Although, I would still like to splatter a load of red and yellow paint over it. Maybe I will. Or maybe I'll just leave it as it is. Or, maybe, perhaps, I'll just go back and draw it again. Who knows?
On Tuesday night I attended our local Dr Sketchy event in Sheffield
. This time we had a fairy tale themed evening. I know I bang on about it often, but I really do love Dr Sketchy.
It was such a fun night. For those of you who don't know, Dr Sketchy is an alternative life drawing event. If you enjoy drawing, and music, and drinks, you really must seek out your closest Dr Sketchy
branch. Our models on Tuesday were Little Red Riding Hood, the Woodsman and a Wicked Queen. Mwah-ha-ha-haaa.
Anyway, after much drama, down in the wood, the Wicked Queen ended up dead.
And Little Red Riding Hood lived happily ever after. Phew.
If you live in, or near, Sheffield and would like to attend, get in contact. You can also join our Facebook group HERE
. And follow us on Twitter HERE
. And stay tuned for some exciting news about Dr Sketchy Sheffield
. Well, I think it's exciting, anyway. Tra for now.
Hello folks, look who have just flown into my Etsy shop
. Meet Eric Pickles and his ex wife Gertrude Grub - the not-so Love Birds (it's complicated).
Yep, these are my new cut-out-and-make Dickie Birds. This divorced couple haven't been in the same room, as one another, for at least a year...
...so getting them in the same envelope, to send to you, was a real struggle.
In fact, getting them in the same photo was a real struggle. The one below is the best I could do. And, even then, they couldn't look each other in the eye.
So, if you'd like to read more about and own your very own quarrelling couple of Dickie Birds check out my Etsy shop HERE
(Rainbow not included)
A sneaky peak at a drawing that has taken over my life or the last couple of weeks. Recently, I've hopped, skipped and jumped from one deadline to another. I'm not sure what or where I'm supposed to be next and I never know what day it is. This drawing is for the Derbyshire Open Art competition
. I've been meaning to enter this competition, and exhibition, for the last few years but never got around to it. As always with these things, you feel like there's loads of time between you and the submission day and next thing you know it's tomorrow.
The only theme for this competition is that the work has some Derbyshire connection. So, I drew this gorgeous shop in Buxton. I don't want to share the whole thing quite yet as a) it's a bit of a surprise for the girls at the shop and b) I have to work out how to resize the drawing so that it's not robbable (that is an actual word, I've just checked it out, I was convinced I'd made it up) as, if you follow me on Facebook you'll know, there's a lot of that been going on recently.
So, yesterday, I found myself, in the car, outside the gallery attaching mirror plates to the back of the frame with a screwdriver I won in a Christmas cracker. It's true. Still, I made the submission day and can relax until the next thing. Can anyone tell me what that is?
Here's a few little drawings I got to make at our little exhibition last weekend. I've been meaning to post them ever since, but I've not even had the time to scan, upload and blog the drawings. I'm that busy.
It seems that I get busier and busier these days. In fact, I was discussing this with a friend the other day. He asked how the exhibition had gone, and I said "it went great. Very busy and lots of interest in my work."
"So, are you any nearer to giving up the day job?" he asked. "Nope" I said, "I don't understand it, I work more and more but earn less and less". Then, I probably, maybe, moaned for a while longer about how difficult it was to make a living and how skint I was (am).
"You know what you need?" he said. "Nope" I said "well apart from more money coming in". "What you need" he said "is a louder trumpet". "You need a louder trumpet".
It summed it up. It made so much sense. And ever since I've been pondering what the trumpet might look like, what it might sound like and how I acquire that louder trumpet.
Knocked up this promo drawing for our next Dr Sketchy Sheffield
event in a couple of weeks time. I'm meant to be doing something else. I have a publishing deadline looming, which is why I am a) making posters for Dr Sketchy events and b) pissing around on the internet.
There's one thing that's really annoying me about this drawing, now that I see it on a screen, and that is the dark green bit at the top of the picture really needs straightening. Is there a straightening tool in Photoshop? I've looked for it. In fact, I wasted at least an hour looking for it, but couldn't find anything.
Anyway, if you are in Sheffield, or anywhere nearby, on the 18th of June, come and join us at the Greystones pub
. I can guarantee a night of fabulous girls, great music and drawing. What more do you want on a Tuesday evening? The theme this time (just in case you haven't worked it out, and quite frankly, if you haven't a) I've failed miserably and b) you might be a little bit slow. Just saying) is fairy tale.
Now, I'm off to clean the bath or alphabeticise my DVDs or make up some new words (like alphabeticise) or....
Read the rest of this post
Well hello folks, how are you? It's been too long. I always feel terrible guilt when I've neglected my blog for some time. Do you know what I mean? The reason I fell of the face of the earth was because the whole of the last two weeks has been consumed by getting myself ready for a weekend long exhibition
I was holding as part of the Derbyshire Open Arts
. This is the second time I participated and, just like last year, it was an absolute joy. But then, there's nothing I love more than taking my sketchbooks out of the house and sharing them with people.
I even managed to do a few drawings during the exhibition so will post them, and some more photos, shortly. For now, I'm exhausted. AND, I have a publishing deadline in one weeks time! Yikes. What am I even doing on the internet? We all know how that can swallow up hours, days, your life.
I'll be back just as soon as I've had this nervous breakdown.
Hi guys, just a heads up here; my third zine How To Draw Like A Nut is now VERY limited. My shop has about twenty left in stock. And, that's it. All my zines (apart from some special limited limited edition ones) have runs of one thousand. So, if you are new to my work, and don't already own a copy now is the time to get one HERE
. There's also an offer on the first two ballpoint zines HERE
Right, that's it for the selling, for now. I hope you understand that I have to do it. It's how I get the time to draw and post all this crazy stuff. Back with more crazy stuff very soon.
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One thing that I get asked a lot is 'which is my favourite drawing' . My favourite of my own drawings, that is. It's a really difficult question to answer as I've made, probably, a couple of thousand drawings over the last few years. And, you know, what I like, or dislike, in a drawing, changes all the time.
I have a love hate relationship with a lot of my work. Sometimes, if I've laboured over a drawing, by the time I've completed it, I usually despise it.
Another thing I've found is that my taste often differs from those (of you) that view my work. The drawings that other people respond to in a positive way can be the ones I dislike the most. I'm almost always surprised by the ones that get a huge response. Sometimes not, but mostly. Then, there are the ones that I love and other people hardly even notice. But, I love that not knowing.
More recently, as my drawing evolves, and I spend a lot more time sketching, the reasons why I like, or dislike, a drawing too have changed. I'm still always chasing a great image, of course (good composition, subject, etc), but now, it's the work where I have challenged or pushed myself, in some way, that I feel most pleased with.
For example, I really love this drawing. I made it in one of the large Moleskine sketchbooks (so, it's on a bigger scale than I used to work). I saw the red chequered table cloth and immediately knew I was going to get a drawing out of it. The food looked great against the cloth was too inviting (but I had to be quick as it was being moved around the table). And, then there were the people, all chatting and moving. I like to think I captured the scene.
Maybe those are the reasons I like it so much, and I'm not expecting it to set the world alight, but it just pleases me. That's all.