Sunday, 29 April 2012


I'm getting to a point where I may be thinking of switching Strange-Biros to another platform... I've been trying to make a Gallery page, but just can't get what I want... and that's strange as the very thing I want appears as part of the Picasa "organise" function... Basically I want something like a mosaic of the images in folder, BUT only on one page. If anyone knows how to do this, of can suggest a more flexible platform, then I'm interested.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pirate hats

Pirate hats, in fact almost any hats are a bit of problem to draw for me, so I thought I'd try a few in the sketch book...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Found a stack of "Collins Primary Wordwork" books, and think the crocs picture must be from one of them...

Apparently you can still buy them on Amazon, from 1p... "This invaluable textbook course for 5-11 year olds is written specifically to provide all National Literacy Framework Word Level requirements throughout the whole school. Clear and straightforward activities give a lively and highly accessible way to learn essential phonics, spelling and vocabulary skills."

Something old something new

Bought a new sketchbook, Daler Rowney 150gsm acid free cartridge paper, it's got a good surface, and takes pencil well... anyway, I was scribbling on it over lunch, and ended up drawing a stumpy crocodile.

I was sure I'd drawn something like it years ago, so had a quick rifle through some old boxes in the basement and found a page with a couple of crocs... I've no idea what it was for, but from the squiggles it looks like it was part of a huge series of books I did in the 90's for Harper Collins Educational.  What's weird is that I probably work with people who learnt to read using these things...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Jim Lad

Last page in my sketchbook, continuing the pirate theme..

Sunday, 22 April 2012


More pirate drawings, this time I tried using a UniBall eye fine pen, and Copic markers. I'm down to the last page of my sketchbook, which has been in service since August 2010... Need to buy something else ... I have several 'insubstantial' Moleskine and field notes style sketchbooks, but nothing weighty. I guess it's time to hit the art shop.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wacom Bamboo too

So I've had a little time to get used to the wacom bamboo stylus, as a tool for sketching. It's not bad... there is astill a lack of precision, but after a time this afternoon it was more the shortcomings of Autodesk Sketchbook pro, the problems over the low resolution, lack of pressure sensitivity, and "trapping" during fills, that were an issue.
I tried inking up a page of jack Kirby pencils, and I think it looks ok for a sketch.

Friday, 20 April 2012

sea legs

and with even more fiddling around


With tone, and with added sepia goodness...
I'll chuck it into an Instagram filter at some point too

Avast Yea

Ahoy,  Lots of telephone meetings today, so instead of the usual doodles, I doodled into my sketch book.
I've inked it, scanned it, coloured it, and such like...


More pirates

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Wacom Bamboo iPad stylus

I have heard a lot of blather about the "cosmonaut" iPad stylus... But as it was part of a kickstarter proposal, there didn't seem to be any way to get my hands on one. My old pogo stylus is pretty much useless, but I've heard a fair bit of positive stuff about the Wacom bamboo stylus too. Bought one, and it seems reasonably ok... The iPad still isn't all I want as a drawing tool, and the tv ads for the the Samsung comical tablet are intriguing.. Give it a couple of years and I think there'll be some very usable tools.

Ninjas a coming...

Quick scribble that I did on a post-it note last week is still sitting on my desk, and I rather like it.
I have a hankering to draw some pirates.
I will try and dig out the Captain Pyrate strip Jamie Hewlett did for Deadline comic before he got all musical.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Watercolour Glory

Last effort of the day, is a watercolour wash over the B&W inks.. some colour run, lots of cockling on the Manga paper.. but not bad...

G L O R I A Gloria

last effort for tonight...
I thought I'd try a bit of real watercolour, but am tiring ... perhaps tomorrow

Iron Lady

Ok here we are all coloured, and toned... I'll bash out a sepia version in a bit, but I have to make tea now..
I think she looks a lot like Iron man...

Glorious Technicolour

Ok, so here we have the B&W coloured with a minimal palette in the old fashioned comic book style.. I'll have a bash at adding some tone and post that too


Thought I'd have a bash at the Ten Ton Sketch Challenge, which this week is yet another character I've never heard of... GLORY.
A chunky bruiser.
I'm very poor at drawing women, so thought I should try and put in a bit of effort..
I think it's ok.. but could have been drawn by almost anyone.
I'll have a bash at colouring it up, but obviously the 10T pic has to be a "real" one...
I did mine on DELETER paper, and pigment pens.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Just because everyone is leaving Instagram, due to the Facebook buy-out... I thought I'd join, just for one pic.. I think Janet Brokerage belongs to the 1970's...

...and again with a splash of colour

Janet B, with her Auburn hair...
and toned down a touch...

JANET Brokerage

I posted a message about JANET Brokerage to the champs list a while back, and it started a brief exchange between my old comrade Steve Davies , as to who Janet Brokerage was.. Steve saw her as a granny with a big gun. "Cross me and you'll be playing harp for the angels".
I saw her more of a burly lady like Pat Butcher, in a leopard skin pattern coat, with two menacing sons who loaf around behind her shelling peanuts and "breaking" things.
"Oh dear me, wouldn't it be a shame if this shop accidentally burnt down."

In fact much like an old VIZ character... Big Vern? 

The truth is much less disturbing. JANET Brokerage is a advisory service that can help Educational Institutions save money when buying cloud services. Check it out:

Sunday, 8 April 2012

and with a bit of sparkle

Same pic with a few highlights and shadows

I am the count

I got sidetracked from the "aliens for tea story", and have started sketching another idea, an A-Z of real monsters...
A is for Accountant..
I guess the thing is just to keep on bashing out pictures till I gather enough for A book to run through the author tool...

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Just checked to see how many times the 24HCD ibook has been downloaded... 84 times, in many different countries.. really surprised, i didn't expect more than about 2 or 3.
Gives me hope :)

Aliens for tea

I've decided I'd like to have another bash at creating a book for the iTunes bookstore. I put a copy of the 24 hour comic day book up when the authoring tool was announced, just to see what the process was like.
But I I wanted something a bit more colourful.
Trouble is most of the stuff I've done in the past was for someone else, and they retain the licence for re-use.
Anyway I found a couple of children's books I started, and got to pencil stage, probably back in 1990? So 22 year old sketches.
I think the basic story is ok, and I've started to ink up the pages.
Seems like I've been drawing tentacled monsters all my life...

Friday, 6 April 2012

Robot legs - sepia

To take it back to a sepia image, I flatten the layers, remove the colour then adjust the levels. A touch more dodge and burn, and that's about as good as I'll get it.

Robot legs coloured

I open the image in photoshop elements 10 editor... which I find easier to use than Photoshop.
I convert the 300 dpi Black and White (actually greyscale) scan to RGB
I add colour and dodge and burn a bit. I'm not happy with the pic, chiefly as I couldn't scan it as straight black and white without getting lots of speckle and noise...

Robot legs fully inked

The rest of the blacks are filled using DELETER No 4 ink, which goes on well and has a good solid black..
The image is scanned onto my mac mini using an old canonscan LIDE 25... this used to work brilliantly under leopard, but the support for TWAIN appears to have been dropped in Lion, so the scanning app is very flaky, lots of noise.
I have two routes to solve this, roll back to the version of Leopard I'm happy with, or buy a new scanner.
I do have a spare mac mini that I could use.

Robot legs inks

Outline ink with a Staedtler 0.7, 0.5 and 0.1mm pigment liner erasing the pencil lines with a Rotring eraser, so old I can't tell you what the model is...

Robot legs pencils

I thought I'd post some pics showing the flow of work for a pic..
So here we are starting off with 0.5mm 2B Pentel P205 mechanical pencil
in a Daler Sketchbook.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

a different kind of blogging

I've started doing the occasional comic page for "work" blogging...
I like the bear in this one, but then I've always liked drawing bears...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

St George's Day

I've been doing a small cartoon for the Parish News in the village for about 5 years now... it's a monthly effort, that focusses on a bit of village news.
I've never thought to share the pictures here..
This is one I had a bash at for this month... usually I just draw up the ideas the editor sends through, but as I'm on holiday for some of April I thought I'd put one in the bag...

"An unexpected guest at the St George's day celebration caused the Crown to re-think their advertising policy"