Friday, November 20, 2009


Gordo protecting himself from damage from The Sun.

For the next two weeks the QI books will be advertised on 12 sheet posters along London Underground platforms.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hooray for Hollywood

I've recently done some character designs for a Hollywood film.

Now that's a sentence!

Maybe the director won't go for my designs, but it's exciting to have contributed and that he'll be seeing them.

In other news, the QI Annual is now in shops!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


A while ago I did the covers for the next QI Annual, which is due out in November. It's a 'ginormous gallimaufry of G-ness, gallivanting from Galaxies, Gods and Gravity to Gin, Gnus and Gravel - including everything you never wanted to know about Grahams'. And that's official. Having worked hard on it, I'm very pleased to say all involved love the result.

While working on the annual I found myself looking again at my old copies of Spitting Image books, which have a very similar feel. The programme was an early influence for me; as a schoolboy I was twice given time off to spend a day at the their headquarters drawing caricatures, in 1992 and then again in 1993. I've got a load of photos somewhere, but here are a few.

As well as getting my copy of Roger Law's autobiography signed, I also got a puppet hand, which is slowly disintegrating;
Oddly enough, although I don't know him, Roger Law has crossed my path a few times over the years. The only one worth mentioning was at a screening of a Jake Auerbach film about Lucien Freud at the Prince of Wales Drawing School in Shoreditch. Reading his second autobiography recently, I was surprised to see the evening get a mention. I see he's now doing enormous and amazing ceramic work. I'd love to ask him to make me a mug.

Find the annual in all good bookshops later in the year, or pre-order your own copy here.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I seem to have posted a little run of projects recently. This was done for a Travelling Moleskine Sketchbook project, with a given theme of 'Naughtiness'. I've used these three projects as a stimulus to do different things. For various reasons I'd not even picked up a dip pen for about nine years, so this book was a good nudge.
(will post more pen drawings in my own sketchbook once I've scanned them..)

Friday, August 28, 2009


Another piece on wood, done for an exhibition in Australia with the theme '20'.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mail Me Art

A piece done for the Mail Me Art project, painted on cut out modelmaker's plywood. It's about 45 x 24 cms. Once it's varnished it'll be addressed and then posted, but while I've got it I'm enjoying it hanging on the wall. It's given me plenty of ideas for other things along the same lines, so watch this space as they say..
If there's another exhibition at the end of the project it'll be for sale, though if anyone's interested in it I'm sure we could work something out beforehand.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lurzers 200

I have two pictures in the Lurzers Archive 'Best 200 Illustrators 2009/2010' Annual. Actually, I nearly made the cover! In the end I was pipped at the post.A spread from my sketchbook, sketching directly with a brush and some thinned acrylics. These are a few doodles based on Dr No, which I've just finished reading.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Advertised by Iggy

A recent job done for Swiftcover insurance as a leaving present for a CEO. Some great faces to paint, and I'm pleased to say they loved it. It's about 75 x 22cms.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009


"The Cheshire cat vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone"

This seems to me so obvious, but as I've not seen it I'm staking my flag atop the mountain.

Salford MP Hazel Blears as a smiling Cheshire cat?

Acknowledgements to Tenniel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have two paintings in the Staffordshire Open Art exhibition; the skint Gordon Brown I did for promotion last month, and the Prince Philip putting his foot in his mouth from the Times' TV column about this time last year. I went along to the private view last night for the obligatory glass of warm Kumala and a nose around.

It's on at at the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford's Market Square until the 12th July.

à pied

Recent arrivals; a dapper pair of handmade English house shoes, remakes of a favourite pair past their prime but no longer produced. Illustrator workwear at its best.

...And a recent job for Unilever's website of their CEO. I was asked to tone down my original drawing, which is always disappointing but it all turned out ok in the end. Here's a photo if anyone wondered what he looks like. I've some exhibition news to follow soon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New sketchbook, so drawing away..
The paper's off white and I have a delicate touch, so they don't always scan that well.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009


I gave a talk to illustration students at my old University yesterday, which was great fun. I mentioned in passing a picture that showed historical influences, and on the way home I realised there are many in my work so I thought I'd post one here. Drawing Bruce Forsyth a year or so ago, I did a few tiny roughs working out a composition that pushed the shape of his head quite a bit. I realised I was thinking of the skull in Holbein's Ambassadors. (When I first saw the painting, I'll admit I didn't see a skull; I thought it was a cuttlefish!)
I wasn't too happy with my first drawing, which I'd submitted and was approved. I thought I could do better, thinking of that skull still. So here's the second version I was much happier with, and the final painting.Incidentally, the floor of Ambassadors has something that also interests me. I visited a friend in York last year, when the city had an outdoor exhibition of life sized prints of famous paintings in various locations. On the way in we passed a window boarded up with chipboard, which to me was just like a painting. It's two dimensional like a canvas, made up of three dimensional chips, just like impressionist brush strokes. When we got to where the print of the Ambassadors was hung in York, I spotted in the floor the same texture. Probably gold leaf.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


A Katy Perry from the sketchbook, and a Bertie Ahern for a job that got killed after the roughs. More than that I cannot say..

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm been doing musicians recently.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Fail better.

For a Times piece a few weeks ago, profiling Channel 4's British Food fight season. I've done all these before except Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall, so I was looking forward to trying to improve on the previous. Fail again better, in the words of Samuel Beckett. I've done Heston Blumenthal three times now, ( he bought the artwork from the second one) but I think this one's the best. I've put one of the roughs up to show how it sat on the page.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Rachel Riley, who's apparently Countdown's new Carol Vorderman.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Parish Notices

I'm featured as illustrator of the week on Hurrah!

Take a look;

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Last week's picture wasn't printed in the end, for editorial reasons to do with deadlines changing over the Christmas break, so I might as well add it here..