Dear Cleo 17 10 15

Dearest Cleo

I was up early this morning because the Autumn term of Sunday morning life class started in Wanstead. I did 4 drawings, I thought I was a bit rusty after the break but things started to get a bit better when I switched to pencil.

Figure 1 (17 10 15 01) Charcoal on A3 Cartridge paper

Figure 2 (17 10 15 02) Charcoal on A3 Cartridge paper

Figure 3 (17 10 15 03) Charcoal on A3 Cartridge paper

Figure 4 (17 10 15 04) Graphite on A3 Cartridge paper

Hope you like my efforts, have a good day

Love as always

Mickos xx


Dear Cleo 17 05 14

Dearest Cleo

It was lovely to meet up with you in Italy it is such a great place and I am looking forward to going back already. Today is the day to update the sketchbooks so there is not much reading to do after your tiring time in Italy.

Figure 1 (SK 03 14)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 2 (SK 03 15)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 3 (SK 03 16)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 4 (SK 03 17)Ink on A5 Cartridge

Figure 5 (SK 03 18)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 6 (SK 03 19)Ink on A5 Cartridge

Figure 7 (SK 03 20)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 8 (SK 03 21)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 9 (SK 03 22)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 10 (SK 03 23)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 11 (SK 03 24)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 12 (SK 03 25)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 13 (SK 03 26)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 14 (SK 03 27)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 15 (SK 03 28)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 16 (SK 03 29)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 17 (SK 03 30)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 18 (SK 03 31)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 19 (SK 03 32)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 20 (SK 03 33)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 21 (SK 03 34)Ink on A5 Cartridge

Figure 22 (SK 03 35)Ink on A5 Cartridge

Figure 23 (SK 03 36)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 24 (SK 03 37)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 25 (SK 03 38)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 26 (SK 03 39)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 27 (SK 03 40)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 29 (SK 03 41)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 30 (SK 03 42)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 31 (SK 03 43)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 32 (SK 03 44)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 33 (SK 03 45)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Figure 34 (SK 03 46)Ink on A6 Cartridge

Hope you like the sketches darling

My love as always

Mickos x




Dear Cleo 17 07 04

Dearest Cleo

Well there has been a lot of writing in the last week or so now sit back and chill out with some sketches.

Figure 1 (SK 02 09) graphite and ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 2 (SK 01 74) graphite on A6 cartridge

Figure 3 (SK 01 75)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 4 (SK 01 76)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 5 (SK 03 01)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 6 (SK 03 02)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 7 (SK 03 03)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 8 (SK 03 04)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 9 (SK 03 05)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 10 (SK 03 06)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 11 (SK 03 07)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 12 (SK 03 08)  ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 13 (SK 03 09)  ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 14 (SK 03 10)  ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 15 (SK 03 11)  ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 16 (SK 03 12)  blak chalk on A6 cartridge

Figure 17 (SK 03 13)  graphite on A6 cartridge

Figure 18 (SK 04 01)  Charcoal on A3 cartridge

Hope you liked them, see you at the weekend.

Love Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 06 14

Dearest Cleo

It must be nearly half term for you, I hope you are looking forward to the holidays. I have my swimming kit in the boot of the car, so bring yours with you on Saturday and we will catch a swim.

I found some more scratching the first is an old chopping board I like the idea that the scratching took place over a long time.

Figure 1(17 05 31 01) Knifed, scratch marks on a polyurethane chopping board 250 x 200mm

The second two are not really scratching but they are caused by removing the air from an inflatable bed so the act of removal is present but it is the internal removal rather than an external removal. The only way I can think of replicating this process would be to paint on a Mylar balloon or a zip lock bag let the paint dry and then deflate.

Figure 2(17 05 31 02) Flatbed 1, folds in a deflated airbed 2200 x 1500mm

Figure 3 (17 05 31 03) Flatbed 2, folds in a deflated airbed 2200 x 1500mm

I hung the painting I did yesterday on the wall and I have decided it would look better if I went back into it with charcoal so I did and now it looks like this.

Figure 4 (17 05 31 04) What is he doing with the bread? Last Supper in an Italian Restaurant, Acrylic and charcoal on A3 Mixed media paper

The last step was really pleasurable to do, it was like drawing on a cave wall, art pure and simple, and it was so easy to bring out the forms. It has I think a believable recession and sense of space, my eye is entering from the bottom right corner, swooping down through the arm of the jacket up into the group on the right, following their gaze to see what they are looking at back through the other figures and across the table top and back into the right hand group and round again. There are lots of interesting textural marks to linger over and try to resolve, it is animated and there is just enough detail for you want to construct the remainder of the scene for yourself, I am already imagining the bits that aren’t there from the title.

I was as you can probably tell extremely pleased with the result, so I had another go with oils over acrylics working from the same sketch; this is how far I got before I had to set it aside to dry but although I think I know where I think it is going to go we will both have to wait until the next episode when it is dry enough to work on again.

Figure 5 (17 05 31 05) Acrylic and oil on A3 Mixed media paper

I am looking forward to catching up with you at the weekend and it is Fathers day, so you can buy me a present for working so hard and being such a good boy.

Love as always

Mickos x


Dear Cleo 17 05 09

Dearest Cleo

Just a quick note to tell you that I won’t see at the weekend something has cropped up that will keep me rather busy so we will have to put the swimming off until the weekend after.

I wont bore you with so much writing today because it is the day to update my sketchbook on the blog so more pictures than words today.

Figure 01 (SK01 56) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 02 (SK01 57) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 03 (SK01 58) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 04 (SK01 59) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 05 (SK01 60) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 06 (SK 61) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 07 (SK01 61) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 08 (SK01 62) ink on A5 cartridge

This was an attempt to get the geometry of the Cantina right for the drawing I am weorking  on

Figure 09 (SK01 63) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 10 (SK01 64) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 11 (SK01 65) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 12 (SK01 66) ink on A5 cartridge

Mickos goes to Newmarket races

Figure 13 (SK01 67) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 14 (SK01 68) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 15 (SK 69) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 16 (SK01 70) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 17 (SK01 71) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 18 (SK01 72) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure (SK01 73)Black chalk and ink on A6 cartridge

Trying out the new black chalk on the Charring Cross Road.

Now darling wasn’t that much easier than all that reading.

Love as always


Dear Cleo 17 4 30

Dear Cleo

Well, Sunday morning life class has finished for the summer, today was the last one next month the football season is over for the summer, whatever will I do with my weekends?

I used the last life class to develop a slightly different drawing process following on from yesterday’s disaster. I was thinking about the Raphael process I was discussing last week and decided that the way forward was to use  the  charcoal first to establish the pose very lightly, ink in the pose brush of the charcoal construction lines and then go back in with the charcoal to establish the tones. It worked quite well but I lost the pose a bit in the longer poses, I think this will fix itself with a bit of practice. Arsenal have one more Tuesday game on the 16th of May so I will go to Tuesday night life class  after that. Enough of the words here are the drawings.

Figure 01 (17 4 30 01) Ink and charcoal on A3 cartridge

Figure 02 (17 4 30 02) Ink and charcoal on A3 cartridge

Figure 03 (17 4 30 03) Ink and charcoal on A3 cartridge

Figure 04 (17 4 30 04) Ink and charcoal on A3 cartridge

The corrections can be easily made either with tracing paper a la Degas or with a bit of pricking and pouncing a la Raphael, the veils are beginning to lift.

I’ll see you in the morning for a late breakfast, or an early lunch, I hate the word brunch it is neither breakfast nor lunch.

Love as always

Mickos x

Dear Cleo 17 04 28

Dearest Cleo

I am looking forward to the bank holiday weekend, I have a few bits to catch up on Aunty Loz is coming down for the weekend so at some stage we will have a get together and a bit of fun and something to eat.

Meanwhile I am uploading the sketchbook pages I have done over the past week or so.

Figure 1 (SK1 40) ink on A6 cartridge

There isn.t a lot to say about this one other than the front figure is standing on a raised platform or the perspective is  out, I prefer the former, but I can’t honestly remember.

Figure 2 (SK1 41) ink on A6 cartridge

I think these people were in the same bar as the previous sketch, it must have been the Mos Eisley Cantina because there is a member of the band lurking in the background. I think it has a bit of something though and I will have a go at it in charcoal on a bigger scale.

Figure 3 (SK1 42) ink on A6 cartridge

This is definately in the same bar she lookiks so glum because she is waiting to get served and the barmaid is in her mobile phone. it is easy to read because there is a clear lead in from the left hand edge and plenty of margin on the right to stop your eye leaving the composition.

Figure 4  (SK1 43) ink on A6 cartridge

This is from the other side of the dance floor the guy in the background isn’t interested in the dancer his attention is caught by someone on the other other side of the dancefloornotice the conntrast in markmaking between the mobile dancer and the static observer.

Figure 5 (SK1 44) ink on A6 cartridge

It’s late in the evening (Clapton) and time for a slow number I like the way that the two figures blend into one set off by the white highlights of the girl’s top.

Figure 6 (SK1 45) ink on A6 cartridge

It is drinking up time now and as confirmation that I have been in the Mos Eisley Cantina, Admiral Akbar puts in an appearance (second from the left)

Figure 7 (SK1 46) ink on A6 cartridge

And so to the morning after. This was done on a fab break from the life class, it is such a pretty garden and my scribbles hardly do it justice. This is probably the morning after the night before in the Mos Eidley Cantina.

This is a seminal point in my sketchbook work Cleo,all the above sketches were done BC (Before Critisism) the sketches that follow were all done AD (After Direction) I think there is a definate difference, but let me know what you think.

Figure 8 (SK1 47) ink on A6 cartridge

This is a sketch done outside my Mums while I was on a fag break, as well as drawing what was in front of me, I was pondering the use of the totem in modern society. every ten houses has a telegraph pole and a streetlight should we be carving our telegraph poles as a mark of our very existance?

Figure 9 (SK1 48) ink on A6 cartridge

My Mum and Dad on the couch watching the snooker. these few sketches are less rushed because there is less frenetic movement in them. Time moves more slowly when I am at Mum and Dad’s it gives me the time to be more considerate of my composition and mark making techniques.

Figure 10 (SK1 49) ink on A6 cartridge

Dad reading the news a la Cezanne. The only time I read a newspaper is when I am there, it is strange how you can drop in and out of the news as if it is a soap opera on a monthly basis. I only ever watch the TV when I am there as well, I think a month between episodes  of the news stops you worrying about it, maybe the next time I go Kim il Jong will have been written out of the series and I will have to ask Mum “What happened to the nice little Korean man who was in it the last time I was here?”

Figure 11 (SK1 50) ink on A6 cartridge

Dad having a snooze, easy bottom lead in, neat right hand margin and good solid mark making to delineate the subject from the ground. The left contour of Dad splits the picture space nicely in two leaving an inverted negative space that echoes the pose and good use of perspective to give depth to the picture plane. One of the problems with this course is it takes longer to write it down and explain than it does to see these things, writing could be the bane of art because anyone can do it.

Figure 12 (SK1 51) ink on A6 cartridge

This lady was in the British Legion and I can see a scribbling sneaking into the sketch it could have been the lager inducing my brain  to regress to my childhood years. My eye was caught by the twirl of her dress which is definately the lager cutting in, perhaps it was a good job I had my trusty sketchbook and Mum and Dad at hand to keep me calm.

Figure 13 (SK1 52) ink on A6 cartridge

My armchairs are starting to look like armchairs, soft and cuddly, maybe I am morphing into a furniture designer.

Figure 14 (SK1 53) ink on A6 cartridge

I had been doing a drip painting using a metal kebab skewer and this is an early conpositional sketch for my assignment piece, maybe not.

Figure 15 (SK1 54) ink on A6 cartridge

Back in the Mos Eisley Cantina (Chuck Berry)

Figure 16 (SK1 55) ink on A6 cartridge

Waiting for a meeting to start the walls of the space were made of glass and the mullions were acting as zips a la Barnet Neuman perhaps I could investigate this a little more in the studio.

Figure 17 (SK2 07) wax crayons on A5 cartridge

This is me experimenting at mark making with my wax crayons its turned out like one of those drone shots where the trucks of the latest enemy of civilisation are blown up, maybe this is what I do in real life when I am asleep.

Figure 18 (SK2 08) wax crayons on A5 cartridge

Practise over, I tried a real picture with the wax crayons this is a view from the train window, done from memory of course, as the train was going at some kind of warp drive speed. I am getting a bit used to the wax crayons and growng to like them maybe the assignment could be Wax Crayons in wax crayon,

Well my dear, I hope you managed to stay reading until the end, please forgive the odd miss spelling as I am typing straight into the virtual not using my usual cut and paste method from Word (TM) and I haven’t worked out where the virtual spell check is yet. “Where were going we don’t need Word (TM)”

Love as always