Saturday 31 December 2022

Angelic Messenger


Here is a new -and heavenly- drawing from my sketchbook

Until next time


Wednesday 28 December 2022

Beachparty Boy


Here is a new coloured pencil drawing from my sketch book

Until next time


Saturday 24 December 2022

Christmas Tree


Each Christmas I put up all the decorations and dress the tree. 

Here is how it looks this year.

As I follow the medieval Christmas tradition, the decorations will not come down until Candlemas Eve ( 1 February).

Have a cool Yule

Until next time


Wednesday 21 December 2022

Christmas Wreath 2022

 Greetings and Happy Christmas

Every year (so far) that I have lived in this house, I make a new Christmas wreath on an old metal wreath frame my parents used to use. 

I make the wreath using yew, bay and holly from my garden.

Here is this year's wreath.

Until next time

Season's greetings


Saturday 17 December 2022

Dublin Worldcon Masquarade


In 2019 we went to the Science Fiction Worldcon in Dublin.

Teddy and I were part of a set in the masquarade, based on Julian May's Saga of the Exiles.

I have not previously been able to access the official photos( taken by Andy Trembley and used here with consent).

This is my costume and is my own work (except for a few accessories)

The set was called 'Group Green' and represented a set of outcastes being sent back in time.

They were all allowed to chose clothing and items to take back with them.

This character chose to go dressed in a Seventeenth Century opera costume from 'The Flying Dutchman'.

The doublet, britches and casaque are black wool.

The doublet is edged in black velvet and silver and gold twist braid. It has white cotton pullings-out in the slashes.

The casaque (a cloak with buttoned side panels which can be rebuttoned to form sleeves and turn it into a coat) had a vast number of buttons and is sewn opera-style into the cloak form.

I was also involved in making things for Teddy's costume and will post about that later.

Until next time


Wednesday 14 December 2022



Here is a new bit of computer art.

I was watching an old film the other day and noticed that the truckdriver protagonist had a naked girl silhouette on his truck.

I decided to try to produced the male equivalent.

This is the result.

I also did another version where he is happy to see me, but that would not be appropriate for this blog....

until next time


Saturday 10 December 2022

Steampunk Lifeguard


Here is a new drawing from my sketchbook.

Until next time


Wednesday 7 December 2022



Here is a new drawing of a young man in his boxers.

This is mixed media. This time it's ink and white acrylic.

I think it's a rather good combination.

Until next time


Saturday 3 December 2022



In 2012 neither Teddy, nor I wanted to be in London whilst the Olympics were on, so we went to stay with our friends Karen and William in Chicago.

We took period costume with us, as they told us we would be going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire (  near Bristol, Kenosha County, Wisconsin).

I have previously posted about this ( seven years ago).

Karen recently sent Teddy this picture from that event, having noted that I was in the background.

I think it was taken at the jousting field and I am standing on the review stand.

Karen says I look disapproving- though of what I could not say...

Here is a close up.

Perhaps I thought the member of the public was not sufficiently respectful  of her Majesty ( Wearing purple in the foreground)...

Until next time


Wednesday 30 November 2022

Sub in leather


Here is a new picture from my sketch book.

This has been done in mixed media- coloured pens, enhanced with acrylic.

I like the way this has come out.

Until next time


Saturday 26 November 2022



Here is a new drawing on a classical theme.

This is mixed media again. It's an ink drawing with white pastel highlights.

Until next time


Wednesday 23 November 2022

Cutter's offer


This is a photoshop reworking of one of my naughtier Elfquest pictures,

 which- just- conforms to my self-imposed censorship rules.

The original was in coloured pencil.

I've done so much work to this that I am treating it as a completely new version and can justify signing it with this year's date.

Until next time


Saturday 19 November 2022

Oil pastels


I have blogged previously about my first attempt at using oil pastels.

I have now had another go (using the same found image as the first time)

I think my first attempt was a bit heavy handed and , this time, I tried to use less of the medium.

I also tried working light to dark which helped reduce inadvertent colour transfer.

All in all, I think it came out better.

Neither of the pictures fully captures the subject ( I've never been a portrait artist), but this one is much closer.

I have established that one can use fixative on oil pastels, but ( as with charcoal and other pastels) they need either be framed, or stored carefully with cover sheets, as the medium remains active.

I think, all in all, that I can revise my assessment of oil pastels to ' not impossible'....

Until next time


Wednesday 16 November 2022

Raven cover


Here is the cover design for Elfsex 3.

This is version one: on artboard with coloured pens.

This is version 2- after a bit of photoshopping.

 I have applied a little censorship to both versions for this blog.

until next time


Sunday 13 November 2022

New Medium


Every now and again my friends give me presents of art materials.

Often these are things I use all the time, such as oil paints, art board, acrylic paints.

But sometimes they are things I have never used, or have used once and not got the hang of, or just found too tricky, impermanent, or simply too annoying.

Pastels fall into this latter category. The colours in a set are never the most useful and 'chalk' pastels are too dusty to  retain any drawn effect if left in a portfolio- even after several coats of fixative.

I also dislike their blocky nature, which makes any detail extremely difficult to achieve.

As a consequence, I have hardly ever used them in my work.

Nor, till now, had I tried to work in oil pastels.

I discovered a box of these when tidying the studio- I know not whence they came, but I know I didn't buy them.

I did, however, decided to give them a go.

This is the result.

It is true that they are blendable, but that blendablity if countered by their habit of catching a little bit of a neighbouring colour and carrying it into the bit you are working on willy nilly.

It was only by creating points with a craft knife that I was able to achieve any of the eye mouth and nose detail, and even then, they are nowhere near what I can do with a pencil.

The result is, I think, reasonable for a first go and I've learnt quite a lot about the limitations of the medium.

I may try again in the future and see if I can get a better result.

I shall also have to do some research as to how to preserve any work I do. Does fixative work on oil pastel? Do I just store it with a cover sheet and hope?

Until next time


Wednesday 9 November 2022

New drawing


Here is a new drawing from my sketch book.

Once again, my ball-jointed dolls, Angelo and Yoshi are modelling for me...

Until next time


Saturday 5 November 2022

Blue Boy in Peril 3


Here is the last version of this computer art.

Until next time


Wednesday 2 November 2022

Resting in the cloister


Here is a new piece of computer art I have recently completed.

I have been experimenting with masks and effects and am quite pleased with how this has come out.

Until next time


Saturday 29 October 2022

Blue Boy in Peril 2


Here is the second variation of my new computer art.

Our hero's peril has increased...

I will post the last version later.

Until next time


Wednesday 26 October 2022

Demon from the past


Every now and again I look through the old portfolios and paintings in the loft and (on occasion) throw out work that no longer has any merit.

I have posted on pervious occasions about the paintings I do when I 'let my subconscious go for a walk'.

I do not attempt to impose any sort of analysis , or meaning , on these paintings and they usually involve figures forming into other shapes.

I found a painting in the loft that is a very early example of this.

This was painted when I was at Art College in the mid- to late  1980's. My colour pallete in those days was considerably darker and involved many more earth colours.

If you look at it sideways, you can see some human forms. 

It is oil on board and, as I recall, it was painted using random human forms , occasionally turning the painting , painting over bits, repainting other bits until a image sort of emerged.

In a way, it is a little reminiscent of a 16th century artist call Archimboldo, who build portraits out of fruit, flowers etc

I call this painting "Diabolus"

It's a lot darker( in all repects) that my current work, but I still quite like it.

It's got... something.

God alone knows what- but definitely...something.

Until next time


Saturday 22 October 2022

Blue Boy in Peril 1


Here is the first variation of my new computer art.

I will post more versions later.

Until next time


Wednesday 19 October 2022

Eighteenth Century Style


Here is a photo I have found of me in full Georgian.

I am wearing a brocade redingote ( with order star), brocade waistcoat, plain britches, clocked white stockings, buckled shoes, lace- edged shirt and stock, a brown tie wig and a beaver -felt tricorn hat.

Until next time


Saturday 15 October 2022

Blue Boy In Peril


Here is a slightly naughty new piece of computer art

I have done a few different versions, which I will post later.

Until next time


Wednesday 12 October 2022

Sanctuary Rework Review


I have been posting about there working of this painting for some time.

It has now reached the stage where I think I may have finished and am going to live with it for a bit to make sure.

Consequently, I thought it would be interesting to review the project.

When I first  'finished' the painting in 2009 it looked like this.

After  twenty sessions working on it, in 2022 it looks like this

I was restricted, to a degree, by the structure that already existed, but have still be able to make some corrections to the figures.

In general, the detail is sharper and the colours are richer and brighter, giving the painting more depth.

So, I will leave it on my easel for some time, but, unless I see something I  have missed, I think this painting will be waiting its six months until varnishing day.

Until next time


Saturday 8 October 2022



I have posted previously about the Papal dispensation documents I have written and illuminated for my episcopal persona in re-enactment.

These documents are transported concealed in a reliquary disguised  as a book.

I even ensured the title was unappealing to the casual observer.

But, when opened, it reveals...

...the papal documents- and a royal badge, as the bishop is often working for John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

Until next time


Wednesday 5 October 2022

Fourteenth Century Blond


Here is a new coloured pencil drawing of a cute blond in fourteenth century paltock and hose from my sketchbook.

Until next time


Saturday 1 October 2022

Final immunity


This is the original copy of the papal dispensation.

This is the dispensation from Pope Pius II ( it is dated 1458), which I had been using when I was re-enacting Wars of The Roses.

You will note that it is countersigned by four subsequent popes.

This effectively means my character, the bishop, is 'covered' ( from Rome -and Avignon, when appropriate.) for re-enacting any time from the  1342 to 1503.

Until next time


Wednesday 28 September 2022

Sanctuary Rework Day 20


I have done some more work to the detail on this painting

This is how it looked at the end of day 19.

I have been adjusting small details to the figures and scrollwork. I have added shadowing to emphasise the movement of the scrolls. 

I have adjusted the modelling on the blond angel's rear leg and foot. I have done more work to the red-haired angel's hair and face.

I also did a small amount of detail work to the abbey herb garden.

The painting now looks like this

Once a painting gets to this stage, I am spending more time living with it, looking at it and- occasionally- making small adjustments.

The painting is nearly finished and ( at some point) I will have to make the decision to stop tweaking it.

Then I'll have to leave it for six months before varnishing it...

Until next time


Saturday 24 September 2022

Roman immunity


I have now completed the Papal Dispensation document for my episcopal re-enactment persona.

This dispensation is from Pope Urban VI ( pope from 1378-1389 in opposition to Pope Clement VII in Avignon).

This is on a larger and finer piece of vellum than the previous document from Clement VI.

I was able to include more text and more detail in the heraldry.

I used oak gall ink and a mix of gold leaf and treasure gold for the illumination.

I used watercolour and a little white egg tempera for the colour.

I will post about the Pius II document later.

Until next time


Wednesday 21 September 2022

white briefs


Here is a coloured pencil drawing from my sketch book

Until next time


Saturday 17 September 2022

New Calligraphy


When I am re-enacting I play the part of a medieval bishop.

I have been playing this part for many years.

Whilst it was not that unusual for a bishop to armour up and take part in war, they were usual resticted to defending themselves with ( technically ) blunt weapons, such as maces and hammers.

The Benedictine Rule particularly forbad the use of swords.

However, by the Fourteenth Century, it was possible to obtain a dispensation for almost anything.

My character has been made an ecclesiastical knight and has been granted a dispensation to use a sword.

The Great Schism was in full flower during the Hundred Years war, with French Popes in Avignon in opposition to Italian Popes in Rome ( with occasional additional popes in Pisa and even Spain)

I had previously re-enacted Wars of the Roses, so my copy of the dispensation was from Pius II in 1458

I decided that it was time I had one from an earlier pope.

This is from Pope Clement VI( pope from 1342-1352)in Avignon.

It is countersigned by further Avignon popes.

This is written with oak gall ink on vellum and illuminated with watercolour and gold leaf.

I am currently working on a  larger document of the dispensation from Pope Urban VI (pope from 1378-89) in Rome.

Until next time


Wednesday 14 September 2022

Judge James


Here is a new drawing from my sketch book.

This was inspired by a found image from an online game.

Until next time


Saturday 10 September 2022

Sanctuary Rework Day 19


|Here is how the painting looked at the end of day eighteen

I have done more work to the black-hgaired angel's hair with dark glazes and more work to the detail using white.

The painting now looks like this.

As I have previously mentioned, by this stage of the rework, many of the changes are much more subtle and harder to spot by this stage.

The painting is now in that most difficult stage of being nearly finished. I will spend more time looking at it , trying to spot any areas that need more work.

I have just watched the Accession Council ( which has never previously be on television) and the Principal Proclamation by Garter King of Arms.

God rest her late majesty.

God Save The King

Until next time


Wednesday 7 September 2022



Last Sunday I did a one-day re-enactment show at Amersham.

I take a lot less with me for a one day show, but I still got the car packed the day before, as it would be an early start( for a Sunday)

I took the awning ,a table , a folding chair and the stool I usually sit on when arming.

There were only a few of us there and we only had the soldier's tent for the display of arms and armour.

I narrated the Arming of the Knight and then marshalled the Childrens' battle- keeping sixteen to twenty kids from actually damaging themselves with lengths of pipe lagging.

After lunch, I armoured up for the Fight Show. As I was still feeling the shoulder strain from last week a bit, I had brought my light harness, which had leather upper canons, vambraces, cuisse and greaves.

We planned to do three lots of set moves with arming sword, hand-and-a-half and sword and buckler and them have a few brief fights.

About halfway through the second set, the shoulder strain  suddenly made itself known and I stopped being able to raise my right arm above my shoulder.

We only had three full fighters and the marshal ( who was unarmoured and can't fight too much due to a bad back), so this could have been more of a problem.

Fortunately, we have all fought each other a lot and ( with my opponents working with me) I still managed to fight ( to a degree) twice.

There is another one day event next weekend- I am quite glad I had already told them I would not be doing it . 

I am a bit hypermobile, which means that my tendons/ ligaments take quite a bit of time to settle down once stained or inflammed. I did not go to fight practice yesterday and am trying my electro therapy elbow cuff on my shoulder. As it seem to rob my right biceps of power, I think its the connector between that muscle and my shoulder.

My two cats, Malfeasance and Bertie Mogster, had been MOST DISPLEASED with my going away for the three days of the Bank Holiday and were definitely PUT OUT when I then went away again on the following Sunday.

Betie decided that definite measures must be taken to stop me going away again.

As you can see, he opted to occupy the bag I used to transport my soft kit...

Until next time


Saturday 3 September 2022



I spent the August Bank Holiday taking part in a re-enactment at Hever Castle.

I gave my friend Sandy a lift (with her blue and white cone tent) on Friday afternoon and arrived at about 4PM.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening putting up the tents and awnings and getting some of the other set-up done.

Here are a couple of pictures of my tent and banners.

Saturday was quite hot, but not unbearably so when the clouds were over the sun. There was also a bit of wind.

As usual, we stayed in camp for most of the day, talking to the public. We did a dance show just before lunch , which had a larger audience than previous years.

I armoured up in full plate for the battle at 4PM . Unfortunately, the clouds decided to part for quite a bit of this and I chose discretion over valour, by fighting in two engagements and sitting out the final one.

We had a good meal ( prepared by our excellent cooks) and sat around the camp fire drinking ,talking and ( occasionally) singing until about midnight. I sang Old Macdonald in Latin and quite a bit of Tom Lehrer- and The March of The Sinister Ducks before realising how late it was (for me) and turning in.

Here is a picture of my tent display, including some of my vestments hanging off the cartwheel spokes.

I  vested on Sunday morning and sang a Mass.

I had a smaller congregation than last year and  and unfortunate gust of wind blew some of the host off the paten ( I was able to quickly replace and still had enough),but it otherwise went well.

It even had a small audience of Public...

I armoured up for the battle and, this time, the weather was favourable. I fought right through to the end and really enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately, I think I overdid it a little - especially, as this was the first event for three years that I fought in my my full steel harness- and  strained my right shoulder.

Consequently, I did not fight on Monday, but I did marshal a smaller fight in out camp's fight arena.

Here are some pictures I took of the encampment on Sunday morning, before everyone else was up.

I was able to close up the tent after lunch on Monday and start packing down what I could inside.

This gave me a bit of a head start, but I still did not get off site till after 7PM .

I got home to about 8.30, which was a little late for me to be eating( I'm hypoglycaemic), but not too bad.

All in all, a good and enjoyable show and there were no fight injuries.

Until next time