Elephants in the British Library

A group of second year students on the M.A. Art & Science course at Central Saint Martins, including myself, plus course director Nathan Cohen and our tutor Eleanor Crook, have mounted a group… Continue reading

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Meditations on the Mandelbrot Set

I am posting this drawing, which I did a while ago, in response to John Baez’s recent post “Rolling Circles”  on his Azimuth blog: http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/rolling-circles-and-balls-part-1/ I really enjoyed reading the discussion, the diagrams,… Continue reading

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Iconic Metalwork in Paris

I spent the brief August heat wave in Paris, rediscovering the beauty and elegance of the city. I love the iconic Art Nouveau entrances of  the Paris Metropolitain, designed  at the turn of… Continue reading

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Making simple grounds for silverpoint drawing

Silverpoint drawing requires a specially prepared ground because the silverpoint will not make a mark on ordinary paper. Preparing the ground can be a complicated business, and I shall be adding some posts… Continue reading

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Getting started with Silverpoint Drawing

This  silverpoint drawing  is by Leonardo da Vinci,  in the British Museum collection. It is called ‘Bust of a warrior in profile’ , dated 1475-80, © The Trustees of the British Museum. It… Continue reading

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Still Life Drawing

We have now developed a vibrant community of interesting and talented individuals around the weekly drawing classes at the studio, composed mainly of professionals from creative industries or academia. Regular attendance is never… Continue reading

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Shopping for a Basic Tool Kit for Drawing

With my Master Classes in Fine Drawing  underway at the studio, I thought it would be useful post a list of basic materials that we use, and the best suppliers local to Bloomsbury.… Continue reading

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The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones

Some time ago I happened upon a venerable 1865 edition of Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament in an antiquarian bookshop, and after a month or so of obsessing about it, I decided to… Continue reading

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Painted Rooms and Victorian Gothic at St. Pancras Station

St Pancras Station with its integrated grand hotel is a marvel of high Victorian engineering and design, recently restored and redeveloped as part of a major regeneration project  in the King’s Cross area.… Continue reading

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The Colour Red

My Name is Red is a novel by the celebrated Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. It is a memorable read – a beautifully constructed ‘whodunnit’ set in the visionary world of the miniature painters… Continue reading

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A Mughal Masterpiece at The British Museum

This painting is called “The assembled animals complain to the raven of their mistreatment at the hands of man” British Museum catalogue number 1920.0917.05  , an illustration to one of the animal fables… Continue reading

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Indigo dyed paper

As an experiment, I included dyeing paper with indigo as one of the  activities in the Persian and Indian manuscript painting workshop this month. With only two (highly sophisticated) people, it seemed a… Continue reading

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Workshop – Pigments for Manuscript painting

Barbara Brend’s seminar on painting and illumination in Persian and Indian books on 1 November 2011 was followed by workshops about pigments and techniques at my studio. The picture above shows some of… Continue reading

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A feast of Persian and Mughal painting

November began with a real treat – we ran our seminar “Painting and Illumination in Persian and Indian books of the 16th and 17th centuries“, followed by a three-day practical workshop. Our speaker… Continue reading

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Fantasy Architecture in Portugal

As part of the 2011 Bridges Math Art Conference at Coimbra in Portugal, we went on a day’s excursion to see the Bussaco Palace hotel. High on a hill on the edge of… Continue reading

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The Alchemy of Pure Gold Pigment

I spent the weekend in my Woburn Walk studio making another batch of 24 carat gold pigment. It was used historically by painters and illuminators both in the Western world and in the… Continue reading

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Pigment hunting on Hampstead Heath

How about spending the first day of May on Hampstead Heath hunting for pigment? There is something rather primeaval about that – the sort of activity some neolithic cave painter might have engaged… Continue reading

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