Highs and Lows


Creating a structure for benefit of the students (for no reason other than it seems like something that can do some good) – a structure in which they can participate entirely voluntarily, and after almost two months of advertising it, and showing up in all sorts of classes to tell people about it, doing interviews about it, and so forth, and not knowing if anyone really will be bothered to get involved… getting lots (still counting) of teams of students registering. With lots of enthusiasm in various emails! Thanks everyone! It’s going to be great to see your projects develop. I hope you enjoy collaborating on making films about science – it will stay with you throughout your careers as a hugely valuable and fun thing to have done. Thanks to those faculty and staff who helped me spread the word by circulating emails, letting me show up to your classes, suggesting ideas, etc!


Dealing with faculty and staff who, despite the jobs they hold, really don’t have much interest in a new structure put in place for the benefit of the students especially if it means even slightly going out of their way to help out… some would rather come up with mountains of reasons and/or rules why they can’t or won’t help, or why I’m making their life hell for asking them if they might. They helped make this all far more stressful and difficult than it really should have been. Ugh… is all I can say. UGH!


Meeting with a student today who is a freshman in physics. New to the city, new to the country, and new to this level of education. Enthusiastic about the subject and [...] Click to continue reading this post

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Kind Of)

brompton_small_bag(Riffing on two earlier posts.) So I’ve been doing a bit of metalwork. I decided to make some adjustments to the frame of one of my several bags that fit onto the Brompton’s front bag attachement, to use it as support for a small bag. The metalwork involved me simply sawing off the side extended aluminium bars and leaving only the central part of the support frame. You can just see it in the enlarged version (click). There are times when I do not want to have a large bag on the bike, or even medium sized. Usually, then I have the small bag on my shoulder across the chest, and that works well, but nothing beats riding with nothing on your back or shoulder. So this is my solution, and one of my leather handbags fits quite well (with the aid of a strap I made from parts bought in a hardware store, and two tiny bungees with hooks, that you can’t see) on to the neatly detachable frame. Happens to match the seat/saddle nicely, all complementing the British racing green colour.

A very elegant solution, also allowing me to keep the bag on the bike all the time, still easily doing the quick fold, and to stably tow it when fully folded too (using the [...] Click to continue reading this post

Changeover Time

start_scribbleIt’s that time again. I finish a notebook and start a new one. A new book is begun with writing my name and contact information in the front part, in case it gets lost, and an old one is ended with mixed feelings, and that ending is often a bit drawn out. Notebooks go around with me nearly everywhere, and have pieces of me in them in one shape or another, and so it is hard to stop carrying one and start a new one. I’ve got bits of computations, shopping lists, partial thoughts about projects, design sketches, doodles, snippets of silent conversations between me and another person at a concert or talk (writing it down is often less distracting to neighbours than a whisper), scribbled phone numbers, film, book or cd reminders, and of course lots of practice sketches and doodles on trains, planes, and in automobiles, done almost on a daily basis, sketches done in (and sometimes of) an event, or of a interesting place or structure. (You’ve seen some of them here on the blog.) Almost everything has a date written on the page, or on a page nearby, which is hugely valuable.

changeoverIt’s a combination of notebook, journal, playground for ideas, and more. It is a joy to just open it up and flip through it and see so much of the last few months of my life and thought spread out in ink and pencil (and sometimes watercolour). Sometimes I hit on a particularly successful or interesting (or both) drawing that I love to open up and look at from time to time. You can search the blog under “sketches” for things that were in previous books. For example, a few of my favourites from this book are: Sketch of C. Tyler during her talk, sketch during a committee meeting, airline sketch of a national treasure, other airline sketches, a nice grab of a face from the subway, another airline sketch.

All of that now gets put on a shelf, since the pages have run out. It is bitter-sweet, as I also like the analogue, finite nature of the whole business. It has a lot of life written [...] Click to continue reading this post

Recovery and Jumping Back in

So that was by far the most ill I’ve been in many years. The flu wore on for five days, with two and a half of them having me mostly in delirium, fighting highs and lows of fevers… quite remarkable. Then I had two extra days of eating very little, so that by time I started eating real food again on Saturday, and going outside, it was as though the world had been made anew to see and taste various things I’d not had in a while…

Ok… I suppose this means maybe next flu season I’ll finally start taking flu shots? We’ll see.

Anyway, I am reasonably sure that I caught that virus while passing through Atlanta airport on my way back from New Orleans. There, so many paths cross as it is a major hub. Spending two hours there gave me ample time to pick something up. Then there’s the plane as well, with four hours to sit in one space in contact with the things a possibly infected traveller before me had contact with. Nice.

I’ve been much better for a few days now, and semester has got going here. I’ve given [...] Click to continue reading this post

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best for the New Year. If I’m lucky enough to have one half as good as last year, I’ll be a very lucky man indeed.

The photo shows the cufflinks I wore last night to a very special celebration that I co-organized and co-hosted for New Year’s Eve. It was a private party and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum was the venue. We were honored to get to do the first ever New Year’s Eve celebration there! With the help of some friends (and three months of planning) we were able to turn the Hall of North American Mammals into a great party space, (with the appropriate security and so forth needed to use such a space for a safe private function), and celebrate in a sort of art-meets-science environment. Music (live and recorded), food, drink, dancing, and general merriment prevailed until the wee hours, and then we went off into the night on the Expo line. It was an excellent evening.

A great start to the year…

Now, about the cufflinks. I love them. They’re made with vintage watch movements, and you can see some of the rubies [...] Click to continue reading this post

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the…

On Tuesday I headed to Santa Monica. Two dear friends of mine had invited me to a private screening of a film they’d just completed, one as writer+director, the other as producer. The film was a labour of love, and I’d not heard much about its progress since earlier in the year, and so I was delighted to be back in town to go to it. I took a friend along, and we decided to leave early enough to go to the beach for a little while – the traditional antidote to the high heat of the last several days.

To cut a long story medium, at some point I was wading up to my knees in the water. I’d just replied in reassurance that I’d be quite fine still wearing my glasses (with sunglasses attachments on) since I was not going to swim when a larger than average wave surged forward and knocked me off my feet with such stunning force that I thudded to the bottom on my knees, and my face and hands got tangled up in seaweed! Moments later, the undertow pulled everything back I and I was standing back up, fumbling with seaweed, and missing my glasses! This began a period of considerable activity at the sea, with large surges and strong pullback so that it was difficult to stand still to look for anything, and moreover, it was impossible to see anything since the sand was churning around too much.

It all seemed very funny to me. It was clear after a while that there’d be no reappearance of my glasses. No amazing story where the sea threw them back out after a while, twisted, maybe missing the arms, but at least useable for some kind of vision… There were simply no glasses to be had. Luckily, my friend had driven us, so I did not have to worry about that. There was little time to dash back home to get an old pair and return for the screening. I’d have to figure out how to manage without them. Now bear in mind that I am very short sighted indeed. If I was sitting five feet [...] Click to continue reading this post

Je Suis un Rock Star

20120612-183800.jpgSo out of the blue the other day, I got an email with this photograph in it, and an explanation for its appearance. It seems that some old friends from my school days (who ive not heard from in a long, long time) were discussing it on Facebook, and one of the people reading the comments who lives near my mum in Preston, the town where I went to school, realized that I was one of the people in the picture…!! Since I am not on Facebook* (despite some misleading pages that sometimes send people astray) he contacted me the old fashioned way via finding my email address on my website. Nice and quaint, the way I like it.

I remember this event, but had no idea a picture was taken! Since it is all over [...] Click to continue reading this post

Only Ten Hours…

expo line trainOnly ten hours until the Big Transformation! The Expo line will open to the public at 5:00am tomorrow (Saturday). I think that this first major thrust to the West, connecting downtown to USC, Exposition Park and the Museums, and points West to Culver City, should be truly transformational for not just the locations involved, but the city at large.

I hope it will change minds about what is possible for public transport in Los Angeles in a huge way (the old “it doesn’t go anywhere” complaint will be heard a bit less maybe?), and connect and enrich all the neighborhoods involved. (And yes, on the personal side of things I hope it ends up, in combination with the Red Line, being better than just sitting on the bus all the way. We shall see.)

There’ll be a special schedule for this opening weekend, with the line (free to travel on for the two days) stopping at 7:00pm. I was a bit scared by this for a moment, [...] Click to continue reading this post

CicLAVia April 2012

It was a perfect day for cycling, back on April 15th when the 4th CicLAVia took place. (Sorry it took me a while to report on it.) A lot of people turned out, and it was as good as it has ever been! We set of from the HelMel area again and went to Bolye Heights and back, breaking for an excellent lunch at Guisados again. Just like last time. The photo below featuring the 4th Street bridge over the LA River is my favourite single photo of the event this time:

Of course, there’s not just the one photo for you. I took hundreds of other great ones [...] Click to continue reading this post

Sidewalk Colours

You see such lovely things along the side of the street if there’s time to notice. (Click for a larger view.)

This is one of the many reasons I often walk each day to and from the bus stop or subway station. You miss this stuff in a car (or sometimes even when on a bike).

By the way, I’ve updated my earlier post with photos from the LA Times Festival of Books, as promised.



Click to continue reading this post

Late Night Review

You know, I’d love to pretend that I’ve just come in from hanging out at the Edison, or the Blue whale, or some other fun place, feeling a bit concerned about my morning class on how to write equations for the shape of the universe (we do some cosmology in the General Relativity class tomorrow)… but instead I’m up at almost 1:00am because of a persistent dry cough, indigestion, and a noisy mockingbird in a tree just outside. Are these connected? I do not know. All I know is I cannot sleep.

So I blog.

It has been, once again, a crazy week. There are times when I wonder if this has become the norm, which usually leads me to valiantly fight a bit to ensure that is not the case, resulting a a withdrawal from a lot of stuff to regroup. I hope to do that soon. Although I’ve said yes to so many things, it is looking like July or August before that can happen. That’s bad.

Right now I can only remember back as far as Wednesday, where the day began with a last check of the midterm I wrote for the GR class (second midterm for them) before setting it at 10:00am. (Perhaps the most interesting thing on it was perhaps the computation of the surface gravity of a static black hole, working in Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates…) At 10:25 I snuck out of the classroom to meet with a screenwriting student who is working on a screenplay featuring a physicist character. She was seeking some advice and wanted to exchange some thoughts about the work she’s doing… I got to gripe a bit about my pet peeves about scientist characters (not just the scarcity of well drawn ones – although things have gotten better in recent years) in TV and film. Somehow the rest of Wednesday (after the seminar ended at 1:40) is a bit of a blur, but I think it did involve me leaving campus to head home to hide and do a bit of finish work on a page I mentioned in the last post. Maybe. (Oh, there was also the official opening party for Umamicatessen (new restaurant downtown) in the evening, that kept me out to almost midnight. I’ve been meaning to blog about the place since the official “soft” opening party about two months ago, but had not got to it yet.)

Thursday saw me start the day way too early (as described in that post), and the [..] Click to continue reading this post

Making it Real

I’m supposed to be writing a talk, but it’s too early to start on it. I’ve been woken up early (5:00am) and kept awake by ideas swirling around in my head, and a mockingbird’s singing – it is nesting in a tree near the house, and I think I may be doomed to listen to it every night until the Fall…

Tuesday of last week saw me hiding and working on The Project. This time, it involved a bit of stalking. Last year I wrote a story which mostly takes place in a family home, between a brother and sister. I had a very particular shape for the house in my mind. They move from room to room, and spend a bit of time on a patio at the front. This time, I decided to build the entire house and populate it with all that I needed so that I can use it as reference to design the backgrounds for the story. Some weeks before I’d started looking a bit more closely at some houses I’d seen in the area as models. It is almost like the house which existed in my head was out there somewhere in the city, and I just had to find it. Somehow it was intended to be a typical smaller Los Angeles single family home, and if I looked for it, there it would be. I saw a number of houses on my walks that looked suitable enough, and was going to choose one of them and make modifications… and then one day I found it.

I’d been walking past it every day for several weeks, and had not really been in the right mode of thought when doing so, and so had not looked at it in the right way. Also, I’d been distracted by a rather larger and grander (too grand) house almost across the street from it. As soon as I thought about what I’d designed last year, and so rejected the house across the street, I realized that this one was the house I’d been looking for all along. So I took a couple of hurried surreptitious reference photos (while walking past pretending to be fiddling with my phone), and went home and laid out some of the dimensions I’d guessed for it.

I worked up some made up floor plans (based on my story’s needs and my memory of the interior of houses like this that I remember, and then I decided to build it [...] Click to continue reading this post

And Back…

Well, that turned out to be a very productive Walkabout. I set up an office there, taking some of the essentials of the things I was working on and disappearing for most of the week. No computers, just pens, pencils, and paper. My office? A chair and a shelter made of thin fabric, string, two poles, and some large stones to weigh down the pegs against the wind. The shelter was against the sun, since I was in Death Valley, camping. As I sometimes do.

My routine was simple: I’d wake up at about sunrise or shortly thereafter and after a visit to the restrooms across the way to freshen up a bit, I’d get my old whisperlite stove going to make some water boiling for tea. Once that’s done, I’d make a pot of oatmeal for breakfast and sitting eating it while flicking at the gnats that seem to begin to swarm during the morning’s first heat, I’d watch the morning move along for a while, with campers across the way getting ready for their day’s hikes or drives in the area. (My hiking boots and other gear were with me just in case I wanted to hike, but that was not my focus, and I didn’t in the end.) Next I’d make a large pot of coffee (sweetened with dark brown sugar), have a cup of it then and there, and pour the rest into a thermos flash for consumption during the day. Then I’d wash up everything, put them away, and take my work materials to my office, situated just behind my tent. By then, most people have left for good or for the day in the neighboring campsites, and it is quiet, except for the large ravens that tour the [...] Click to continue reading this post

Rock Star!

Just got back from stalking the biggest rock star in town. It is the centerpiece (wrapped in white material for the trip to reduce damage) of what will be the Levitated Mass piece by Michael Heizer, at LACMA, and it has been trundled over the last ten days or so from Riverside to Los Angeles in little late night journey, and as I speak is heading to its resting place at LACMA down Wilshire Boulevard. The picture is it when it was passing USC (my place of work) at about 10:45pm Friday night, trundling down Figueroa. This $10 million operation (involving a huge entourage [...] Click to continue reading this post


Speaking of film projects involving science, I’m involved in two new ones I’ve been meaning to tell you about. I’m working on producing a short film about the Aspen Center for Physics, to be used in the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebrations. My partner in crime on this is Bob Melisso, who I’ve worked with before a number of times, and it’s already been interesting, and fun. I think that the final piece ought to be interesting at the very least. I’ve been trying to work in a very particular look and feel for the film that reflects something about the nature of the work that goes on at the center (both its content and how it is done), and so there’ll be lots of chalk, scribbling on boards, reflections on the creative process and how a place like the Aspen Center helps, and so on and so forth.

We’ll be shooting from time to time over the early and middle Spring, and doing the [...] Click to continue reading this post


On the Gold line from Pasadena to downtown on Saturday I was looking to relax a bit after a long morning of work over a meeting I had with some colleagues. I got out my pencil and notepad and was happy to find that just over the way at the perfect distance (not to close, not too far) was a fellow who was looking out of the window and obligingly keeping his head more or less in the same orientation, or bringing it back to a similar position if he looked away from time to time. So I got some good looks and built the drawing on the right, over 20 minutes or so. As a bonus, [...] Click to continue reading this post

Incomplete Subtractions

Well, it has been well over two months since I popped into the studio I sometimes visit to to a “drop in and draw” session. (I’ve spoken about the value of such practice here before.) Although I’ve been drawing a bit here and there on the bus and subway to keep practicing, and also doing some work on some pages of The Project (actually, some pretty detailed finish work on a few pages I’m quite happy with), I was not sure whether I’d have the right chops to do a good job at the session, and expected that if I went I’d have a frustrating -but of course valuable- evening of knocking off some rust and oiling the wheels again. So I went along yesterday.

Strangely, it felt like it was going to be a good session as I approached, and as I settled down and began to try to capture the 2 minute poses, and then the 5 minute poses, I felt like I was flowing along pretty well. It helped that the model on duty is [...] Click to continue reading this post

Pen Faces

Well, it has been a while since I’ve posted any sketches, but that does not mean that I’ve not been doing any. I’ve had a visitor and have not been on my usual routine, and so I’ve got a bit out of practice for not doing so many, but I still snatch the opportunity to sketch when I can. Here are a few faces and fragments of faces I grabbed on the bus and subway in recent weeks. (Click for a larger view.) I just used a ballpoint pen, and a sideways glance or few…

I’m trying to decide whether [...] Click to continue reading this post

At the Breakfast Bar

This weekend I stayed over at the house of some dear friends, spending a bit of time out of town. I was up early this morning, and while I waited for everyone to get into full gear, I had a bit of time on my own to do a sketch of what was sitting in front of me after I finished my coffee and toast. (Click for larger view.)

I got my sketchpad and pencil first, and then decided that it was a while since I’d done anything directly on the iPad, and not since I’d got the new iFaraday stylus I got [...] Click to continue reading this post


Ah, preparations. In a few days it’ll be time to start teaching a new class. The new semester will begin. This means I need to start getting ready, but of course, in the last few days I’ve finally hit a nice groove on the work I’ve been doing on The Project, and have knocked out – wait for it – a whole page! Yeah, I know, it does not sound like much but this is between a host of other tasks (some of which I will tell you about) and it was a complex page and full of things I wanted to try for the first time, not to mention I had to knock off rather a lot of rust. Now the rust is off, I’d love to get more done, but alas… prep. I’d show you some of the results beyond the first panel I shared a few days ago (now with the colours adjusted a bit – not quite so red, etc), but the page is the first of a visual motif I want to save for later. So I won’t be able to share much of the progress on this story at all.

Anyway, the good news is that it is a class I started some years ago, and so I get to have a lot of fun with a new bunch of enthusiastic juniors and seniors, exploring a topic that never stops giving – General Relativity. (See this post and those linked within for reports on the teaching of the class last time, in 2008.) I don’t expect that there’ll be any filmmakers visiting the class this time (that time it resulted in the [...] Click to continue reading this post

Tart Grab

I hope the holiday period is (or has been) going well for you. As you may know from reading this blog, there’s often a lot of cooking going on in my kitchen, especially during the big Fall and Winter holidays. This weekend was no exception…and there were several elements of the meal, each the product of delightful collaboration among myself and my visitors. I did not document all the food that was prepared this time around, but I am happy to report that it was a great meal… I did grab a before and after shot of a lattice coconut tart that materialized.

You might have seen a lattice tart on here before… not sure. I did the lattice work [...] Click to continue reading this post

Fig Resurrection

Ah, the Bleak Midwinter is here. My mum has come to visit and so I’ve started bringing out some of the fruits of Summer that I wanted to share with her… the figs! My plan was/is to make a batch of fig jam (see here and here for some of the earlier posts on that), and I still might, since I’ve a fair amount left in the freezer (as I got a set off the trees I’d chop them up and bag them and freeze them). But one thing you can do with them (actually with any fruit – I experimented with apples the other day) is make a quick tasty fruit compote to go on fresh pancakes! (Or yoghurt, or other item.)

I make mine by simply chopping up the fruit into small pieces, putting into a small pan with a little water, a bit of brown sugar, and some cinnamon and nutmeg, and just cooking it down slowly for ten or fifteen minutes. Stir frequently in the later stages as it begins to thicken. Don’t overwhelm the taste of the fruit with too much sugar -it’ll add its own sugars too, which you don’t want to drown [...] Click to continue reading this post

The Dancers

Yesterday I went along to a friend’s dance class to sit and watch the proceedings and sketch a few gestures as they flit by…. It was fun!

I wasn’t entirely true to the process that I had set out to follow – a light touch with relatively few swift strokes – since I found that often when that worked, I was tempted to do a bit more finish work than I should, sometimes way too much… but hey, it was fun and I got something out of it, certainly getting some nice gestures here and there.

This is a very different process of drawing from some of the other things I’ve described here before… It is closer to the sort of drawing I do of people on public transport (catching glimpses and building a sense of the person, not a full, careful portrait since you can’t stare), but not entirely since of course you don’t have the luxury of stillness… Instead you try to internalize some of the shapes you see, and try [...] Click to continue reading this post

Nostalgia Furniture

New acquisitions. I’ve been a fan of the work of Marcel Breuer for many years now, going back to my first postdoc in the early 90s, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. There, I lived (over three years) in some lovely 1957 apartments designed by him, with furniture of his design in them too. (It’s a bit different now, I understand.) The Wassily (or, Model B3) chair is one of my favourites of his, and two days ago, when I got an email from a friend I’d not heard from in a while that she was getting rid of a leather-finished pair of them, I went to see them as soon as I could (especially when I heard of their colour, which I’d decided would match my floors rather well). I came back from the visit with (after some negotiations and handing over of payment) the pair and set them up.

Yes, they are just as wonderful as I recall (and this set is particularly well made – very good reproductions), beautiful, very comfortable, and a good fit for my living room… [...] Click to continue reading this post

Tales from the Industry XXXVIII – Improvising

For the second half of today I was involved in film-making again, but this time not the usual science documentary material, but something else. What, exactly, I am not at liberty to tell you since I don’t really know, if the truth be told. It is going to be a rather beautiful-looking piece of work, with an interesting narrative arc, and… well that’s all I know. I was cast in it a while back following an interesting story in and of itself. I’d made friends with a really engagingly interesting bartender at a bar downtown that specializes in rum, a while back…(a year? more?) We had a great time chatting about ideas in science, the arts, and beyond, and did that “let’s stay in touch” thing that people do a lot, which may or may not really happen…

Some months later, the same fellow came to see me in my office to tell me about this film he was making, and that he’d like me to come and be in it. At the end of the conversation, somehow I still knew nothing about the film and what I was to be doing in it. I was just going to be in a splendid house somewhere, talking to people, and… [...] Click to continue reading this post

Market People

A few people I quickly captured while relaxing in the sun at the farmer’s market this Sunday. (For larger views, click the images.)

It has become quite cool in recent days, and so it was nice to have a patch of warm sunlight to sit in for a while, as I watched people go by.

I was late for the market that day, and so I’d missed the people whose tamales I usually get, but found a tasty pupusa instead. [...] Click to continue reading this post

A Humble Pie

For some reason yesterday morning, I got the urge to taste a good old-fashioned meat pie. Perhaps it is the Winter feeling that has come over everything with the switch to chillier weather, rain, and the delightful seasonal hint of vegetative decay in the air… I was in a strong maker-mood and so this urge built into the desire to make the thing for real with my own hands. I had leeks and beef in mind, but it is not time for leeks yet in the Hollywood Farmer’s market, so I picked up some red potatoes, two types of mushrooms (shitakes and white buttons), two red peppers, some yellow onions and some garlic (forgot to get some green onions), and returned home (after stopping at Trader Joe’s for some good tenderloin beef).

I made some flaky pastry (half butter half shortening this time… figure it would be [...] Click to continue reading this post


Well, it is a week full of premieres, it seems, all with a little personal flavour for me, but possibly of wider interest. I’m talking about two TV shows and a movie.

The movie is going to be out in theatres at the end of the week, and it is called “Being Elmo”, co-directed by Phillip Shane and co-written by Phillip Shane and Justin Weinstein, two friends of mine who are flying into LA for the premiere. It is about Kevin Clash, the guy who operates the Elmo muppet. In short, it is a film that people seem to be really enjoying (it won the special jury prize at Sundance, and was a finalist for the Humanitas prize), and I can’t wait to see it! I worked with Phil on a two hour Einstein special that aired on the History Channel a while back (see Equation Wrangler), and so I know his working style a bit, and the results are great – so I think this’ll be really good!

The new Nova mini-series based on Brian Greene’s second book “The Fabric of the Cosmos” begins this week. They do a very good job, working closely with Brian to produce a show of rather high quality. I hope they do a good job (as you can see from the picture, they’ve got Brian to reveal his superpowers on screen – we’re not supposed to do that Brian!). It should be interesting to see, I think. I can’t recall if I mentioned, but I filmed some contributions for it last year, and some of that will be in the first episode (and I think the fourth). (You may recall that they extracted some of my interview [...] Click to continue reading this post


Hurrah for excellent late(r) night live Jazz in LA! I’d been needing some live Jazz, so this came along at just the right time. My dear friend Patrice Quinn was singing at The World Stage in Leimert Park last night, with Jacques Lesure on guitar and Don Littleton on percussion. I went with a friend to see the second set, starting at 10:00pm. She was wonderful! I’d previously only heard Patrice sing privately (a mutual dear [...] Click to continue reading this post

While Relaxing…

It has been a very busy week, and I’ve been trying to find time to relax somewhere in all the hubbub. I’ve not been fully successful in it all, but I’ve been trying to do a bit of drawing practice where I can as part of the relaxation, but then sometimes I get carried away with my experimentation and turn a simple sketch into a more elaborate thing. It is good practice for The Project, but is it relaxing? I am not sure. It sure is more productive than watching a random TV show, I suppose…

I dropped in at a studio to do a bit of drawing of a model some nights back after a long time away. These “drop in and draw” sessions are good ways of helping me do a hard self-reset on certain aspects of technique, and wake up certain types of seeing, as I’ve mentioned here before. They are an excellent complement to the drawings I do on the bus, subway, in cafes, [...] Click to continue reading this post

Bus Moment

Always great when someone closes their eyes for a bit on the bus right in front of me. Gives me a chance to look really closely while drawing and finish up some of the details.

This guy’s old-school hair was my favourite thing of all. HB Pencil on the bus, and then this morning I inked it with india ink. The inking was fun as I bought some new nibs, and remembered what a really nice flow can be like. I splashed a bit of digital paint onto it at the end, by way of variety.

The SCSS over at UCLA was great yesterday. Four excellent talks, and great conversation and discussion the whole day. I also got a [...] Click to continue reading this post

Market Inks

Well, to be accurate, I did the inking later on. I liked a quick pencil sketch I did at the Hollywood farmer’s market on Sunday. Not far from when I did that previous market scene.

There was a woman who’d set up a stand to do painting of children’s faces with clown-type makeup. Seemed like easy prey to get some interesting sketches.

As it happens I only got one because people had the unfortunate habit of standing [...] Click to continue reading this post