Tag Archives: Ralph Steadman

Embrace The Blottage

3 Feb

natie 3

Here’s the last of the four drawings I did at last week’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I’d set myself the task of using different materials for each drawing. In this final one I used a recycled cyanotype that hadn’t quite worked out and a traditional dip pen with Indian ink. These pens tend to be scratchy and blot a lot. I like this effect, it reminds me of one of my favourite artists, Ralph Steadman.

Embrace The Blottage!


Gonzo And The Double Cone

18 Jun

More sun today so I took my young niece for an icecream after school. We sat outside the ice-cream parlour overlooking the marina and I scribbled away while she munched her way through a mint-choc-chip-bubble-gum-double-cone. There were two very elderly gents at the next table, taking in the too-rare sunshine and one of them looked, to me anyway, like gonzo-king Hunter S. Thompson might have looked like if he’d survived another couple of decades. So I scribbled him as well. Both sketches took a couple of minutes each and are in HB pencil into a Daler Rowney A6 smooth cartridge, spiral bound sketchbook.


Hunter S. Thompson is probably my favourite author. I particularly love his collaborations with Ralph Steadman, whom I regard as one of Britain’s finest artists, and Steadman’s funny and poignant story of their relationship, The Joke’s Over. The sunshine didn’t last much longer; we walked home in the rain 😦

Stonehenge in Madrid; The Wall; and a Drowning Dog

5 Aug

Stonehenge: Madrid


Our mate Mike wanted to celebrate his fortieth at Roger Waters’ “The Wall” but the British gigs were sold out, so we piled off from Ynystawe to Madrid in March. It was cold and rainy, while Swansea basked in an unseasonably warm and dry Spring. We spent two days being culture vultures, doing El Prado and La Reine Sophia galleries gawping at Velasquez, Bosch, El Greco, Goya and Picasso. Goya’s ‘Black Paintings’ were fantastic; very dark and sinister. He’d painted them to decorate his house – not a happy bunny by the look of them. There was one called ‘Drowning Dog’ and there was a group of small children on a school trip standing round it crying, while their teacher tried to make them draw it.


The Wall was brilliant. Hard to believe that Roger Waters isn’t far off 70 – he gave an amazing performance and his voice is perfect. I’ve always loved the album but wasn’t sure how it would adapt to a 21st century stage show. He’s changed the emphasis from what was a rather introspective piece back in the 70’s to a critique of modern society. The artistry is as brilliant as the music. A lot of Ralph Steadman’s original imagery is still there alongside up-to-the-minute computer graphics. It was immensely moving and I cried all the way through. My best bit was tens of thousands of Spaniards and our little group of Brits on our feet screaming ‘RUN RUN RUN RUN’. Unforgettable.


So where does Stonehenge come in? Outside the stadium was a plaza with a huge statue of a semi-abstract man in it and towering above it was an even more huge ‘Stonehenge’ thing made from concrete. We decided that if we got split up, we’d meet back at ‘Stonehenge’. About ten thousand other people decided the same! It’s an ink drawing in my sketchbook.

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