Monday, 5 September 2011


It's five days until my 47th Birthday.  Over the last two years I've been playing with a free website provider and I've come to one conclusion, blogger is vastly superior to very free provider I've looked at.  So, it's bye bye website and hello more blogger.  I do get slightly anal about stuff at times so the keep everything neat I will be running 5 blogs.  Bangs Twitches will be bird and nature drawings and eventually a shop, sketching urbanely will be where I post urban sketches done while wearing a smoking jacket and calling everyone dahling, Inclined to Ramble will be thoughts and ramblings on life and the Universe, September Roads will be any drawings and comics I feel inclined to post and finally, Blues in the Dark will be reviews and thoughts on the fictional worlds, inspired by the excellent "To busy thinking about my comics".  I'll include links back and forth as and when they're of any use. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

cave time

Apparently, much to my surprise, I am a "people" person.  I like the company of others, I communicate well and empathise well.  In short I am not the man I thought myself to be.  However I am prone to what my wife calls "cave time", when I want to retreat into my cave, paint on the wall with my hands and club anyone who invades my personal space.  Cave time has been less intense over the last couple of years but because of some emotionally draining events at moment it's come back with a vengeance.

One thing that often helps lift me out of it is drawing and unfortunately I'm really struggling with that too at the moment.  I will get out of this because I always do and also because Karen, my lovely and patient wife, will not let me wallow too long without applying her dainty size four walking boot to my posterior.
Now back to the dark recesses of my cave.

Monday, 6 June 2011

two way sketchbook challenge

Just been looking at Dan Kent's 2'n'fro blog where he and another artist are passing a sketchbook back and forth to complete each others pictures.  It looks like a lot of fun and a great exercise and I'd love to give it a go if I can find a willing and reliable other to take part. check out Dan's site and if you fancy giving this a go leave a comment or contact me through my blogger account profile.  If there's a lot of interest I may try putting people in touch with each other.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

finally more birds

Broke out the windsor and newton half-pan watercolours for these four.  As anyone who uses watercolour will know it can be quite nerve wracking as not only is watercolour very unforgiving of mistakes but it has a mind of it's own as well.  That said I'm fairly pleased with the results.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Etsy Store.

Still figuring out the workings of it and pricing but my Etsy store is now open for business.  I'm now facing the new dilemma of how do I price my work?  The current batch of paintings are only 3 inches square which doesn't seem like a lot of bang for your buck.  On the pother hand I know the work and effeort that's gone into making them the best I can.  Guess all I can do is proote it best I can and see what sells, or doesn't and adjust accordingly.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

more watercolours

i'm working with watercolour pencils at the moment, primarily motivated by fear, as they're more controllable and more forgiving.


These aren't finished yet but havinbg no new sketches to post I wanted to put up something.

Friday, 11 February 2011


This is the version of the crow painted on photoshop.  
I had no idea that loose sketches would prove so 
difficult to paint.  You don't have the option of using 
fill colours without a lot of messing about.

This is the original pencil sketch, drawn from our front window.

Friday, 21 January 2011

More pencilled pictures

Reworked from a sketch made at New Forest Wildlife park.  I managed to find the only owl that wouldn't sit still.
 Black headed gulls dominate Riverside Park at Bitterne
 The blackbird was drawn from photos, very quickly to try and capture some of the character of the bird

 The grey wagtail was from a quick sketch at Riverside Park

 Tree creepers can often be seen in the woods in Manor Farm Country Park if you're observant enough

 The wood pigeon is the most frequent visitor to our garden
I've only seen wrens three times but these tiny birds always make an impression.

Friday, 7 January 2011

photoshopped coal tit

 I think I caught the personality quite well although yet again my colours are a little dark.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

House sparrow

Experienting with Photoshop again.  Thought I'd try my hand at a less colourful bird with a limited pallet again.
painted using black, brown and white and just varying the opacity.  Not sure I could replicate it if I had too but that's the joy of experimenting. 


Messing still with photoshop I came up with this.  Original pencil sketch coloured using one watercolour brush and the smudge tool. colours are possibly a little too dark but pleasing.

A flurry of activity

It's raining here and I'm sitting at the pc, looking out over the garden and watchingour regular visitors.  In the last ten minutes I've seen a wood pigeon, two blackbirds, a robin, a magpie and a blue tit.  I was under the impression our garden was pretty devoid of birds but I think now that maybe they just didn't register with me when I saw them and this blog is actually making me SEE them.

I've just scanned the pencil drawings for the next few birds and thought I'd show them off.

I've sharpened up the pencil work on the robin and redrawn the legs as originally the balance was off and I expected him to fall over.  It's still not perfect but at least he looks like he'll remain standing now.

The Wagtail was a plump little fellow I saw on the grass outside our front.  The wagtails I usually see around here are usually the grey wagtail and they're somewhat sleaker looking.  This guy was just cute though. 

Robin, an experiment

Having posted a scan of the pencilled robin I thought I'd try colouring it on Photoshop.  I struggle with Photoshop as a colouring tool mainly because I don't yet have the skills or knowledge to make it do what I want.  For me, at the moment, Photoshop is like watercolour, working more with lucky accidents than anything else.  Anyway here's the picture and I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.  I'm hoping to watercolour the original later today and post it in the morning.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Just a word

This blog was started as somewhere to display my little drawings when they were finished.  The drawings were started in answer to my daughter's frequent question, "Daddy, what's that bird?".  The blog was also inspired by the wonderful book "How to be a bad bird spotter".

Most of my other artwork, comic strips, reviews and general ramblings can be found on my website Bangsholme
where you can see, among other delights, the invitation to my son's Dedication Ceremony, a whole slew of Viking drawings and another blog, 52 trees.  Do drop by if you find yourself here and like what you see.  Oh and do leave a coment or two if the fancy takes you.


A personal favourite of mine.  The Dunnock.  Small, non descript in shades of brown and a bluish grey chest and mask.  Yet full of charm.