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I’m back in the studio for a nice long eighteen months of work, everything’s been planned it’s just work, work, work. At the beginning of any projects it’s always daunting so yesterday I took stock of everything I need and went over some of my methods and familiarised myself with odd items I came across in the studio.

The first was this, a very old watercolour set from my distant past. It’s had some serious hammer over the years and still serves me well. It joins several other watercolour sets I occasionally use to jot down colour work although I use it less and less in my work as intend to stick with oils.

Some essential equipment, namely French curves, protractors, set squares and compasses all used to help with the construction of paintings and models. All of the above I had when I was sixteen and I don’t know what I would do without them in the studio.

There is also an assortment of other technical drawing tools, everything from professional ink pens that I used to use when drawing up architectural plans, propelling pencils, stencils and a mixture of pen nibs and sliding rulers. I use these when transferring measurements to drawings for scale, the Big Ben in my Whatabanker was a typical example as all measurements had to be taken from photographs and scaled accordingly.

It was more apparent in the massive charcoal I produced for this. It took three days to complete using feint lines for construction and detail before sharpening charcoal and filling everything in. All the straight lines were freehand, when I was trained in technical drawing we had to undergo tests in accurate circle and straight line drawing freehand, failure got us a rapped knuckle. I learned quickly.

I came across a few oil colour roughs, these are the roughest of the rough where I test out colours quite rapidly. Doing it this way allows you to try out many different versions before producing the first true colour rough on a larger scale. These ones are pretty small, only about six to eight inches in size and remain in the studio.

Next up is a box of scraps that will be turned into Impossimal sets. You can find everything in these boxes, from matches to pipe cleaners from card to cloth, nothing is wasted and most things reused.

Finally some of the new models I have been working on. Made entirely out of plasticine these are roughs to show shadows and to see if any of them will work as sculpture.

So begins days, weeks and months of sketching, constructing, painting and creating many new Impossimals. The first half of this year is dedicated solely to the traditional Impossimals as I add new stories, characters and scenes to the Impossimal world starting in five weeks time with of course, Our House, the follow up to Home Comforts released last year and a special ‘pure’ piece all about love.

Then in July I switch over to the Lost Impossimals and mentally unwind as I create Revelations (Autumn 2015) using ten foot long sets of incredible complexity to show you a world you never thought possible on a scale unimaginable with a story that will take you even further into madness.

Pitched Sidewinder battles in victorian streets, landmarks destroyed over cake, childhood dicovered in a old dusty shop, the origins of favourite toys, hats as tall as a building, tea parties like no other, jokes, mazes, more memories, more puzzles and finally a plethora of stories in a neatly bound volume for you to cherish.

Looks like I’m going to be busy!


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