Lever Street

Lever Street 060118

Amongst this year’s plans is a comic, so I’m going to get more sketching done, to boost my confidence with pencil, pen and brush. I fully intend to improve, and this is here as much to provide a reference to check against at the end of the year as anything else.

The drawing was done in the coffee shop across from (and slightly to one side of) the building depicted. I’d have put in more details, but the windows steamed up and obscured my view.

Christmas is coming!

Gift-giving time is almost upon us, so, I would like to point you to the places you can buy Spinneyhead stuff.

Obviously, you can buy my books, or Garth’s, but they’re exclusively digital. Buy them as a treat for yourself.

If you want physical presents to give away, there are a few places you can go.

I have a store hosted by Zibbet, where you can buy cards, buttons, badges and cufflinks made from coins, odd, naughty boxes, and vintage items.

I’m selling antique postcards on Delcampe, as well as stamps, slides and other interesting stuff.

A selection of my photos are available as prints from DeviantArt or Redbubble.

You can get 3D prints of stuff I’ve designed from Shapeways. It’s mostly model rail related stuff, but I’m going to be adding new designs as soon as possible.

I may have forgotten some of the places you can get my stuff, I have tried out all sorts over the years, but these are the main ones I use at the moment.

Christmas gift ideas from Spinneyhead

Not long to go until Christmas, so, if you’re unsure about what to get your friends and family, may I suggest a couple of online shops.

Buy my handmade, art and vintage stuff from Zibbet, or get 3D printed models from Shapeways. All cool stuff, some of it using the most modern of methods, some old school.

And don’t forget, if you have a Kindle you can buy my books from Amazon (and Garth Owen’s as well).

BBC News – Nazi looted art ‘found in Munich’ – German media

A collection of 1,500 artworks confiscated by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s has been found in the German city of Munich, media reports say.

The trove is believed to include works by Matisse, Picasso and Chagall, the news magazine Focus reports.

I started a story a while back that was going to have looted art as a plot point, but then shelved it thinking it wasn’t relevant any more. Perhaps not.

via BBC News – Nazi looted art 'found in Munich' – German media.


Crossover 1 Page 01B

I have a small stack of, mostly, Image comics from the nineties, a sharp knife and a guillotine, and I’m going to make some art. Working on some comic book themed ideas, my first series is going to be called “Crossover 1”. Two comics- Brigade series 1 issue 3 and C23 issue 3, collide in strips on the page. These being Image comics from the nineties, some of the resulting pages will be no less coherent than the originals.

There will be two versions of each page. A pages start with C-23 at the top, B pages with Brigade. Once I have a few more pages in stock, I shall be putting them up for sale on Spinneyworld and Zibbet.

Buy the original art from the Sounds of Soldiers cover

The finished piece

New in the Spinneyworld shop is this unique piece, created for the cover image of Sounds of Soldiers. You can read about the build up here.

The diorama features 1:6th scale items on a base, depicting a makeshift soldier’s grave, in keeping with the themes of the book. It comes in a display case to keep the dust off.

Buildings on a wall

As a modeller I’ve long considered creating some art using kits, possibly some sort of surreal diorama or somesuch. What I hadn’t considered, until now, was flipping the work through 90 degrees and turning it into a “painting”. This is what Gerry Judah does with his post apocalypse cityscapes, and they’re very effective. I’ve had a load of ideas just from watching the 9 minute video below. Not plans to rip him off, but some thoughts on new ways to present ideas I’ve had for a while.

Gerry Judah: Paintings from Sam Marcuson on Vimeo.


The Museum of Everything

Londoners, and those of you within commuting distance, get yourselves to Primrose Hill and visit The Museum of Everything. The BBC did.

Smoking squirrels, circus banners, miniature fairgrounds – the Museum of Everything in London’s Primrose Hill shows art that people have made for themselves rather than for fame or money.

The museum claims to be a window on the creativity of people who did not go to art school.

The current exhibition has had to be extended as it appears this display of the odd and fascinating output from Britain’s sheds and workshops has captured the imagination.

Objects of Desire- Original Roy Cross artwork

Currently for sale on Ebay are several pieces by Roy Cross, one of the main creators of box art for old school Airfix. If anyone wants to get me a Christmas present they could, for example, buy me this piece for the SAR Boeing Vertol helicopter. It’s one of a batch being sold, along with several vintage models, here.

Lost and found

A while ago there was a news story about an art courier in New York who got drunk after showing a prospective buyer a painting and then lost it on the way back to his hotel. I missed the follow up report until just now- the painting was found stashed behind a bush opposite the Metropolitan Museum Art and eventually returned. In the mean time one of the owners of the painting has been charged with fraud and the other has dropped a lawsuit against the hapless art courier. The tale still needs at least one murder before it becomes the plot of any one of a number of detective dramas.

Indeed, I was taken by the tale of a tipsy deliveryman losing a million dollar painting and may yet incorporate it into A Death In Didsbury as a plot thread.

Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2010

Manchester School of Art Degree Show

I did get a few photos of the degree show, which are all below. The textiles section of the show expressly forbade photography, whilst I wasn’t certain in other areas, so I just took a few shots here and there.

The School is undergoing a refurbishment, so some of the spaces used in previous areas weren’t open this year. The 3D design department seemed to suffer more than most. There was some very nice furniture, but not the larger selection of product design which has always been particularly interesting to me. The production design area of the film school was also lacking representation beyond a few film posters. Of course, it’s also possible I was just dim and missed off a whole room or two of the show somehow.

Students with webistes include-

James Tite

Kirsty Anne Robson

Iwan Roberts, Ben Grainger and others have art online at

Sean Penlington

Liam Parkin

Kelly Parish

Isaac Holland

Steph Graham

Kate Fielding

Andrew Henderson– rather nice stuff with a slight steampunk leaning. The anatomy of a mermaid drawings and his models are particularly good.

Sophie Berger

Emma Reynolds, with a blog here. Lovely book illustrations and narrative. I should see if she’d like to illustrate a comic.

And here are the pictures. If you click through you’ll see that I was lax in taking down artists names and most of them are uncredited. If you are, or know, the artist, please get in touch and I’ll rectify that.

Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show- Chelsea White Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show- Martha Swabey Manchester School of Art Degree Show Manchester School of Art Degree Show

One day I want to be able to go to this show and buy or commission some art.

Non-repro blue

I’ve been finding, with the last few pages of comic I’ve drawn, that I have to mess around with brightness and contrast in Photoshop to cut down ghost images from pencils which haven’t erased properly. It’s time to go looking for an old artists’ tool. Non-repro, or non-photo, blue pencils are a colour which isn’t easily picked up by scanners, so is less likely to create blurs and shadows behind my inks.

A quick search found this comparison of blue leads for mechanical pencils, my drafting tool of choice. So, I’m going to get myself some Pilot Colour Eno Soft Blue leads, before they go out of stock. We’ll see if they make a difference.

Some things, it seems, you can’t find online

Or they’re so deeply buried that you give up before you get to them.  One of the subjects discussed in the pub on Friday was the paintings of L S Lowry and where exactly they depicted.  There’s a book- Lowry’s City: A Painter and His Locale
which tries to track down a few of them but, after a bit of searching, I can’t find much online.  The wiki entry for Lowry names some locations (I didn’t know he’d done paintings of Cleator Moor, for instance), but no-one’s tagged them all on Google Maps.

Consider this a Lazyweb request- someone put Lowry’s paintings on a map for me please.