After having to give the beloved Canon 7D  back to my brother-in-law it was time I bought a new camera. I realised quickly I couldn’t afford a DSLR or frankly didn’t need one, as most of my photos are impulse shots on my travels so opted for the Canon EOS M3 which is loaded with features, fits in my parka pocket has interchangeable lens and takes a mean photo.

I decided to head out the night of the 28th December (the day before my my birthday) and see what the camera could do, capturing long perspectives, odd scenery, contrast and the beauty of the night in a cool city. I use Lightroom to edit my images to tweak and refine.

If you are interested on going on one of my nightmoochs let me know via the contact page and we’ll have a wander about and see what we can capture.

You can view the rest of my images here at Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tubbyphunk/

 

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I’ve recently started a new project harking back to my training as an artist/designer using some good ol’ analogue thermal facsimile techniques combined with street photography. The project is currently titled Diversity & Perception and aims to collate enough photographs of people from as many different backgrounds, countries, religion and ages based within my local area with the intention of forming a public exhibition which allows the viewer to see the person without forming judgement or opinion but to focus on the persons face and its features. I have started the project working with the participants and volunteers from the worldwide family from Bensham’s Comfrey project.

If you live in Gateshead and would like to be a face in the exhibition you can email me via the contact page.

I’ve recently found an absolute gamechanger of an Adobe Illustrator plug-in called FontSelf™ and without exaggerating its amazing.

What does it do?

Simply create a vector of a font from an handdrawn example then vectorise using imagetrace or draw it using Illustrator then drag straight into the Fontself plug in panel which does all the hard work then tweak it using the spacing tools etc, before using the export options to generate a font or preview the live font.

You can make, edit and export fonts in minutes without leaving your beloved Photoshop or Illustrator: the Fontself extension shows up as a new panel, as shown above, where you turn any shape or image into a font glyph. From here you can export your creations into regular font files (like Opentype .otf). These fonts are then compatible to use on your computer, tablet or smartphone

I’ve started working on two examples the first Hand ‘o’ Bob (see below) & Halftony

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Here’s a brief video from Fontself’s original Kickstarter campaign which is a quick run about Fontself.

The plug-in costs $49 (about £34.50) from https://www.fontself.com/and if you want to make fonts it’s well worth it!

P.S. the support is great too!

Support your local art shop!

I’ve recently made a number of rather nice purchases, mainly of vintage design studio materials from my local art store Hobson’s in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. A real Alladin’s cave of an art shop not all organised and glossy like Hobbyc**** or similar multi-nationals but a quaint little operation and if i’m honest quite untidy, which once functioned as a combined Post Office (remember those?) and an art shop run by a knowledgable guy named Stuart.

Support your local art shop!

Support your local art shop!

I do get quite excited by visiting art shops which often direct the kind of work I do depending on what I purchase, sometimes it’s just a new colour or type of paint, maybe a rare pen or pencil which is a pleasure to use, or some seriously hard to find old school studio equipment i.e.: Letraset or the like.

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Last week I stumbled upon this absolute beauty in pristine condition, boxed and with extra felts for the nibs. A Berol Industrial king-size Flo-Master (see above): refillable, hard wearing and seriously good quality! Stuart proceeds to informs me these are incredibly sought after by factory staff and steelworkers to mark steel, and this could be one of the only remaining unused examples in the country, he even gave me some ink in the original tin, but it had dried up and clearly seen better days.

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After last weeks find of a Faber-Castell TK-matic which has to be the best pencil that has ever graced my right hand, I’m starting to get seriously into art digging, like a creative alternative to a vinyl junkie, forever searching for the next mark making implement to create new works and ideas. So instead of going to your nearest retail park and spending a fortune, dig a little deeper and support your local art store before it’s too late, you know it makes perfect sense!

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Since a early age of about 13 I’ve always been fascinated by freehand type, taggin’ and graffiti handstyles, developing a unique style of handwriting through prolonged practice and a love of writing with pens and paper and collecting the tools of the trade from markers to handmade scribes from all manner of materials.

I’ve recently developed a love of a newly purchased pen which is kind of a big deal to me, as a full member of Pen-a-holics Anonymous. The pen in question is the legendary Pentel Parallel Pen (6.0mm) the blue one in the image) I’ve started practicing with what is a reasonably hard pen to steer due to its wide italic nib, but after a while reams of A4 paper, gallons of ink and tonnes of repeated alphabets I felt like I was kinda getting somewhere. After a while i realised calligraphy pens need steering in a certain way, so to this day my practice continues and I’m getting better, with the help of some rules and YouTube. I’ll show you the results in due course… I might even make a video.

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Here’s my goal I found in a video by Uvulus, beautiful type, effortlessly created with PPP, have a watch and tell me hand-drawn type isn’t a sweet visual treat!

Drawing Confidence Workshops

I’ve recently put together a drawing confidence workshop system for children and some S.E.N. Groups (predominantly primary, although not exclusively) based around concepts of street art and graffiti techniques and production. Firstly creating a six point drawing and markmaking system for young participants to create visually striking work using a range of materials and media with the results more often than not exceeding personal expectations. The images shown have been created by children aged 7-8, many who constantly stated ‘they couldn’t draw!, which is why we start the sessions by reversing this statement to ‘I can draw!’ this starts the session on the good foot, so to speak!.

As ever the workshops are centred around birds, which means there is plenty of choice and variety and a good way to teach observational drawing and composition in an exciting, engaged way. the final result are a collection of bird wheat pastes which are usually presented for all the school to see.

The six point system is designed to make sure nobody loses confidence or makes irreversible mistakes and is loosely based around the concept of starting with very course application all the way through to detailing and highlighting, before cutting out.

To enquire about a workshop for your school use the contact form HERE to express interest and I’ll be straight back in touch

Drawing Confidence WorkshopsDrawing Confidence Workshops

I’ve recently completed a new sculptural version of one of my street art pieces for the Tour de Yorkshire‘s arrival in Middlesbrough to be displayed within Middlesbrough’s Cleveland Centre in conjunction with Emmerson Marketing.

The large Blue Tit on my very own vintage Raleigh sits pride of place in the Centre, created using a framework of chicken wire, papier mache and acrylic/spray paint, built live in one the centre’s unit’s for all to see over a period of 4 days.

 

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