today’s doodle… girl’s profile


A quick doodle today that I started a few days ago… playing with texture and colour.

Busy times – not sure when I will get back to a regular schedule.

UPDATE: new poem (possibly silly) from Tom.

Upon a time a boy of wood
became true flesh and bone,
so mayn’t then a girl of glass
turn from hard-as-stone
to supple, fluid, graceful life
with just a hint of truth
of her glassy origins
touching skin so smooth?

poem (c) 2014 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2014 Hilary Farmer


today’s doodles…studies for a painting

the voyage - first colour sketch
the voyage – first colour sketch

It has been a long time since I posted anything. I haven’t been doing much digital doodling but I have been creating some studies for a painting course I started a couple of weeks ago. The course is called “Illustrative Painting” and so I am trying to establish a narrative of sorts. I have in my mind that the voyage is a metaphor for journeying into the future or even an internal journey of the mind. On describing this concept, Tom sent me this poem – within two hours!! There’s even a short version and a long version…

Elegy for a Future (short version)

The water’s kiss is soft against the blade
that cuts a careworn future from the past;
irrevocable, now the choice is made
to cross the Rubicon and finally cast

a glance ahead: there awaits the shore,
warm coastal waters leading ever on
toward mystery and landscapes to explore
beneath the golden light of other dawns.

Elegy for a Future (long version)

The water’s kiss is soft against the blade
that cuts a careworn future from the past;
irrevocable, now the choice is made
to cross the Rubicon and finally cast

a course into the beckoning unknown
where distant shores, intriguing inlets, wait
for a bold explorer, all alone,
in search of other futures, taunting Fate

while mourning for a life that might have been
in another universe and time,
a different incarnation in between
Tartarus and Nirvana’s distant climes.

That perfect future lies unsullied now
by compromises, awkwardness and pain;
in memory, reclining ‘neath a bough
sipping on a julep with a swain:

an ideal match in all respects, and fair,
in the heaven where such spirits dwell
beyond the reach of merely worldly cares
for heaven means there is no chance of hell.

But now ahead there awaits the shore,
warm coastal waters leading ever on
toward mystery and landscapes to explore
beneath the golden light of other dawns.

There is no destined end or certain truth
that’s final, fixed, unchanging: all that lives
will wend its way toward age from simple youth;
though much is taken, there’s still much to give

unto the years of life that lie ahead
upon this journey toward the Happy Isles,
letting go of Clotho’s tangled thread
and facing toward new futures with a smile.

poetry (c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe

The image of “letting go of Clotho’s tangled thread” in the last stanza caught my imagination – Clotho being one of the Fates in charge of weaving human lives. After I read that I did some more quick sketching.

the voyage - pencil study
the voyage – pencil study

Now the figure is at the moment of departure – just about to let go of the rope. There are more ropes heaped up on the dock – the “tangled threads”. Then I went to the next class and produced the following two studies (among others) – the second shows the teacher’s (Charles Vinh) input – turning the figure towards the viewer.

the voyage - colour study
the voyage – colour study

The ink sketch was done during class before discussing the figure position with the teacher. I added some colour later at home.

the voyage - tonal study
the voyage – tonal study

Here I am trying to establish an interesting balance between tones in the painting, drawing the eye towards the figure.

The next step is to consider the figure in detail with lighting, clothing etc. Next post!

sketches (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

today’s doodle… girl and shadow

watery shadow
watery shadow

A glimpse of someone sitting in the sun with subtle shadows moving across her face inspired  this doodle. This is not a portrait but an attempt to capture a feeling.

UPDATE: New poem from Tom! very ssssexy – thanks!

Sultry sadness, sliding slowly
Sunlit shadows, softer sighs
Sombre sexy siren sizzles
Seducing sober singles, shy.

image (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2013 Tom Radcliffe

oil painting 3… pensive girl


My third oil painting to share. I am reasonably pleased with this one… in a couple of weeks flaws that don’t bother me at the moment may become too annoying but for now I am enjoying the satisfaction of completing the painting course and making some progress.
I like the idea of telling a story with a painting so in the future, I will think about setting and props when I paint someone. Here, I tried to create a mood with colour and the girl’s expression.

oil on canvas 14″x18″
(cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

today’s doodle… uncertainty

not sure what the future will bring…

She does seem very worried about something. I actually started out wanting to do some kind of landscape but this is where the stylus led me! Well, I hope I have that out of my system!

UPDATE: This in from Tom in transit. Poetry from an airport!

Dark horizon
Flash of lightning
Storm abrewing?
Coming dawn?
Future boding
Well or failing
To live up
To promise gone?

(c) 2012 Tom Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

Today’s doodle – reconnecting…


Well, that was a much longer break from the blog than I had anticipated! Sometimes you just have to do something different for a while.
Today’s doodle is a quick one to get back at drawing on the computer. I am not completely happy with it but I do like that even though the drawing is very quick, there is a feeling of emotional content implied in the faces…

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

Villagers team up to help…

linking arms to work together...

Once again advance viewing of an image coming up in the next few weeks for Songs of Albion. Without the story it is not really possible to know exactly what is going on but that’s OK. I am trying at this point to use the illustrations to show vignettes, not the whole picture. For one thing, the whole picture takes way too long to draw and for another, the close up that hints at the whole can be much more interesting. Hope you agree!

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer

Grace thinking hard…

a difficult task to figure out...

As has been the usual lately, I am spending my drawing time on Albion. Here is another sneak peak at an image which will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

Unrelated… this recent Cute Overload posting got me smiling this morning!

UPDATE: New poem to accompany the image – thanks Tom!!

Intensely focused on the goal
the wheels of intellect engaged
each new idea tested, rolled
between her fingers, quick and sage.
Perhaps a lever lifting there
would raise it high into the air?
But no! The crushing force will break
the oaken planks of hull and strake!
Some another way to find
fulfilling all the hard constraints
remaining free of failure’s taints
dredging through the dark of mind
to create a truth that’s new
passing down the dark and through

Copyright (C) 2012 TJ Radcliffe

image (cc) 2012 Hilary Farmer