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Book list of 2011

As I've done for past years, here are the books I read in 2011. Instead of a plain list I've aranged them into different genres to make a little easier to read, I know some could go into more than one list but I'm trying not to be picky about it ;)

Fiction: Mainly Classics and Modern Classics

Animal Farm A Fairy Story by George Orwell
Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Fall of the House of Usher: And Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe (have yet to finish)

Science Fiction

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Valis by Philip K. Dick
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel by Adam Roberts
Mockingbird by Walter Tevis
Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg

Non Fiction (mainly pop science)

Vive La Revolution by Mark Steel
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
What Remains to be Discovered by John Maddox
Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown
Superstrings and the Search for the Theory of Everything by F. Peat
Why Does E=MC2? by Brian Cox, J. R. Forshaw
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks
Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology by Paul Broks
Freaks of Nature by Mark S. Blumberg
Big Bang by Simon Singh
Elephants on Acid: and Other Bizarre Experiments by Alex Boese
Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst

Graphic Novels

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Marvel Zombies by Robert Kirkman
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
Batman: Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller
Batman: Face the Face by James Robinson
Tank Girl (v. 1) by Alan Martin
Batman: R.I.P. by Grant Morrison, Tony Daniel
Batman: Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
Batman: Arkham Asylum Anniversary Edition by Grant Morrison
Marvel Zombies 2 by Robert Kirkman

55 Books for 2011, not too bad as I only 33 in 2010. I will of course try to read more this year, so far I have read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and am in the middle of reading
The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen by Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw.
I read so many great books this year it would be hard to pick a favourite, but a few I loved were, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bad Science by Ben Goldacre and The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman. What was your favourite book in 2011?

Belated Christmas Blog

I Know I'm the worst blogger ever, I'm sorry but here's my very late Christmas update. I didn't manage to make any decorations or festive drawings but I will show you the presents I made my friends in a later post, for now enjoy some Christmasy photos.

Looking tired but check out my awesome Xmas jumper!

xmas 2011
Christmas morning

A pre-christmas craft day with the lovely Amy. My cat Suki helping her knit.

Nativity scene
I wanted to show you the nativity scene my Auntie knitted me years ago. She's only partially sighted so it makes even more amazing that she can make something so detailed :)

Suki helping me draw. This was going to be a jolly xmas drawing but I never finished it time.


And last but no least, a gorgeous pair of panda mittens Amy knitted for my xmas present.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and hopefully this year maybe I'll be a much more punctual blogger!


Hey all! Ok for once my lack of posting isn't down to me having art block. I've been a busy festive bee, making Christmas presents for my friends. Unfortunately that does mean I cant show you my work till after Christmas. If I have enough time I will be making some tree hangers like last year, my Snow men and gingerbread men but maybe I'll come up with a different design.

So instead today I wanted to show you some of the colorization art Pete has been doing. I cant remember if I've mentioned before but he's a big vintage film fan. I really love these colourized pictures he's done, I hope you do too.

There's some more plus all his gorgeous photography on his deviantart page http://petenoir.deviantart.com.


Sorry for the lack of Halloween posts I promised, Once again life got in the way of drawing. I do have a lot of spooky sketches to finish so hopefully I will have some drawings to show you next time. But how would you like to see some scary make up instead?

Me putting on my everyday make-up, ho ho!

My lovely dead boy. I'm actually working on a drawing of this.

I wanted to read something in keeping with the scary season so finally got round to reading "Dracula by Bram Stoker". Enjoyed it but was surprised about the amount of gushing the characters did over each other. I could hardly go a sentence without them declaring their platonic love for each other. Van Helsing broken English did get a bit annoying and I expected a lot more Dracula vampire goodness but oh well.

I'm now making my way through "The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe"

I shall leave you with a few links from past Halloween craft makes and a sketch I've been working on.

Boo cat
Spooky cupcakes

Gruesome Girlies

I finished the colouring of the two sketches I showed in the last post. I used the new Tria markers for theses and they make such a difference to the blending. I am not that happy with how these two drawings came out, but that's nothing to do with the pens, I love using them.

Wednesday Addams. I know I've messed up the likeness a bit but I happy with the hair.

Bride of Frankenstein. This one was going so well until I used the black, I should of used a smaller fine liner for the eye lashes too. I might do a green coloured version as I really liked the sketch.

I don't know if I will get much drawing done this week as I'm a bit busy with other things, but as soon as I can I will do more horror drawings to show you.

Great Scott!

I've been trying to get the hang of skin tones this week. I do own a lot of skin coloured markers but it is still so hard to achieve a realistic colour. I ended up laying down a light grey for the shadows and then going over that with the palest pink & yellow shades. Had to be careful not to build too many layers as I ended up with some crazy skin shades by mistake, though if I ever draw an umpa lumpa I'll know what to do.

Marty Mcfly
Marty Mcfly from Back to the future part II. I'm not that happy with the likeness but it was good practice.

As it is Halloween this month I decided some spooky drawings were in order! I have the sketches done for Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci version) and the bride of Frankenstein. They havent been coloured yet as both my light grey pens have ran out but as luck would have it, the set of Tria grey markers turned up today so I can get to work on them soon.

A sneaky peak of the drawings

If you have any spooky ideas of what else I could draw for Halloween, feel free to comment :D

drawing friends

Making the most of a few sleepless night I've been trying to draw a picture of one of my friends, the beautiful Sophie. check out her art and the amazing accessories here.
I used my ice grey markers, It's hard to get a perfect colour match with the original when scanning it in but this was as close as I could get it. I've ordered a set of 12 tria markers in grey and the brush pen will make the blending at lot easier when moving between the different sections of the face, it's easy to leave marks when using the promarkers but I think I'm improving :)

sophie grey
The scanner has made it look a bit streaky, doesn't look like that in person.

Used the grid method and then traced the image on to marker paper. Why I didn't think of doing that for the cupcakes instead of spending forever trying to rub out the grid, I dont know ;)

Also look what came in the post! oooh they're so pretty

Bye till next time!


As promised some more marker practice drawings. I wanted to try an get a much more realistic look so tried a new method called the grid method. The name is pretty self explanatory, you put a grid over the image you want to draw and then draw a grid on paper and copy the image square by square. It is a laborious way of drawing but it does get good results. I found this great site for teaching Photorealism, http://www.art-is-fun.com/photorealism.html. It's something I would really like to get good at so be prepared for lots of photorealism attempts in the upcoming posts!

cupcake 2
I wanted to give colour a try, its so much harder than greys but I'm pleased with my first try.

cupcake  3
This was my first go using the grid method, I made it a little big whoops.

The few used Tria pens I won on ebay turned up and I used two of them for the cupcake's case. I didnt think there would be much different between them & promarkers as they are the same brand. I was wrong, the brush pen on the Tria blends like a dream! I was so impressed I ordered a set of 12 on ebay brand new and half the normal price too, bargain :)

Well that's enough pen talk from me, I will leave with a beautiful photograph of Suki taken by the very talented Pete.


Ice Ice Baby

I'm updating a bit early this week as I already have few sketches to show and thought it would be better to break them up over a few posts rather than a mammoth one.

I've been using my new ice grey promarkers I picked up last week for these sketches. I really like the finished results I get with these markers but I've found it is much easier to make mistakes with the ice greys than the cool greys I was using before. Mainly because the colour builds up more quickly and I end up laying down too much of a dark shade.

a couple of heavy made up eyes plus circles showing the five shades of the ice greys. It wasn't until I stuck them in my sketchbook I remembered I have a little thingy-me-bob for cutting perfect circles whoops!

I'm really pleased with these mouths, especially the second one. The open mouth was such a pain to do what with the tongue but I like the gum bit.

You may remember from my last post that I had bought some used Touch Twin markers off ebay. After giving the a bit of a try out I decided they weren't for me. I couldn't get them to blend as easily as promarkers. Maybe I could if I had stuck it out longer but as my promarkers blend so beautifully I didn't see the point, So I've popped them back on ebay. I've won a few used Tria markers that hopefully turn up soon. They are the same brand as promarkers but are the next step up in the price range. I am interested to see if there is much different between the two.

I want to do some coloured drawings but I don't think I'll get good results until I get the fine nib add on as I'm not able to tiny detail with the normal nibs. I have a black fine liner for the grey ones.

Hope you liked the sketches, I've had such lovely comments off people about the last ones :)

Marker Practice

After watching some amazing time lapse marker drawing videos. You can watch them here! I was inspired to break out my good old marker pens and get doodling.

Drawn on marker paper & glued into my sketchbook.


I tried and failed to do some coloured faces sketches but I didn't have the right shades. Also some shading practice in the circles.

I'm really pleased with how these are coming along and it has awakened my love of markers again. So much so I had a little pen shopping spree! I was in London for a day out this week so I popped over to cowling and wilcox and stocked up on some new shades. There's another set I am still after, plus letraset have brought out a new Ultra-Fine nib that can be attached to the promarkers. As sad as it sounds I'm very excited about that hehe, but will have to order them online because the shop had none in stock.
Here's what I bought though,

Also picked up a letraset marker pad just to see if it was better than the marker paper I already have

That's not all, I won an auction on ebay for 44 Touch Twin marker pens. They are used but I got them for a right bargain. I wanted to see if they were as good as I've heard. To be honest I'm not so sure I like them. I've only tested them out a little bit so far but they dont seem to blend as well as the promarkers. I've give the another play but if I'm not happy I can always sell them on.

touch twins
They do look pretty though right? ;)

I might do a marker pen review youtube video. I know, awful geeky but its one thing I am always looking for and the only ones I find are about Copic markers or Prismacolor. I do own some Prismacolor so I could do a video stating the pro & cons of Promarkers, Prismacolor and Touch Twin. I think some people might find it helpful, what do you all think?

Anyway that's me done for this week, I have lots of pens to go play with now, bye!

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