Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Caneta e Tinta published now

And, perhaps finally, the Portuguese edition of Pen and Ink is also out now, hot on the heels of the Spanish version. It's published in Brazil by Editora GGBrasil. It's also available in English, French and German.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pen and Ink now in Spanish

Cue the fanfare. Pen and Ink – Dibujo a Tinta – is out now in Spanish, published by Editorial Gustavo Gili. It's available online, and in those lovely local bookshops. (The English edition of Pen and Ink can also be found in a variety of museums and galleries, so look for Dibujo a Tinta there too, just in case.)

Whose work is featured in it? You'll find the full list of 34 artists here.

You can follow me @jameshobbsart.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Out now in Artists & Illustrators

I've written an article about working with pen and ink for the September 2016 issue of Artists & Illustrators (the magazine I edited a little while ago). It's available in the UK and Ireland now.

To buy a copy or find out more, follow this link.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In the colours of Italy


We travelled out to Siena to meet up with elder daughter, who has been inter-railing through Europe. It's a relaxing few days in the sun, swimming in rivers, reading, sitting in town squares, missing the Olympics and wishing our stay was longer. The bottles of ink I had carefully wrapped so they wouldn't spill in the suitcase have been overlooked and left at home so I devote myself to the range of Posca water-based colour pens I have managed not to forget.

The pens encourage experimentation, and because they contain what is in effect acrylic paint, it's possible to layer the colours over each other in ways I haven't tried before. It's a bit hit and miss in places, but it's enjoyable trying them out. As well as the 0.9-1.3mm version, I took the thicker 1.8-2.5mm range, which I've yet to really test.


If the pens dry, as is possible in the Tuscan heat, they can be primed by shaking and pressing them on to rough paper to restore the flow. This means I create rather looser marks at times than I intended but I rather like this effect. In fact, I'd rather like to try out a broader range of their colours.

There are more of my drawings using the pens on Instagram.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Ford Cortina for Florian Afflerbach

I've had my eye on this 1970 Ford Cortina, which is parked outside a house around the corner, for a while since I heard the dreadful news about Florian Afflerbach. Florian was a German architect involved with the Urban Sketchers movement who was killed in a traffic accident in May aged 35. He made sensitive pencil and watercolour works of cars, among other things. A tribute to him can be found on the Urban Sketchers blog. There's going to be an exhibition of car drawings by Urban Sketchers around the world as a tribute to him at next week's USk symposium in Manchester, and I'm taking this one.

I never met Florian, and didn't know him, but I feel that I got a bit closer to him by sitting on the kerb to draw this. My parents had a Cortina in the 1970s, and just to look closely at this crumbling example took me back. I admire Florian's drawings even more now too; this doesn't look anything like a Ford Cortina.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The house of the Brexiteer

Boris Johnson's house in Islington is on one of my regular cycle routes into the city, and in the brutal political atmosphere of the past few weeks since the dismal vote to leave the European Union, it had often appeared as a backdrop on the news, surrounded by the media, as its Eurosceptic occupant set about his business. By the time I drew it, the circus had moved on, and a last few cameras were disappearing into the back of a van.
Johnson, having betrayed Cameron, was in turn stabbed in the back by his mate Gove, who was stabbed in the front by practically every other Conservative MP, leaving the field open, eventually, for Theresa May to become prime minister. It's been a turbulent time in UK politics, in which all the leading Leave campaigners, having got their way, have left the field.
This is all true as I write, but could be out of date by the end of the day.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

New routes

Victoria Embankment Gardens, London

My regular 12-mile daily commute on my bike from Stoke Newington to Vauxhall has adapted over time. Safety rather than speed has always been uppermost in refining my route. I like the backroads and old lanes through the city – with names like Back Hill, Shoe Lane and Tudor Street, and on past the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. The city seems a different kind of place just a street or two off the main routes.

Waterloo Bridge

The biggest change to my route came a few weeks ago with the opening of a new 1.5 mile stretch of segregated cycle lane along the north bank of the Thames from St Paul's to the foot of Big Ben. It meant I could say goodbye to the hazardous crossing of Blackfriars Bridge and having to thread my way past construction work towards the National Theatre and Westminster Bridge. London is hardly a cycling-friendly city even now, but things are improving.

County Hall, St Thomas' Hospital, Waterloo Bridge

The new north bank route meant different views: these drawings show the south side of the river that I used to cycle along until a few weeks ago. My journey was suddenly quicker, and I found I had the chance to stop and draw the views up and down the river in the time I'd saved: the cluster of towers on the South Bank downstream, and the old County Hall, St Thomas' Hospital and Lambeth Palace upstream. In Victoria Embankment Gardens, just across the river from the London Eye, people lingered in the sun after work before going home or heading out for the evening.