I was always fairly keen on drawing in my childhood and youth, but now seem to have neglected matters. When I was in my early teens I discovered that black and white line drawings, with no shades of grey, were great because they could be photocopied. This had several advantages: I could sell copies; get copies published; and I could get a drawing to a stage when I was worried about spoiling it if I went any further, photocopy it at that point for safety, and then carry on. Often the photocopies looked better than the originals, although frustratingly it often proved difficult to get good photocopies, because copiers were moody things. Such was my delight with photocopying, however, that I neglected other forms of drawing somewhat.

I have several sketch books filled with drawings from my youth. The subject matter tended to involve dark-age warriors hitting each other, or fantasy scenes with dragons, orcs, and not entirely historical military equipment. I recall my parents talking to my art teacher at school at an open day. My art teacher was being complimentary about my art. She was presumably pleased that I drew a lot. My parents, though, felt that she was neglectful of her duty. My mother said, “Yes, but he can only draw one thing.” This was an attitude that certainly annoyed me. I was able to draw perspective, folds in clothing, human figures, movement, horses, different textures, trees, depth, shading, I could compose a picture and suggest narrative, and one might from this imagine that I was fairly capable of drawing many things, but just because of the recurrent themes in my pictures, my parents wrongly assumed that if I tried to draw anyone in modern clothing, that my pens would shatter. I felt like handing my teacher a bouquet when she looked at my parents as though they were completely mad.

Anyway, recently, I unearthed a old box of stuff including my school certificates (see one here), and some old drawings. I am now in a new age: the age of the scanner. The modern scanner can cope with grey scales, and even colours, and so I may over time add quite a bit to this section, but for the moment it displays the results of just one afternoon’s rediscovering and scanning.

In recent years, I have been drawing typically one drawing a year. Throughout my teens and into my twenties, I used to go to the trouble of drawing individual Christmas cards for people. I then changed policy and drew one black line drawing and photocopied it for the masses. I later downgraded again to doing on-line cards, and then streamlined operations to a simple “Bah humbug!” and have now achieved the ultimate efficiency of ignoring Christmas altogether.

My youthful drawings of dark ages, fantasy, dark fantasy, and fantasy ages.

Christmas card designs.

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