…an Illustrator, Creative Consultant and Lecturer based in Kingston Upon Hull in East Yorkshire.

…this blog will document Observational Drawing produced in sketchbooks whilst in and around Hull and elsewhere, exteriors and interiors, people, animals, architecture and objects.

As well as featuring useful links for those students of art/design and illustration looking for tutorials, tips, reference and links to other people who draw.

As part of his work with college students at both HE and FE he advocates observational drawing as one of the keys to unlocking the mechanics of drawing as a discipline, and subsequently the creative potential of students.

Just like the keeping of a regularly used sketchbook… it can be a difficult discipline to encourage.

But… once instilled it is the foundation upon which all creative drawing can be laid.

Gareth has consulted on work as an Illustrator, Scenographer and Creative Consultant having produced Concept Art and Production Design for the Visitor Attraction, Exhibition and Leisure industry, Historical and Heritage Illustration & Design Work for Museum and Archaeology Services for two over decades; and he is currently looking at Concept Art for Games Design & Animation in his role as a Higher Education Lecturer.

mob 07403861838 – or email hesir@hotmail.co.uk

You can find his PORTFOLIO here.

..and his broader remit creative blog here.


Boats piled on boats, from the bridge leading to the Hepworth Gallery.


Drawn from outside the National Media Museum…


Violinist at rest, quick sketch at the Tiger Inn folk night in Beverley, Yorkshire…

Plus the rest of the gang… A great night.



Trier – August 2016

September 22, 2016


Sketched using a brush pen outside Trier Cathedral, in ridiculous heat…

Zell, Germany – August 2016

September 22, 2016


The church in the main square in Zell, drawn just as the sun began to set…


The Tower overlooking Zell, drawn by night…


Grapes growing in the Garden opposite The Yellow House in Merl, Germany…


The guest house owned by Samantha were we stayed in Merl on the Mosel.


More Grapes… Sarah, Kate and Gene drinking wine in the garden opposite The Yellow House.


Sarah relaxing upstairs in The Yellow House.

Madrid, February 2016

March 15, 2016

Scan 69

This (above) was the only architectural study I did whilst in Madrid.

Drawn from the roof of my hotel on my last morning in the city.

It’s a great place and there is a lot to draw, with any luck I’ll get back there and get more sketching done… this time I spent most of my time (when not working) soaking up the city, walking around the barrios Malasaña (great food), Chueca (great bars) and La Latina (loved that Sunday market)

… I also took my time walking around two of the city’s galleries…

Sculpt 01

First up the Thyssen museum… Some excellent medieval paintings and the Rodin(s) in the foyer…

Notes The Prado

Then the Prado… It had been my intention to draw the crowds in the gallery where Goya’s Black Paintings were displayed, and around Rubens’ Saturn and his other mythological pieces… but I just got caught up in looking at the works instead…

I really just wanted to keep that for myself I guess.

So, instead I mostly jotted down notes like those above… feelings about the spaces in the galleries, artists and pieces I’d not come across before, notes on scale etc… oddities.

Then one evening, the evening straight after leaving the Prado, I headed up into barrio Cortes and stopped off at “Cafe Jazz – Populart“, and found myself drawing…

First out of the window of this empty, but great looking, music bar… no one here but the staff and myself.

Madrid Bar

Everything in the place was lit red and amber… only the light from the windows at the front added any variation in hue…

Then suddenly activity, a band arriving for rehearsal… A fantastic set of jazz musicians… Double bass, guitar… and fiddle.

Menilmontant Swing

I’d recommend this bar to anyone…

Home & Music

March 15, 2016

It good hearing original music being played in the house…

We bought Kate a guitar for Christmas, and she really taken to it… so the occasional impromptu gig to test out songs on a friendly, knowledgable audience… Mostly I listen without distraction, but I managed to get a couple of sketches down on one of these mini-gigs.

Nat Kate & Sarah

…others listened whilst working on their nails.

Nats nails


…I’m sure there will be more drawings (maybe even a painting) of Andrew (Kate’s guitar) in action before long.

Kate and Andrew

…another selfie, again in oils.


This was more of an experiment in aggressive painting, even looser strokes than last time, and as you can see in the comparison above, much more concentration on the face. Roughly the same time frame, perhaps a little less (just over an hour).

WIP - Paint 2

Again, no pencils or preliminary drawing even in paint, just straight in to blocking out and mark making…


I feel that by the point above (detail) I should have perhaps began to stop working…


This will definitely need a little more working into to resolve some of the detail overpainting on the left…


…that said I’m still fairly pleased with the results.

Time to buy more canvas boards…

I’ve been talking about going back to traditional painting for some time, and as if to call my bluff on my posturing, Sarah bought me a starter set of Oils and Canvas boards for Valentine’s day…

So, no more putting it off… This last weekend I woke up relatively early and headed straight to my desk, took out the kit and positioned a mirror and dug in…

IMAG2343 x

This first attempt took about one hour-fifty minutes, with a short stop for breakfast…

I did no pencil under drawing and just painted straight in.

IMAG2345 x

I tried to avoid any Mannerist over painting or smoothing, looking to preserve as much of the visibility of the paint strokes as possible…

IMAG2351 2

It’s possibly the best experience I’ve had with paint in a very long while and so will definitely give it another go…

I’m also tempted to have ago at attempting to add more depth to the image through experimenting with building up some glazes…


WIP… But at least the process has begun…