You also might like my reading blog

That blog is at and discusses books I have found interesting.

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Animated GIF drive thru the town of Turiff, Scotland

Today’s DT Drive thru Turiff. Not a drawing, but a composite of streetviews.

Today I saved, formatted, converted and assembled 200+ individual streetview images into one gif file. One ‘drives’ along the roads of the town starting on one side and going along the major streets through to the other side at a brisk pace.

This is a 10MB animated GIF, so I’m putting a link here to run it. It will take a while to download and runs for about 32 seconds. This can be saved to a local drive from the internet.


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Garden drawn in Excel ! + artist Tatsuo Horiuchi

Excel Screen ShotToday’s DT Corner Garden, Turiff. I found this little oasis of colour in streetview a few blocks from the church drawn yesterday. Somehow today, I came upon the artist shown below who creates wow! pictures using Microsoft Excelof all things. His work was so brilliant, ( see below ) that I had to try it for myself. As you can see, it is do-able if you have the patience and time to compose the picture – might be interesting for a serious work some time. This little composition took me maybe 3 hours today.

This is what I worked with from  Google:Corner Garden

( ALL of my drawings in January, are from Google streetview of a town called Turiff, in Scotland. )

horiuchi-tatsuo-ph1_px420Today’s Artist. Tatsuo Horiuchi.  This artist uses Excel and creates wonderful pictures. He won the annual contest for creating said pictures in 2013, I believe.

( Yes, there is one ).

Read about it his work and see several examples here:

Technical Notes on how to do this in Excel…

Here is an article on actually doing this kind of thing. In the article above are links to two of Mr Horiuchi’s spreadsheet drawings which you can download and deconstruct etc. for yourself, once you know what’s what.

This screenshot below shows you how to get started . Insert… Picture… Autoshape… Lines… Scribble. I mostly used the squiggle button of the 6 provided, to get a tool for drawing freeform shapes – just be sure they are closed shapes and you are on your way to set up colours, distortions etc…


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Sketch of old church elements and setting

IMG_4238Today’s DTSt Ninian’s and Forglen – Church of Scotland. I drew a two-page spread today to give a general view of the church for context. Streetview did not ‘go’ up the alley in front of the building so I decided this was the best angle to view as much as I could.  This spread gave more space to work up a some details in a larger scale on the same pages.

The actual drawing is looser than yesterday’s, so lines and angles are eyeballed and are close but not actually measured. There are a LOT of stone buildings in Turiff.  The pencil under-drawing is shown below. I later determined the actual church name and found a photograph on the church web site which provided good details which I could not get in Streetview – sun in the right direction, helps hugely.  The interior is quite spacious and modern.

( ALL of my drawings in January, are from Google streetview of a town called Turiff, in Scotland. )



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Blink and you’d miss it + artist Tanja Gant

IMG_4231Today’s DT – View between houses.The section of town I had chosen in Streetview for today held some basic houses, sturdy and not ornamented. As I ‘drove’ down the street I suddenly saw that the gap between two of the houses perfectly framed a little church in the distance.  Just luck, but worth a look. The state of this one is not complete, but I like the way the un-fussy drawing of the houses draws the eye to the detail in the distance.  I used intense ( for me )  cross-hatching in this picture and got a lot of the shading effects I wanted, as far as it went. The original underdrawing is shown below.

( ALL of my drawings in January, are from Google streetview of a town called Turiff, in Scotland. )IMG_4225

Tanya_Gant_Jan11_2016Today’s Artist. Tanja Gant – pencil and coloured pencil

“I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a need to express myself by creating images on paper. Although I am fascinated by art in general my greatest love is portraits. I strive to capture more than just the likeness of the model and when I manage to achieve the right look and attitude, that special something about the person I’m drawing, I feel that all the hard work was well worth it.”


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A Mercat Cross and note about Graphic Novelist Jason Lutes

Mercat Cross UnderdrawingToday’s DT – The current state of this drawing is a pencilled under-drawing of the base of the ancient monument as seen in the only Google streetview I could find of it in sunlight with decent cast shadows and good definition of the little crosses and pointy bits.  Took me a lot longer than I had anticipated. Apparently this structure standing in the middle of Castle Street dates back to the 1500s.

Thumbnail_mercat_CrossWhat is this object, you ask ? Here’s the description I found somewhere other than wikipedia, but did not keep the citation…

“A mercat cross is the Scots name for the market cross found frequently in Scottish cities, towns and villages where historically the right to hold a regular market or fair was granted by the monarch, a bishop or a baron. It therefore served a secular purpose as a symbol of authority, and was an indication of a burgh’s relative prosperity. Historically, the term dates from the period before 1707 when Scotland was an independent kingdom, but it has been applied loosely to later structures built in the traditional architectural style of crosses or structures fulfilling the function of marking a settlement’s focal point. Historical documents often refer simply to “the cross” of whichever town or village is mentioned. Today, there are around 126 known examples of extant crosses in Scotland,[1] though the number rises if later imitations are added.”

( ALL of my drawings in January, are from Google streetview of a little town called Turiff, Scotland. )

Today’s Artist. Jason Lutes. Graphic Novelist

Jason Lutes_22From Wikipedia:

Jason Lutes (born December 7, 1967)[1] is an American comics creator. His work is mainly historical fiction, but he also works in traditional fiction. His work includes the Berlin series and Jar of Fools, as well as The Fall (with Ed Brubaker), and many short pieces for anthologies and compilations.


This image at left is from Berlin and gives a taste of the high quality of his work.


You can find a lot of material by just Googling his images.  There’s a short general article on Jason here:

Theres an interesting interview here:

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Bus stop drawing + artist Stefan Bleekrode

IMG_4204Today’s DT – Downtown bus stop. The jagged skyline of the old buildings contrasts with the modern lines of the transit system. I like most aspects of this drawing but parts appear clunky to me, such as the bus shelter, the front leg of which actually does protrude at an angle. Since the other front leg is not visible it looks awkward. It took me about an hour of pencil drawing before I figured the overall image was workable.

It is occurring to me as I do this series, that I might want to do larger drawings of smaller subjects. That way I could develop more sophisticated pen technique by essentially simplifying structure and focussing on interesting depictions of texture and value.

Another alternative could be to be less concerned with structure and ‘correctness’ and go for looser, approximated patterns, use colour and portray things like the curving sweep of a road, or the play of light on the landscape or silhouetted buildings against a sunset – moving more into painting than drawing.

( ALL of my drawings in January, are from Google streetview of a little town called Turiff, Scotland. )


Today’s Artist. Stefan Bleekrode. Cityscapes and Imaginary cities are chief among his drawing motifs. Below this link is the artist’s comment on his site. The detail is from an ink  drawing, of size 50 x 91cm,m representing an imaginary city afte dark.

“Although I started to paint only eight years ago, and being fully self-taught, I’ve been drawing already since the age of ten, creating my own imaginary cities on paper, as a substitute for the passion of travelling that has been with me all my life.


“. . . Over the years, I’ve enhanced my technical abilities and increased the amount of detail in my city drawings or cityscapes as I call them. Nowadays, I create my own world class cities comparable to Paris or London, in the latter I also find most of the inspiration for my paintings.

“Although both sides of my work [ watercolour paintings of mostly urban travel scenes versus large scale ink aerial cityscapes -DT ] appear as the sheer opposites of each other, there are definitely some connections, the love for light and shadows, architecture, a nearly geometric composition and the absence of movement.


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