29 Faces in September; Wolf Wyrm

At last! Number 29 in the 29 Faces in September challenge. It was also the most challenging of the challenge because he exists  as a character I’ve been working on for a while.

Working in a museum of children’s literature, meeting authors and reading tons of YA fiction is having its effect and I’ve been writing my own story. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to jabber on about it here.)  But this little sweetie plays a pivotal role as a shape shifting, maiden munching bad guy. Or maybe he’s just misunderstood. He’s described as a wolf headed Wyrm, which is a kind of dragon that roams about these ‘ere parts, The Lambton Wyrm being the most famous.


Thank you so much to everyone who’s popped by, “liked” or left comments during the 29 Faces in September challenge. And well done to everyone else who has been taking part.


29 Faces in September; Rapunzel

This evening Imaginary Daughter suggested to Tall Man and I that we watch the Disney film Tangled. Bearing in mind she is 19 and we are…well…older we hardly fit the Disney demographic. But do you know, we throughly enjoyed it. Ok, some of the songs were a little cringeworthy but Maximus the Horse more than made up for it.

So I was inspired to draw my version of Rapunzel. I suspected she would be very sad, given that she’d just spent 18 years of her life locked in a tower because some old hag wanted eternal youth. And her only friend was a pet chameleon (who knew?).

She is Face number 28.

You’ll just have to be believe me when I tell you that her hair is 70ft in length.

29 Faces in September; Doodle Man

I doodle, I sketch, I draw and out come faces. I can’t help myself. So a scrap of paper ended up on my desk at work today and from the end of my wandering pen out came this guy. I wasn’t thinking of balding, tubby men so I can’t explain him away. And there is no story to accompany him, although I think he deserves one. He’s not even an elf! What he is, is Face Number 26 in the 29 Faces in September challenge.


Can you give him a story?

29 Faces in September; Bye Baby Bunting

This summer Britain has been festooned with bunting. The Union Jack variety. First because of the Queens jubilee and then the Olympics. Last week I went to look at an exhibition by artist Andrew Miller at Baltic 39 in Newcastle. One room was strung with row after row of bunting presumably questioning the country’s celebratory mood. You can find out more here. I thought it beautiful.


All the while I have had in my head;

Bye Baby Bunting

Daddy’s gone a hunting

Gone to fetch a rabbit skin

To wrap poor Baby Bunting in.

In this case “bunting” means chubby, so here is a roly-poly  baby elf. And he is Number 25 in the 29 Faces challenge.

29 Faces in September; Little Red Riding Hood

I doubt, dear reader, that you will be surprised to learn I have a fondness for fairy tales. The darker the better.  One of my favourite tales is Little Red Riding Hood and the best retelling of that, for me, is by Angela Carter. She explores three variants of the story in The Bloody Chamber, a collection of short stories. The best known of these is Company of Wolves, where Red turns out to be a savvy young thing when it comes to the ways of men “whose eyebrows meet in the middle.”

I’m not so sure if my Little Red Riding Hood has her wits about her. What do you think?

I am sure that she is Face Number 24 in the challenge. Not many more to endure.


29 Faces in September; A minor miracle

After a day at work, glass of rewarding wine in my hand I chatted to my Mum on the phone and doodled this. He turned out a rather supercilious  looking individual.  Considering the light was fading, I wasn’t wearing my glasses and the alcohol was going to my head it’s a miracle I ended up with anything at all. But as he is the only thing I’ve had the chance to draw today, he is face 23 in the  29 Faces in September challenge.


29 Faces in September; Scrumping Sprite

No, not the drink. I just couldn’t think of anything alliterative to go with “elf.”

Just as dusk fell this evening The Skinny Dogs grew restless. I let them out of the kitchen door and they sped off toward the bottom of the garden, barking with excitement. Fearing they were on the tail of a neighbourhood cat I followed. But no. They had disturbed this little creature who was scrumping from our apple tree.

He fled empty-handed but became Number 22 in my 29 Faces in September challenge.

(I’m not sure if it’s a universally used word, but scrumping means to steal apples or pears from an orchard. Usually a children’s past-time and it doesn’t count unless you’ve skinned your knees climbing over the orchard wall.)


Fact or fiction? You decide.

29 Faces in September; Cafe Characters

I am a great admirer of Rosie Scribblah who describes herself as “artist, printmaker, scribbler and ageing headbanger.”  And as all good artists should, she sketches….constantly. I’ve dubbed her the “Martini Sketcher” because she can sketch anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Check out her blog here.

So, inspired by Rosie I sat in my favourite cafe in Newcastle and sketched the occupants. They are faces 18, 19, 20 and 21 in the 29 Faces in September challenge.


Not fiction, fact!

29 Faces in September; Young Girl and Dragon

This is a detail from a drawing I did of Imaginary Daughter on her twelfth birthday. It was a birthday treat to beat all birthday treats; a day training dragons. Deep in a forest on the Scottish Borders we watched on as our daughter was taught how to handle these magnificent creatures. But it was with this particular baby dragon that she built up a very strong bond during the course of the day. We were not allowed to take photos, but I was given permission to sketch. This watercolour pencil drawing is the result of those sketches.

Imaginary Daughter and the baby dragon are two more faces in the 29 Faces in September challenge.


Fact or fiction?

You decide.