Video: How to draw icons for future

Video: How to draw icons for future

Ahead of the launch of my *brand new** Draw Out Your Future programme I thought I’d create this short video with instructions on how to draw an icon that represents future.

Click on the image below to be taken straight to the video.

How to draw icons for future

If you were to graphically represent the icon ‘future’ which icon would you choose from this selection? Or would you choose something different? Let me know in the comments.


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2021 dates for Secrets of Simple Graphics online and the new programme Draw Out Your Future have now been confirmed.  Take a look >> 



How to draw Hallowe’en images

How to draw Hallowe’en images

Very serious business topic today – how to draw Hallowe’en images.

Impress your colleagues, have fun with your kids, get that promotion (ok I might be pushing it there). Whatever you do make sure you grab this fun opportunity to put pen to paper!

1. The pumpkin.
When I was growing up we didn’t have pumpkins, we had turnips. All I could do was draw pumpkins in the hope of one day having one. Now you can too!

2. The bat
Bats are creepy. Bat silhouettes are even creepier…

3. The web
Remember that bumpy line we used to begin our bat drawing? Use the same line multiple times to create a spooky web.

4. The ghost
This time we’re starting with a bumpy line on the horizontal – for added fright factor give your ghost two different shaped eyes.

5. The spider
What’s the difference between a regular spider and a Hallowe’en spider? Fangs of course.

Where can you sneak in a spooky Hallowe’en image today? A Welcome poster at a training session? The top sheet of a report? A handwritten note to your colleague?

Happy Hallowe’en!

Three fun ways to colour in quickly

Three fun ways to colour in quickly

You know those colouring in books that are really popular at the moment? The mindfulness ones with the intricate designs?

Well I’ve thought about getting one.

However the truth is…everytime I think about it another part of me wants to get out my biggest fattest chunkiest marker and scribble like crazy all over the beautiful designs.

There, I’ve said it.

When it comes to graphics, and especially when it comes to working live with a group, we can’t afford the luxury of painstakingly perfect colouring in. After all, we’re there to serve the group, not our artistic egos.

Here are some fun ways to colour in quickly – with each method colouring in can be done behind or around the image (often quicker) or inside the image.

1. Crosshatching

Crosshatching is a pattern. Here are some other patterns you can try:


2. Chalk pastels  – this is messy, fast and fun.

chalk paint

3. Shading – I like to use grey for shading (think: where is the sun coming from? and then you’ll know where to shade. For example if the sun is in the top right corner your shading will be left and bottom); other colours are just as effective.


I hope you enjoy these tips. Don’t forget to check out the open courses page for the next Secrets of Simple Graphics date.

Hand drawn versus, well, not hand drawn

I’m a great believer in the power of pen and paper. Give me a slightly wonky hand drawn picture over clip art any day of the week.

As Dan Roam says in The Back of The Napkin, ‘The hand is mightier than the mouse’.

But just what is it about hand drawn images that make them so great?

Firstly, the more human our communication is the more effective it is. Hand drawn images are an outward sign of that humanity.

What an insight we receive when we see how someone draws.

How refreshing, how disarming almost, to see something that like us, is not perfect.

Secondly, when we create images on a computer we often find ourselves wrestling with a piece of software* whose functionality never quite matches up to the power of our imagination.

And it’s so small, that screen, so…confined. It can make our thinking confined too.

Thirdly (and crucially), it is the physical act of putting pen to paper that is so powerful. It engages the right hand side – the creative side – of our brain. It is that creativity that stimulates and feeds idea generation.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen delegates on my courses start with a blank sheet of paper and then think, ‘Oh hang on. Maybe we can do this. Or if we scratch that out we can do that…’ and so forth.

How powerful is it in an age where idea generation is so key to human flourishing to have a tool so cheap, so quick, so accessible.

The power is in your hands!


Do come and join me on April 26th 2019 for some in person practice. I can’t wait.

*There are software programmes which allow you to draw directly on the screen (Adobe Illustrator and SketchbookPro to name a few) which is great. Start with pen and paper though. Otherwise you’re learning how to draw and learning how to use a software programme at the same time. And despite many protests to the contrary research shows that the brain just isn’t good at multitasking!