Glen Oomen Illustration
Sedana concept sketches.jpg

Sketchbook

I can't claim that I'm a serial doodler, I'm not always compulsively drawing. But I do bring a sketchbook just about everywhere I go, and if the day suits me, or the meeting requires a certain level of mental exertion to get through it without closing my eyes, out comes a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil. This is what I produce.

What's in your sketchbook?

Concept sketches for an anaesthetic filling device I've been working on. This image is actually a composite of several sketches done while working on my M.Sc Medical Device Design thesis project. The company I worked for liked these sketches so much, they blew them up and framed them for their R&D office.

Concept sketches for an anaesthetic filling device I've been working on. This image is actually a composite of several sketches done while working on my M.Sc Medical Device Design thesis project. The company I worked for liked these sketches so much, they blew them up and framed them for their R&D office.

I can't claim that I'm a serial doodler. I just don't do it enough for that. But I do bring a sketchbook just about everywhere I go, and if the day suits me, or the meeting requires a certain level of mental exertion to get through it without closing my eyes, out comes a blank piece of paper and a pen or pencil. This is what I produce.

Sometimes they get scanned and coloured in. Sometimes they get buried and forgotten until, like the strange treasure they are, they get unearthed. And then they get scanned.

Sometimes I deliberately head out for the day with paint and paper to see what I can find. I never know if it's going to be casein, watercolour or acrylic.

Sometimes it's just a great way to chat to people: they see what you're doing and strike up a conversation. 

Sometimes I travel and find the time, the place, a great cup of coffee and a fine biscuit, and the inclination to bust out the sketchbook.

Dublin Bay is dotted with great swimming spots and the Irish, they like to swim. There's a pretty incredible tradition there.  My favorites spots are Seapoint and the 40 Foot.  They're accessible on the DART, but I often cycled down because I like the ride south from the city center. I was deeply envious of anyone who could just walk down their street in flip-flops and a robe for a quick (it's cold!) dip. We almost rented a coach-house in Sandycove and then a considered another in place in Dalkey. That could have been us, that could have been us. 

Dublin Bay is dotted with great swimming spots and the Irish, they like to swim. There's a pretty incredible tradition there. My favorites spots are Seapoint and the 40 Foot. They're accessible on the DART, but I often cycled down because I like the ride south from the city center. I was deeply envious of anyone who could just walk down their street in flip-flops and a robe for a quick (it's cold!) dip. We almost rented a coach-house in Sandycove and then a considered another in place in Dalkey. That could have been us, that could have been us. 

My brother and I were in Victoria a few years ago visiting our Uncle Mike. We stopped by the inner harbour for some lunch and sunshine, and, since my brother is a bit of sketchy fellow himself, we both sat down and started painting. I showed this painting to a friend of mine and she said, "Hey I know the pilot of that plane!"

My brother and I were in Victoria a few years ago visiting our Uncle Mike. We stopped by the inner harbour for some lunch and sunshine, and, since my brother is a bit of sketchy fellow himself, we both sat down and started painting. I showed this painting to a friend of mine and she said, "Hey I know the pilot of that plane!"

This is actually a favorite doodle. A few years ago I was trying to figure out why there wasn't any really good medical illustration directed towards in consumers in Canada. It always seemed like this great opportunity to educate the public: show how drugs work, how a disease develops etc. Turns out you can't show the consumer anything of the sort lest they get any crazy ideas and go asking their physician about drug X or Y. Just price and dose. I wouldn't have had that suspicion confirmed unless I had attended a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board of Canada. Nor would I have an excellent sketch of squirrels riding a stolen moped. It was  that  boring. 

This is actually a favorite doodle. A few years ago I was trying to figure out why there wasn't any really good medical illustration directed towards in consumers in Canada. It always seemed like this great opportunity to educate the public: show how drugs work, how a disease develops etc. Turns out you can't show the consumer anything of the sort lest they get any crazy ideas and go asking their physician about drug X or Y. Just price and dose. I wouldn't have had that suspicion confirmed unless I had attended a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board of Canada. Nor would I have an excellent sketch of squirrels riding a stolen moped. It was that boring. 

Even giant robots need plumbers.

Even giant robots need plumbers.

Just up the street from where we lived in Dublin there was a great creperie called Anderson's. One of Drumcondras best little gems, they serve delicious crepes and waffles with excellent coffee. I did this little painting and sent it back to my wife when she had gone back to work in Canada.

Just up the street from where we lived in Dublin there was a great creperie called Anderson's. One of Drumcondras best little gems, they serve delicious crepes and waffles with excellent coffee. I did this little painting and sent it back to my wife when she had gone back to work in Canada.

We had this great little cycling culture coffee shop in Dundas for a few years. Sadly it closed just after I moved to Ireland (my leaving was not the cause), but it left a really positive mark on the community. I think it was a victim of its own success: people lingered and chatted to total strangers, I made friends there, pitched my laptop and did some illustration work there, whiled away many a sunny sunday afternoon there, and even learned to like coffee there (my affinity for cycling came first). They had fantastic brownies and a pretty good scone. Domestique is dead. Long live Domestique.

We had this great little cycling culture coffee shop in Dundas for a few years. Sadly it closed just after I moved to Ireland (my leaving was not the cause), but it left a really positive mark on the community. I think it was a victim of its own success: people lingered and chatted to total strangers, I made friends there, pitched my laptop and did some illustration work there, whiled away many a sunny sunday afternoon there, and even learned to like coffee there (my affinity for cycling came first). They had fantastic brownies and a pretty good scone. Domestique is dead. Long live Domestique.

Faculty meetings. We discussed setting up a sub-committee to deal with something or other. So productive.

Faculty meetings. We discussed setting up a sub-committee to deal with something or other. So productive.

My nephew always asks me to draw with him. Specifically, he wanted to draw a city. OK! There was a time I was about his age when I would practically run home from school to watch  The Secret City , this great educational drawing show on the Buffalo PBS station. The host would draw all these great futuristic cities populated by one-horned bears called, appropriately, "Unibears". I actually learned a lot about drawing from The Secret City. In my tribute to Commander Mark and his eradicator (eraser), we populated this city with Unibears too.  My nephew loves this drawing.

My nephew always asks me to draw with him. Specifically, he wanted to draw a city. OK! There was a time I was about his age when I would practically run home from school to watch The Secret City, this great educational drawing show on the Buffalo PBS station. The host would draw all these great futuristic cities populated by one-horned bears called, appropriately, "Unibears". I actually learned a lot about drawing from The Secret City. In my tribute to Commander Mark and his eradicator (eraser), we populated this city with Unibears too.  My nephew loves this drawing.

I parked myself at the local airshow one day to doodle planes and settled down to do a quick sketch of this little yellow Harvard. The pilot came over and aksed my why, when he was parked next to all sorts of jets, I chose this little propellor plane. I said that this one was more interesting - and it was yellow. Secretly, though, I figured I had a greater chance of being offered a ride in this one than the F-20 parked next to it. 

I parked myself at the local airshow one day to doodle planes and settled down to do a quick sketch of this little yellow Harvard. The pilot came over and aksed my why, when he was parked next to all sorts of jets, I chose this little propellor plane. I said that this one was more interesting - and it was yellow. Secretly, though, I figured I had a greater chance of being offered a ride in this one than the F-20 parked next to it. 

Staff meetings in the Faculty of Health Sciences often felt like this.

Staff meetings in the Faculty of Health Sciences often felt like this.

Air Canada regional flights vs. Pterodactyls.

Air Canada regional flights vs. Pterodactyls.