Biro Colour Palette and New Work in Progress…

Detail of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

Detail photograph of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

The following photographic images detail small fragments of a new colour Biro drawing in progress.  The drawing is part of a new body of work exploring the meaning of the word ‘War’.  This particular piece has been months in the making.

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

The colours in my drawings are mixed one on top of the other using 8 – 10 different colour Biro’s from a pack of 20 pens, in order to create the exact colours required. When painting in the past I would create a spectrum of colours using Red, Yellow, Cobalt, White, Paynes Grey and Yellow Ochre but with the pack of colour Biros I use this is impossible as the colours are geared towards children and include fluorescent hues.  You have to be inventive when mixing the colours within the drawing!  However Biro ink is a beautiful gelatinous ink which when applied to a surface achieves a vibrancy and volume rather like print pigments – one of the reasons I love Biro!

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

When painting, colours can be ready mixed on the palette so they can be reused within the canvas.  When using colour Biro each colour has to be created or recreated within the drawing by layering different colour pens on top of one another.   It takes a day to achieve 1/2 – 1 inch of a colour composition because you are often quadrupling the amount of pen layers as opposed to the fewer layers required to create the shades of a one colour drawing.

'Pilgrim', small detail of colour Biro drawing

‘Pilgrim’, small detail of colour Biro drawing

Within my work I like to use images of people, animals and objects that play a part in my life and this particular drawing memorialises a yearling and a mare who belonged to friends and sadly are no longer with us.

Still some way to go…


New A0 Prints at Whosit & Whatsit

A0 prints PR 300

P1640483A0 Limited Edition Archival Pigment Prints

November sees the launch of my new A0 image limited edition print series at prestigious home to independent cutting edge design Whosit & Whatsit, Newcastle upon Tyne. These unique large format archival pigment prints are of the finest quality, expertly crafted on 380g Hahnemuhle German Etching.  Each Biro drawing takes weeks and months to create and incorporates a multi-layered drawing technique. Extremely high resolution scans of the original Biro drawings capture every pen stroke, enhanced through these statement prints that allow the viewer to virtually step into the drawings. There are only 10 prints of each of the following drawings available, priced at £895 per print:

A0 prints PR 30 - Version 2

A0 prints PR 30 - Version 3

A0 prints PR 30 - Version 4


Fine English China Art Plates and Limited Edition 50 x 50cm Archival Pigment Prints

Also available to order from Whosit & Whatsit is my fine English china art plate series ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’, made in Stoke on Trent by celebrated ceramic manufacturer The New English. Limited edition 50 x 50cm signed and numbered archival pigment prints of original Biro drawings for each plate design priced £140 per print are also displayed and stocked at W&W.

A0 prints PR 40 - Version 2

Top Row Left to Right: Sweet, Revenge, Our Forefathers, Our Loss. Bottom Row Left to Right: Shh, it’s a Tiger!, Bang!, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear, The Orphans.

Plates measure 28cm diameter. Limited editions: 200 per design. Order price: £150 per plate.

A0 prints PR 40 - Version 3

An A0 Artist’s proof of ‘Butterfly Lover’ is now on display in Whosit & Whatsit’s beautiful second floor Brew Bar. Pop in for a brew and a browse through the magnificent design items in this unique store housed in a stunning Grade II listed building on Newcastle’s historic quayside.

P1640467 - Version 2

All afore mentioned products are available to buy or order in store or online at:

46 Sandhill

Newcastle upon Tyne



T: 0191 5800 242



Opening Hours

Monday                       10am – 8pm

Tuesday                       Closed

Wednesday                  10am – 8pm

Thursday                      10am – 8pm

Friday                          10am – 6pm

Saturday                      10am – 6pm

Sunday                        10am – 4pm


December Opening Hours:  

Monday – Thursday 10am – 8pm, Friday – Sunday 10am – 6pm