Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pig on a Trampoline




This is an idea I had, a series of images of a pig at the top of its bounce. I drew about a dozen poses, some more absurd than others, before arriving at just these three.
Before any porcinologists tell me, I know, pigs don't bend that way. Well, my argument is, a trampoline can be very persuasive.
The lack of eye contact is intentional because I want the viewer to remain disconnected with the pig. It's as if we've just turned a corner and happened upon her, gleefully bouncing away in her own little moment of joy. She'd never know if we simply, and quietly, back away and leave her to it.

This idea led to a concept for a children's picture book. Hopefully I'll get round to that one day.

Pig on a Trampoline - three pieces, each 408 x 231mm
Acrylic on 140lb Saunders HP Watercolour paper

For those that way inclined, here's a closer look at of one of them.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

John Bradbury takes a nap


John Bradbury. 297mm x 420mm Oil on board.

In April of this year, taking advantage of a gathering of classic car owners, I went in search of people to paint. It was getting late in the day and the spring sunshine had worked its magic on this gent. I took a few reference shots and here's the resulting painting.

John Bradbury is a retired Army Pilot from Tunstall, Stoke on Trent and a thoroughly nice bloke.

As with a lot of my work, I will often have a favourite portion which pleases me more than the rest. In this case, I'm particularly happy with John's earlobe and his shoes - especially his left one.
Mister Weston - detail.

This is about as tightly rendered as I like to paint for my own pleasure. To give you some idea of scale, the head on the original measures 42mm from crown to chin (that's an inch and five eights in old money).

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Good Stick


What every boy needs - a good stick.
Approx A5 Pen & Ink and watercolour.


Monday, August 8, 2011

The long wait

The painting 'Bere' I completed in December 2010 is almost dry. This might explain why so many artists in history died penniless. It was because their work wasn't dry until years after they were dead.

I know I could've accelerated the process with medium, but I wanted to know how long it would take without any artificial intervention. Too long!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doodles before Bedtime

Quite often, the last thing I'll do before I quit for the night is pick up a pencil and see what comes out. Invariably I'll draw faces. A loose line will suggest something, like a wisp of smoke, and I'll allow that shape to come together. Once I see a face emerge, I might set it a challenge, like convey an emotion or a word.
Sometimes I get involved and settle in for an enjoyable little scribble.


These two came to me before bed last night. Enthusiasm and Mild Disdain.

There's no psychoanalysis here. (maybe there is, but I just don't recognise it). Just doodles.

Some people drink cocoa.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Live by the sword, die by the sword, paint by the knife



As an exercise, I reproduced 'Bere', a painting I finished on Boxing Day 2010.
This time I restricted myself to only working with palette knife and no blending. It meant the marks had to be more considered in both value and placement. This was done in acrylics because I didn't want the exercise to last a lifetime. The original oil painting I did around Christmas is still too wet to varnish.
Call me impatient!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Character Assassination


Source Internet Development wanted a slimy sales character for their website to show the type of sales person to avoid. When you think about the many, many hours spent at lifedrawing classes, trying to achieve anatomical accuracy, the most expressive stuff is usually the least naturalistic, and the most fun.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting for Leo


One morning last spring I was in the Museum Quarter of Vienna waiting for the Leopold Museum to open. On a bench nearby, a splash of colour surrounded by dull stone, was a girl asleep. As soon as I saw her I knew I had to paint her. I took several photographs from different angles, moving around quietly as to not disturb her.
I have no idea who the girl is. I went into the gallery and didn't see her inside and she was gone when I came out. Maybe Leo arrived.

'Waiting for Leo'
Painted in oils on wooden panel 450mm x 660mm

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What I did on my holidays

A couple of years ago, check further down this blog, I attempted to pick up where three years at art school failed - I tried oil painting. I spent the two weeks of the Christmas holiday 2008 getting to grips with oils, mediums (media?), surfaces etc. Suffice to say I made a few mistakes. However the veil of mystery fell away from my eyes and the belief that everything oily was alchemy and guaranteed to confound me was gone. Last Christmas, I did a little exploratory painting too. So, this year, using the excuse that it was now a tradition, I flung myself into painting.
You might recall a project I mentioned a while ago where I simply had to paint an image I'd seen by the French photographer Virginie Dubois. I'd been working on the final piece a couple of times towards the end of last year. Well, I finally nailed it on Boxing Day.
I'm pleased with the result. This is the biggest oil painting I've ever undertaken - it could be argued that it's the first proper painting since everything before it started out as simple sketches or exercises.
I deliberately avoided any mediums and all paint was mixed straight from the tube with no oils or accelerators or chemical jiggery pokery. The paint is quite thick, so I expect it to take a good six months to a year to dry enough for me to varnish it. Until then, it's a devil to photograph. Here's my attempt to do just that.


'Bere' Approx 900mm x 600mm.

As soon as I'd put this piece to bed, I sped on with another and have managed to take it pretty close to completion before having to get on with regular work. I'll hopefully have that finished fairly soon and I'll show you when I'm done.