Study / Reality / Reproduction /

Study / Reality / Reproduction. Acrylics on prepared wood. 13″ square.
Last Friday night at John Close’s fantastic art class I had the pleasure of painting this scene,
In the top left there is a wonderful Grisaille study (with addition of the model) of Peter Paul Ruben’s Bacchus. In the middle was one of the top life models in Britain, the great ModBodAdrian, imperious, swathed in blankets. On the right was a large reproduction of the dynamic painting by Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio – Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness.
So that’s where the title comes from.
With the help of a limited palette and changes of scale, the three separate components in front of me became one cohesive painting. The Slight blurriness may be revised later.

Here’s the instagram post with the painting and set up in the background.
Next is the painting without the frame, then some details.

Peter Paul Rubens – Bacchus.
Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio – Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness.

Posted in Art, Life Drawing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Like everyone else in the world, I have much on my mind at the moment. The work in the last few weeks has got fairly loose and is painted on photographers backdrop paper – a sort of thick non grainy sugar paper. It’s quite hard to photograph, which makes me smile.

So, from top left:
A drawing made with Mitsubishi Uni ball pen, an acrylic on blue, a standing pose – both with reflections, a previous pose, a strong painting on black and a close up of the artist.

Posted in Art, Life Drawing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Life painting: Zigzag

Zigzag. Acrylics on canvas. A3.
Trying to make the composition really 3D. Very hard to photograph due to the amount of glazing medium. To me the eye zigzags down the composition.

4 life paintings. Acrylic on paper. The model was holding sheets of coloured plastic in the first two images. I like the spirit of the last one.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Many figures, one model.

Many figures, one model. Acrylics and pencil on prepared paper. 97 x 70cm.
These were painted over two sessions, around six months apart. Fun how the figures interweaved with each other.

Two more paintings with multiple poses. There is a strong red wall in the studio, which helps give the work a nice graphical backdrop. The white circle is a very cool lamp.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Life paintings on canvas, wood and crumpled paper.

Figure on Canvas. Acrylic on gesso’d canvas. 60 x 40cm.
Russel & Chapel always have a great bin of canvas roll ends, from which I chose this piece of canvas primed with gesso.
A nice hour of painting with a fan brush and a few colours. I refrained from making any small marks by not bringing any small brushes. Yes I could make it look more finished but there is always other work to do…

Three poses, five figures. Acrylic on prepared wood. 70 x 15cm.
From left, 1. painting with my right hand (I’m very left-handed). 2 & 3. painting with only up strokes. 4 & 5. painting with both hands at once. The background gave me a chance to try out two different shades of red and an orange.

Details from the painting on wood, plus a close-up of the painting on canvas and all the works at the end of the session.

Quick life painting. Acrylic on pre-crumpled paper. Around A3.
15 minutes starting with the blue-grey and ending with the crimson.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Man & legbones.

Man & legbones. Acrylic on paper. 70 x 80.
This model has been painted and drawn many times. Always a pleasure. the pose was strong and the diagonals made the composition interesting. The background wall was bright red in real life,

Below are the previous sessions which featured him.

Posted in Art, Life Drawing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Grand Guignol (portrait of Robin and Mr Skellington).

Grand Guignol (Portrait of Robin and Mr Skellington). Acrylic, pencil, oil paint. 40 x 50cm.
Painted at the brilliant Mary Ward Centre on the Tuesday night portrait class tutored by the essential John Close.
Robin is always a treat to paint, this time he brought the wig and dressed in an Edgar Allan Poe style. How can you not produce something interesting faced with this!
The wig went on Mr. Skellington and we started to paint. At home I kept on working on it throughout the summer holidays, a few minutes at a time, layer after layer. I’m not a huge horror fan but I thought back to Hammer movies and Roger Corman’s saturated colour. In the painting Robin has a case of jaundice, which I might fix.

Below is the painting in a different frame and details.

Below I’m wearing the wig, a screenshot from instagram and the painting after the first three hour session in front of Robin.

Have a look at these links…

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer paintings.

This gallery contains 8 photos.

A range of drawings and paintings interested in strong light and people in the sunshine. Hot Patootie. Acrylic and pencil on sand on board. 10″ square. Made from a collection of sketches made around Cap d’Agde in the south west … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portraits: Nick the Album

Nick is a wonderful friend. He is also a good musician. I thought for a present, he needed an album cover.

Here’s the record.


Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait in Orange.

Portrait in Orange. Acrylics with glazing medium, pencil and oil paint on prepared board. A3.
Made in one of the hottest days in London. Quite a workout. The Mary Ward Centre had some fans working overtime and both John Close the tutor and the model were troupers! The draining heat is retained in the painting. At home I added some more glazes, especially on the glasses. Yes, I know, the glasses are not exactly right but that is how I saw them.

The painting without frame, two close-ups showing the gloss on the glasses and skull drawn while waiting.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A painting of crabs, in a Van Gogh style.

Crabs for Vincent. Acrylic and pencil on board. A3 landscape.
I was commissioned to paint these feisty crustaceans by a friend after looking at a Vincent Van Gogh painting in the National Gallery.

The Van Gogh original, the painting without frame and some details.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Portrait: Christina the Queen.

Christina, Queen of Denmark. In order of application: Charcoal, Acrylic, Pencils, Oil paint on board. A3.
I asked the model who she would like to be painted as. She said Christina, Queen of Denmark. Titles are fun. As you can see below, the painting after the session was a fair bit happier. I wanted to add a shadow and that dappled light feel and some more plants. The oil paint added depth, texture and drama. Some Le Douanier Rousseau perhaps? If I exhibit the painting, I’ll make it work harder.

The work unframed. A close up. The work at the end of the session in front of the model.

3 short drawings on sugar paper. The first was conceived as a fashion style illustration with some changes of positioning left in on the eyes. The second was thought as a slight exaggeration with lots of different media used one after the other. The third was lots of paint on a big brush.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait: Against the sea and sky.

Against the sea and sky. Acrylics on prepared MDF. 40 x 50cm.
A two week pose, with some work at home. I’ve been enjoying the blue skies at the moment and thought it would make the pose a little more heroic. Very nice to have most of the decisions made and to have a session on the subtler parts of the work. Time to really look at the model’s ear.
I’m slowly getting better…

Some details and the painting without frame.

The work at the end of each painting session, so every hour and 15 minutes.

Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait: The waiting room.

The waiting room. Oil on treated pdf board.
The pose was for two sessions; it’s been worked on at home, using glazes to heighten the colour and finish the background. Originally the whole painting was a mix of blue greys. I’ve used a Palamino blackwing pencil for the details which gives the work an uptight feel. I’ve made him look a touch petulant.

Here’s some details of the finished work.

  1. The painting after 90 minutes. 2. The painting at the end of the first session, around 2 hours 30 minutes. 3. Half way through the second session. 4. At the end of the second session. 5. A photograph of the chair for reference.
Posted in Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A painting of pears

Pears for Guilia. Acrylic on card. Around A5.
It’s hard to buy a present of a good quality pear tree this time of year.
So I painted a picture of pears as a substitute until the real thing arrives.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Fallen trees, Epping forest.

Fallen trees, Epping forest. Acrylics, pencils and pen on gesso’d mdf. Around A3.
Painted in is situ on Saturday amid sun, wind and rain, all in the space of an hour. Once the dynamic composition was chosen this painting happened pretty quickly. I was perched 4 foot up on the fallen tree at the bottom of the painting. The scene had a sense of large heavy objects crashing into each other, things felt like they could change any moment in this stillness.

Posted in Art, landscape, landscapes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait. From mono to blue.

From mono to blue. Acrylics, oil glazes and pencil on prepared yellow 1960’s canvas paper. 40 x49 cm.
This was a lesson in grisaille (painting in greys). This techniques makes it a lot easier to concentrate on form and tone without having colour values complicating things. I’ve been interested in smalt blue (the background for some renaissance portraits, which was once a bright jewel like blue, though it fades over the years to grey), hence the background glaze.
The work was made in layers. Over a yellow ochre wash I drew the model in pencil, then used lamp black and white and off-white acrylics and a lot of glaze medium to build up the painting. At home the blue and ochre glazes in oil paint gave the work some dynamism. The aged paper splitting and ripping gives it something, making the whole work a bit more punk.

  1. A close up of the portrait. The model had a piercing at the top of her nose.
  2. A version of the painting photoshopped in mono.
  3. How the worked looked after the painting from life (with a little coloured pencil).
Posted in Art | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Adrian in Yellow

Adrian in yellow. Acrylic and glaze medium on prepared board.
Adrian is a famous life model, so it was unusual to see him in a scarf. The theme this week was yellow. The look he’s giving is of someone who has been wearing a scarf and sitting down on a hot evening for three hours. The flower fabric was inspired from an old bed covering in a copy of World of Interiors. progress is being made with new brushes and a fair bit of acrylic glaze medium, working in layers like oil painting.

Here’s some details.

And here’s the painting in progress with the palette. Notice the yellow lighting on the middle image.
1. half way through. 2. At the end of the three hour session. 3. The palette at the end of the session.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Portrait in red

Portrait in red. Acrylics on prepared mdf. 40 x 5ocm.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Portraits of relations.

These are some of my favourite people. It wasn’t a hard job painting them.

Posted in Art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment