A portrait of a friend.

SC in Sicily. Jan 2019. Acrylic and Oil Pastel.
This commission was an interesting exercise in trying to capture the personality of someone I know well. The image was one taken in intense sunlight with most of the face in shadow. The trick was how to get the blend of colours right. Acrylics were looking dry and cold, so looking back to some early life drawings of mine for inspiration, out came some heavily pigmented oil pastels. After quite a lot of applying and smudging, the work was finished.

I wanted to make it have an expressionistic feel, to keep the vibrancy of marks as well as the vibrancy of all that colour.

Here’s the different stages of the work up to completion. Only the last stages are in oil pastel.

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I’m in an Exhibition, plus many sketches.

Sorry, it’s been a while. I’ve been working hard on a graphics project, so time has passed since the last post. 
I’m in a lovely exhibition at the NudeTinCan gallery in St. Albans. It’s called ‘Nude or fully Clothed’ which suits the wide range of good works on show.
I have two pieces in the exhibition:
Repeat Performance Acylic and pencil on canvas
Glitter Platinum Lady Acrylic, pencil and glitter on Paper

See more here: https://nudetincan.com
Nude Tin Can, 125 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4JS

I’ve been sketching a lot, in pencil and pen. Plus I’ve been working on a new portrait I hope to finish very soon. More when it’s done!
Back to Friday night life drawing this Friday, so expect regular posts…

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Reflection & study.

Reflection. Acrylics, charcoal and pencil on canvas. 30.11.18 & 07.12.18
This painting is of a well known model. The composition is unusual.
The last of the term at the brilliant Mary Ward Centre.

Study for Reflection. Charcoal, acrylic, pencil and chalk on light green paper. 23.11.18

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Viv around eleven in the morning, 2018.

Viv around eleven in the morning summer 2018 FINAL sm

Here’s my latest commission.

Viv around eleven in the morning, 2018. Oil on canvas. Summer – Autumn 2018.
Viv has a vibrant and intelligent presence. Capturing her look and the brilliant summer sunlight of those morning portrait sessions became the subjects of the painting. 
The composition has Viv and her most treasured possessions against verdant garden backdrop.
The paint itself has large variations of texture, transparency and brush marks to denote skin, metal and vegetation. 
I want the viewer to feel you are in the room with her, in the midst of a good conversation.

As usual with a major painting there is a book collecting the influences, sketches and different stages of the work.

Viv Cover_IW_20-50pg_Sm-Sqar_PremPpr_v1.inddViv Pages_Small_Square_v1a.inddViv Pages_Small_Square_v1a.inddViv Pages_Small_Square_v1a.inddViv Pages_Small_Square_v1a.inddViv Pages_Small_Square_v1a.indd

Have a look at the book of the painting here.

Here’s the book, colour study and final work all together.
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Life drawing. The look.

The Look. Charcoal, pastel and pencils on paper 100 x 72.
So, there was fabric hanging from my easel to the model. I had decided to travel light and just take a range of pencils and a rubber by my side. In the break a fellow artist had said ‘why don’t you try smudging?’ So that’s what I did. The rubber came in handy for blurring the pencil and pastel marks. The skin tones and green colouring were created the next morning before breakfast but after coffee. I like the mysterious artists in the background with just their non working hand visible.

draper on the head
Drapery study 1. Chalk and pencil on paper. 15 minutes.

reclining on green
Drapery study 2. Chalk, charcoal and pencil on paper. 15 minutes.

man x3 with material
3 studies with material . Pencils on paper. 15 minutes.

Some details of the the look.

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Photography book design.


I’ve been a friends with Jake for a long time. His eye is always good. It’s been a pleasure designing this book for him. All I had to do was let the work speak. Some nice sensitive typography.

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Life drawing. Robin, tie, skull.

Robin with skull on board

Robin, tie, skull. Acrylics and pencil on board. 1 hour.
This was a fight from the off. The crop meant that the face did not coalesce easily. Texture and composition were fun.

Robin with skull on board detail

Here’s a close up of the texture on the face.

Robin in profile with glasses
Robin face on

Robin in profile and front on. 15 minutes each.

A fellow artist and Robin and skull in his first pose.

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