Saturday 5 September 2015


This has taken so much time but I am quite pleased with it. The title has much to do with this feeling I get that that so many people seem to be waiting for something and then all will be well. Using petals and dying flowers is because, well maybe I'll explain that later. It still needs work but, for now, I need a rest from it. 
The hands are the best part and I will be using the theme of hands and flowers again.
The image is not very good, taken with an iPad. I change it later when I have more time.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Thursday 23 July 2015

Fade 5

Last in this series I think, need to get some serious painting done. However it may have some sort of a future with development.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Fade 4

Sorry about the rubbish titles but I never really think about such things with study work as they are not really mayor pieces that have any major concept, simply ways of developing ideas. These pieces are also more illustrative and maybe commercial? I will certainly put these on my shop for prints. 
With this piece I wanted to incorporate some flowers to blend in so I went back to some honeysuckle flowers I photographed, and have used before, from the garden. With a bit of photoshop work I think they work quite well and may use the idea in the next piece. 
Ultimately though it doesn't help finishing the important stuff....... painting!

Thursday 16 July 2015

Fade 3

Having looked at the last post I realise that it really isn't very good, to the point that I may delete it. However I still like the basic idea of fading and, maybe, composition. This is a further development of the idea with some photoshop work but this is only on the background, border and vignette. The composition is not particularly unusual as I was looking at a more commercial illustration. Background smoky image is actually a photograph that I took of a recent solar eclipse.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Fade 2

Second one. Not so sure about this one - maybe too dark on the hair?

Monday 6 July 2015


Whilst the last pencil work wasn't that successful I do like the subtlety of the technique. However photographing this work is quite difficult and I will need to investigate techniques to get this work into a digital format.
This is the start of a new series which will explore the potential of fading into the background and cropped compositions. As always its a fill in from painting time.

Saturday 4 July 2015


Unfortunately this didn't get into the BP Portrait award so I entered it into the RBSA Portrait Prize 2015 and it got selected! So go and see it - details: RBSA

Wednesday 1 July 2015

A bit of a lemon

 I had an idea for a large high key pencil portrait and this first one is the result. Unfortunatly I messed the background up, mainly because the final outcome was never clear in my head.   
The second one is a result of some tweaking in photoshop and I feel is the better of the two. 

Most of the charcoal/pencil posts are a way of exploring ideas and also a quick studies when there isn't time to get on with painting, - I am such a slow painter!

Thursday 18 June 2015


With this I used pencil for the face to achieve more subtle tones. It was working quite well but I think I over worked it at the end adding far too much random elements. Pencil is also very difficult to photograph. Hopefully this could lead to something new. 

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Nebulosity 3

I really enjoy doing these last three charcoals - loose, nebulous and, more importantly, quick.

Monday 25 May 2015

Nebulosity 1

Off we go on another tangent and all this is a diversion from what I should be doing - painting! However I quite like this and it may form the basis of a new painting, if I ever get the present one finished. 
I do need to work at the charcoal as the face here is far too crude. 

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Trituration 2

Thought I would do a few more in this series but should be back to painting soon. Not sure where these are going yet.

Friday 15 May 2015

Trituration 1

Needed a break from the painting so this is a bit of drawing, white pencil, ink and digital. I might do a few more along these lines.

Monday 11 May 2015


I have been working on this for at least two months but have quite enjoyed it and I am reasonably pleased with the finished piece. Just before I retired I thought about the types of paintings I wanted to do when I had all this free time! Apart from developing quite a few ideas I did think I would like to do a series of straight portraits. Generally speaking, at this time, most of the people I mixed with were teenagers and people my age. So I decided to produce a series which I thought of as “Old Gits and Young Things” This is the first and the model is the delightful Elena.
The composition and background owes a lot to the artist Walter Brems.

I’m not sure who the next one will be in the series but I am being pestered by one of the “Old Gits” to do his next! Watch this space….
900mm by 600mm

Friday 27 February 2015

BP Portrait entry 2015

This years entry to the BP Portrait award - it didn't even get past the first round! Its based on the portrait of Sophy Grey featured here:
Sophy Grey
The model is Phoebe and she always reminded me of the painting with her colouring and confidence in front of a camera. 
Shall I enter the competition next year?
450mm by 370mm

Monday 23 February 2015


This is the finished piece for 'Spring' in the Seasons sequence.  I started this a long time ago and never finished it, leaving it to work on other pieces. Now its finished I only have Autumn to do. Its 100cm * 70cm and the model is Georgina Ward.
Am I pleased with it? Well the problem is that it took so long to do, my fault, that you sort of lose the interest. I'm never happy with any piece but it does have some good points.

Monday 9 February 2015

Lessen 2

Another one (still taking the easy route and not painting!) this time with white crayon type pencil rather than pastel.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Lessen 1

Tried something a little different by using white on black card. Again slight digital tidying and colour. Reference image sadly off the internet and I simply can't remember where it came from, probably tumblr.

Wednesday 4 February 2015


I'm finally posting this painting that was completed several months ago. It took forever to get this right and it was a development of a charcoal drawing on the next page. The charcoal does not look as bad as the photo suggests. Not sure why it took so long unless it was due to the delusive nature of the image. The lack of detail is not something I'm good at, but would like to be! The other problem was that it was painted on a board which was not sealed very well and needed lots of oil paint.  I used a reference photo from a photo session I did with Elena D. for some idea I have not started yet and it was just a accidental shot. A bit like the small pieces of Card.
94 cm by 61cm

Monday 2 February 2015

Dissipate 2

I never tire of drawing with charcoal. Maybe its because its so good at showing mood but I suspect that its more to do with its immediacy. Comparing it with painting which is so time consuming, well when you paint as I do, is not really useful. Oil painting needs more planning and can go wrong which, after you have spent so long at it, therefore can be more emotionally painful. That may sound pretentious but its not meant to be. Charcoal is more of a preparatory process for some later work. If it goes wrong its easy to throw it in the bin. These pieces take about a day to draw and then a bit of digital work. With this piece I touched up the whites in the eye and lips and then added a little colour over the bottom left. However I'm still not sure where these are going, the aim is to produce paintings, proper art, from this work. Should I concentrate on the development or just take the easy option and draw a few more?

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Evanesce 4

Just finished a painting to submit to the BP Portrait Award 2015 which took most of the month. This is a quick charcoal to take a break from painting. I'll post the submission later after its been rejected.