Friday, 2 December 2011

Fairy Tale of New York

It's that time of year, and between now and the big day, this song/video will be played constantly on the radio and TV. Despite that, it remains my favourite Christmas song. This painting tries to capture images from the lyrics - see how many you can work out. It also portrays the late lamented Kirsty MacColl, and the irrepressible Shane MacGowan.

Measuring 16ins by 12 ins, it is painted in acrylics on Daler Rowney 300 g/m2 NOT paper.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Ballet Dancer

Following on from "Tying her ribbons", there have been some requests to paint another picture in a similar style. It is unusual for me to receive requests, so here she is.

Again painted in Conte hard pastels on Windsor paper. It measures approximately 12" by 12".

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Joey was a commission from a lovely lady. She saw Oscar, when he was hanging in a local Medical Centre, and commissioned me to paint this picture for her 10 year old daughter. The daughter had looked after Joey through the summer holidays, and on return to school in September, missed him terribly.

The painting was intended as a Christmas present. Mum was so pleased with it that she intends to give it to her daughter straight away.

Altogether a very enjoyable experience. Let's hope that the next commission is as much fun.

Friday, 21 October 2011


After the sales of "Oscar" and "Tying Her Ribbons" it seemed a good idea to finish off this painting of a bay horse. He reminds me of another horse I rode long ago.

He measures 12" by 16" and is painted with Conte pastels on W&N ivory paper. Another keeper I think.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

That's my boy

The second session at Skyblue Art Classes was to paint African Wildlife. This rather cute image has been painted in Atelier Interactive acrylics on Bockingford paper. It measures 14 ins by 10 ins.

Mum seems so proud of her off-spring.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Tying her ribbons

My first drop-in session with Sky Blue Art Classes was on the subject of Degas and his dancers. It was a very busy session and it was good to see Jane Denman again.

This was drawn from a reference photograph in the style of Degas, with Conte hard pastels on grey W&N pastel paper. It measures 12in by 10in approximately.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Father's Tools

The task last evening at Art Club was to paint something from your tool box. These items came from my father's toolbox. He became a carpenter when he was demobbed from the Navy in 1945, and the plane pictured here is date-stamped 1946. We lost Dad in 2009, and painting this brought back lots of good memories.

It measures approximately 14" by 10", and is painted with Conte hard pastels on W&N coloured pastel paper.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


This has taken some time to do. It was a real struggle to capture the likeness, and this is the second attempt.

It was painted with Conte hard and soft pastels on W&N coloured paper, and measures 10" by 12" approximately.

One for the August exhibition I think.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Station Master

This was painted from a photograph taken on our holiday last year to Bulgaria. As the aging train pulled into the fairly remote station, this chap donned his hat and was immediately transformed into a figure of authority, despite the creased suit and the slackened tie.

It measures approximately 10" by 12". Conte pastels were used on W&N coloured paper.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Suzie in the Captain's chair

The last Sunday morning session was on 10 April 2011. Suzie, a new model, had beautiful definition and was a real joy to draw.

This is the best of the pieces, completed in around 45 minutes, using Conte hard pastels on W&N coloured paper. It measures 12" by 14" and looks really good double mounted and framed. A possibility for the Lancing Art Club exhibition, although it might be a little racy!

Monday, 4 April 2011


The task at Art Club last week was to paint a horse's head. My attempt on the evening was not bad, but had a number of anatomical errors! One of the members also recommended that a black background would be better than the gray used for the original. Here is the result of the second attempt. Thanks Mary, you were right about the background.

It measures approximately 12" by 18" and is painted with Conte hard and soft pastels on W&N pastel paper. This is one for the exhibition, I think.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


The task at Art Club last night was to paint a musician. This man was an inspiration to me, as I struggled as an 11 year old to master the fiendishly difficult classical guitar. Segovia seemed effortlessly to make that instrument sing. Long before Hendrix, Clapton et al he was my original guitar hero.

This was drawn with charcoal and conte pastel on coloured W&N paper. Not a bad likeness, and it brought back some super memories.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


The final lesson of the third term of my life drawing course was a personal response to the model. Cristella was the model - we have seen Cristella once before.

The piece was a pretty drastic crop of the pose, using a viewfinder. It was finished in hard and soft Conte pastel in approximately 45 minutes. It measures around 12" by 20" on coloured (leather) W&N pastel paper.

As a final piece, I am pretty pleased with it.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Wave

This painting was started at Art Club on 08 March. The aim was to apply the techniques demonstrated by Stephen Foster at the previous week's demo, i.e. oil on board applied solely with a palette knife and without mixing the paints on the palette.

It measures 16" by 20" and as a painting it achieved my objectives. However, the terrible events in Japan that followed , make it inapproporiate to exhibit or sell this picture at the moment.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Ken - 15 March 2011

For the penultimate lesson of the term, Ken was again the model. During a number of warm up sketches, Ken wore the infamous muslin tube, and the second image is the best of my attempts in Conte crayon.

Ken then posed for around 40 minutes and we painted him in acrylic on an A2 sheet. It would have been great to have longer to further develop this, but the back is pretty good IMHO.

Francesca _ 13 March 2011

The second Sunday morning session of the year, and the change of format resulted in a series of shorter poses. Both of these were drawn in a period of around 20 minutes each. Both are drawn with Conte pastel on W&N coloured pastel paper.

Francesca is very beautiful, and I hope that these do her justice.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Tony 03 March 2011

A rather disappointing session. It started quite well, using ink and various "implements" to apply it. This was a pencil drawing, with added wax resist, and then inked with a stick and sponge.

The final pose was a disaster. I simply did not cope with the drastic forshortening, and never reached the stage of adding watercolour!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Horse Bus

The brief at Art Club was to paint a piece on the subject of vintage transport. This was painted from a black and white photograph taken around 1900. The horse bus ran from Castle Square, Brighton to the horse tramway at Shoreham.

It is drawn in ink and washed with St Petersburg watercolour paints on Bockingford paper. The painting measures approx 13" by 10".

Suzanne 22 February 2011

The brief here was to draw the model in such a way that you could construct a sculpture in wire from the drawing. The drawing went quite well, IMHO, but the sculpture was a disaster. Note to myself - stick to two dimensions in future.

Class of 2011

The brief at Art Club was to paint an abstract. While this is not really abstract, I took parts from many of the sketches done at Life Drawing Classes this year and assembled them onto this 16" by 20" canvas. The colours are acrylic and there is a certain Art Deco feel to the piece. It rather split opinion, some the members finding it rude while others quite liked it. Jean likes it and it is hanging on the wall, so that counts as a success.


Lesley was the model and the focus was on shading and light. Thankfully it went rather better than last week. Both sketches are on A2 sheets. The first is charcoal - the sheet was covered in charcoal first and then Lesley was drawn with a putty rubber. At the end I did work back into it with charcoal to add a third tone. The second is conte, and the brief here was to crop the image so that the figure went over the edge of the page. This one caused the tutor to comment that I had changed over the last few weeks. I hope he meant for the better!

Ken 13 February 2011

The first Sunday morning session of the year. Ken was the model and after the warm up sessions, I tried using soft pastels on Canson paper with charcoal and conte. It's clear that I need a lot more practise with pastels!

Miles 08 Feb 2011 and Worthing Open Houses

This session did not go so well. The sketch in brown conte isn't bad, but the others are pretty dire. Annoyingly, I did a much better drawing, but then ruined it by sticking pieces of cardboard onto it, trying to make a contour picture. Never mind.

In the evening I attended a meeting about the Worthing Open Houses for 2011. It is clear that there are many more artists than venues this year, and most people have already linked up, but I have left my name to see if anyone wants a homeless artist.

Sarah 01 Feb 2011

I felt better about this session again. Sarah is one of my favourite models. The first is in conte and the second in charcoal. Both are on A2 sheets.

Seaside Primary School

On Friday 28 January 2011 we collected the 10 paintings from St Lawrence Road Surgery. None had sold, but none had been stolen either. We then went over to Seaside Primary School at Lancing and hung 14 paintings there,in four themed groups - still life, floral, animals and landscapes.

While it is unlikely that any sales will result, there was a great reaction from the children and teachers and this still life was an instant hit!

Jane 20 January 2011

We returned to Life Drawing Classes on 20 January. Wow was it difficult after all that time away! This was my best effort of the morning, charcoal on A2. It is going to take a lot of work to catch up to the standard when we stopped.

The Art Around Town changeover is due on 28 January and I have been allocated Seaside Primary School at Lancing.

Blacksmith's Arms

I have decided to change the content of this Blog slightly. Not every piece I attempt will any longer be posted; only those that have succeeded to some extent.

This one barely made the cut, but the brief at Art Club on 11 January 2011 was to design a Pub Sign. This was painted with acrylic on stretched canvas and measures 16" by 20". It is unfinished, but does have the feel of a sign that might hang outside an old English hostelry.

Communal Still Life

It is high time that this Blog was brought up to date. Much has happened this year, and yet nothing has been posted.

We returned to Art Club on 04 Jan 2011, and the brief was for everyone to bring in an interesting object and place it in the centre of the room. The task was then to select a composition and paint it from your viewpoint. An interesting challenge, although it was not enthusiastically received by all.

This quick study has a nice airy feel about it.