Thursday, 22 November 2012

Getting ready to rut

I got up into Richmond Park a few weeks back, during rutting season. This is the time to catch the stag looking magnificant. I would have liked to captured the stag actually rutting, but didn't get lucky this year. This handsome stag had been practising his rutting moves in the long grasses, you can see the tangled grass still in his antlers. 
I thought I was in luck and a rut was about to happen between this guy and another stag, he charged towards his rival, and I pointed my camera, but then he ducked out at the last moment. 
I can only wonder if on closer inspection of this rival he thought better of it!

Friday, 16 November 2012

KAOS Fair Art Fair is back!

Yes we're back for Xmas, has really a whole year gone by already!
We'll be selling affordable Art all under £100, so a great gift for Xmas. The exhibition opens every day from November 25th until December 8th in the Market House, Kingston.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


It's the right time of year to catch these up close, they're all busy finding nuts, the ground in Richmond Park is teeming with these guys! I've also used them as a challenge for my new camera to see how well it shoots action shots! This is an A4 pastel painting.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Schnauzer commission

It's been a while since I've taken on a commission, I've been busy with all the exhibitions.This was a surprise present for a 70th Birthday. He's got the maddest ears I've ever drawn on a dog! I've got a month off exhibitions, then the Xmas build up begins......

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Getting ready for my next exhibition opening this Monday....

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Ham Art Group's Autumn Exhibition

This has come around quickly! I'm looking forward to seeing all the new work, when we hang it on Friday.

Friday, 28 September 2012

KAOS Autumn Exhibition 2012

Lots of exciting work in this exhibition, we've some new artists and ceramists, I think this exhibition looks great! 
Open daily 10-5pm at the Market House, The Market Place, Kingston, KT1 1JS.

Friday, 21 September 2012

On Guard

There's nothing going on that these two don't know about! It amused me, the absolute commitment to  their duty to keep watch. I think I wouldn't take my chances with them!

Friday, 14 September 2012

On Guard w.i.p

A new painting, jut a small A4 pastel painting. I came across these two characters on a walk by the Thames near Teddington Lock. I think their owner's house is in safe hands, nothing will get past these two!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Pastel study of the Ponte Vecchio

Fnished my A4 pastel study, my aim was to capture the sunlit facades. Pastel worked well previously I have used gouache,pastel pencil, and oils for other paintings of this, but found using these soft pastels most satisfying.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back to the Ponte Vecchio

This is an A4 pastel, I've painted this subject a few times before in oils and in gouache, so thought I'd have a try in pastel!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ponte vecchio in pastel

It must be the recent heat in the UK that has made me think it was time to revisit this subject. I think also I was reminded of it during my recent trip to the Dordogne in France which has it far share of Medieval buildings with their shuttered windows. I have painted this bridge a few time before, this is going to be an A4 pastel painting.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The torch has been and gone.

Things are hotting up for the Olympics, it now all seems very real. Lots of excitement for the torch this morning as it passed though. The woman holding it looks very serious, just imagine if you'd dropped it!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

KAOS 4 reopens for Surrey Artists Open Studios

Last chance to catch the SAOS event. Selected studios are reopening their doors for a final weekend. We're included in this, got my fingers crossed for some dry weather, if not we have a gazebo!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mallard with ducklings

I enjoy my recent duckling painting, so thought I'd do another. This cute family I spotted on the Thames a few weeks back. A friend mentioned she'd not seen many ducklings this year, and that had heard that the strange weather has had an effect upon the numbers this year. I realised that these little one had been the first I'd spotted too.
This is an A3 pastel painting, I enjoyed this I love painting ducklings! However my oil painting is dry now so it back to the leopard next week.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Proud Mother (version 2)

Proud mother in pastels, I enjoyed this, using soft pastel it loosened up the overall feel of the painting, and speeded up the total painting process. I also have lost the harsh acid greens. 

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Proud Mother

This is a first for me, to repaint a old composition. Obviously no interest to repeat the original, which I sold a couple of years back. It was one of my first paintings put up for sell when I returned to my art. The original work was in gouache and watercolour pencil, I was very pleased with it when I painted it, however over the years I could see the greens were harsh, and it was making me think it should be in pastels. So far I'm enjoying this, and the process has been swifter than the original, which I guess shows I am gaining confidence over the years.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Leopard Wip

I've made a start on a new small oil painting, it's obviously a study of a leopard having a catnap. I need to let this dry, then I can get going on the finer details of the fur. After my Open Studio, I've found it hard to knuckle down and get on with some painting.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Last Day of Open Studio, for now!

Last day of Open Studio today at 3 Hollybush Road, Kingston KT2. Open 11-5pm, however if you can't make it we open again 21-22 July.

Monday, 18 June 2012

A gift for Father's Day

My latest commission, a Father's Day gift. A3 pastel on pastelmat, I know his wife loved it hope he does too!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Its Open Studios again! My studio is open this weekend, can't wait! For more information please follow the link.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Basil the most beautiful cat I've been asked to paint! I really enjoyed this commission, an A3 pastel. My brief was to focus on his eyes, which wasn't hard as they are so striking.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Just finished my latest pastel that is to complete my British Wildlife paintings which are to go into my next exhibition which is themed Great Britain. It's an A4 pastel on pastelmat, he's a Kew Garden squirrel, who was caught briefly checking me out!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Great Britain

All thing British is the theme for my next exhibition. I'm not prepared to start painting Union Jacks, so decided as animals are my favourite subject, what better way to represent Britain, it's fantastic wildlife!
Love or hate grey squirrels they have been a resident of the UK now for a long time, sadly to the demise of the red squirrel, but it is unusual for a British garden not to have a resident squirrel frustrating any keen gardener!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Ham Art Group Exhibition

Gathering my paintings for the Ham Group Exhibition, it always surprises me the amount of time all the preparation takes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tweaked and finished for now

I ended up rethinking the perspective on the left of these buildings, and getting some order to them. The other changes I made were to the windows just trying to get a better balance. 
Next I felt I needed to lift the section of the picture that's under the bridge, so used some cadmium yellow and orange in the near foreground, then took it back to mould the form of the boat, and then also to depict the lit water reflected on the bridge's arch.
The other change was to soften the shadows, to show the true colours of the walls within the shadows.

Now I need a title, so far only thought of 'Boat under a Bridge', which is descriptive but not very imaginative. I don't need to decide for a few weeks, when it will make it's first appearence in public at a Spring Exhibition, along with two other gouache studies of the same bridge(these also need titles!).

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Ponte Vecchio is nearing the finish......

Had a longer session on this today. Still lots of tweaking and finishing off but feeling like its now looking nearer completion.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A few more windows later....

Only a few more to go! Then its the bridge, boat and water.....

Friday, 23 March 2012

A few windows and tiles later.....

As the title suggests, alot of pondering of terracotta tiles, and windows, can't believe I'm barely halfway down the canvas! The warm weather has been very welcome, definitely can notice the oils drying faster.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Now for some details

Started to think about the details today, not sure how much I need. I want to represent the tiles on the terracotta roofs but I don"t want them over laboured. I can see a wonky vertical top left, so will deal with that!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Got the first layer on

Got the first basic layer on, so I can now get a feel for the balance of the painting. Generally happy with the overall feel of this, now I need to start working in the details, starting at the top where the paint has begun to dry.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ponte Vecchio WIP

I've managed a little more on this today. I'm finding everything is taking me longer at the moment, I keep going on about my wrist, but I'm still really slowed down by it, I realise I was so lucky it wasn't my dominate hand, however I hadn't noticed how often I use a brush/knife in my left hand in order to get at a difficult angle. On top of recovering from this, I'm also contending with a slightly strange infliction, swaying, and I've not been on the hard stuff! Three and a half weeks ago I finished a fantastic holiday cruising the Caribbean, I think everyone expects to take a few days to find their land legs, but I've yet to find them. I usually work standing in front of my canvas, so I can use my body from all angles and step back, however my swaying is making me feel very strange so I have now found being seated is preferrable. Strangely this seems to make me feel less energised, so I keep drifting off focus. However though progress is slow, I do have a good feeling about this work, and already feel its taking its own direction, so far I've only filled in basic blocks of colours, feeling the colour balance within the composition.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Abit of painting later.....

Made a small start with this today, using a palette knife blocking in colours finding my colour balance. I really enjoy using a knife, it stops you from getting too detailed to quick, I'm trying to see this in shapes rather than details.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Let's get this one started

I'm always keen to 'loose' the white canvas, but prefer to not to just use an ochre wash, I like to get an idea of the colour balance of the composition. Using very dilute oil paint I've painted a skin of basic colours just considering the light and shadows. I intend to work over this layer using a palette knife. 
Sorry to go on about my broken wrist, but this is the first oil painting post rubbish wrist, so hopefully it will cope, at least no pencils to sharpen ( however I've now invested in a very swish electric sharpener ), already struggled to clean up my brushes today, so probably just as well using a palette knife.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Back to Florence

I'm returning to my Florence paintings, I've previously painted the Ponte Vecchio, twice in gouache and pastel, and once in oils. The Ponte Vecchio is a crazy bridge built back in the Medieval times, and boxy buildings have been built along the length of the bridge. I'm guessing that spirit levels haven't been used for the horizontals and verticals, every one is doing their own thing! 
Unseen hidden inside the bridge are all the tourists crammed into the numerious jewellers that make the inside of the bridge look like an aladdin's cave.
This latest Ponte Vecchio painting is going to be oil on canvas, 30 x 60cm.  I plan to do lots of it using a palette knife. I'm interested in the repetitions of shapes through out the composition, it reminds me of the wooden building blocks my sons had when they were toddlers. I can see my sons using a few basic shapes of varying sizes stacked on top of each other to recreate this bridge.
The other importrant feature in my previous Ponte Vecchio paintings was the light and shadows. The sun illuminates the facades of the houses, and the shutters and blinds cast shadows which all have their own colours.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

King of the Castle

My son has named this King of the Castle, or furry pile! It was a slow one, I've got on order waiting for an electric pencil sharpener, for my pastel pencils, my broken wrist is taking its time to mend. These beauties I met at London Zoo, all piled on top of each other making the most of the sunny spot in their enclosure

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Otter w.i.p.

It's been a slow one, not much free time, and lots of fur. But I'm begininning to get there. Lots more to do yet, I'm not sure if I'm keeping the stray tail on the left, I had thought it would be good to show that there are even more otters are in the pile. On the right corner are two bolders which have a nice texture, and I've plenty of more tweaking to the fur.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Just as well I enjoy painting fur! Two more otters to go, then I have a bit of tweaking to profiles to do, and further detail to the fur.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Half-way there

I've had a break from my art, and had a lovely break in the Caribbean. We started in Miami, then cruised to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Is, then finally Mexico before returning to Miami. I've now overcome my jet-lag/swaying so decided to get one with these guys. This is all about the fur, it's fairly labour intensive, I've been putting down a block of soft pastel, then working into it with finer harder pastel pencils and conte. Three more sweet ones to go!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Furry friends!

Today I got going on my second otter, the fur requires lots of layers of pastel to achieve the furry texture. Starting with a soft pastel, I've then worked into this with pastel pencil, then used soft pastel again to pull out lighter areas. I spent time today trying to understand the pose of the second otter. Now I've think he's beginning to work, I will get on with the back of the top otter.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Otters wip

First otter started, my broken wrist is making progress a bit slow, sharpening pastel pencils is hard, and in order to get plently of depth to the texture of the fur I need sharp pencils. I'm enjoying getting back to an animal painting, I'm just taking my time to allow my healing wrist to rest.

Friday, 27 January 2012

King of the castle!

King of the castle, that's the title my 7 year old son has given this. The drawing stage is taking longer then usual, especially on this pastelmat which is like a fine sand paper that wears down my pencils, meaning lots of pencil sharpening, my broken wrist has been getting lots of physio!
I'm ready for the pastel painting now, I think this needs to built up slowly to achieve the sleek glossy sheen on the fur. I've started to consider the way the fur follows the form of the otters, and how to achieve that strokeable texture!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Otters, otters and more otters!

 In my opinion the more the merrier. There will be a pile of them by the time I've finished! This is going to be an A3 pastel painting.
I was lucky to meet these guys last year, sunbathing in London zoo. The otters fur is so sleak and glossy, the painting has the otters entangled, heads resting on heads, backs and bottoms! All the otters are in bliss, sunning themselves!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

I think this is finished!

This proved to be a good challenge to see what I could achieve with a knackered left arm. I finished eventually however it took a while. Simple tasks such as holding a pencil sharpener, and taking off lids on paint tubes slowing me down.

I did enjoy this though, it was nice to get back in the studio.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The one handed artist is still perservering!

Lots of things to sort with this. Some bits to the left I like, lots of bits to the right I don't! Progress is slow as I seem to not be able to work more than an hour a day.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Ponte Vecchio w.i.p

Well I've made it back to my studio, my left hand still very much out of action. Being right handed, I figured I could easily crack on with some work, but the whole process has been hard. Trying to remove tops from tubes of paint one handed, sharpening pencils ( I need to get another pencil sharpener ), just holding reference pictures in my left hand tires it.
But I have made a start, I'm finding it hard to get straight lines without my left hand to steady me, I guess it will come with practise! 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Well here we are 2012! It's been a strange start to the year for me, I started the year in hospital.
Call it miss adventure, or bad middle aged dancing, I fell early New Years Day at a party at my brother's house. My wrist was the casulty of my fall, and at first inspection obviously badly broken. Everyone's first response to my news has been the same, too much champagne? "Yes", was it you drawing arm? "No thank God!"  An operation on New Years day to bolt my shattered wrist back together seems to have been a success, and now a week on, I'm feeling the need to get back into the studio.

Here's one I made a start on last year, again it's based on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. I was drawn to many things, compositionally the curves of the arches in the building and the bridge. The next consideration you can't see yet, is the way the sun lights the facade of the bridge, bathing it in sunlight. Finally are the shadows that are cast against the glowing walls, in lovely violets.

This is a small study to pair up with a study I did of the same bridge last year, its size roughly A4, and I plan to use gouache, in vibrant coloured blocks, then work over details in pastel pencil.