Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Jacksons- Weekly Standard

This was a quick one of the Jesse Jacksons (senior and junior) for the Weekly Standard. I had very little time to do this, got a call thursday night, sent off a sketch, which, when I woke at 4.30am I had an email saying that it wasn't appropriate, so I started with a new sketch, sent it off, and as I didn't have time to wait for approval (had a gig in the evening so I knew I had to be done in time for that), I started the rendering straight away and any corrections would have to be made later. Thankfully the corrections were few, and I got it done in time. There are things about it I'd liked to have spent more time on, some of the clothing for example, but I'm fairly happy with the end result.
I've changed my approach slightly to help speed up the rendering process. I start with a hard round brush to block in the colour, then use the airbrush at a low opacity to smooth certain areas, then add textures on top of that.
If I don't have time for another post before christmas day, have a merry christmas everyone, and don't eat or drink too much!

Have I Got News For You...

Actually, yes. I got a call the other day from the hit BBC show 'Have I Got News For You', asking me if they could use my caricature of Ian Hislop that appeared in the Radio Times (see earlier post). Don't know if it's made the final cut, but I've been told by one of the producers that it went down well in the recording. Catch the programme's christmas special to see if it made the edit, it's on BBC1, christmas eve at 9.30pm. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it!
(Update: They didn't show the illustration in the end, but it was great to have been asked, and thanks to anyone who was looking out for it!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

February Acrylic Exhibition

I'm busy preparing for my first acrylic exhibition in February next year, so doing lots of painting. This is my first solo exhibition, so it'd be great to see anyone who can make it over the two weeks that it's on. I'll post a reminder closer to the time, and I'll post the new pieces here when they're done. And apologies for the shameless self-appreciation on the poster!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Radio Times at Christmas

Here's the second part. This one is for the christmas edition of the Radio Times (out today), to illustrate a Radio 4 programme by Ian Hislop investigating the origins of the 'three wise men' in the christmas nativity. Apparently there is barely a mention of them in the bible, but they are a key part of the modern nativity. Sounds like an interesting programme, I'll certainly be listening!

Here's the first part of what I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. These are illustrations for the Radio Times, a popular and long-running TV and radio listings magazine, and a bit of an institution in the UK, so I was very proud to have worked on them. Both are for the radio lead page, the first to illustrate David Jason's reading of 'A Christmas Carol' on Radio 4. For anyone not familiar with David Jason (most people in the UK will know him well), feel free to google his name for reference. The Scrooge illustration is out today in the 13-19th December issue (with Nigella Lawson on the cover), and the next will be in the christmas issue on sale this Saturday, so I will share that with you then. For now I hope you enjoy this one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Digital Stars!

I'm proud to say that I have been included in a digital caricature exhibition of eight top UK and Irish caricature artists, including Ken Coogan, Neil Davies, Mike Giblin, Mick Hollinworth, JP McCarthy, Me, Niall Oloughlin and Craig Rogalski. Our work is being exhibited through the generosity of Colin Knight at . So if you're in Edinburgh between now and the 12th December, check it out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Michael Keaton

Just thought I'd post something on here so you didn't think I was slacking! I'm preparing some paintings for an exhibition early next year, which is taking longer than I thought, but it's fun to see them come together as they will in the show. It's going to be at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, Surrey, and will run from 2nd February to 14th February. I'll post some reminders nearer the time.

The Keaton sketch is HB pencil and Chinese White pastel pencil on toned paper.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NCN Convention!!

Just got back from the NCN convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I had an enlightening time, meeting some truly inspiring people and artists. I am honoured to say I picked up two awards at the end of the week, one was 2nd place for Portfolio of the Year, and the other 6th place Caricaturist of the Year. I'm really proud of both, and look forward to bettering myself, in every way, and not just artistically, before the next convention in Ohio.

The top ten Caricaturists of the Year!

A few samples from my wall. The first is a watercolour of the lovely Kira.

An acrylic of the great Jan Op De Beeck.

A monocrome pencil sketch of Klaas Op De Beeck, Jan's nephew.

An acrylic of the awesome Taka Watanabe.

I also did a few others, including a digital of the Golden Nosey winner Jason Seiler (great guy btw!), but I was happiest with the ones above.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bill Murray

Just managed to squeeze this acrylic in before my flight tomorrow, I'm off to the USA for the National Caricaturist Network's annual convention. I can feel the buzz already, it's going to be loads of fun!!! See you in a couple of weeks (unless you're going to the convention, of course!).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BB King

Another one for the NCN forum monthly 'Let's Draw' jam. Acrylic on canvas. BB King certainly has had an interesting life- fifteen children with fifteen different women for starters!! Wow!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yet more video!!

A promotional video for my website. This was from last nights birthday party; everyone had a great time, and I'd like to thank the organisers for letting me video the drawings. And thanks also to my brother for filming that video. He said it was his first time using a camera, but I don't believe him, he did such a great job!

Got lots of things on the go at the moment which I hope to share with you soon, and in a couple of weeks I fly off to the USA for the National Caricaturist Network Convention. SOooo excited!!

Anyway, must get on, thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Stephen King Photoshop Painting Demo

Part One

Part Two

Well, as promised, the beast is here. The beast meaning Stephen King. Hopefully you'll find this interesting, it's the first time I've done one, let alone two, of these YouTube videos with speech. Please excuse the fact that I say 'Vertical' when I should have said 'Horizontal', plus any other verbal spluttering along the way! Hope you like it, thanks for watching!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sarah Palin- Weekly Standard

Got the call for this late Thursday night, but it wasn't known who I'd be drawing because the debate (Palin/Biden) hadn't even happened yet. Did some likeness sketches of Biden before going to bed, but awoke to an email saying Palin was the one I'd be drawing. The Standard are a conservative paper, and Palin was to be shown in a favourable light. I decided to go for a simple heroic, head-held-high-after-her-victory pose.
The rendering was about 11 hours, finished with about 2 hours to spare before the deadline, just in case there were any corrections to come from the AD. There weren't.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Framing some acrylics!

Spent today and Sunday at my Uncle Doug's and Auntie Diana's house, framing some paintings. We're starting with the biggest two acrylics, Samuel L. Jackson (pictured above with my Uncle Doug, checking one of the joins) and Liam Neeson. These are made from scratch, routing and sanding the plain wood, and it's great fun! My Uncle is in his element (this was the first time he'd used his routing table). I've learnt loads about DIY framing from him, and I'm seriously tempted to buy some tools to do the same thing at home. I was fed very well on both days by my Auntie, for which I am also very grateful.

This is all geared towards a possible exhibition next year, although nothing has been booked yet. I'll be sure to keep you posted on that.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Beauty

Couldn't resist another quick sketch of Audrey last night before bed. The beast is coming soon, I promise!

Monday, September 22, 2008


...and the? More on 'the beast' in my next post, for now, this is for the NCN forum competition.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Geldof and New Pencil

This was a fun sketch, and will probably be my next acrylic. The last few sketches I've posted have been with ordinary wood pencils, because last week I left my clutch pencil on the bus coming back from Scotland. I now realise how lost I feel without it, as I bought a new one today (see picture), and it's like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes. It's a Pentel Twist-Erase automatic pencil, with a 0.7mm HB lead.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dan Brown

Personally, I'm a big fan of his books. He's a bit like Marmite, you either love 'em or hate 'em, but you can't argue with his success. Shame about the Da Vinci Code movie, that sucked!!!

I'd like to do a larger composition, possibly based on this sketch. Another one for my 'maybe' pile.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Inspired by...

Just thought I'd introduce a new blogger, and I've been waiting for him to start a blog for ages...Mr Jan Op De Beeck! He's on my link list, I'll be checking his blog regularly. The sketch above was because I felt so inspired, I had to sketch something.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekend At Craig's...


First lady of California, Maria Shriver, for the Weekly Standard. Got the call (email??) early thursday morning, about an hour before leaving for a 10 hour bus journey to visit my good friend Craig Rogalski, and family, in bonnie Scotland. Tried doing some likeness sketches on the coach, but it was too bumpy, so they were all ditched. Got to Craigs at around 7pm and managed to get a better sketch, then got up early the next morning for the rendering. Saturday

After an enjoyable Friday evening savouring the local bars, Saturday was spent a)recovering, and b)painting this acrylic of Billy Connolly (who better to paint when in Scotland!!) in Craig's living room. Overall about eight hours painting time.

EDIT: I forgot to thank Craig for coming up with the reference of Billy for this one, so thanks Craig! Thanks as well to both you and Pam for the hospitality. Had a great time!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mocking 'Mock the Week'!

It's probably one of my favourite shows on UK TV at the moment. It's also on BBCiplayer, which these were sketched from.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've got a Ferguson

This fantastic shot of me was done by Glenn Ferguson, an incredibly talented caricature artist from Orlando, Florida. Thanks Glenn, you'll be getting a return shot very soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sketchbook/Party Caricature

Firstly, here are a couple of sketches from the sketchbook, they may get painted, they may not. And secondly, a quick mention about party caricatures! I have on average between one and two gigs per week, sometimes more in busy months, and next to painting and studio commissions, live work is my favourite thing to do. Especially when, like this Saturday, the hosts show so much appreciation. They even paid me to stay an extra hour because they were enjoying the caricatures so much. This happens more and more, which for me is a good sign, I must be doing something right!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Me!!!!!

Okay, I've updated my website, but at the same time, I haven't! As of Sunday night, my server has a fault that doesn't allow me to upload to it, so for now, here's a quick self caricature I did for the front page, using a mirror rather than a photo. Hopefully the fault will be fixed soon, they've said they're working on it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Finally finished this one, it's been on my easel for about 3 weeks, but I've actually only spent about 20ish hours on it. It's acrylic on canvas 60 x 80cm. Apologies for the photography, there's a better version on my website!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A quick Elton

This was a quick colour study that might need more rendering with acrylics at some point, but the pose and expression are pretty fun, so here it is. It's also entered in the monthly competition over on the NCN forum. Not a member? Then check out their website.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Narrowboat doodle

This was a doodle on the laptop whilst on holiday in Wales. It was a narrowboat adventure along the twisting canals of North Wales. Steering the boat was a bit like driving a bus on ice, which was lots of fun, and caused quite a few dramas along the way.

There was time for some drawing during the quiet periods, this one was taken from a DVD my niece happened to be watching. It's Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama goes to Paris- Weekly Standard

This had a three word brief from the AD, which was 'Obama in Paris'. The article hadn't been submitted at the time, so that was all we had to go on. There were two ways discussed, the first was to mimick a french impressionist painting with Obama placed within, but I felt that was a little too obscure, no matter which painting was chosen, and that left us with the other option of cramming it with cliche, making fun of the usual french stereotypes. Hopefully that comes through.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Eindhoven Three!

Thursday I got back from a road trip to Eindhoven with my good friends Steve Hearn, Mike Carlon and Mike Giblin. A wonderful time was had by all, not least Hearn, on hearing the disco beat!! (stay tuned for more on that one;)) I had a great time meeting up with my Dutch and Belgian friends as well, and was very sad to leave. Photos of the drinking and drawing session can be seen by going to Harold Hugenholtz' website. Speaking of which, the above paintings are the ones I took with me for display in his gallery/caricature shop! He has established a great caricature business, and I was highly impressed with his shop and the products and services he offers. Hopefully Harold can send me some photos of the paintings on display, so I can share them with you here. Better still, if you are in or near Eindhoven, pop in and have a look!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Laurel and Hardy- Rough

I have a pretty big soft spot for these guys, I'd love to do a larger piece, but for now here's a rough sketch. There's lots happening next week, I've got a couple of gigs at the weekend, but before that, on Wednesday I'll be joining Steve Hearn, Mike Carlon, and Mike Giblin, on a road trip to Eindhoven. Really looking forward to it, it'll get me out of the studio, and I'll get to meet up with lots of Dutch caricature artists over a few beers and sketchpads. Also, I'm taking a few paintings along with me, more on that later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Latest Two Acrylics

These were pretty much finished at the same time. I was near to finishing the Angelina painting, when the next morning I woke up with the image of the infamous Nick Nolte picture in my head. Why? I have no idea!! But I knew it had to be painted, so I started it alongside the Angelina piece, and finished them both within a couple of hours of each other. Two very different sides of Hollywood, Beauty and the Beast if you will. These are both on canvas, 600 x 800mm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jolie and Darling

Just a quick one of Mrs Pitt while I wait for some video I shot of a recently completed painting to process. More on that when it's done.

And one of Alistair Darling, our current Chancellor of the Exchequer.