Monday, June 29, 2009

Lena Horne Happy Birthday (30th June)


Biro and watercolour, about 30 minutes.

The Louvre…oh, and the rest of Paris too!

Yesterday, Ruth and I got back from a fantastic day trip to Paris, the highlight of which has to be visiting the Louvre. It’s an incredible spectacle of art and art history, and it’s impossible to take in the whole thing in one small visit. Did a little sketching while I was there of a few of the sculptures, and I could have spent the whole day just doing that.  So many amazing sculptures, but equally as many amazing paintings. And the ceilings…wow!!!

Anyway, here are a few of the photos and sketches from the day, including a little sketch of a guy on the ferry who had a funny face! :)DSCF3139DSCF2233-smlDSCF2246-sml  DSCF3232 DSCF2281-sml  DSCF22901-sml guy-on-ferry sculpture-01-sml sculpture-02-sml sculpture-03-sml

Friday, June 26, 2009

Al Pacino


Over the next few weeks, members of ISCA will soon be getting their latest copy of the organisations quarterly magazine Exaggerated Features. I was honoured to be asked to do a how-to article for the next issue. I chose to focus on a sketch of Al Pacino, as I’d been wanting to draw him for quite a while. I was really pleased with the way the sketch turned out, so I decided to paint it. To see the process of building the sketch, you’ll have to wait for the magazine to hit your doormat, and if you’re not a member of ISCA, what are you waiting for? Sign up at .

Hope you like the painting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Morgan and Judy



Hi guys! More work to follow soon, including an Al Pacino painting based on a sketch I did for a how-to article in the next Exaggerated Features Magazine (ISCA). It’s turning out to be one of my favourite pieces, as it was one of my favourite sketches. Looking forward to sharing it with you soon!

For now, here’s a couple of portfolio pieces.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bowie Faas Caricature (Photoshop)


Bowie Faas is from Holland, and is a huge fan of the Dutch version of ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’. He commissioned me to do this piece of him and his girlfriend, with him wearing the coat, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the process with you.  The following is a quick run-though of the face and hair rendering.

bowie-001I wanted to replicate the colours I use when painting with acrylics, so I set up a palette with Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine, and Black. The white background is my white for mixing.

bowie-003I start a new layer on top of the sketch, then begin blocking  with a hard round brush with the hardness at 100%, the opacity set at 100%, and the flow set at 12-13%. Because the flow is reduced, I can merge the colours using the eyedropper tool.

bowie-006I tend to use Yellow and Black to make green, I find it gives a more earthy tone. Using the more obvious Blue and Yellow would be fine, but there are going to be a lot of warm (even hot!) colours in the coat, so I have to bear this in mind when choosing the background. Black and white are our cooling colours.

bowie-015 Detail of the eye. I’m now starting to use a different brush, a ‘spatter’ brush, which is preset #39 in the Photoshop brush menu. Opacity is best kept lower than 50% with this brush, otherwise it is easy to lose control.


Horizontally flipping the canvas gives me a better judgement in terms of aligning or correcting features. From the reference I was given, it seems that Bowie naturally tilts his head forward, so the features have to be aligned with this. There is minor adjustment needed on his left eye.

bowie-020I’m using the darker shade of green from his hair to render the eyebrows. To get a smooth fine line with a tapering end, with the #39 brush chosen in the preset menu, select shape dynamics, and make sure the size jitter is set to 0%, and the control to ‘pen pressure’. The opacity can be anywhere between 50 and 100% for this.

bowie-027The arrangement of windows on my workspace is important to help me see my progress. The window on the bottom right is a second window of the working file. To open this, go to Window>Arrange>New-Window-For. Having this second window allows me to see a wider view whilst working on a close up version in more detail.

bowie-034 As you can imagine, there was a lot of work involved in rendering the coat, and I could have taken it further given more time. As it is, Bowie and Dominique are very happy with it.

I like to use various approaches to digital and traditional painting, so it would be fun to share those with you too. For the time being, I hope you’ve enjoyed this miniature tutorial, and I look forward to sharing more work with you soon!

Saturday, June 06, 2009



No artwork to post today, got a few things I’m working on that I can’t share yet, including the cover of Exaggerated Features Magazine, the quarterly publication for ISCA ( formerly NCN). Can’t tell you the contents either, but it should be fun when it’s finished!


I’m also finishing a private commission, and an acrylic work-in-progress (see photo of my studio).  Hope everyone is well and happy, and keeping busy. Looking forward to sharing more work soon!