Thursday, October 11, 2012

Father's 80th and learning to frame

This is a piece I did for my father's 80th birthday earlier this week (Happy Birthday Dad!).

It's also the third piece of mine I have framed myself, using mouldings and cutting the joints with a mitre saw. When you are equipped with the basic tools (a mitre 'saw' rather than the morso 'chopper' that the professionals use), then it is a true battle just to get the mitred joints right, particularly when the moulding is curved. With this piece I'm really pleased with the result.

The reason I've chosen to frame my own work is largely due to my father. He has a great passion for carpentry and is highly practical, I think the older I get the more I find I've inherited from him. Sawing wood is so much fun, almost as much fun as the painting itself.

Friday, August 17, 2012

First Plein Air- Blustery Morning!

So for my first ever plein air painting I chose a typically windy location on the coastline. Broadstairs, about a mile and a half down the road from where I live, is a beautiful location and I will most definitely be back to paint there again.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1 and a half hours I spent on this. The main thing I enjoyed was the challenge of keeping everything still in the wind, including my brush. There were moments when nature was literally painting for me!

To those who stopped to watch or said good morning as I painted, thank you for making the experience even better!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

"Girl in Chair"

"Girl in Chair"
Oil on board
500 x 400mm

A quick study of our daughter. She loves wearing her mummy's hat! This is a temporary photo, I will get it professionally done in due course. 

My palette was Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and Titanium White, with a touch of black.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


"Duo"- Oil on Board 19 x 35.5cm

I wanted this to have a quick 'sketch' feel to it, sometimes too much rendering can ruin a piece. If the expression is there then rendering is less important.

I could paint 'The Boys' every day and not get bored, it's all about the relationship.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Derren Brown - National Portrait Gallery

'Rasputin Always Wins'
Oil on Board
600 x 900mm
Hi all!

It's been a while since I posted any finished paintings on here, but finally here is the Derren Brown painting that took me several months to complete.

It has been selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, as part of the BP Portrait Awards 2012! It will be on display with 55 other international portrait artists from 21st June-23rd September and will then go on tour around the country. I am a very proud artist right now!!

Derren and me after the sitting.

My subject, Derren Brown, is one of the most talented psychological illusionists in the UK, best known for his mind-reading and t.v stunts. His shows on Channel 4 during the early 2000's made him a household name. Three million viewers tuned in to watch him play Russian Roulette live on air in 2003!

He is also a talented painter. During our three hour sitting he gave me a tour of his home, or should I say his museum, dedicated to caricature, portraiture and, last but not least, taxidermy. Thankfully the bird in the painting, Rasputin, is very much alive. Sadly the others didn't make it.

His paintings were amazing to see in person, especially the Dame Judy Dench and the large format portraits of his parents. Wow!

Working on this has been an incredible experience. I am honoured to have met Derren and to be exhibiting at such an historic gallery. I look forward to seeing all the other paintings selected for the exhibition in June. Congrats to all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Making progress

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I've been going through what you could call a period of adjustment. Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control and force us to change our plans slightly. I was in the middle of a new painting when my back decided to give in. Not long after this, while I was nursing myself through the pain, my computer also decided to throw in the towel. It was a PC, and this is the final straw. I will be switching to a Mac, something I should have done a long time ago!

The portrait of Derren Brown that I finished just before my back went has been framed and delivered to the NPG. I'm really looking forward to sharing the piece with you, I'm very proud of it! Will share it with you soon.

So now my back is well on the mend, I feel I can return to some full time sketching and painting. Attached is a shot of a sketch commission I've nearly completed of Christopher Hitchens. The reference was suggested by the client. It's a great reference and would make an excellent painting should the client want me to do so.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Joe Bluhm Won An Oscar!!

Well, not just Joe, it was actually the entire team at Moonbot Studios who created 'The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessimore'. I've met Joe several times and not only is he an amazing artist, but a great guy as well. He truly deserves this recognition for his hard work. Congrats to Joe and the team for a beautiful film and a well deserved win!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

John Hurt W.I.P

Here's a quick study of one of Britain's  finest actors, congrats to him on his BAFTA award the other night! Hopefully I will get back to finishing this soon.

Oil on Canvas.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Opening Night!

Opening night of the Muhammed Ali exhibition went very well, lots of lovely people, including Ian Puleson-Davies, aka Owen from Coronation Street. The exhibition is looking great and a fun evening was had by all. Well done to the guys at Generation Pop! My works will be on display along with the rest of the exhibition for 2 weeks.

Also, there is only one day left to sign up for my courses at and get a 25% discount on any course throughout 2012. If you're thinking of doing it, do it now!

EDIT: Here is a brief testimonial from recent student Kurt Elliot. Kurt started with the beginners course and is moving up to intermediate:

"I have really enjoyed the past 9 weeks. I find the more I sketch and practice the more I understand what you have to say in your lessons and critiques. I replay the videos while I sketch and without really paying attention i find i get more and more out of the videos. Not sure what the highlight of the 9 weeks was for me as i enjoyed the whole thing, seeing you sketch and looking at your paintings gives me so much energy to practice and improve."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Muhammed Ali- Exhibition Opening!

Next week is a big week!! I will be attending the Muhammed Ali fine Art Exhibition at Generation Pop, where I am one of the official artists. The opening on Tuesday 17th is coinciding with Muhammed Ali's 70th Birthday, so I am deeply honoured to be able to be a part of it. Also, I was told today that BBC News 24 want to do live broadcasts and interviews with yours-truly and others throughout the day. Should be a fun day!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Extreme Exaggeration

Here are some sample sketches I prepared for critiques for my students at On the beginner’s course, I have a lesson based around extreme exaggeration. This is probably my favourite lesson. I spend a lot of my time with portraits, and it can be very easy to forget what it feels like to exaggerate. We can easily get out of the habit, so the above is a good exercise. It’s an opportunity to let loose!

Thursday, January 05, 2012