Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Winter Grey Afternoon, Sloane Square, 24" x 18", oil on canvas, 2011

I went about this piece over 2 sittings. The first sitting on the 27th of January and the second sitting on the 2nd of February. Then, the weather was really cold around 2 degrees and as you can see from the pictures I was padded up to the core! Even my feet were not spared to only boots had my "Ice Breakers" on.

Winter Grey Afternoon, Sloane Square, 24" x 18", oil on canvas, 2011 SOLD

I really love the view at Sloane Square, and I have always longed to paint it. So I decided to give real good go and I was pleased with the result over the two sittings. The advantages of painting on grey days is that the light doesn't change, so there's no need to be in a hurry to catch the light as it changes, the constant grey light has it's own beauty and it was also a good lesson on mixing a variety of greys.

My set up before the work starts

Keeping feet warm-My ice breakers!

I got one good observer to catch me while the work was in progress, first sitting.

Final touches on the second sitting.

Special Quote
Robert Goodwin, remarkably, knew exactly how far to drive a student without breaking him. In the first few minutes of my first morning at his studio, I felt I had already a year's training. I had, and I burst into tears. Robin metaphorically shook me by the scruff of the neck. 'You're kidding yourself if you imagine that you can paint only when you feel like it. And don't talk all that rubbish about painting from your "innermost self". The Electricity Board doesn't give a damn whether you're painting from your innermost self or from anywhere else. They want their bills paid. You've got to get into your studio at nine in the morning, even in the winter when it is so dark outside that you can't see your easel or canvas. You've got to paint all day long, until the light fails-Sundays as well. Treat it as business. If you are prepared to accept all this I'll teach you. But if not, bugger off now and stop wasting my time.' More tears. BUT I HAVE TO THANK HIM FOR MY SUCCESS AND I GREW ALMOST OVERNIGHT- David Shepherd recounts his first experience in an artist's studio in his book, " The man who loves Giants"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rain and Fog- Kings Road, Chelsea, Oil, 8" x 10", 2011

This is Kings Road with fog and rain, the typical London wet day. I basically love it! It's that part of Kings Road just before you get to Sloane's Square. When it doesn't rain, I miss the rain and when it does, I want it to stop. I think it's all about being human!

Rain and Fog- Kings Road, Chelsea, Oil, 8" x 10" , 2011 SOLD

Special Quote
"The things you do at the start of a painting (from life or otherwise) will determine the entire course of your work. They make the difference between an achievement or an ordeal. This is about taking control right away. It is never enough just to be in the throes of inspiration. Before you lift a brush, take some time to think about what you intend to do. Notice certain things, make a few decisions, then start painting."-Richard Schmid on "The Big Moment"- Alla Prima Everything I know about Painting.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


This is a continuation of my series of Big Issue Sellers in London and Bath. This particular seller had one of the faces that is a dream to draw for portrait lovers. You could take one look at him and he'd take your artistic breath away! The guys that sell these Big Issue Magazines are homeless but this gives them something to gain extra cash.

This was done on a museum mount board prepared with gesso. I drew with pastels and coloured pencils.

Big Issue Seller XVIII, 8" x 10", Mixed media, 2011

My main goal was capture that mixed look of hope and uncertainty in his eyes.

Special Quote
"I had a teacher years ago(George Bridgeman)who made us draw hundreds of skulls in all positions. I felt he was overdoing it at the time but now I realize what a wonderful lesson he taught us. Whenever I draw a head, I instinctively feel the skull structure beneath."- Norman Rockwell on the Importance of Head Structure.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sketches on the train and bus in April I

Back to the sketching routine, these are some of the recent sketches I have done on public transport.

Special Quote

"Heads are obviously rather complicated to draw. However, if you think of them as a compound of many shapes and sub-shapes, you will realize that you can draw any of the individual parts by analysing them carefully first.
I stress this structural approach in your thinking about the head because most beginners overlook these basics in their preoccupation with drawing the features. This reverses the proper order of the drawing process. Until the structure of the head is established, and the lighting determined, the rather subtle details of feature, such as the placement of the eyes, the length of the upper lip or the width of the nose will have no form with which to relate"
- Paul Calle on heads in his book "The Pencil"