Thursday, 8 May 2014


Sometimes a painting feels like wading through treacle and I honestly despair that it will come right.  Some artists don't share their 'in progress' paintings, instead just displaying the finished pieces with a big 'Ta Daa'!!!  Why do I share what can sometimes be called, plain ugly pictures?  Because I want to encourage anyone who wants to hold a pencil or paintbrush to have a go.  Keep at it or you'll never know what can be done.  However, some of the following pictures are so awful that for once I'll start with the nearly finished piece.  I'm quite happy with this, and although it's not perfect, it's so like my lovely Toffee that I can't wait to hang it :D
 This was the stage when I thought it would come right.  I painted the face and the panicky feeling subsided.
 This point, however was when I wanted to quit painting altogether and run away to join a circus (or work in the corner shop!), anything other than face this hair pulling nightmare!
 The chalk sketch, that moment when anything is possible and the panic hasn't set in!
So, I say to you dear blog readers, give it a go.  I've shared my most ugly painting ever and it managed to come right in the end :D  Now I'm off for a strong coffee while I clean my brushes :D

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I've not painted a mystical horse for a little while, so this picture is long overdue and I had the perfect picture of Merlin just waiting to be used.  I can't describe how enjoyable it is painting a huge canvas completely black :D Just for fun and texture I mixed in a little burnt umber and ochre.  I'm working in the kitchen as the canvas is too big for my Studio!
Unlike many artists that inspire me, I don't do very detailed drawings on the canvas and then block in the background around the subject, I work in reverse! A light sketch in chalk helps me to get the dimensions and perspective right and then I just get stuck in with the paint.  It works for me!
Once the tonal values are done, I refine the details, saving the wings for last as that's the fun part :D
More details and playing with hair, mane and tails are so much fun :D
The body needs more detail and so I used some oil paint over the acrylic to get depth and a soft hair-like texture.

Next on the easel is a picture of Toffee showing off his moves :D