Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Most of the rocks are complete at this point. Usually while working, I'll step back from time to time and see what areas need more work and selectively pay more attention to those parts as needed. It's a case of fine tuning when I'm this far along, seeking a balance and if needed, I'll scrub out some areas so that I can re-work them, trying all the while to get closer to the final image I have in my head. I'm also adding subtle washes to the figure and slowly bringing it along as well. This painting has been a bit of a marathon, working on and off for a few months - hopefully not too far to go now.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


I completed the first pass of the large rock using mostly thin washes as before then followed with smaller details for both texture and to help shape the various rock forms. More work was done to the further rock shelf keeping things light and underdeveloped at this point. Washes to the figure also helped maintain a general tonal harmony as I was careful to keep both parts of the painting coming along at the same time. This helped me get a better overall feeling of the work and was easier to see what part to work on next. It's getting there but still lots to do though!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


After quite a bit of work on the rocks, I felt a little happier. The tones were still too light at this point but I would adjust them later on when I had almost completed the painting. At this point it was mostly just a case of laying down thin washes of color, slowly building up the form and textures of the rocks. I tried to keep things interesting and used a dry-brush technique here and there for added texture. I also put in the beginnings of gentle waves in the background and dropped in my darkest tones in the lower right.


I started this watercolor a few months ago and am still working on it! My largest figurative work to date, I tried not to be intimidated by the large expanse of white paper. This one took a lot of initial drawing and some erasing of misplaced lines using a soft kneadable eraser - this I hoped wouldn't leave any marks on the delicate watercolor paper surface. After I was happy with the drawing stage, I washed on some raw sienna to establish a background tone then started with some of the rocks building up color from light to dark. The figure got a few washes too as I was initially unsure how things would look. So far, not quite the brilliant start I had hoped for but I was confident that it would come together towards the end.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Some time ago I did a smaller study of this scene which turned out okay so I felt it was time to do a larger version. Still the finished work is not that large - only 12" x 9 " but is big enough I feel to more easily capture my thoughts and emotions that I have for the coast and for the sea. Growing up as a boy in Bude on the North coast of Cornwall in the UK, I spent many an hour beach combing, watching birds and climbing the cliffs around the harbour, so I suppose this painting is a reminder of that time. Oil on canvas, 12" x 9" (30cm x 20cm).

Monday, August 25, 2014


Sorry for the lack of Blog posts lately, I have been unable to update until today. The two clutches of eggs shown here were laid by a captive Black Kite (Katie) that was being cared for by Jim Ades in Hong Kong. Since the eggs were infertile, they had been collected by Jim so it was with great delight that I sat down and painted them. Surprisingly there was quite a bit of variation in markings (even within each clutch) which made the job even more interesting. Completing this work spurred me on to do a whole series of egg paintings, all of which are now in private collections. Sorry for the severe crop of this image - it was scanned from a slide. Black Kite Eggs, watercolor on paper, size about 15" x 11" (38cm x 28cm).

Saturday, July 26, 2014


As with many of my paintings, they seem to develop as I go along and many become part of a theme. The early morning light seen here was such a theme and I explored it in watercolor and also in oils. Some of the works were landscapes, others such as the Black Kite above, more wildlife oriented. I painted this one when I lived in Hong Kong and as mentioned in an earlier post, managed to get excellent reference if these birds so for once, it was easier to develop what I had into a painting. The view is one of looking down the mountainside during a hazy morning just before the sun rises. The background seems slightly too purplish in this image, perhaps because it is was scanned from a slide and as I no longer have the original, can't be sure about the true colors, Still, the painting is one that I am happy with and brings back many fond memories. Size is about 20" x 30" (51cm x 76cm), oil on canvas, private collection.