International Self Portrait Day

November 1st is International Self Portrait Day. I’ve been looking forward to it for months as it’s been quite a few years since I did a self-portrait! As a big fan of the TV series “Portrait Artist of the Year”, I set myself two conditions – work from life (i.e….

Pug life!

Pugs have a face only a mother could love, right? Although it’s definitely adorable in its own unique way. Just like me. I watched the artist Slew paint pet portraits on Youtube a while ago and he masked off a border on the wood panel first. When the tape was…

Portrait of Karl S.

I haven’t done a portrait from Sktchy in a while. Karl is running a Sktchy class right now teaching his method for acrylic portraiture, and I was struck by the fact he was painting on a black background, which I haven’t done in ages! So I grabbed a piece of…

This will be perfect!

I’m absolutely delighted at how this painting came out, but boy, has it has been a journey! I used an 18×24″ linen canvas I’ve had for literally years but was too afraid to paint on (it was expensive!). Instead of drawing first, I decided to try doing a freehand underpainting…

Untitled portrait

I needed quick inspiration for a painting to fit into a couple of spare hours on a Sunday afternoon, so as I so often do I turned to Sktchy and found just the thing! Salome had posted this reference with the caption “My friend wants to be an inspiration”. Well,…

We met in Paris

Life got in the way of painting for a week or so, but in that time I was re-arranging my Pinterest boards into a new format that makes sense to me. I also spent hours and hours collecting images that inspire me (now) and getting rid of stuff that I…

Gypsy girl

For a change I was looking through the r/RedditGetsDrawn subreddit, and came across a picture of a young woman in interesting clothes holding a crystal ball. Unfortunately the background was a bland brick wall. So next in my journey of exploration comes, can I do something interesting in the background…

What if I really pushed?

If you’ve been reading recent posts you’ll know that, as if by magic, my style (and my self-confidence) have evolved almost beyond recognition, and I’m still exploring all the new possibilities that has opened up. For this portrait, my question was; what if I really pushed the colours? Not to…

Three times is a pattern

If something happens once, that’s nice. Twice, it’s a coincidence. Three times, it starts to look like a pattern. Here’s the third painting in my “new” style (read my previous two posts for an explanation). Perhaps not quite so wild as the first two, but I think it captures the…

One small step, one giant leap

Even though the last few paintings went well, I was finding them somewhat stressful and not-fun to do. I’d been feeling this way for quite a while but it was getting to a point where I was seriously considering if I should just give up painting and find something else…

A double portrait

I haven’t painted in gouache in ages and I thought it would be fun to get them out again. I chose a subject from Sktchy of two sisters and painted it at about A5 size. I’m certainly out of practice with gouache (and it shows). But I enjoyed doing it,…

Bookmarks for Reddit Gifts

This year I’m participating in the Reddit Gifts “Bookmark” exchange. My giftee was happy to be surprised, so I hope they are pleasantly so by these hand-painted bookmarks featuring relevant quotes from famous people! They are painted on 6x20cm hot press paper using pen and watercolour and the writing was…

Re-branding

It’s been a while since I posted, and a lot has been going on, most of which I won’t bore you with here. The short version is this; I’ve finally accepted that just painting is never going to be enough for me. I have too many ideas for other things…

Bigger is better!

I found a wonderful watercolourist on Youtube (“Watercolor by Shibasaki”) – it’s all in Japanese but many of the videos have subtitles, you just have to enable them: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPiQ_mEXdEbB-3Yhiq7gq5w I watched his video about why you should paint with large brushes, not small ones (I’ve always used small brushes to get…

Bouanik

Today I wanted to choose a subject that was as much about place as the person in it, and this Sktchy photo of Bouanik fit the bill. I simplified a lot of the details, which was an interesting exercise in itself. It’s fascinating how much detail you can leave out…

Happy New Year 2019!

For New Year’s Eve, I painted my stamp-collecting father-in-law on a stamp and wrote good wishes for him in the new year on the back … he’s very interested in perfins (stamps that have been perforated with letters or initials), so I used a punch to perforate his name! For…

Casey and Candace

My good friend Casey, who runs The Comic Jam, has been a great friend and supporter this year. I wanted to surprise him and his wife with a portrait for Christmas. I painted this using acrylics on a 14×11″ cradled wood panel, referring to photographs on his Facebook timeline. I’m…

Miranda

A portrait of Miranda from Sktchy. It had been a while since I used just pen and ink and I had clearly forgotten that ink takes longer to dry than watercolour and is therefore much more prone to smudging! It was a bit annoying, but it’s still a cute portrait.