Wednesday 25 April 2012


After all of those alcoholic beverages, I thought I'd paint a soft drink. Cloudy lemonade - my favourite type! Of course, I needed a different glass. This dimpled one was part of a mother's day present from my son.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Lego Minifigures 42: Green Dragon

It was St. George's day yesterday, so I'm a bit late with this, I suppose. However, my son's current school project is dragons and that is still ongoing. I like dragons - all those larger-than-life myths, legends and outright fantasies. Not to mention metaphor, of course.

This particular dragon is lurking in his cave with his modest hoard (although he has managed to find a cave with a golden floor). I think he'd better be careful, though - those crystals look like they might belong to the rock monsters!

To add a bit of atmosphere, I lit a candle to the right of the dragon's "cave" (shoebox). That provided a few warmer highlights, which I think look right. I was, however, a bit worried that the canvas might prove to be too small; the dragon is quite a bit larger than the average minifigure, and there was quite a lot of detail to cram in. But it all worked out in the end.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Wheal Owles - SOLD

I wasn't entirely happy with the on-site painting of Cargodna, so it was always in the back of my mind to make use of the photographs I took that day. This is actually based on a shot taken from my painting position - it's just a wider view, incorporating another of the Wheal Owles engine houses. And a gate. Not to mention the memorial stone for the accident (in the foreground; it's a chunk of granite with a small plaque on the other side of it).

Monday 16 April 2012

Bluebell Wood (2011) - SOLD

Spring is here and it's forecast to rain for the foreseeable future. But never mind, all that water will help the bluebells grow and maybe - just maybe - I'll be able to find time on a warmish day to go and paint them. Like I did last year.

This was my first plein air painting in many a year. Inspired by a series of walks I was making, I decided to dig my painting stuff out and I knew what the subject must be: bluebells. Redolent of spring, wild areas of woodland and blue skies, I find the flowers irresistible; but they don't look right unless they are in a woodland setting. I found these just off a footpath through Clinkers Copse in North Hampshire.

The panting is framed by the cardboard painting carrier that I made for the occasion (out of the box that our bathroom scales arrived in). It did its job; the wet oil paint survived the journey home intact. (I have since become more ambitious and have made carriers for canvases that are twice the size of this board.)

Oil on board, 10 x 12"
Painted 24th April, 2011.
The board is a commercially prepared canvas board.


DIY Framing: Framing a Canvas

Canvases are not difficult to frame. The main practical problem is sourcing the specialist hardware; canvases are usually deeper than the recess in the frame and so need some sort of angled clip to keep them in place.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Lego Minifigures 41: Star Wars Rebellion Pilot

This little fellow was painted as a gift about a month ago, but various illnesses prevented us from seeing the recipient until today. Happily, he now has a new home, and I am happy to reveal him to the world.

The minifigure joined our household last Christmas as part of the 2011 Star Wars advent calendar.

Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 7 cm.
Painted as a gift.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Cargodna - SOLD

On a recent trip to Cornwall to see relatives, I managed to bag myself a day out on my own; I had decided that I "needed" to paint an engine house. Not having painted such an iconic symbol of West Cornwall before, I opted for a rather touristy image of an archetypal engine house - all roofless, pointy eaves and tall, broken chimney, standing steadfast on a cliff top with the sea behind it.

Thursday 5 April 2012

In Print!

Me and my paintings got ourselves featured in a genuine, bona fide, printed, glossy magazine!

A small one.

It may not quite be Time or Cosmo or, indeed, any of your High Street newsagent titles, but it's still a very nice thing. The magazine is Hotter Shoes' Comfort Club customer magazine, and I'm in the Summer 2012 edition (which doesn't seem to be online at the moment, but you can see some of the back issues here). The article is reproduced here with permission.

I do own a couple of pairs of Hotter shoes - although I must confess that I don't use them on my walks (I've got a venerable pair of Scarpa walking boots that usually take me out and about off-road). The Hotter shoes are very comfortable and - this is the important bit, for me - they make them in my size (I'm a UK 9, which is just one size larger than is easy to buy on the High Street).

Anyway, I "liked" Hotter's page on Facebook, and then when they announced a presence on Google+ (where I have a remarkably sedate account), I added them to my circles there and they reciprocated. Which meant that they got to see my "Public" posts - which are mostly related to this very blog.

It seems that the tumbleweed blows through Hotter's Google+ account as much as it does through mine, and their PR Assistant had the opportunity to notice my painting posts, which she liked well enough to get in touch and ask me if I would like to be featured in the magazine.

And so, I was.

The images that Hotter used are "Coffee For Two", which was posted here, and "Watership Down (1)", which was posted here.