Saturday, 27 May 2017

I want your skull

"I want your skull, I neeeed your skull!" Hey - thought I would share this as it's a really powerful exercise if you are interested in doing human portraits. I'm looking at references for male and female skulls (quite different btw) and trying to sketch what lies beneath the surface. Front, side and 3/4. This is the kind of thing I'm doing for my own study, not always sharing. You may or may not find this interesting but if you've never tried it - try it.

Corbyn (scan)

Here's a better scan and crop of the Jeremy Corbyn drawing I did earlier in the month. I know some of you will have seen it already! I took a dark photo at first because there's this annoying crease across the top right of the image. It's thin sketchbook paper and I couldn't get the crease out with a metal ruler. Once scanned I did a little photoshop tinker to clean it up.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017


This is a digital one - painted in Photoshop with an Intuos Draw tablet.  A colour study really but mostly I am trying to feel form. I'll leave stuff like this on my desktop and take a little pop at them every now and then between traditional frustrations..

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


Study of Jeremy Corbyn. Trying to tease the likeness out in pencils, what do ya think?

Still time to register to vote in the UK -

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Prime Overlord

Little painting I did this morning of Theresa May - current Prime minister of England. It's a study in gouache - The blue tone coming from Payne's Grey mixed in with the blacks, whites and greys on the palette. Corbyn in red anyone?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Palette Talk: Watercolour Palettes

I figured today I could share the palette I use for studio work to do watercolours. It's a Mijello 18 well folding palette. It's made of plastic, which is not quite as nice as using metal but significantly cheaper.  I also have a smaller tin that I carry around with me, I get a lot more use out of that one because it travels better.

Often this feels like far too many colours.  I've noted the photo with the pigments I use. There's no magic to that array, mostly personal preference. No black on there, I try to mix those from browns and dark blues. Basically I like these colours and I know how they mix with each other. They are mostly artist grade Winsor and Newton paints with the exception of Lavender (from Holbein).

The smaller tin below has a slightly different range. It's just one of those generic tins, got mine from Ken Bromley. You'll notice there's a small blob of Chinese White there that's been stuck on for ages - I barely use that.

It might seem expensive to keep these full of pigments but if you pick up just like a tube a week you get a ton of painting miles out of it.

So there we go, that's my palette for watercolour but oil, acrylic, gouache? - it's a whole different ball game. I use a lot more of a limited palette because of the medium... I'll save that for a future post.

Any questions just ask below but ultimately you should develop your own special connections to colours. You've gotta remember you can mix everything you need from just a, red, a yellow and a blue. Start with those.