Africa, my Africa

The Africa I remember had a six month dry season where, in early November the thunderclouds built and a heavy deluge would descend twice a day, punctuated by hot humid temperatures. The dramatic sky in this piece gives a feeling of the sultry conditions and the lush greenery only a few days after the first rains. 


Within a month the transformation to the savannah  is startling with colour and rich greenery erupting everywhere. The animals disappear within the deep undergrowth, glimpsed briefly as they move within it grazing on its abundance.


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New York moods

Travelling to New York on three separate occasions I experienced the city pre and post 911. Displaying so many different moods, the feeling of the city 17 years on is of positivity mixed with the darkness of the events. These works depict the vibrancy and darker side reflecting the courage of the people and resilience of the place.


Memories of Central Park, and it’s vast area of green in the heart of all the concrete, canyons of Manhattan.


Empire State in the early morning mist of a chilly October day.


The iconic yellow cab and high rise concrete sprawl, it’s vibrant colour amongst the glass and concrete.

Misty London series #4

This week I have been working on an additional landmark for the London series. I’ve been looking at the process and recording various points along the way. It’s been great to work in this way, adding to the piece section by section. Here are some early stages using some photographic reference as a guide.



After adding the paint to the composition I was ready to work with the sky and add details to the buildings as well as light and shade to various parts of the painting.

Finally I created atmosphere in the image to tie in with the other pieces in the series by adding a misty foreground and some in the distance. Watch this space for #5, coming soon.

Futher mixed media cityscape and tapestry landscape

Hi everybody. I’ve been working further with mixed media in November and early December.

After some very encouraging feedback in October from the black and white cityscapes, I tried mixing oil and wax crayon on a similar rough canvas. The addition of the oils and some colour resulted in a dramatic moody feel and once again I received lots of likes and one or two great comments on Behance


Futher to this I decided to create some lighter landscapes and started with a fairly abstract coastal estuary scene based on views I’d seen on my Australian trip in September. I got some good feedback from friends which has encouraged me to take this further with woodlands and cityscapes and some favourite landmarks too, going forward.



Cities and new media

Hi everyone, it’s been a couple of months since my last post and during that time I’ve been trying out new media and working in a more abstract way which has been great.

In August I went back to my city theme after the London series of paintings had a great reaction on Behance from some great artists who reside there. 

This piece was created using of all things wax crayon and a palette knife which always works well as a blending tool for any medium. I let the cityscape develop in its own way and stopped pretty early on after adding a pale cloudy sky. This inspired me to try other mediums and I tried charcoal again on the A-sketch app which though a bit flaky at times produces some amazing results especially for landscapes. 

This piece I titled Dark Mountain city and again I posted it to Behance with several likes and a generally encouraging reaction there. Further exploration on various media is ongoing with this theme and I will keep you posted on progress, watch this space.

London landmarks series

Tower Bridge step by step

Recently I’ve experimented with different colours and landmarks rather than purely imaginary scenes. Ive substituted greys for the brighter blues of the skies and darker muddier greens for trees and shrubs. Ive focused on London and have tried to evoke an atmosphere of the old victorian city with additional fog and mist giving the scenes a sinister feel. Ive looked at adding yellow to the cloud laden sky to add a bit of warmth overall. Starting with a rough sketch I’ve added warmer colours to bring out the shape of the bridge from the angle of a boat on the Thames.

I decided also to insert a colourful aspect to the piece in the form of a bus initially as an abstract blur then later experimenting removing it then re-inserting it with more detail and bright lights.


The bridge sketch 6


Another lady in white

Last week I created another piece in this series, the first of which had featured a rainy Scottish scene, somewhere in the Highlands. 

This time I’ve chosen a brighter sunny scene based on the warmer, gentler terrain of Hertfordshire. 

My main aim with this piece was to make use of the stronger summer light of late afternoon casting dramatic shadows and warm yellow glows on the trees, as well as depicting a dramatic sky with plenty of interesting light and dark with the typically varied and splendid cloud formation we get here in the UK. More of this theme will no doubt follow.

Moonlit safari

One of the fun things of tablet app art is discovering new apps and working with different ones which have varied levels of control. 

My latest has been created in A-sketch a simple charcoal drawing app which quite recently added a colour palette enabling a chalk/pastelle finish. Control in this app is tricky and detail takes perseverance, but it also causes happy accidents along the way so is worth the effort in the end. 
I’ve rarely been on a night safari, and as part of my African series I wanted to make use of the luminescent blues available in the app as I have in earlier oil paintings.

African series

I’ve always enjoyed painting African scenes from memories of my childhood as well as inspiration from other painters whose work my mum and dad liked and we had in our house. Some of the artists include Peter Birch who painted houses and town scenes, Joan Evans (landscapes) as well as Pat Hesketh and David Shepherd who both were great painters of animals.

I recently depicted a lioness lurking in the long grass and had good feedback from artist friends and family. This contrasts with a Rhino I painted in 2015 in terms of style and colouring. The African bush often has a range of yellows and browns and I achieved this in the earlier Rhino piece, but the lush greenery of the lioness one was perhaps slightly too verdant for the part of Africa I’m focussing on.

So in my new chalk pastelle piece called ‘Predator’ I’ve focussed more on the yellows and browns of the savannah, initially creating wild swathes of grass, which were somewhat flamelike in the early stages. Later these became straighter as I worked into the colour to reflect the true grassland style.

Initially I added a figure to the piece to give a sense of mystery but after some further thoughts created instead a large cat prowling through the grass in search of prey. This would perhaps be an unsuspecting impala in the distance. I added a small mammal hoping to escape unnoticed by the hunter in its search for larger game.

To give the piece a sense of scale and distance I added the Msasa trees with the iconic canapies of leaves giving the piece a more African feel.

Seals and coral

These are the 6th and 7th in the series of underwater themed pieces. I decided to try out chalk pastelles in the 6th which was fun and gave me the chance to experiment with different drawing techniques.

With my most recent piece I went back to my paint and palette knife and reworked a series of paintings I’d been working on to create a third in the series bringing in the underwater theme but keeping the general format of the picture from the previous two landscape based paintings. The first, a fairly abstract dawn piece and the second a more literal landscape with a mysterious figure.

This third painting came from a comment on the first from a friend that the piece looked potentially like an underwater scene, so I developed it in this direction and let the colours and paint evolve in their own way.