Monday 14 December 2009

The Unfortunate Career Of Stede Bonnet, 1688-1718

10"x 23"

This watercolour has been used as the artwork for the debut album by The Shudders. I'm very pleased with it, some good reference definitely helped, so much so I've posted it to the Spectrum to be considered for annual 17. It's my first entry so fingers crossed! I've also attached the working drawing so you can my original composition. I pretty much went from the drawing to getting reference and starting on the final piece. Some of the highlights and pastel colours were worked back in with gouache at the final stage.

Thursday 5 November 2009

A Sneaky Peak

Here's a small sample of a painting I was working on in the last few days. Its actually part of the artwork for the new album by The Shudders. Once again the scan doesn't quite do it justice (I've got to find a scanning service in Swindon) and there's also a bit of a peculiar twist to the image which I guess will be revealed on the launch night next month.

More News:

Its official, I'm on Wikipedia!* I didn't write about myself in a drunken fit of egotism, honest, it's all down to the man who bought my Percy Vear painting last week. Unbelievably the grandson of Percy Vear (who is also called Percy Vear... is this getting confusing? ) walked into the gallery and purchased the watercolour, since then I've been in contact with Percy and he offered to link me into the Percy Vear page on wikipedia.

*Sadly the page was removed because I'm not a person of note which is very true. However the administrator accused me of authoring the article which is not true and then went on to insult me. Does his/her action deserve my response? No.

Even More News:

I was delighted last month to work on my first BBC Audiobooks cover. The piece was designed imitate the style of the previous cover illustrations - I will post the image when I can.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Progress Photo

13 hours of painting goodness yesterday. Hoping to get most of this piece done today.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Raymond Ching

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted something so apologies :-(

It seems a bit odd to have the first post in such a long time be about another artist's work but I have been meaning to show some photos for ages. Quite a while back me and Suzanne visited Bradford-On-Avon to see Aesop's Kiwi Fables by New Zealand born artist Raymond Ching. What an experience - 19 large luminous oil paintings accompanied by a fable set in a beautiful Barn in a stunning town on an amazing day! Have a look...

Thursday 24 September 2009

'Sea Of Ideas' Reworked

I decided quite recently that I would try and sell some of my experimental/personal pieces through the art shop I work at. However after scrabbling around I realised I'd lost the pencil drawing part for my degree piece 'Sea Of Ideas.' The piece used to show a nautical scene sprouting from my work desk but having lost that I quickly got down to coming up with something different. Shaun Tan was the inspiration, especially his 'Tales From Outer Suburbia' cover (the whole book is sublime, not just the cover). I prefer the retro television set, hopefully you do too?

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Finally Finished 'Michael's Room.'

20" x 15"

A while back I posted a work in progress which was a pencil line drawing with acrylic wash. The idea being the acrylic would act as an under-painting as I applied reasonably heavy watercolour washes. With previous paintings my initial pencil work has disappeared when wet so the acrylic was there to hold the figures together and it worked! After the watercolour I then worked up the shadows and highlights with gouache.

I wonder if Michael's little sister managed to get Dolly's head back? (You don't ask that question everyday)

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Old work

I was visiting the family and playing a blues fest last week so much of the work I wanted to get on with has ground to a halt. I finally sat down in front of my half finished painting Monday morning and then received a call with more work so can't complain!

However I can now post my latest editorial commission, the article was about leading clever people and the various personalities and skills you will have to deal with successfully.

After lots of revised roughs we finally settled on centaurs with over-sized craniums pulling a nerdy managing director on a chariot in different directions. This was to fit a double page spread.

Some more news: I SOLD A BINGLEY SECRET AT THE WEEKEND!!!! One down five more to go ;-)

Monday 24 August 2009

Exhibition photos

Oooooo! Photos from my little exhibition at Jane Fielder's lovely gallery in Bingley. I haven't been there yet but I'm hoping to pop in this weekend (after a 5 hour train journey) and maybe answer a few questions posed by the 'Bingley Prosider.' I haven't even seen my paintings framed in the flesh yet so just that prospect is enough to get me overly excited and there is going to be a piece in the local paper 'The Keighley News' this week.

On another subject... me and Suzanne managed to finally get into the Banksy Exhibition at the Bristol Museum. We queued for 6 HOURS, that's how popular his work is in the UK, so obviously we were expecting some brilliant work. Unfortunately both of us were not hugely impressed, the purely original pieces like the ice cream van installations and some of the canvas works were really good little punky ideas but we felt most of it was 'statements for statement's sake.' Often you would look at a piece such as breaded fish fillets swimming in a fish bowl, get the gimmick/pun and that was it, a bit one dimensional. Dare I say it but the exhibition felt very college-like, 'hey stalagmites look like genitalia' - no joke Banksy actually makes a reference to that. Still glad we've seen it though.

Friday 21 August 2009

Progress Photo 2

Here's the experimental under-painting. I started the colour work today but then had a load of promotional work to do for the exhibition:

There are six originals available to buy along with there individual poems, I've already had interest which is great and apparently the Bingley Prosider would like to do a piece on the exhibition. Fingers crossed things continue like this! :-)

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Progress Photo

This is the final rough before I transfer it on to some stretched paper. There's a comical narrative in there which, with any luck will become apparent when I start working up some tonal values. I mentioned some experiments in my last post so I was thinking of firstly doing an under-painting in acrylic and then adding colour with watercolour and gouache - I got the idea from looking at C.F Payne's work. Can't wait to start this tomorrow!! :-D

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Newish piece - Those Soapy Depths

Long time, no post... apologies for that! Pleased to say I'm very busy at the moment so just a quick post. Here's a watercolour I've had rolling around in my brain recently so I just had to sponge it up and wring it out onto some paper. There's also bits of gouache in there which, along with a few other experiments, will be my next step.

'Bingley Secrets' is or are at the picture framers as I type this so can't wait to see them.

Saturday 25 July 2009


Just finished my first ArtOrder challenge. It's actually quite a large watercolour so took me ages to scan.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Mr Hoyle

This is the final Bingley Secret based on Sir Fred Hoyle who was born in Bingley. I suppose the poem really explains what is going on so READ IT!


Mr Hoyle

Mister Hoyle loves his astronomy
Especially his cosmology
He sits all night in the fire tower
Star staring hour after hour

To get the clearest possible view
He needs clear skies and a vantage too
The telescope is the main trouble
Think of a big scope then think double!

In fact it’s so big the firemen went
And on a new fire tower they spent.
So now there’s no chance of division
if the men stay out of his vision.

Wish You Were There?

Here's a recent commission for Management Today magazine. The brief was asking for three seaside-type postcards based on the humourous translations at the bottom of each profile. I used watercolour and pencil crayon on these and they were very quick to do in the end probably because they were so small.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Bingley Secrets Finished!

That's right folks, the exhibition you've all been waiting for, you thought it would never happen... blah, blah, blah.

Can't believe I actually made the last few brush marks on my mini series today! Boy, did I have a celebratory cup of tea! I decided to post nearly all the remaining paintings so those of you who can't make it (ahem...) will still be able to see most of my work. Oh and I'll put the poems up too, in fact here's one for 'The Bride In The River.'

The Bride In The River

‘Did you hear about Steve?’
‘No, why, what’s he doing?’
‘He’s stayed off work, on leave.’
‘Oh right, where’s he going?’
‘He’s on his honeymoon.’
‘What, he got married!?’
‘Yes, it’s a bit too soon’
‘hmmm, does sound hurried.’
‘He met her on the Aire’
‘Ha! Was he canoeing?’
‘No, twiddling his hair,
sat on the bank fishing.’
He felt a tug on the line
And started to reel in,
then in absolutely no time
he was planning a wedding!’

Apologies for lengthy silence after my last blog - I moved house, in fact I moved counties so I've been a bit preoccupied. Anyway you should note an improvement in the regularity of my updates because I now have access to the internet in the evenings.

Friday 19 June 2009

A Blue Whale Birthday Revisited

Just a quick one! Apparently the images for 'A Blue Whale Birthday,' don't load properly so here they are again . . . hopefully.

'It was my beautiful girlfriend's birthday on Friday so I painting a card on photoshop based on a couple of Adam Rex characters. One of them is a chicken (not sure which book that it out of) and another is a whale from the cover painting of 'Billy Twitter & His Blue Whale Problem.' That book , I've only just spotted this, comes out on my birthday!!! (Suzanne I hope you're reading this) Anyway she really really liked the whale so I thought I'd adapt him into a card.'

Monday 27 April 2009

Dimensions: 15in x 11in

The latest Bingley Secret, some kind of spectral woman preying on solitary people fishing perhaps? All I know is the next one will feature pirates and canal barges - stay tuned!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Bingley Secrets

Dimensions: 29.5cm x 21cm

It's been pretty busy the last few days, the highlight being the London Book Fair. I met some very nice people that were interested in my work so fingers crossed something will coming of those meetings.

In the meantime here's the second installment of my Bingley Secrets series. The fella sat on top is a boxer from the 1920s called Percy Vear (he wasn't the best) who was born in Bingley. Hope you like it!

Tuesday 7 April 2009

A Blue Whale Birthday!!

It was my beautiful girlfriend's birthday on Friday so I painting a card on photoshop based on a couple of Adam Rex characters. One of them is a chicken (not sure which book that it out of) and another is a whale from the cover painting of 'Billy Twitter & His Blue Whale Problem.' That book , I've only just spotted this, comes out on my birthday!!! (Suzanne I hope you're reading this) Anyway she really really liked the whale so I thought I'd adapt him into a card.

Thursday 2 April 2009

What's Work Really For?

Management Today Magazine arrived in the post this morning so I guess it's safe to post the work I did for it. The characters were all pencil sketches scanned in and then colour in Photoshop. The plates and cracks are all digitally painted, the cracks were especially good fun. It looks like I've made some good contacts at Haymarket with this piece.

Here's what it looks like in the magazine:

Thursday 26 March 2009

The Doorway

The Doorway
Originally uploaded by chrisdunn210
Here's the finished painting. I did have to do a bit of major pencil crayoning on the 'tentacles' but apart from that it all gradually came together. Hope you like it!

Dimensions: 29.5cm x 21cm

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Get some work done Chris!!!

Here's a work in progress. I've just started a little mini series of watercolours based on where I live, I think I'm going to call it Bingley secrets. The premise is I find interesting compositions in and around the town and then imagine what creatures or people could exist there secretly. I've got two paintings on the go at the moment and possibly planning another four later on.

This piece in terms of colour is unresolved but I think I can pull through if I stick to warm light and cold shadows but that's easier said than done!

Thursday 19 March 2009

Crikey it's been a while since I've blogged!! That's why I don't keep diaries. I'm glad to say I've been very busy this last couple of weeks. After visiting Jane Fielder and her brilliant Bingley Art Gallery (go and check it out if you live near), she's agreed to show one of my paintings 'Foundry Hill' (above). You can buy the original for £150 and if the painting sells hopefully I will be showing more work there.

More recently I've just finished a commission for Management Today magazine. That's my first ever editorial commission WOHOO! It seems practicing digital painting has really paid off and I will be putting the work up when the issue is released in April I believe.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Who You Gonna Call!?

Finished Painting

I'm quite pleased with my first attempt at photoshop painting, although there's still something lacking. Maybe it's my lack of reference or just the dodgy composition - but I'm sure you'll let me off it was just a rambling sketch to start with!! (Please?) The colouring was good fun though, and I like the boy's expression so I added a detail to the post. Rest assured I'll keep practicing so watch this space. (If anybody actually does - Hi!)

Monday 16 February 2009

Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Originally uploaded by chrisdunn210
I really really really enjoyed this watercolour because its ME ME ME! Not really, well . . . maybe a bit. I was looking through Eric Fortune's work which is astounding and I just had to do a homage but not in acrylic, those paints smell funny. It really didn't take long to do at all - a days work really. I hope you like it.

Toilet Training

Toilet Training
Originally uploaded by chrisdunn210

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Sole Diving

Sole Diving
Originally uploaded by chrisdunn210
A personal piece going back to basics of getting proportion and line right before going anywhere near the paint. I also had a go with leaving a faint line around the figure after looking at Rockwell books recently and I'm very pleased with the results. The water, fish and trainers just happened and I'm not even going to try to explain them!!