Wednesday 25 June 2014


Watercolour / Gouache
24 x 31cm
I can honestly say this is the first time I've painted a badger singing at the opera. No matter how serious I make her expression I still can't help but laugh at her absurd appearance (don't tell her I said that).

In terms of technique I did the usual sepia under-painting then masked everything except the backdrop using tape and cellophane in order to pull out some big brushes and work wet in wet with blues, violets and blacks. (See previous post).

After the damage was done I removed the cellophane and got to work laying in the colours on everything that was left blank, being careful to suggest a warm up-light and blue in the shadows. When I had taken the watercolour as dark as it would go, white and yellow ochre gouache came into play on the extreme highlights (metal specular highlights, skirt, claws, fur etc.) and then gently glazed around the footlights to suggest mist creeping across the stage.

Monday 23 June 2014

'A Maths Lesson'

I've recently finished two paintings, the first being 'A Maths Lesson'.
A Maths Lesson
Watercolour / Gouache
24 x 31cm 
This particular scene was requested by Olivier, my fantastic client at Galerie Daniel Maghen. Mostly I conjure up the scenes and stories I want to depict in paint but every now and then Olivier has a great suggestion which I can then develop.

Initially I began with the teacher at the front of the class and all the pupils paying attention without any funny business going on. However as I progressed with my rough sketch I suddenly found that the young mole was passing a love note to the bunny next to him. Once those two characters had been fully realised another bunny decided to make himself known by appearing on the edge of the painting in order to observe the progress of the love note. Has the note been passed on from bunny to bunny via the little mole or is that a look of jealousy the male bunny is shooting at the mole? You decide.

Incidentally I have since been informed that this class must be in detention. Apparently school finishes at 3.00pm these days. I remember the good old days of being stuck inside until 3.30 before even thinking of finishing for the day.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Valkyrie WIP

As promised, here is another work in progress but, hang on, it's a different painting.
It's been a long time since I've used inks
Working up the badger valkyrie
I had fun with the background working wet-in-wet with watercolour and a black acrylic ink. You might be able to see I masked the badger with cellophane and magic tape so the strong cobalt blue would not contaminate the main character. I'm attempting some dramatic lighting on this painting and hoping to add shimmering stars and a smoke machine. There's still a long way to go and as they say - 'it's not over until the fat badger sings'.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

'A Maths Lesson' Progress

Here's a back dated progress shot of 'A Maths Lesson'. I'm putting the finishing touches to it this morning.
More WIPs to follow!

Monday 16 June 2014

Paintings In The Pipeline

A Maths Lesson
Good Evening M'Lady
Lounging About
Two of them are up and running. Stay tuned...

Monday 9 June 2014

Momo & The Totobrats

The front cover
Momo & The Totobrats written by Wendy Hesketh and illustrated by me is now available to purchase through amazon. This is the first children's book I have illustrated and therefore it's been a steep learning curve.

Momo (the main character) is a very spoiled little boy who is given everything he wants by his doting parents and grandmother, but they forget to teach him any manners. Momo pushes people around, jumps in front of queues and snatches other people's things. He has no friends. When he meets the Totobrats, he learns a lot about himself.

This book is good for teaching young children manners. It is especially useful for teaching children who have special educational needs, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Parents of all children, but especially those with ADHD, will also find it useful as a way to discuss and encourage positive behaviours.
Some of the interior pages
The style of artwork is very different to the paintings I have been posting more recently here on the blog and that is because I worked on Momo & The Totobrats two years ago. Way before I had a firm hold on my style of artwork and what I was going to do with it. I'm glad I decided to pursue a traditional watercolour wash with coloured pencil technique for the book's 28 illustrations otherwise I might still be working on the book now!