Blue Portrait Game Changer

This painting was a bit of a game changer for me.

I’ve been finding my feet with all my other paintings up until now, cautiously experimenting and learning what works and what doesn’t.

This time I painted the self portrait with no pre-sketch and no image/photograph as a guide. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and see what happened, using only blue and white.

I’m really happy with it.


When I had hair x3

Here’s three versions of the same image…


Sketched with my finger on a phone screen/app


Sketched with an apple pencil on an iPad


16”x12” Oil on Canvas Board

Weekly Palette #4

Inspiring and interesting this week…

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Thomas Golunski - see his work here


Jamie Gallagher is a figurative painter living and working in Somerset, England. See his work here.


Aly Harte is a local (local to me) Artist from Northern Ireland. See her amazing and varied range of works here.


Katya Robinson is doing the Turps Banana Correspondence Course - see more of her work here.


Mathieu Laca creates amazing, intriguing and textured portraits… a little surreal eh? See his work here.

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The first issue of Art News and Reviews (as ArtReview was then called) was published on 12 February 1949, by Richard Gainsborough, a retired doctor, and his wife, the designer Eileen Mayo. To celebrate its 70-year anniversary, ArtReview has attempted to tell the story of some of the debates that animated its pages, as well as to chronicle some of the issues with which art has concerned itself over the past seven decades.

Weekly Palette #3

Inspiring and interesting this week…


The amazing and sublime work of Conrad Jon Godly - see more here


Tai Shan Schierenberg… you may have seen him on the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year see more here


Sedrick Huckaby- see more here


I really love the work of Malcolm T Liepke - see more here

Self Portrait #1

In my previous post I quickly explained how a painting - in this case a self portrait - starts with a photograph, a sketch outline and then the paint or other medium. 

Here is that finished self portrait.  

16”x12” Oil on Canvas Board


Follow my exploration of portraits and oil paints and, watch me evolve and stretch as an artist here on my journal or, via my Instagram.


Starting all over again as a forty-something artist

I left school with a GCSE A-Grade in Art and Design. I can barely remember what that subject was, except that I sketched and painted a lot. I don’t remember learning anything much besides how to stare at an object and sketch what I saw. Stare and sketch. And repeat. 

And then I left school. No direction. No focus.  No plan. 

It’s ludicrous that twenty five years later, I’m painting again for the first time since that GCSE art class. Last year I dabbled with digital painting. I’ll continue to do that but, now I’m actually painting. Oil on canvas. 


It’s quite literally like starting all over again as a forty-something artist.

As with a blank canvas, the possibilities are endless. 

No rules. No expectations.

Just blank canvas... 

Let’s see what happens.