Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Beat The Drum

I've painted these two guys, who are members of the street band Clanadonia, once before, but I wanted to paint them again in more of a close-up approach. The kilt tartan was tricky - trying to focus on it nearly made me cross-eyed! Clanadonia can often be seen (and heard!) on the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow. They're great entertainment, full of energy and character.

Monday, 10 July 2017


OK, this isn't my usual kind of thing, but I have done a few non-objective (abstract) paintings in the past. This one is heavily influenced by the style of an American artist, Mark Mehaffey, who applies watercolour and gouache to a surface called YUPO paper. It isn't really paper, it's plastic, and it doesn't absorb paint. That means you have to let the paint dry - very slowly - through evaporation only. The beauty of YUPO is that you can quickly and easily remove areas of paint later on, which you can't do with conventional watercolour paper. In fact, you need to make the removal of paint part of the painting process to get the best out of YUPO.

Anyway, I got hold of some YUPO last year and dabbled with it for a while. More recently I took it up again, borrowed some of Mark Mehaffey's techniques and added a couple of modifications of my own. I call my first effort "Signals". I think it has a bit of a sci-fi vibe, with a suggestion of stars and galaxies, and I completed it by adding circles to indicate radio transmissions from deep space. Even if you don't get it, well, it's colourful, don't you think?

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Sketching Outdoors

I haven't posted for a while... too many other things going on, or maybe I just didn't feel much like painting. 

Anyway, today being a beautiful day, I thought I'd try to get the creative juices flowing again by doing some pencil sketches outdoors. I got my gear together and headed off to the coastal villages of Limekilns and Charlestown. Both places have small harbours.

It was great just to sit quietly on a bench, with a sketchbook balanced on my knees, working away with my trusty 2B pencil. (2B or not 2B, etc.) Here's a photo of the first of several sketches I made, probably the best of the bunch. This little yacht was stuck in the mud at the mouth of Limekilns Harbour. It was actually flying the Jolly Roger! Fortunately for me, there were no pirates anywhere about, just a few noisy seagulls. Possibly the crew had gone to enjoy a few tots of rum at the nearby Ship Inn.

I think this sketch might actually become a painting sometime soon.