Well there are a few problems with this but I’ll publish it anyway. I like the light on the boats and may do it again, making the boats bigger to fill the foreground. But, in my humble opinion  there are some good aspects as well, so here it is.

It is a similar subject to a painting I saw Joe Dowden had got published in a UK painting magazine years ago. He had blurred the marker flags on the single boat and you got the feeling of a very stiff onshore breeze. I was impressed and called the number at the end of the article. I asked Joe whether he did any courses. He then started to ramble on about cats and dogs and after a few minutes I couldn’t see where he was going. I rephrased the question and asked about lessons. Oh, he replied, I thought you said , did I do horses. I could hear a burst of laughter on the other end of the phone from people around him. At the time he didn’t, but years later he started running courses in Dubrovnik and I went on one. It was very good. Joe is a great teacher. His books are good to, full of very useful techniques, some I have used on this painting. He has a great website too.

I also have a good website:



We went to London to visit my daughter and had a look around Highgate Cemetery and then on to Parliament Hill to look over the city. By that time a late winter sun had come through, bathing everything in evening light. Making our way back I came across this fruit stall and the light picked out highlights on the wares and on passers by and vendors, I thought that it would make a challenging image to paint. I think I could improve the contrast on it which might give it a bit more power, but for now I thought I’d put it up and get on with another one.

Other paintings are on my website



I took some watercolour paper and covered it in red, also adding some splashes of greens, blues and yellows. The figure was into the light and allowed me to use the highlighted edges to define the outline. I let a lot of the background come through with the risk of  underworking the forms. I like the head as it turns away and restricted its size to get the hands in. Perhaps I should have just made a portrait of it. I brought some of the greens and yellows into the figure. Perhaps I could have used them to create form rather than decoration.

Other life paintings are on my website



Another view of Upper Street from the other Saturday. I struggled with this when setting up the background buildings. I wanted to get some details in such as windows and varying the tones of the stonework that can be seen in the centre section and then I washed in some shape on either side with different hues of blues and purples. When I got the foreground actors in I realised that the areas where I did the least work, ie the sides, came out the best and the middle is a little forced. Still I love the different architectural shapes and the busses really set the thing off.

More watercolours and other media can be found on my website:



The back streets of central Liverpool around Bold Street are filled with pubs, clubs and small businesses , but they still have a run-down and neglected feel about them. In the darkness, with the shafts of street  and commercial lighting, architecture is transformed with some features being promoted and others slipping out of vision. Ugliness is softened into intriguing shapes and forms. This was the scene which confronted me as I came out the Fact arts centre on my way to a life drawing session. I went back a few times to get a few more shots and this is an amalgam of a number of shots.

Other scenes of Liverpool are on my website



Last week I went down to the London Art Fair. It is a good event to see work by contemporary artists which are a little less off the wall. I like to have a look around and seek out things which could give me inspiration. You can take photos of the work so I came back with lots of ideas. Now I need to review them and use them in work of my own. After around four hours I decided to go down to the Tate Modern and made my way to the Angel Underground station. It was a glorious winter’s afternoon and the light coming down the high street was magical on a busy Saturday. I took a number of photos. This painting was an amalgam of three of them. There are a few more left, so you never know…

I will be posting this onto my website:



The model came in with blue hair, but didn’t look well. She took a long time to settle. At first she was looking up. Then, after we started on the pose she started to look down, which was a better pose. We all changed our drawings. Then, after complaining about the backless chair, resumed her initial pose. I stayed with what I had and worked on. She closed her eyes and entered into a stillness, but I wanted to contradict this with some strokes and scrapes.

I had built the painting on a very dark background and I felt this gave me a lot of options. I will be trying this approach again and see if I can develop it further.

Further figurative work is on my website;