Saturday saw a now rare opportunity for me to do some life painting and drawing. This study above was done in acrylic. I decided to roughly paint areas of light and shade before I did any drawing and I was pleased with the energy this created in the final piece.

I did this second one in a similar way, but I felt it lacked something of the first study.

Perhaps it was the stiffer pose and the lighting not being as effective. At this point of the session, the guy running the show decided to have two models posing together. I decided to focus on just the female model because the male model was even more rigid as the quick sketch below left shows.

So, it was good to get at least one satisfying painting from the day, especially as I hadnt attended a life session since December. I must make more of an effort, but the thought of standing, cramped in a room with a whole bunch of artists for two or three hours is still unappealing – especially as I want to go on holiday in a few weeks time.

Other life paintings can be found on my website: grahammcquadefineart,com


I havent been doing so much life drawing recently. I feel I have lost my way a little and the unimaginative poses and lighting have contributed. I was going to do this pose as a fore-shortened view from the feet but was pretty uninspired by it. I wandered around the model and from this angle the interplay of light and shade made for a really interesting image.

The teal was out on this painting as well and with her orange hair and fingernails it didnt take much for the oranges to follow.

Other life drawing and painting is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



It’s been almost two months since I did any life drawing – that is if you discount drawing animals on the Etosha Saltpan. It is also about the same time since I did any pastel work. So I went down to the Liver Sketching Club and eased myself in between the easels, without standing on too many toes, and had a go yesterday. Here is the result. I did go in with a game plan of working off a mix of background colours, but could have thought the scheme through a bit better in relation to the selection of colours. Though I do always take a couple of different coloured papers, normally a cool and warm and dark and light and select one depending on the mood and pose at the time, so there are always many options which would need to be considered beforehand.

Anyway, it’s just a piece of paper and it got me up and running again.

Other life drawings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



A little more extensive use of charcoal with the pastel though still not getting the grittiness or directness I am after.


In the one above I used even more charcoal, though probably too much and not to its greatest effect.


And finally a portrait of the child of a child of the sixties, but with the lighting so poor in the studio the features are flattened by the glaring light. Another of life’s little challenges, I expect some of you have shared.

Other life drawings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



This is a painting of a guy I was at art college with and who occasionally models. He stepped in last week when the original model pulled out. I was pleased with the face as it captured him really well, the trouble is with the hands, which I could have tidied up later, but as I gave him the painting at the end of the session, it’s too late.

Other life painting with better hands is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



The old tracks and roads which crisscross the Moss behind Southport where I live start to heave and bend as the land around dries out. The poles which adorn the roadside then tip like dancing men. Here is a typical path which disappears  out of sight done in pastel.

Other paintings of the Halsall Moss are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



If you’re thinking that you may have seen this before, you’re correct I have posted it once already. The reason why I am doing it again is that I entered this painting, along with a couple of others, into a national painting magazine competition and this has been shortlisted. Artists and Illustrators (the magazine) even published the image in their January edition along with a few of the other shortlisted paintings.

It’s the first competition I’ve entered as I have qualms with the validity of such exercises, but if it helps in  sales and exposure then I can be persuaded.

It will be part of an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London at the back end of January, along with the other shortlisted entries and where a winner? will be announced.

There is also an online, readers’ choice award where you can vote for my entry, or one of the others if you choose, by going to: www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/shortlist2017  

Other unshortlisted paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com






I haven’t put many figurative paintings on the blog of late, but I’m still churning them out. Here are three of the latest. The first and the last are acrylic whilst the middle one is pastel.

Other figurative work is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



When I was out painting the other day, as I put the bike back on the rack of the car, I looked over and noticed the trees in the field to my right. I’m not sure what I liked about it, the view behind into the far fields or the counter changes of light and shade, across the field. Anyway, here it is: an English meadow on a summer’s day.

Other landscapes for sale  are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



I just did this from an old acrylic painting – see below – for a lady who has been buying a number of my life paintings. She told me last week that she wanted one more to accompany one she has bought – Mark posted on Nov 19th 2015. I thought I would do a female in the same style. Hope she likes it.


Girl on a Hot Green Throw was done in acrylics last week.


The original from which I did the pastel

Other life drawing is available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com