Archive Gallery - EARLY LEARNING ...
Just by way of a little background ...
These items are here to give a little background to my journey so
far. Many of these pieces date back over thirty years to a time
when my art was an amusement, a pass-time, a release from daily
I am offering them mostly for the benefit of other artists, particularly
those beginning their own journey, to show that with persistence
and a great deal of work, you can hone your skills and get better
over time ...
Early Pencil Drawings ...
I’m starting with pencil drawings because that’s where I started,
doodling on photo-copy paper and any old scraps that came to hand.
Early “Moonlight Cameos” in Inks ...
WAY-back-when I first began create these little black & white images I had no idea what I was
doing or trying to achieve. They began with tracings through grease-proof paper stolen from my
mother’s kitchen cabinet. I wanted to map out all the colour changes in a face, but through this
dense ‘tracing paper’ I could only see the most prominent - so I traced those.
Then I began to block in the mass of dark areas with black ball-point pen and black felt
markers. What remained white was the untouched paper that became the pure highlights. The
ones shown here were created much further down the line - 10-20 years or so later. They are
still very crude but show promise. If you click to enlarge them you will see the pen strokes on
many of them. These days I try hard to avoid any detail lines at all, such as the ‘inner outline of
hair or an eye-lid that you will see on some of these examples.
Of late I have learned to achieve excellent results without all the scribbled ink by using - yes,
you guessed it - PhotoShop! It’s still a long process - usually 4-6 hours - but the results are
cleaner and can by resized much more efficiently. My digital Moonlight Gallery page is HERE
This little silhouette fascinates me ...
When I first created this little lady I didn’t
realise that she can be viewed from two
The image on the left is the original and
the two on the right show how it can be
‘perceived’ differently by the viewer.
Early Water Colour Paintings ...
When I was presented with a set of water colour paints and some nice quality water colour paper
for Christmas 1983, dread was my first response!
I didn’t do ‘colour’. Pencils were my passion and anything I had ever tried to paint at school - I
ruined in the process - NOT a good experience. But then ‘art’ at school never was for me - “OK
children, here’s some poster paints and free paper - go to it!” PATHETIC!
But with these paints came a ‘teach yourself” book and so I gave it a go. A lot of nice quality
paper went in the trash during the days that followed and so I decided to paint on the cheap stuff.
Well maybe it was because I was then able to relax, I don’t know, but virtually the first thing I ever
did on that paper - kinda worked! Confidence grew and in the days that followed so did most of
these little paintings that follow ...
Three things took me away from pressing on with my water
colour paintings: my continued lack of confidence with this
medium and work-a-day life, being two, the other was
discovering the airbrush (see below)
The good news? I did pick up my water colours again
recently and though I tore up several attempts (again!) I do
claim a few successes, including “Mischa” (left).
My First Two Oil Paintings ...
Early Airbrush Art ...
Sorry ... none of the images below are for sale unless
Artworks from Way Back When ...
“Ye Olde Thatch Cottage”
This pencil drawing was quite a project
and took well over 40 hours to complete.
The original is around 22” x 15”
I was really quite happy with the textures
achieved in the stonework, etc.
The image on the left was my first ever ‘proper’ painting using an
airbrush - BUT ... and it’s a HUGE - BUT ...
I bought the kit and two or three books on airbrush technique. It
turned out to be quite a learning curve! Just getting control of the
airflow and paint mix was a challenge and so I would guess that
something more than twenty hours of actually squirting paint onto
paper will have preceded this simple, little 6” x 8” image and for all
its many flaws, I was very pleased with it.
To view my mini airbrush tutorial - CLICK HERE
THIS, you have to read ...
My mother bought me a Daler Rowney oil
colour painting kit for my 21st birthday.
back in 1968, Fact is - the gift frightened
the life out of me! These were the tools of
REAL artists after all!
I put the box in a draw and it has migrated
from one draw to another for just under
Then, in 2006 I dared open the box again. Remarkably (to me) the paints were still in perfect
condition. I took out the 7” x 10” art board that was included and dared open paints. There was a
little instruction book in there too, so I gave it a quick read, then started pushing the paint around.
WOW! is the only way to describe the experience - The highly flawed painting of Kate Winslett
(above left) on it’s horribly heavily toothed ground was the result and despite its many short-
comings it left me wondering how come I could have been SO foolish as to leave the moment so
The Painting now call “Full House” (above right) came next and I was on my way to a love affair I
sincerely hope lasts the rest of my days! See my OIL COLOUR GALLERY and “Laetitia”, who was
number three and then maybe you will see why I would encourage every artist to give oils a try -
they’re really NOT a scary as they may seem!
Attempt number two became “Contemplation” (left).
Still learning ...
When I first completed the figure on this painting and it was lying there on
its pure white background, I simply could not believe I had created it. I
proudly asked my wife what she thought of it and her answer was a quite
dismissive, “It’ll be nice.” Turned out she thought she was looking at a
photo I had cut out and laid down on my drawing board!
I then became so afraid of ruining it, That I covered her in Frisk (see my
Airbrush Tutorial) and painted in the monolithic backdrop using only an old
ruler as a mask.
is available for sale,
Further down the line, “Beauty and The Beast” (left) was a near-miss.
I really must re-visit this concept one day. I tried it twice. The other version
has ‘Beauty’ dressed in blue and the building was a deep mauve. “The Beast
was red and so I think offered something closer to a satanic figure than I
I just love the story here. The subtle ball and chain denies Beauty her
freedom of choice, the rose on the floor, a rejected gift, and the rounded
shoulders of the Beast as he slinks away goes to his lack of understanding
that, well - this ain’t no way to treat a lady!
The two scenes below both have a little place in my personal history. The Derbyshire scene was one of a
never-completed set of six. An aborted commission for a calendar, but my heart simply wasn’t in it and I
relinquished the project. “Woodland Walk” was just me playing with light and shadow. It was a scene purely
from my imagination and it shows, though it does have elements that please me. Mostly though, the memory
comes from the comment my daughter, Karen made when speaking of it with a friend: “My dad can paint
anything - as long as it’s got a woman in it!” Mmm ... there’s a truth in there somewhere!