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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Greetings card idea: ‘Topiary love’

Again, a card waiting for a greetings card suitor. Anyone out there?

Greetings card idea: ‘A Man’s Shed’

Leaving the postcards for a moment, this is a painting I did on spec for a (prospective) greetings card company. I've yet to find a suitable comapany to take it on. Ideal for Father's Day, non? I will send some copies to some local shed companies for the hell of it. You never know where these things may lead!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Whitstable Oyster Fest window paintings III

A distinctive feature on Whitstable’s shoreline, this much-photographed, dilapidated tender sits outside the Oyster Company’s restaurant near The Horsebridge Gallery. I used wax to give it that worn, peeling-paint look. (Size: A5, approx 210mm x 148mm) ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR FOR SALE £75

Whitstable Oyster Fest window paintings II

Again, the photo doesn't quite do it justice, but a fast and loose sketch of a couple enjoying the sun on deckchairs. (Size: A5, approx 210mm x 148mm) ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR FOR SALE £75

Whitstable Oyster Fest window paintings

A bad photo, but this aptly kicked off my session in Whitstable Framing’s window on the first day of the Oyster Festival. It shows the oyster smack bringing in the first oysters which are blessed on the beach. And yes, the fishermen are wearing bowler hats, as is tradition! Watercolour on Langton Rough 300gsm paper. (Size: A4, approx 297mm x 210mm) ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR FOR SALE £75 to first bidder by email.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Live painting session in Whitstable shop window Sat 18 July

Tomorrow heralds the opening of The Whitstable Oyster Festival (WOFA). A friend of mine that I met via commuting to London, Andy, now runs Whitstable Framing in the high street. He has a spare window and we thought it would be fun if I did a live painting session there on Saturday. I'll be doing some smallish, sketchy watercolours that I hope will intrigue passers-by, and, of course, hope to sell a few of them via Andy's shop. Should be fun - please come along and say hello! I'll post some pics after the event.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Whitstable dog walker SOLD

I dropped this painting off to a buyer in Holborn today. Turns out she went to Uni with someone that worked with me at Elvis (my day job). Small world! Don't forget to leave that feedback Emma, thanks!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Biro sketch for ‘WWW’

I may accentuate the clicking heels as they are suffering from foreshortening, but this is essentially on the button. The Whitstable Fish Market under The Crab and Winkle Restaurant has a very distinctive hand-painted white lettering style on the black wooden shiplap buildings, which I am keen to mimic. Like my ‘Whitstabubble’ artwork, I have included the crab with his winkle in the image for added humorous edge. A couple of steel supports remain twisted on the base as he jumps free.

‘Whitstable Works Wonders’ scamps

As you can see from the sketches, I was keen to turn a very static, passive model into something a bit more interesting. Perhaps the influence of watching such films as Ray Harryhausen’s ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, I’ve always enjoyed the statue-coming-to-life scenario! Anyway, this one was coming together nicely from an early stage.

His new dodgy paint job...

This is how he looks now. Gone is the authentic colour scheme, but hey, at least he’s still around. In my design, I plan to literally ‘bring him to life’ and pose him in a West End musical-like 'clicking-of-the-heels' pose in mid-air, with the legend: “Whitstable Works Wonders”. Well, fish is good for you.

The next postcard image based on Whitstable Fish Market’s trawlerman model

Keen to move onto a more ‘Whitstable-centric’ postcard this time, I have chosen this iconic figure (not sure whether he’s fibreglass or wooden). This first pic shows him in his original paint job (hich I’ll be following in my painting). A lovely egg-yolk yellow waterproof and so’wester and the (cod) fish’s colour and his own skin tones look accurately rendered. But you can see in this old pic that his paint job was peeling and in need of a bit of tender loving care.

The artist as a 'Fly Guy'

A very talented artist friend of mine, Carl Lyons, claims he was inspired by my blog the other day and emailed me this lovely portrait of me, knowing what a keen fly-fisherman I am. Carl and I used to work together on licensed character work for the likes of Disney many moons ago. It was a lot of fun, we mucked about a lot! Carl’s impressive website is here if you want to have a gander:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Exhibiting here in July & August at Forge2 Gallery, nr Banbury, Oxfordshire, England.

A pic of Forge2 art gallery in the village of Culworth, Oxfordshire, UK. See Bedecked with Union Jack bunting, a retro caravan and stripey deckchairs, Fiona and I attended the Private View here on Fiday evening. With a bracing mix of sunshine-filled paintings, azure glassworks and seaside ceramics, all that was missing was the sand between our toes. Runs until the end of August 2009.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My original inspiration, John Hassal’s art

It may be different in style of course with flat colour and a black outline, but the spirit of my painting I think is very much in the same vein as Hassal’s.

“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!” the final painting

Done. The final watercolour painting. Very pleased with the general feeling of the piece. Celebratory, bracingly good old-fashioned British fun at the seaside! With a subtle nod in atmosphere to John Hassall (see image and post above). Note the vertical wax effect in front of the sea on the right, put down after the first wash of sandy yellow. This keeps the sand looking fresh and wet-looking. Off to turn this into a postcard and limited edition giclée prints next!

hand-drawn type

You can just make out the original hand lettering through the thick 300gsm paper. This was shot while the lightbox was on and all lights off to help me see even better. Again, the cry of seagulls in the background helped add authentic atmosphere! Using permanent black ink and a fine 0.2 nib, there was no going back should I make a mistake at this point. I made up the font on the hoof, but it’s a classical one based on 20+ years of being a graphic designer and art director, somewhere between a Garamond and a Times New Roman, I’d say!

the happy couple

The finished article. Still characteristically loose, but that’s how I like it.

‘local’ colour line work

Putting in what I call the ‘local’ line work. Any outline reflects the colour within, thus a pink skintone fill will have a warm reddy brown outline and a green and white costume a green outline.