Showing posts from February, 2012

McIlhenny’s Tabasco Sauce bottle

Some objects at first sight at least, appear quite bland, yet always look great painted or drawn, I always think. Whether it’s a tin of soup (Warhol), a smoker’s pipe (Magritte) or even my loosely-painted sketch of a tabasco bottle, their representation as a screenprint, sketch or painting, brings interest anew to an erstwhile uninspiring item. Forgive the pun, but that’s what draws me to bringing them to light. As a graphic designer, I love the simple label typography, limited in colour, but on a richly-hued pepper-red product. An icon-in-the-waiting perhaps. (Black)Indian ink, Winsor & Newton Polar White ink and watercolour on Paperchase Kraft Cream hardback sketchbook.

Fishy fundraiser: Local mackerel III in Kent Messenger

Local mackerel III appears in today’s Kent Messenger. Hundreds of postcards of Local mackerel III have sold at a pound each, 100% of which goes to the charity.

Winter hedges

Driving down the motorway tonight I saw this dramatic scene of a high row of hedges chopped with a ruler-straight top against a cool blue darkening sky. I tried to retain the image as best I could in my head and set brush to paper soon after getting home. I think there’s much potential in this image - it would make a particularly nice three colour print, for starters. Painted with Winsor & Newton watercolour on 400gsm Three Rivers extra rough, mould-made paper.

Abreast of plans, cover of today’s Herne Bay Times


‘Abreast of Plans’ saucy postcard-style painting

My local Herne Bay Pier pier pavilion, a bit of a loveable but ugly 70s architectural icon, is currently under the demolition man’s hammer. However, plans are (ahem!) abreast to design a more aesthetic replacement for the main pavilion which was once home to a legendary skating rink now at Herne Bay High School.  I had gander at the plans in last week’s local paper and the new design gave me erm, a couple of pointers regarding a painting opportunity. The above is my Donald McGill-inspired watercolour entitled ‘Abreast of Plans’, (dimensions approx 30cm x 30cm). This will be on the front page no less of The Herne Bay Times tomorrow morning, (Thursday 16th Feb 2012) so this is a sneeky peek! Original for sale - please email me with enquiries.

Painting details

Swing-top flask

A quick sketch on a new supply of Jacksons Eco Handmade Watercolour Paper (extra rough) 425gsm. The extremely rocky surface is hard work for a scratch pen and the lines bleeds a lot of course, but makes for a rich base for the watercolours. A touch of wax candle in places gives us some white relief within the glass.

Hand-drawn type Phrenology head

The original for this design drawn for a school quiz was painted with brush and black Rotring ink on paper and converted to colour in Photoshop. Inspired by antique Phrenology busts used to map out the supposed workings of the brain.

‘Local mackerel III’ for The Folkestone Macmillan Art Show’

Creative Canterbury recently alerted me to Cancer charity Macmillan’s Folkestone Art Show 2012. Last year I exhibited alongside loftier artists such as Tracey Emin with my ‘Local mackerel’ (Margate version) in a Pilgrim’s Hospice exhibition of artists’ postcards at Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery. Folkestone is a local Kentish seaside town that I thought would adapt well to the mackerel concept. The original idea was a linocut (see previous post) and I have also painted a whole shoal of these as small watercolour originals (Whitstable version, which are sold at Taking the Plunge in Whitstable High Street), but this is the first time I have turned to canvas to convey the concept.

I transfered the design to the large (0.5m x 1m wide) box canvas by the time-homoured process of drawing a grid over a linoprint and translating the size upwards to the canvas. I then painted the sea and base colour which I left to dry.

Now down to the black li…

National Trust sign (Mosaic)

Another painting for one of Fiona’s Photo Mosaics. Scratch (dip) pen and Indian ink with watercolour and wax (texture).