This is where my latest work can be seen including step-by-step progress reports, news and merchandising as well as features on artists, living and dead who I would like to draw people's attention to. Please note all my images are covered by International Copyright laws. Copyright to other artists images resides with the artist or their estate, their inclusion on this blog a result of my missionary zeal and to no profit for myself!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


A lone temple overlooks a wet plain that leads to a distant range of mountains, a normally desolate landscape is softened and filled with light as the last sun of the afternoon illuminates the scene. In the foreground a lone figure walks towards a cave that the ancient temple has been built around. This is the farthest reach of the kingdom, beyond here is the unknown, perhaps this is a priestess that tends the shrine within the cave that forms a protection from whatever exists in the unknown lands beyond.
This is the last large painting of the group that I will be taking to Illuxcon next month. The focus of the picture is really the yellows and oranges of the mountain and the reflections in the wet plain, the foreground temple is secondary so the painting is really about light and colour.
I have painted it with what could be called a full-saturation limited palette based on a red/orange - violet  near complementary colour axis (it makes more sense when the painting is seen in the flesh as I am unable to get an accurate photo with my current camera).
Oil on canvas 31 1/2 " x 15 1/2". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in earlier posts on this blog.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 8

Pretty much finished the background and have started on the foreground. I'm kind of working within a full-saturation limited palette (!) if that makes any sense, essentially working around variations of oranges and violets based on a complementary yellow/violet colour axis. I need to have this finished by Wednesday morning as I need to get it to my framer in time to have them ready to ship to the USA by the 12th October.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 7

Finally decided to paint a thin glaze of orange over the sky which has unified the colour a bit and knocked back the lit mountain on the left to make it recede better. I was worried about the predominance of oranges so I put some pinks into the distant shadows which gives a bit more variety of colour. I then realised that the reflected light in the wet plain was too light so I made it darker and vignetted around it with darker colours as well as painting more detail into the curves of the landscape.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 6

I didn't get a lot done today as I had to go to London this afternoon but I managed to pretty much finish the distant mountains (bar the possible glaze on the sky) and I made a start on defining the shapes and tones of the watery plain.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 5

I separated the two mountains with some shadow and then worked on the foothills and mid-ground plain ready to finish tomorrow. I also put in some rough detail into the foreground building and rocks. Still dithering about a glaze on the sky.....

Monday, 21 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 4

I decided that the mountains looked too isolated and gave no indication of a land beyond which is really the point of the painting, a borderland, so I have put in a line of mountains beyond. I then made a start on the mountains in the light (which I want to glow when finished). I will probably paint a yellow glaze over the sky for more colour unity. Once I get some darks in I can see how well the mountains are going to glow and can then work on the reflections in the watery landscape.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Borderlands - stage 3

I have added another glaze to all of the painting and made a start on the sky, this in turn will have a yellow glaze over it before proceeding with the mountains and far background.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Borderlands - stages 1 & 2

The last full-scale painting that I can complete in time for Illuxcon, "Borderlands" is a working title for this picture of a shrine or temple overlooking a normally desolate landscape that will all be about the lighting that I hope will transform the scene into something beautiful and mysterious. Low sunset golden light shines onto the distant mountains which is then reflected in the watery landscape leading to the temple. 
The first stage was "drawn" in with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin. I then put in an underpainting with a rag using the same paint mix thinned with Liquin and turpentine as well as a wash of transparent yellow and orange as I want these areas to have a rich colour to them as I proceed through the painting.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Sailing Into Byzantium

A ship approaches the harbour of Constantinople in the misty morning light, the rising sun catching the highest golden domes of the fabulous city. On board is the Emissary of the Court Of King James to present himself to the newly appointed Sultan. Gathered in the harbour are many other boats from European courts all vying with each other to further their influence with the new power to extend their trade in exotic spices, silks and other goods that come here via the The Silk Road from far away Asia.
Another Orientalist painting heading for Illuxcon, this time an imagination of the capital of Byzantium (I just love the name). I have made the city taller and larger as well as moving things around and giving the harbour a protective wall. I wanted it to be warm and colourful based on an orange/violet colour palette although it has come out a bit subtler and softer than how I first envisaged it.
Oil on canvas 23 1/2" x 19 3/4". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

"Streets Are Paved With Gold" sold

I am happy to report that "Streets Are Paved With Gold" has sold to a buyer in Dundee, Scotland. It was first exhibited in the Artist Of The Year show at the Mall Galleries, London in January this year and then was exhibited in the Llewellyn Alexander gallery in Waterloo, London in the Not The Royal Academy Show.

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 6

I have decided to retitle the painting when it is finished as "Sailing Into Byzantium" as that more accurately reflects what is happening in the picture. Have pretty much finished the city buildings bar a few tweaks that will be done when the foreground is finished. Have put in the basic underpainting for the ship and city walls as well as the boats tied up in the harbour and hope to get the painting finished on Friday when I will be going away from the studio for a few days.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 5

Painted in most of the city buildings but need to make various adjustments of colour and refining of some buildings. I don't want the misty area to be too dark.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 4

Somehow didn't get that much done today although this part of the picture where I am painting in the buildings is somewhat fiddly. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the background buildings finished....

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 3

Getting a better idea of how the lighting is going to work now I have made a start on the buildings. It's coming out a bit subtler than I intended but that's fine, every painting somehow has a life of their own and I will go along with it.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

"Dome Of The Assassin" damaged

The tear
Unfortunately while rearranging a bookcase in my studio some books fell on to some paintings, one of which, "Dome Of The Assassin" now has a tear in it. The other painting that was slightly damaged was "Mosque Of Wadi Mektoub" but that was just a couple of slight scratches that I have now painted over and now cannot be seen. Various suggestions have been made as to what to do with "Dome Of The Assassin" including repairing and then painting a small ship over it to try and disguise the damage and also a suggestion to crop the painting but that puts the composition out.......

The painting before the tear

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 2

I didn't manage to get anything done yesterday as I went to London to enter a couple of paintings in the Discerning Eye exhibition at The Mall Galleries. Using mainly transparent scumbles I have painted in the underpainting to the different areas of the picture which now gives a better idea as to how I intend it to look. I don't want it to be too smooth and defined so I roughly put in shapes of buildings which will form the basis for the architecture - it needs to look huge and complex without being painted too tight. I hope to make a start on the golden sunlight hitting the upper hill while the lower part of the city goes into the morning mist tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Dreaming Of Byzantium - stage 1

After abandoning a number of ideas that just didn't cut it in the final instance I settled on this, another Orientalist picture, an imagination of Byzantium (Constantinople, the modern day Istanbul) in it's heyday. This is very much a fantasy as I have moved elements of the skyline around, made it taller and added a gateway to the port. I nearly called it "Sailing Into Byzantium" but that is very similar to the title of a famous poem. The top part of the city will be lit by a low, golden sun with the lower part melding into the morning mist (or is it evening?).
The first stage was "drawn" with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Lukas Number 5 Medium so that it would be dry for the afternoon session when I blocked in some colour underpainting including some tonal indications of what elements I intend to paint in like boats in the harbour and the buildings.