Just a sketch

John (graphite on paper)

John: artist and philosopher. A quick sketch before venturing out to the pub to put the world to rights.

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'Rainbow' - Pastel - 50cm x 40cm (click to view larger image)

I bought this rainbow trout this morning and couldn’t resist trying another quick still life.

Working with fresh fish I am obliged to work quicker than I usually do: artists can’t afford to to let food go off ! And working at speed can sometimes result in unexpected qualities that are pleasing. I have to admit I’m pleased with this one.

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Another experiment with ‘painterly realism’

Herring - Pastel 50cm x 40cm (click to view a larger image)

I worked rapidly on this painting – in fact the fish was still fresh enough to gut and bake after I’d painted sufficient information from these two herring.

I find wet fish at once beautiful and disturbing ! 

It’s back to high realism next week – a corporate commission which I look forward to posting here on completion.

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Latest Paintings

Portraits of Max and Lara

Latest Portraits (click to see larger image)

Here are my two latest paintings, a portrait of Max completed in December 2011, and a portrait of Lara completed this week.

The first has high detail, using the full range of pastels in the armoury, whereas the portrait of Lara is more painterly, using only the ‘big sticks’, i.e. soft pastels (leaving the conté pastels and the pastel pencils in their boxes).

The two paintings have set my course for 2012, in which I will fluctuate between high realism and painterliness. In fact, I think the Lara portrait might be described as ‘painterly realism’, although I have deviated a little from ‘real’ colour and tonal values to achieve the moody chiaroscuro effect.

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A couple of sketches in oil

Sketch  in oils – 18cm x 18cm


I will be doing some work in oils this year.  It’s more practical for plein air painting, especially in the north of England, where it can rain for a part of every day for a whole month, even in the summer !

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