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I’m currently working on a side project, unrelated to my ‘icon art’ works, which is going to be a surprise piece for a friend. I’ll upload the work in progress and finished article once its completed and my friend is in possession of the piece…I don’t want to spoil the surprise!! :) (09/06/14)

(12/07/14) So here’s the photo I chose to paint…
Ash N Kev photo
















And here, after about 27 hours, is the finished piece, given to my boss Ashley (on the left) on her wedding day, the 28th June 2014…
Ash n Kev

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The next piece I am going to work on is inspired by my 94 year old nan, who died suddenly last Sunday. Even though she was a ripe old age, I think we are all still in shock as a family. My nan was the head of our family, and ‘family’ is what she was all about – she loved having us all round every Saturday for dinner (cooked by my Auntie Joan for the last few years when my nan became a little too fragile and unsteady on her feet to manage it). Nothing made her happier than visits from her offspring and she is responsible for creating a very close, supportive, well-brought-up family.

In honour of my nans dedication to, and love of, her family and in keeping with the tradition of my “Icon Art”, I have chosen to paint a piece taken from “The Godfather” – in this scene, Michael (Al Pacino) is getting advice from Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), who has recently gone into retirement and has handed the reigns to his youngest son. This scene and this screen shot in particular, to me, portrays the relationship between the old and the young and the importance of that relationship. It illustrates love and respect, something which my nan had for and received from the whole family.

And to lighten the mood within the piece, there is also a part in this scene where Don Corleone shows his age and begins to repeat himself, as my nan so often did, bless her! This is a piece I will put my heart and soul in to, with great pleasure, in honour of my beloved nan…

The Godfathers photo










(13/05/14) 30 minute sketch…
Family 30min sketch








(14/05/14) 2hrs45…
Family 2hrs45








(15/05/14) 3hrs45…
Family 3hrs45









(17/05/14) 4hrs45…
Family 4hrs45








(21/05/14) 9hrs45…
Family 9hrs45









(22/05/14) 12hrs…
Family 12hrs









(22/05/14) 13hrs30…
Family 13hrs30









(25/05/14) 18hrs15…
Family 18hrs15









(27/05/14) 19hrs…
Family 19hrs









(28/05/14) “Family” completed after a total of 20hrs. I’m very happy with this, it was important to get it right and I feel I certainly have…
Family

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I was going to begin this second year of painting by experimenting with colour…but i just don’t feel the time is right yet – I am still loving the black and white effect, its so much more classy/polished.

So, at the end of April I started this piece, taken from the scene in “Casino” where gangster Nicky (Joe Pesci) meets Tangiers Casino boss Sam (Robert De Niro) in the Nevada desert and yells “Get this through your head you Jew motherfucker you – you only exist out here because of ME!… Don’t ever go over my head again, you motherfucker you!” Classic scene, classic Joe Pesci.

Get This Through...IMAGE













(29/04/14) 25mins
Get This Through Your Head You 25mins








(30/04/14) 1hr35
Get This Through Your Head You 1hr35








(04/05/14) 3hrs05
Get This Through Your Head You 3rs05








(08/05/14) 5hrs45
Get This Through Your Head You 5hrs45









(09/05/14) 8hrs
Get This Through Your Head You 8hrs









(10/05/14) 8hrs45
Get This Through Your Head You 8hrs45









(12/05/14) Completed today, approximately 12 hours in total…
Get This Through Your Head

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So i finished my latest painting, “The Tactician and The Magician”, exactly a year to the the day that I started and completed my very first painting, “The Trader”, back on April 18th 2013. What a productive year!

Looking back, I am extremely happy at most of the end results and I think that first year gives me a really good platform to build on – I love the black and white effect but I think maybe i should broaden my horizons a bit now. We shall see what happens next…WATCH THIS SPACE! :)

Ste

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After Luis Suarez scored his third hat-trick of the season in yesterday’s 6-3 win away to Cardiff, it’s time I payed homage to both him and his manager Brendan Rodgers, both of whom are responsible for the rapid improvement in Liverpool’s performances/results this season.
The reason I chose this photo is because it captures Brendan’s intense concentration and ‘focus’ that he repeatedly refers to in post match interviews – just like in those interviews, his face gives nothing away. Compare that to Luis suarez standing next to him, displaying almost child-like body language. I like its ‘father and son’ undertones, which I imagine the relationship between the two to be like. Great photo.
Brendan-Rodgers-Luis-Suarez











(23/03/14) Just did a 25 minute sketch this morning. I’ve learned, patience is key…
The Tactician and The Magician 25mins










(25/03/14) base colours and some shaping done in 45mins today…
The Tactician and The Magician 70mins









(26/03/14) After only 2hrs10 so far, both subjects are really taking shape…
The Tactician and The Magician 2hrs10










(28/03/14) Another hour done this morning. Good likenesses already, pleasing!…
The Tactician and The Magician 3hrs10










(29/03/14) Spent just over 2 hours, mainly on Brendan’s jacket, this morning…
The Tactician and The Magician 5hrs15










(05/04/14) After a week off, due to a killer hangover amongst other issues, an hour done on the background this morning…
The Tactician and The Magician 6hrs15










(06/04/14) Two hours spent on Suarez’s shirt this morning. 8hrs15 done so far in total…
The Tactician and The Magician 8hrs15










(08/04/14) Did one of those hours this morning where nothing much seems to change, concentrating on Brendan’s face mainly…
The Tactician and The Magician 9hrs15










(09/04/14) 11hrs done so far, getting fairly close to completion already…
The Tactician and The Magician 11hrs










(13/04/14) 2hrs30 done this morning before watching what could be a very significant Liverpool win, 3-2 over Man City :)…
The Tactician and The Magician 13hrs30










(16/04/14) 1hrs15 done today, so close to completion now, hopefully get it donw this weekend…
The Tactician and The Magician 14hrs45










(18/04/14) COMPLETED! After just under 5 gruelling hours done today, I’ve finished this piece in a total of 19hrs30, on the same exact date which I started painting last year!…
The Tactician and The Magician

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I’ve become slightly emphatuated with Audrey Hepburn since my last commission, so I am going to paint a portrait of her for myself next. Another, less-common picture…

audrey-hepburn 2
















My Fair Lady 25mins














(01/03/14) 25 min sketch

My Fair Lady 1hr15














(01/03/14) After 1hr15

My Fair Lady 4hrs45














(05/03/14) After 4hr45

My Fair Lady 9hrs15














(06/03/14) Spent 4 and a half hours on my day off today, getting nowhere in the first half of the session but making a little bit of progress towards the end. Frustrating really

My fair lady 11hrs30














(06/03/14) Another 2hrs15 done tonight. Very tiresome but productive day!

My Fair Lady 13hrs














(08/03/14) 13 hours so far.

My Fair Lady 15hrs45














(09/03/14) Just over an hour done yesterday afternoon, and another 90 mins today.

My Fair Lady 18hrs














(12/03/14) 18 hours so far – another 3 or 4 hours maybe to go.

My Fair Lady 19hrs45














(15/03/14) 1hr45 done this morning, mostly softening the background. Face and hair detail next

My Fair Lady 21hrs30














(16/03/14) 21hrs30 done and so close to completion. The hair needs more detail and a bit more touching up in the background – should be finished in the next session or two.

My Fair Lady














(20/03/14) With the last couple of strokes done this morning, “My Fair Lady” is all finished after a total of approximately 25hrs45. I am very happy with the final result, there is not much I’d change or try to improve on. And the likeness is not too far off, which is probably the most important thing. Another thing I’m happy with is the overall brightness of the piece, something which, in hindsight, I realise is severely lacking in some of my previous work (in particular the “Gatsby” painting). I think this piece is a good way to round off my first year of painting, setting a benchmark for the forthcoming 12 months.

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Having been asked to do a painting of the very iconic Audrey Hepburn, I’ve selected this photograph to work from. I love her coy little smile and also the way the background is out of focus (making Audrey the centre of attention), similar to the “Gatsby” painting I recently completed. I’m really looking forward to tackling this piece as I have not painted that many women so far so it should be a challenge :)

audrey-hepburn3

















(11/02/14) Initial sketch done in 25 mins…
Audrey 25mins
















(11/02/14) After 1hr10mins…
Audrey 1hr10

















(11/02/14) Came back this evening and spent TWO HOURS working in poor light, getting nowhere really…
Audrey 3hrs15
















(12/02/14) With fresh eyes, much better progress made this morning in just over an hour. (4hrs15 done so far) …
Audrey 4hrs15

















(14/02/14) Day off it yesterday, 2 hours 15 done this Valentines morning…
Audrey 6hrs30

















(14/02/14) Spent valentines evening with Audrey again, another 2hrs15 done…
Audrey 8hrs45
















(16/02/14) 1hr 15 yesterday, 1hr 15 today. 10hrs45 so far. It’s really taking it’s time this one, I’ve noticed her left eye needs lowering ever so slightly to get a really accurate likeness. Once that’s done I can focus on the rest of the piece because it’s really bugging me that the likeness is not there yet…
Audrey 10hrs45

















(16/02/14) Another hour done before bed, happier now, she’s getting there…
Audrey 11hrs45

















(19/02/14) 2 hours done yesterday and one hour 45 done today…
Audrey 15hrs30

















(22/02/14) An hour done yesterday (eyes and hair) and an hour this morning (left background)…
Audrey 17hrs30

















(25/02/14) “Audrey” completed after an hour yesterday and an hour this morning – 19.5 hours in total. I’ll be really sad to let her go. It’s been very tough to get the likeness and even though she isn’t as perfect as I would have liked, I cannot do any more to this piece without overdoing it…
Audrey

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(05/01/14) Basic sketch done in 15 mins, 18″ x 14″ canvas…
Jokerman 15min Sketch









(05/01/14) Base colours thrown on in 30 mins this evening…
Jokerman 45mins








(06/01/14) 45 mins done this morning and really coming on quick…
Jokerman 1hr30









(07/01/14) Unhappy how this hours session has resulted, if I’m honest. Not enough likeness yet…
Jokerman 2hrs30









(08/01/14) After 4hrs15 so far, the likeness is starting to develop, thankfully…
Jokerman 4hrs15









(08/01/14) Another 45 mins before bed, and the first strokes of the hair are looking good…
Jokerman 5hrs









(10/01/14) After 7 hours now…
Jokerman 7hrs








(11/01/14) 9 hours 15 mins so far, getting there now…
Jokerman 9hrs15









(11/01/14) Another hour done tonight, purely on the shirt and tie…
Jokerman 10hrs15








(12/01/14) Up at 6.30am! An hour done on the jacket and hair!…
Jokerman 11hrs15








(12/01/14) Another hour and 15 mins this morning – getting close now to completion…
Jokerman 12hrs30









(14/01/14) Finishing touches done this morning, after 2 hours done yesterday. After 15 hours, the “Jokerman” is complete!…
Jokerman

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(05/01/14) Basic sketch taking 10 mins, 18″ x 14″ canvas…
Gatsby 10min sketch









(06/01/14) 30 mins of throwing down the base colours…
Gatsby 40mins








(06/01/14) Another 30 mins today, shaping and shading…
Gatsby 1hr10









(07/01/14) An hour done this morning. Gettin a slight likeness…
Gatsby 2hrs10









(14/01/14) After a break from this piece while I concentrated on “Jokerman”, back to it with an hour and 20 mins this morning…
Gatsby 3hrs30









(15/01/14) A quick half an hour done before work…
Gatsby 4hrs









(19/01/14) 45 mins done before work yesterday and 2 hours today…
Gatsby 6hrs45









(19/01/14) another hour done before bed…
Gatsby7hrs45









(21/01/14) 1hr15 done before work, so 9hrs done so far in total…
Gatsby 9hrs









(22/01/14) 45 mins done last night before bed, and an hour done today before work. I love the way the glass has really started to look real!…
Gatsby 10hrs45








(23/01/14) 3 hours 30 done today on my day off. Getting there now…
Gatsby 14hrs15









(24/01/14) Another 1.5 hours last night and an hour today before work…
Gatsby 17hrs









(26/01/14) 2hrs45 done across yesterday and today, so close to complete now…
Gatsby 19hrs45









(26/01/14) Came back to it tonight and got it finished. Approximately 21 hours overall. Although I think this is my best work yet (in terms of complexity with its contrasting foreground and background levels of focus), I now realise the painting is too dark overall. I need to be braver in throwing down brighter whites, and maybe not begin with such dark base colours…
Gatsby