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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! :)


THE TACTICIAN AND THE MAGICIAN - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the remarkable Luis Suarez, in b&w acrylic on 18" x 14" box canvas (MAR/APR 2014)

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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.










(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








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








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








(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








(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

MY FAIR LADY - I had to paint an Audrey Hepburn piece for myself after thoroughly enjoying painting the commissioned "Audrey" piece last time. Again it's in b&w acrylic on 18" x 14" box canvas (MAR 2014) SOLD at Galleria, Rainhill for £180.00 in Dec '15

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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) Another 2hrs15 done tonight. Very tiresome but productive day!

My Fair Lady 13hrs













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

My Fair Lady 18hrs













(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.

AUDREY - commissioned piece for a friend's mums birthday. Audrey Hepburn, done from a rather obscure photo, in standard b&w acrylic on 18" x 14" box canvas (FEB 2014) SOLD

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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 :)














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













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













(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













(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













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













(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…

Ali (The Greatest)

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Muhammad Ali













Ali 20mins sketch

(29/01/14) 20 minute sketch. My drawing is awful, almost comical!

Ali 1hr30













(29/01/14) 1hr30mins so far

Ali 2hrs45













(30/01/14) 2hrs 45

Ali 3hrs45













(02/02/14) 5hrs 45

Ali 7hrs45













(07/02/14) 11hrs 45

Ali (The Greatest)













(09/02/14) Ali, “The Greatest” completed, 16 hours overall

JOKERMAN - Heath Ledger as 'The Joker' from "The Dark Knight", commissioned piece done in b&w acrylic on an 18" x 14" box canvas (JAN 2014) SOLD

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








(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








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








(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!…

GATSBY - standard b&w acyrlic on 18" x 14" box canvas, Leonardo Di Caprio in iconic scene from "The Great Gatsby" (JAN 2014)

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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








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








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








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








(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…

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Gatsby photo Jokerman photo

The photo on the left of Leonardo Di Caprio in “The Great Gatsby” is what I shall be working from, as an experiment on capturing expression, of which his is fantastic in this picture. The photo on the right is of Heath Ledger as ‘The Joker’ from Batman, and I shall be painting this as my first commission for the year :).

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Amongst all of the nice gifts I received from loved ones today, I got these two great presents…

Christmas Prezzies

I’m sure they will both be inspiring and educational and it should be interesting to see if, and how, my style evolves after reading and studying the techniques in the one book and appreciating the masterpieces in the other. Great gifts! I now feel the need to return to my “Papa Burgundy” piece, which I have taken a few days off from working on. Shouldnt be too long now I hope.

PAPA BURGUNDY - Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) from the original Anchorman movie, in black and white acrylic on a 16" x 12" canvas (DEC 2013)

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With the imminent release of Anchorman 2 this month I can think of nobody better to paint than the legend himself, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell). I’m really looking forward to starting this one tonight, particularly because the image I have chosen has a lot of background detail which most of my previous pieces have lacked. “Let the games begin!..” 😀

Papa Burgundy pic


Thirty minutes or so it took for this basic sketch, again on 16″ x 12″ canvas (09/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy sketch


To get the base colours took a lot longer than usual, an hour and a half this morning (10/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 2hrs


This morning I focused on the upper left side of the piece – it took me TWO HOURS just to get the right head shapes on the poster/picture, the owl ornament and a few other details (11/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 4hrs

A quick 45 mins done before work, on the small faces in picture (14/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 8hrs45

Started around 9:30am today and, with a couple of breaks in between, did about 2hrs45 from middle to far right – one more sweep from left to right will see a near-finished piece :) (16/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 13hrs


Did another two hours last night, concentrating on the small Ron Burgundy faces poster, and an hour this morning on the owl and palm tree ornament (17/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 16hrs

Did another hour before bed last night and then another hour this morning (Boxing Day) concentrating on the small Ron Burgundy faces, the owl, and the eagle trophy and background (26/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy 23.5 hours


All done just before the years end! Approximately 33 hours work. Mildly pleased (31/12/13)…
Papa Burgundy