Category Archives: Portraits

learning to sail

Learning to Sail – a commission

A commission I finished a while ago – this is Jeremy Storr’s father learning to sail. He was the only one in the class, so he had all his lessons in the boat! I wanted to show his face – I had a photo where he had a lovely smile – but I thought it would be a shame if you didn’t see the whole boat, so he and his instructor are in the foreground, and at the same time sailing past in the background. Art is useful like that…

learning to sail

Digital drawing – “Learning to Sail”

Hilary scan of painting

A painting commission

Commissioned portrait that I painted last week – an underwater swimmer – Hilary – with gold leaf fragments for bubbles. Unlike most of the swimming commissions so far, this is in paint, not a digital creation. The gold leaf doesn’t show up very well on the scanner, so I’ve photographed it as well, which catches the light on the gold better. The size is about 5.5 inches square.

Hilary close-up

Hilary close-up

Hilary scan of painting

Hilary scan of painting

Hilary photo of painting

Hilary photo of painting

Charlie sketch

In Norfolk

Charlie sketch

Charlie sketch

Cat-of-the-day has been rather neglected of late, in favour of artwork I actually have to get on with, so this weekend visiting my brother’s family in Norfolk I made an effort to draw things: people and dogs, specifically. The modern tendency to stare into a screen for long periods of time is not a great social habit but it is quite useful for portraiture, since the screen-viewer tends to be immobile for long periods of time with their face gently lit by the screen. Babies and dogs, however, cannot use smartphones or ipads, and so are a lot more difficult to capture in this way.

Tessa sketch

Tessa sketch

Tony sketch

Tony sketch

two brief dogs and an even briefer baby

two brief dogs and an even briefer baby

Self-Portrait in Red Tarn

Self-Portrait, in Red Tarn

I’ve walked to the top of Helvellyn an uncounted number of times over the last 30… 35… years, but I’ve never swum in Red Tarn, although I’ve often wanted to. I am usually with people who tell me this would be ridiculous, or it is freezing, or I do not fancy walking home in soaking wet pants, or I have taken other ways up to the peak which have afforded a bird’s-eye-view, but do not take me actually past this tarn, one of the highest in England, Google tells me.

This time I came prepared, not only with costume but shoes to swim in (so as to avoid this sort of scene). But it is one thing to want to leap into the clear, cold, deep and gloomy-blue waters of the tarn; and quite another thing to actually be there, staring into her inky depths.

I did one loop of the edge and it was a glorious cool kilometre or so, but I wouldn’t cross the middle, not on my own. I never did discover why she is called Red…

Self-Portrait in Red Tarn

Self-Portrait in Red Tarn

Today I shall be wearing Aluminium

Today I shall be wearing aluminium foil

It is the new look. It stops the aliens reading my mind.

In the summer I had highlights brought on by gardening in the sun, now they are growing out and I have never had highlights put in by human hand before. I have been sat in front of a mirror looking like this, there was really only one thing for it.

Today I shall be wearing Aluminium

Today I shall be wearing Aluminium

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 4

Caroling Morris Men at the Ring o’ Bells

A fine and lively evening in the Ring o’ Bells at Moorlinch* last night – the Chalice Morris men came, and sang carols. I have never seen so many feathers in so many caps! On top of that, it being a Thursday, it was Pie Night which is cause in itself for celebration, on a weekly basis.

*The village is of course more properly named Moorlynch, in the opinion of about half the people who have one. Spelt Moorlinch here merely for the benefit of Google, and Ordinance Survey, and other such sticklers.

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 2

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 2

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 3

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 3

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 4

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 4

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 5

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 5

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 6

The Chalice Morris Men at Moorlinch 6

Up the Dinosaur’s Back, 29th October

image Up the ‘Dinosaur’s Back’ to the top of Blencathra, with nieces/nephews, siblings/in-laws, and Mum who with hindsight may not have fully appreciated what she was getting into! Of such misjudgement are the best stories made. All back safe and sound. Not everyone is in the picture – this is as much as l could scribble in the moment, then a few outlines strengthened and shading added back at the cottage. image The other pic is Georgia, sketched from across a wide table when she was moving around all the time, which accounts for it not looking very much like her. For a 6 year old she can’t half scramble up mountains though!

Kez with green hair and skull cherries

Green hair and skull cherries!

Kez, again, in the pub, again. I will admit that this doesn’t look as much like Kez as a couple of other ones I drew of her; I was trying to catch a momentary expression, rather than a ‘Kez-sitting-still-because-I-am-drawing-her’ kind of pose, and it’s much harder to get that accurate enough for a close likeness. The hair is fairly accurate however, and she did have skulls on her cardi in the shape of bunches of cherries!

Kez with green hair and skull cherries

Kez with green hair and skull cherries

Of Leerers and Harlots

Of Leerers and Harlots, 5th September

At Mum’s 70th birthday party: Emma said I made her look like a Harlot (which, now I think of it, is a word that should be revived in preference to its paltry synonyms), but she said that was ok as long as she didn’t become a greetings card And she was wearing those things, except I didn’t get the shoes in and somehow accidentally gave an impression of boots. The shoes were red and leopard print 5″ heels: I rest my case. I have to say that I think that Andrew came off worst in this sketch: the speed of sketching somehow meant I failed to properly put in his left eye so he has a right leery look! And of course, it was Emma’s outfit that made me pick her to sketch in the first place. Never trust an artist 😉

Of Leerers and Harlots

Of Leerers and Harlots