•August 25, 2014 • 14 Comments

mary final painting sunday

The portrait of Mary is finished after a clean up session. I had to redo the halo. It never occurred to me that the faux gold I used would easily tarnish with exposure to the air. Real gold stays clean for all its life, so it is now real gold that is on the canvas. Thanks to my studio neighbour ,  a professional bookbinder, I was given the real stuff to remedy the schoolboy error.

I dropped the shoulders slightly to relax the figure. I refined the hands with a lighter layer, and just generally cleaned some dirty marks. All done!


•August 20, 2014 • 18 Comments


Mary for blog

I have nearly finished my portrait of Mary, just a final refinement of tones to the hands and it should be complete, save for a “once over” to make sure.

This one has taken me some time. There was a fair bit of toing and froing due to the nature of the commissioning process. Luckily, the client was sure of what he was asking for because any chance I could have had, I was for taking it to a more contemporary place. That will be for another time though. I have another two or three staged Mary’s all photographed and waiting for canvas.

One thing the client stipulated was that he just wanted a depiction of the girl from Galilee.

This will be heading for a church near home when it is framed in the next week or two. Fingers crossed it will go well with everyone involved.

Yes Posters

•August 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here are three of my favourite entries for a poster competition run by Bella Caledonia and the Scottish Independence Convention (@ScotIndConv)

To see the long list of entries visit


Ciaran Murphy

yes MOUNTAIN copy

Rosie Balyuzi

Andrew Mac

Andrew Mac

North Ayrshire Open Exhibition 2014

•July 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Sandy with portrait


Sandy’s portrait of me was selected and placed in prime spot at No. 1 in the catalogue! The painting is a response to my portrait of Sandy which was shown last year.


north ayrshire open and ron


A cheerful Ron Smart doing his shift at this year’s NA Open.

Pastel portrait with post processing

•July 25, 2014 • 4 Comments

pastel head with post processing


I succumb to tampering. I sharpened the image and cleaned up one or two areas; the parting of the lips,  the left lower cheek, under the chin, the negative space to the left of the chin and a little addition of a bottom eyelash on the left.

I think I will now do the same to the real drawing.

Pastel portrait

•July 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

pastel head II

Another pastel portrait. This time I have a slightly better likeness. Drawn on darker paper. The paper has quite a texture on it. I’d like to try a smoother paper and compare.

Pastel head on red paper

•July 22, 2014 • 4 Comments

pastel demo kate 22 7 14



A stern looking Kate which doesn’t quite reflect her softer real life look. This was a pastel demo for class today. This must be one of the hardest things to get right. As well as coping with a likeness, the added difficulty is working with pastel. Not an everyday medium for me. I have said it before that I admire the vigourous hand of a pastel artist like Ken Paine. I just can’t get my style to go as bold as that but keep trying is the way to beat it.


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