Sally at Vobster, in watercolour, gouache and gold leaf


This is Sally, another painting in watercolour, gouache and gold leaf, a celebration of our lovely clear lake at Vobster Quay, where I swim once a week. The source material for this painting was an underwater photograph I took on our first swim of 2017. It was 2nd January. When the lake gets a bit warmer I hope to have a few more subjects not in wetsuits, but for the moment there are a hardcore few of us, though even we have mostly resorted to wearing gloves in these temperatures. The highlights of the water at the top are created…

detail of gold leaf fragments

‘Cecily’, against Vobster Green

I have been painting… with real paint! This is the first swimmer painting that hasn’t been digital, but it’s been something I’ve been pondering for a while, whether to plunge into watercolour with the swimmers. So this isn’t a commission, just an experiment of my own. Actually it’s mostly gouache (watercolour with ‘body’, which makes it more opaque, in theory, though the actual pigments I am using here are mostly very translucent), and embellished with gold leaf. The idea of using gold leaf where the water sparkled was irresistible, but I think it did a little over-embellishing at the start…

Commissioned portrait: Jude, Al & Star

Jude & Al’s portrait

From my blog you’d think I haven’t done much work lately and only post sketches to cat-of-the-day, but this impression is partly because I’ve completed two commissioned portraits this year which had to remain sectet. One of them can now be revealed! THis is Jude and Al, and their dog Star. In pencil and gold leaf, and the composition designed for an oval frame. As you might expect, people don’t generally ask me to draw or paint their portrait unless they have something special in mind.

'Three's a Crowd' - drawing in pencil and gold leaf

‘Three’s a Crowd’

Finished artwork in pencil and gold leaf. This is a relatively simple piece, expanding on the series of ‘gold fairies’ I have been drawing. I am rather aware that Somerset Arts Weeks is fast approaching, so it is not the time to get started on a long complex piece of work that will not be finished in time. Now, in this lovely summer weather, it seems a good idea to fill gaps in the gallery walls with some simple gilded glamour. Of course, my pictures are never THAT simple, but I am doing my best to get a few new…

gold fairy 2014-02

A sudden swarm of Gold Fairies

Printmaking has ceased until October, and in theory this gives me the summer to concentrate on painting and drawing. Time, however, keeps running away from me! Here are six gold fairies though, which I hope will make enticing little pictures for visitors to Somerset Arts Weeks (or just passing people, in need of a picture!). It’s been some years since I drew the last Gold Fairy, and they have always been popular. I love drawing the human form (even if I have to make it up – I just can’t seem to get the models to hover in mid air…