Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

A photo of me by the sea on hols in DK.

And so as we're racing towards the final hours of 2013 I just wanted to say hi there and wish everyone a fabulous year to come.

A lot of people have, if not new year's resolutions, then at least some ideas of what they're going to change in the new year, ranging from the mundane and plausibly achieveable to the wildly over ambitious.

So I'd like to focus on what I'm NOT going to change. I'm going to look at all the stuff that I have been doing that I'm going to keep on doing... even more so!
Riding my fabulous motor bike Sully, goes without saying ;-)

First and foremost - drawing and painting. I love it... plain and simple. Yes, I sit up 'til stupid hours in the morning and then have to get up and got to work. Doesn't matter. And I'm gonna keep on trucking as though my life depended on it... 'cause it kinda does ;-) Without it, all that I am would wither and die. I know that may sound a bit grandiose... but my fellow artists out there... you know what I mean :-)

Secondly... I'm going to keep not watching the news at all, ever. I don't think anyone needs the aggravation and sinking feeling of despair caused by being exposed to that contnues stream of whiney misery. Yes, there's a lot of shit going on out there... but being beaten about the head with it daily in the knowledge that most of it I can do bugger all about... that doesn't enhance my life. And it's an hour of you life every day... An hour! Think of all the fun you could have in that hour instead! I realised that a long time ago and I haven't looked back.

And thirdly... I'm going to keep trying to believe that basically people are decent and nice. It's a toughie sometimes seeing as we are constantly surrounded by a media that's obsessed with pointing fingers and throwing blame around... but do you know what helps?... YOU DO! All I have to do is think of everyone I know... and it's a fair few people by now... Some of you are close by, I see you often, some of you are scattered across the globe and I haven't seen you in years, but the marvels of technology and all that jazz means you're only a phone call or send button away.... and by golly you're all lovely!
I heard this great bit of advice earlier this year... 'envy will eat you alive.' Every time I feel the slightest pang over something someone has that I don't - usually it's artistic talent and the ability to live of their art ;-) - I remember that sentence, and it makes me remember to focus on what I have got... and it's pretty, darn groovy :-)
So if you ever get that nasty, nagging feeling of being hard done by and everyone else being better off... just remember that one sentence and think of the awesome things you already have and can do.

And so... without further ado... Let us venture forward with curiosity, excitement, great panache and a wide grin on our faces. It's a beautiful world and if someone tells you otherwise just keep giving them big sloppy kisses until they stop being such bloody Moaning Myrtles.

Happy New Year everyone! You are awesome... have fun and be excellent to each other! :-)


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Demons and Dreaming Spires

Tywell - wip
I have been busy making more character sketches over the last few days and writing, so not so much painting. Still battling with the bamboo, but here's another wip for the wip pile.
This is Tywell the possessed demon hunter. Unable to shake the lovely Sean Bean from my mind recently I was struggling to find the right face with the appropriate pained expression for him. Eventually I found it in Oxford in an episode of Lewis of all places :-)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Getting to knooow yooou!

Mr P - wip
Just a little painting to get me adjusted. I've brought my Bamboo with me on Christmas hols and it handles a bit differently to my Intuos 4 that I use at home. Also, it makes the most infuriating scratching noise when the pen moves across the tablet. But it's definitively better than having no pen and tablet. Work in progress:-)
And hey! Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Commencing Christmas

The Earl - in progress
My Christmas break officially started today, so I made an extra effort to paint something. So I played around with the Earl for a bit. Still feeling awkward though. Work in progress.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Head in the clouds

Three creature designs I made during today's digipaint sessions with year 1. Once again looking at the techniques of Aron Simms, these faces were painted using pictures of clouds and a hairless cat for textures. Good fun working out of my comfort zone. And at least I'm doing something while I'm waiting for my creativity and inspiration to return.

Cauliflower Head
Demon Chihuahua

Mr Floaty

Friday, 29 November 2013

More teef...

Just thought I'd post the two creatures I painted today during my two creature workshops. The number of creatures I have ever painted have just shot up by 300 percent since yesterday;-) I had fun today, hopefully the students did too.

Morning Teef

Afternoon Teef

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Since I'm doing a creature painting session with the 1st year students tomorrow I thought I'd better paint a creature as a bit of practice. I actually found the process very interesting as I was following the methods used by Aron Simms in one of his Gnomon tutorial DVDs. It's a completely different way of working to what I usually do. Good exercise. So there we are... my first ever monster... with big teef.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The long dark teatime of the soul...

... to quote the wonderful and very much missed Douglas Adams.
Since my painting of the lovely Sean's wrinkles a creative drought has come over me. Don't get me wrong, I have attempted about ten new paintings over the last week and a half. And I have discarded every one of them. They just didn't 'feel' right. I have no idea what has happened... but it's tremendously frustrating. I wait all day to get home from work so I can paint - when I'm not going singing of course - and then... nothing! I paint into the night, then look at it and go 'meh' and then delete it all again.
So for lack of anything else... here's a sketch of the Earl. This time portrayed at more the age that he has in my western.
If you see my creativity lying around somewhere, give me a shout... Haven't got a clue where I've left it.

The Earl - sketch

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Amazing Anthony!

Earlier this year I became rather fascinated with an old Western. The John Wayne classic, Rooster Cogburn. It wasn't John Wayne or indeed his co-star, my all-time favorite female actress Katherine Hepburn, who enticed me so completely. It was the oddly compelling character of good guy gone bad, Breed, played by the actor Anthony Zerbe. I just fell in love... with his voice, his persona, the way he could ride a horse like you wouldn't believe. He also had the best squint imaginable. Next to him everyone else just looked... hammy.

Breed from 'Rooster Cogburn' -  a squint to die for<3
As is my obsessive way I instantly had an irrepressible urge to make my own squinty cowboy as an homage to the fabulous Breed, resulting in my first ever cowboy painting, my 'Lawman'... which was posted on this blog earlier this year.
This painting is incredibly special to me as it brought with it a change in painting technique and was also shortlisted for the most recent edition of the amazing digital art book series 'Expose' by Ballistic Publishing. And though it didn't make it through the final round I'm still in complete awe to have made it to the final selection from a combined 12000 entries.

I also looked into the the career of the actor himself. Anthony Zerbe has an impressive track record. At 77 years old this year he is still a working actor with more than 40 years in the business. He is awesome in every way and have played so many amazing roles. I found that I had actually seen him in a fair few films without even realising it was him. It turned out that he played a rather sweet Bond villain called Milton Krest in 'License to Kill' and I suddenly remembered seeing the film on telly as a kid and being very angry with Bond for setting Milton up and getting him killed by the big, bad main villain. And he's been in a ton of Westerns.

Milton Krest from 'License to Kill'
And then I had this crazy notion... Perhaps he'd like a print of my 'Lawman' painting, seeing as he inspired it and it was so special to me.
So I found his address on-line and sent him a letter, giving every contact detail imaginable, asking if he would be interested in a print... And he e-mailed me back less than a week after I had sent the letter! And he said yes:-) Turns out he is the loveliest, sweetest, politest person imaginable... and very, very funny. So I had a big, high quality print made and sent to him in California. Once it had arrived he sent me this picture:-)

Anthony Zerbe and the 'Lawman'

Mr Zerbe you have inspired me more than you could possibly imagine and made me so very happy:-) I wish you all the best in the world, may you continue to squint your way into the heart of everyone who comes across you!
A truly wonderful actor and person:-)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Christmas is coming...

My recent wrinkle exercise utilising Sean Bean in the guise of Eddie stark has launched me into a new-found fascination with the craggy face of the blue-eyed, disgruntled looking Northerner who can't seem to make it through any film he appears in alive.
'Don't stop doing what you do, I will be your something old, your borrowed and blue.'
All I want for Christmas is you, Sean:-D

Sunday, 10 November 2013


Another sorcerer from my middle earth story. Aichel, best friend of Raynfalg and father of Aisis and step father of elf king Eirian. This made for some interesting family dynamics as Eirian was already two centuries old when Aichel married his mother.
Hope you like him:-)
Ok, bedtime.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A spring in his step

Elf King Eirian - wip
A very quick initial sketch of King Eirian sporting his spring hair colour. Funny how elves look a lot less like elves when you can't see their ears;-) Work in progress:-)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Winter is coming...

Eddie really doesn't want to go back to finger-painting college;-) Well, I had fun with this one trying to get the appropriate look of resigned despair on his face. Also, I think I might have just fallen in love with Sean Bean's wrinkles and baggy eyes:-D

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Can I speak to the manager, please...

Eddie - wip
So, I got a trapped nerve under my shoulder blade. I was hoping it would keep my mind of the blinking noises in my ears... it isn't. Bum. Luckily the Bad Lip Reading treatment of Game of Thrones is cheering me up no ends. I haven't actually watched GOT. And having seen BLR turn it into a trailer for a surreal comedy in a medieval theme park I'm not sure the real series would hold up by comparison;-)
And so I just couldn't resist a little painting of my favorite medieval theme park manager, long suffering Eddie. His main problem being that 'a lot of the employees work about as hard as a bucket of apples'.
Watch BLT GOT here if you don't know what i'm on about;-)
Work in progress.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dagmar Mawreddog

Uchelder Dagmar Mawreddog

Well, that took a while. Being so tired at the moment seems to render me somewhat indecisive. I kept changing my mind about the clothes a lot, for one thing. You know that you're not all there when you spend ten minutes flicking the same layer on and off trying to decided whether you like that 6 percent increase in opacity or not;-)
I'd also like to apologise to the Welsh for using their beautiful language to make up names for my characters and in doing so no doubt pronouncing it all completely wrong. Sorry.
First sketch of the Uchelder done. Only another eight to go... and then there are all the other dwarfs as well... and the elves, and the sorcerers and... Let's just say I have a long way to go still.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Dagmar Mawreddog
Painting progress is a bit slow at the moment. I'll be honest, this tinnitus business is taking some getting used to. It's very distracting and very, very annoying. But it's the weekend, and I'll be damned if I don't at least attempt a spot of painting.
So here's the first sketch of one of the dwarfs from my lotr style story. I'm having tons of fun with the on-line Welsh-English dictionary for all the names. I love Wales... one day I'm gonna go live there.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Blues...

The noises in my ears are now so persistent that I find it extremely difficult to abstract from them. It's very annoying. Anyhoo... finally finished this one of Brian. It's all gone decidedly blue.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Hooded poncho

Tried a more sketchy look today. And a poncho... with a hood. I do love my ponchos. I wish my ears would get better.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The answer is up there... Just keep looking!

Freyn - still wip

Man, I wish it was. Progress is slow at the moment. Work is just mad... I just come home and collapse every night... when I don't have to go singing of course. I've attempted several evenings of painting. I actually fell asleep in front of the computer. Now there's a first! And my earache has returned... in both ears this time... yay:-( Not a happy bunny right now. But here is what little progress there is. I'm getting seriously fed up with this one, so I might just leave it for a while.
And why does it look so mentally, acidly green on-line?

Devious?... deviance?... no wait! Deviant!

Got myself a Deviant page. Mainly so I can follow a bunch of really awesome artists. Soooo many super inspiring people out there:-)
I'll post some of my own stuff on it too... seeing as the page is there.
I only set it up yesterday, so not much on it at the mo... But hey, have  look if you like:

Monday, 7 October 2013

Up there!

Freyndyal - wip
Past my bedtime... but I just couldn't help myself sneaking in an extra hour of starting up a new painting. Just a very quick wip of Freyn y Cysgod.
G'night y'all:-)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Elf King Eirian

Elf King Eirian
Found of bit of time today finishing the elf king. Very therapeutic, painting hair. This is his 'Autumn look'... Meaning that I'm toying with the idea of having his hair colour change with the seasons.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Autumnal Brooding

Elf King Eirian
Sooo... this is what I got up to this evening after having watched as many repeats of QI on Dave as I could justify. I get so easily tired these days, what with my sinuses trying to cut off my air supply and such.
Another one from my Middle earth type story. King Eirian lord of Euraid Meysydd (Golden Fields) - affectionately referred to by his subjects as the Grass King. Brother of Aisis best friend of Freyndyal.
Haven't quite decided yet whether to polish it off or leave it as a sketch.
But that is all for now.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Markus Kingdom - revisited

Markus Kingdom - v2 in progress
So, I've been a bit ill again. Cold, sinus problems etc. Trouble is I can't focus on anything when my head feels like it's about to explode and I have stupid headaches.
So to ease myself back in to a spot of painting today I decided to revisit a character from earlier - Markus Kingdom. Having changed the way I work somewhat since my first attempt at this fella I've wanted to revisit him for a while. This is closer to how I actually imagined him. And closer to the original sketch I drew which I have also posted here. Work in progress.

Markus Kingdom - pencil sketch

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Between a rock and a song sheet

David Turner - wip
It was quite a while ago that I posted the first draft of David Turner, the singing geologist, and he's rapidly becoming a bit of a never-ending story... don't even think about singing the song... too late, it's in my head now...
The body on this one has been driving me bonkers. Admittedly, trying to work on it this week while I've been ill hasn't helped either.
But why? You might rightfully ask... why is he so bothersome? Because... he's got a bottom half too which I'm currently not posting 'cause he's stark bollock etc. Eventually the bollock bit will be covered by wallpaper and shadow... but at the moment I'm just trying to get him to look half decent, even if he is, technically speaking, indecent;-)
Anyway...Still very much work in progress.
And, yes I know he's got a nipple missing, I haven't got around to painting it yet:-D

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sorcery at Night

Raynfalg - Rhinwyr
The second one of Raynfalg done. It's night time... and according to my brother, Rayn is brooding in the dark. He wasn't meant to be... but my brother has spoken. So... keep on brooding Mr Magic.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Rayn in progress

Rayn - wip
Well, the holidays are over. Once again painting time is limited to late nights and weekends. But here's a little work in progress of another one of Raynfalg. And now I must sleep.
Hope you likey:-)

Monday, 9 September 2013

Raynfalg - Rhinwyr

Raynfalg - Rhinwyr
One visually impaired sorcerer - done!


Raynfalg - Sorcerer
Work in progress of Raynfalg, one of the sorcerers from my middle earth style story. Rayn almost lost his eyesight in a fight when he was very young. Though he can still see his eyes are extremely sensitive to light, hence the emo-esque fringe and the large, peaked hood on his cloak - think Ass Creed style hood;-)
Hope you like him.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Freyndyal - his sister's keeper
All righty then.... Freyn - full name Freyndyal - is done.
Longstanding friend and confidant of King Eirian, Freyn was appointed guardian of the king's younger sister from the moment she was born. He has always considered his task a great honour and has approached it with the utmost dedication. Wherever the girl goes, Freyn is never far behind, earning him the nickname cysgod (shadow).
If anyone thinks there is a slight resemblance between Freyn and Merlin actor Colin Morgan... then they would be right. My good friend and fellow La Nova singer, the amazing anatomy professor Pat is a huge Colin Morgan fan, and has said on several occasions that I should use him for a painting. Well, professor... this one's for you. Hope you like him with pointy ears.

Elvish up-do

Freyn - y Cysgod

So, I've been drawing some of the characters from my lotr style story. Mainly dwarfs:-) Lots of drawing... so after I'd sketched up one of the elves this afternoon, I thought, oh heck, lets paint for a bit. Just a quickie wip from this evening.
This is Freyn.
Hope you likey:-)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

At your fingertips...


Finally finished my little handventure. Enjoy:-)

Dark days...

Moerk Daag
'Moerk was slightly taken aback when he realised just how large the demon Ausubel actually was.'
One disconcerted necromancer... done!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Anger management...

Everything I wanted to do tonight kept going wrong. So I made this... which wasn't what I was going to do at all... just to confound whatever power it was that kept tripping me up. Don't know what it is, not sure if I like it... but it's something, and I feel slightly less aggravated... slightly.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Moerk in the dark

Moerk in the dark
Here's another one of Moerk. I started it in Wales on a borrowed teeny, tiny HP notebook. It was like painting on a post card. Work in progress.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Moerk Daag - Necromancer

Moerk Daag - Necromancer
My word, I finished a painting while it's still light outside - Go figure it would be a painting of a character with a name like that (Yep, his name means something in Danish... give or take a bit of artistic license in the spelling department)... Not half bad this holidaying lark. I could get used to it.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Moerk Daag - Necromancer with a sunny disposition

Moerk Daag - wip
So here's a wip of Moerk Dag, necromancer with a sunny disposition... and he'll need it too since he's been imprisoned inside a dragon for over a decade and still haven't figured out a way to get out. Moerk is the baddie in a little story I made up involving dragons, wizards, sorcerers, elfs, dwarfs, nasty monsters and generally lots of middle earthy kinda things. And to make me feel a bit better about Thorin and nephews croaking it in the Hobbit, in my story no dwarfs die - at least not permanently... and one of them even gets the girl in the end... Yes I know that the moral of the Hobbit and the journey of the characters rather require the the ending that it has... I get it... But I'm a sucker for happy endings... In my story the dwarfs live... Look at all the majestic f***s I give.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Cry me an alternate ending...

Brian Jones - still progressing

Having spent the last few days reading The Hobbit painting has been somewhat on hold. But there has been a bit of progress with Brian which I thought I'd post. He is now waist deep in water for one thing. Incidentally I shall probably be drowning in my own tears if Mr Jackson hasn't concocted an alternative ending for his Hobbit trilogy. I read The Hobbit, which I was actually completely unfamiliar with - oh, pipe down Tolkien fans! - because I really liked Mr Jackson's Hobbit film and I was eager to know what was going to happen to the majestic Thorin and his kick-ass dwarfs... Spoiler alert... HE DIES! So NOT cool. I was distraught... and not just him, Fili and Kili too! What rot. So, please, Mr Jackson, on my hands and knees I beg you... don't do us like that! Artistic license was invented for this very situation. Keep the Majesty alive and brooding! Thank you!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The return of Mr Jones

Brian Jones in progress

I may have been preoccupied with the Hobbit recently and fancying the pants off the King in waiting under the Mountain... but there's still room for Brian Jones. There will always be room for Brain Jones, dagnammit!
Work in progress. Enjoy:-)

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Short back and sides, please...

Get Shorty
An elf, with dwarf style accessories and... wait for it... short hair! There we are, I can go to bed now, all is well with the world.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Don't hair-do me like that...

Having watched The Hobbit again the other evening I realised that the Lord of the Rings universe is... hairy! I mean, really hairy... Everyone has tons of hair! Long flowing elf locks, slightly shorter, but still long, less well-groomed human locks, masses of curly, swirly hobbit locks and of course epic, shaggy dwarf locks... and beards... lots and lots of beards. Which I don't mind at all I hasten to add... after all, without beards and big hair the dwarfs in particular would be a lot less sexy... and yes, I freely admit I have huge, girly crush on Thorin Oakenshield... I love all the hair and beard it's epic! But just once it would be nice to see someone, anyone, with a short do... Hence this painting.
Work in progress.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Final touches

Brian Jones with Saint Adjutor

I've noticed that Brian Jones often seemed to sport a thin gold chain with a pendant, so it seemed only right to finish this one with the same. Since I don't not know what was on his pendant and seeing as I'm so fond of 'SYMBOLISM' I made my Brian a pendant with Saint Adjutor on it... You get special points of nerdness if you can guess what he is the patron saint of.

Well-bred Brian...

Brian Jones

So I got fed up with the knitwear... Let's hope the weather doesn't change for the worse;-) Haven't quite decided if I'm done with this one yet. We shall see.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Sympathy for Mr Jones

Mr Jones

I it seems a bit impolite to complain about the weather when summer weather like this is so rare... but I'm just not made for the heat. For days now it's been racing past 30 degrees Celsius... I believe that's around 86 Fahrenheit. And it makes me muggy in the head and dizzy. Though some would say I always seem muggy in the head;-)
I've been trying paint for days... and I just couldn't manage. Yeah, call me a wuss, I'm a Scandi... made for the cold.
Anyhoo... here's the first draft of Brian. Still a long way to go... but it's the first I've managed for days, so there.