the self portrait


Well, well, self-portraits, the classic painting practice. The painter was just itching to paint himself, how vain can he be?

I realised that I wanted to do a self portrait, because in my early days of painting, it was all I could remember – how I really honed my self portrait skills and in oils too! Alas, those old portraits have all but vanished, I was too lazy to pick them up from my school before they got trashed. I know.. I know.. hey at least I am making up for it now!

The most important thing for me at this point was to understand value, how does value really change the look of the painting? What does true value actually add to the painting? So that’s why I have painted in black and white, you’re forced to think in these terms. I also did this relatively quickly so it was doubly satisfying – not that anyone should be proud of the fact that you achieve things quicker.

In a strange irony, I painted it quickly and roughly, purposely displaying the brush strokes proudly, however it is also one of my favourites. I have learned a great deal about leaving brush work as it is and letting the paint take form and not worrying so much about detail.

The brain loves to fill in gaps, so you need only suggest things subtly and it will do the rest. It’s what makes the ‘Creation of Adam’ painting even more powerful.

It’s one of the best things I love about painting. It probably will be a rare appearance, I likely won’t do any more portraits as land and city-scapes are more interesting to me.

Lots more to learn, lots more to improve.. step by step.. the skill will compound. Speak soon!

the new beginning


at painshill

Hello worthy readers! Boy was this painting difficult.

It was a wedding gift to my brother and sister-in-law, which they loved! I had wanted to create a painting for them and decided on this setting. Why you ask?

This was at the venue of where they got married, so I thought it was fitting. Little did they know that I was painting this so it was a surprise to them when they received it.

Also painted in acrylics and it was by far the most difficult painting I have had to do. The reflection was extremely tricky and I learned a lot by doing it, mainly, that I need to do more reflections to get lots of practice on!

I also learned that I wanted to become better at painting buildings, even though the only structure here was the small ruin.

There are only a few more paintings that I have left to write about from last year! Then we’ll get into the paintings that I am currently doing, which I can’t wait to show you all. The painter really feels like he is growing in skill!

Speak to you soon 🙂

the view from the bedroom


Woah.. the posts are flying in now. Unfortunately, it’ll slow down from here on out. The painter has been lucky to have so much time off! I was able to relax, paint and do things at my own leisurely pace. I do have a full-time job to uphold, but I do one day wish to make a living through my paintings. The time off has only strengthened that for me.

Until then, I will have to take a regular job like everyone else. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the field I am in, I really love it! You should always aim to pursue careers and hobbies that satisfy you. Enough of the career advice.. my readers are here for the art!

This canvas was quite small – also painted using acrylics. I managed to really improve my skill of painting clouds and am proud to showcase them here. Clouds take such interesting shapes and patterns, which is why you can let you imagination run wild a bit, and paint from your memory a little more.

I started to realise that trees in a bush form like this is a hard thing to paint, because not much really stands out. However, I did have a lot of fun trying to put in the various patterns and shadows within it. Working and reworking the trees to make sure I really nailed it.

I should mention that this is the view from my bedroom window and one thing I have noticed is that painting from your eye allows you to see far more colour range than from a photo. Unless you have an ultra high res photo and print – which with my many interests, doesn’t leave me time to fiddle around with photography. So for now, I will stick to plain old prints.

On a related note I am looking for more high quality pictures of inner city scenes from Italy, France and Spain. If you have any of those and are willing to share, please comment below and you’ll be doing the painter a great service!

Until next time..

the strong trees

acrylic based landscape painting

Ahhh, the one where the painter felt he was truly making progress. The painter in me was on a roll and pumping out acrylic paintings like they just came back in style. Of course, they did, at least for me.

The trees, they stand bold and powerful, like sign posts or beacons. Another follow along and an imaginary scene, yet again. I loved painting this one because it really brought out the best of my abilities and found my old groove!

By this time, I’d taken over some parts of the living room, but that became somewhat distracting – I like to be solitary when painting. It was also because I was buying more paint and tools so that was taking up a lot of space.

It was the first time that I had tried to paint some land in the distance (not including the mountains) and I’d always wanted to understand how to create a perception of depth. Suffice to say, the follow along made this much easier, as it would have been difficult to figure out on my own. It also allowed me to see how to create detail enough to fool the eye to believe there was a lot in the foreground of the grass.

It’s a very confident and calm looking painting, but I like how the trees create some tension as the river draws your eye upward through the painting. Composition isn’t something I have been thinking much about, but it’s definitely one to keep an eye on the more experienced the painter in me becomes!

What lies beyond the mountains is something of a mystery, it could be anything, I’ll let your imagination take you where it wants. Until next time!

the one with the red tree


Happy new year!! Another year comes to a close and last year, the painter was born. This year, the painter will attempt to walk and talk. I know, bold steps. I am speaking figuratively, of course.

Simply, this is my second painting, and another follow along. I was still (sometimes am) getting to grips with the old tricks again, so for me, follow-alongs are great for the rediscovery and YouTube is a modern marvel.

I should warn you, I’m not great with what different trees and flowers are, so don’t ask me what type of tree that is, but the red is my favourite as it pops out nicely from the background.

Reflections and water are incredibly difficult to master, however, the painter felt that the mastery of clouds was within reach. I was just getting one step closer! Of course, it would be silly of me to assume I could master painting clouds in just 2 sittings..! Such is the self talk that is necessary to build up ones confidence and continue to strive for improvements.

What a marvel mountains are. Such amazing formations.. and for future paintings, I should note to self that I will work from actual photographs, not from imagination. Capturing the light on the mountains is one thing, making them look realistic is harder.

Making distance feel believable was a mystery to me before I watched the follow along videos! A paler colour.. who knew eh? Well, the painter became slightly obsessed with that so he decided to continue painting landscapes just for the clouds! 😉

By this point, the art supply collection was much stronger than when I painted the first painting.. who knew art supplies could be so expensive, but that money is all worth it when it goes to your hobbies to improve your craft!

Now we’re starting to make a little momentum indeed. We are just getting started, so sit back and enjoy, long term readers!

the first painting

‘the first painting’

Awesome, post number 2 and I feel like I am off to a flyer! This blogging stuff seems straight forward, maybe I’ll start other blogs someday..! Today though, is all about my first painting as a re-born-would-be artist, titled ‘the first painting’; mainly because I couldn’t think of a flashy title and I like the sound of that. It’ll serve to remind me of my first painting after I took it up again and also, as a benchmark to judge my future work against. So I can see how much I have improved.

I didn’t mention why I got back into painting, did I? You see, I have an insatiable appetite to commit to more than I am capable. I hear of an exciting project and I just want to jump on and help out.

At this point I should mention, I work full-time so I like to work on side projects in my spare time. You see, the painter in me was calling. It knew that I had been drowning myself in too much work that I truly didn’t enjoy. I decided to start painting as an avenue to relax and do something I enjoy without anyone else imposing their rules or ways of doing things.. you know.. like a manager or a boss – I am also a manager, so this is a dig to myself as well ;).

I painted this via a follow along video and was achieved using what old acrylic paints and brushes that I could find. I didn’t have enough titanium white or ultramarine blue, but somehow I managed. I actually painted this one twice. I didn’t like where my first attempt was going, so I painted over it. I also decided I would need some semi decent tools at my disposal. So I bought myself my first art set in over 10 years! Wow, the painter in me really was screaming to get out.

With my second attempt, I was somewhat proud that I could paint something that looked okay! It was a marvellous day and thus, the painter was born.. again!

I had mixed feelings of guilt, elation and hope! Hope, because I found my old passion again and this time I wouldn’t so easily discard it as I had done in the past. Elation because I made art! Guilt, because it reminded me that I should be ashamed of denying the painter from producing works of art it was born to do.

Oh and for completeness, the painting was done on canvas paper with acrylics.

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