This Acrylic and Ink on heavyweight 300 gsm Paper piece was created in my studio in Nangang, Taipei City, Taiwan. It is a painting of a Phoenix statue from one of the Temples in my local area and has taken almost a year to complete due to the amount of detail. I waited for a day with a clear blue sky to visit the Temple and take photographs, as I wanted to capture the contrast of colours between the Phoenix and the sky. I enjoy working in these mediums as I can slowly build up the layers of colour and drawing is a key part of the process. This picture was first drawn in pencil, and when I was satisfied with the size, placement and likeness I defined the outline in Ink. I tried to use a new method for the sky where I painted it all first and then thinned down the areas that I wanted to be lighter. This involved using a special block similar to a “Magic Cloth” that was wet and rubbed over the paint to thin the colour. It worked but has caused some rippling of the Heavyweight Paper, but this will less visible when the picture is mounted and framed. I then added layers of thinned down Acrylic Paint to different areas to create tones, building some parts up more than others where it needed. After this had dried I added the black Ink over the top to redefine some of the details.
This Oil Pastel on Brown Paper drawing was done on a day trip to the very special town of Carmel, California. It was my first visit here and as we arrived I was surprised by the unique beauty of the houses and roads that seemed to have been built as part of the surrounding forest. The town centre is full of Art Galleries and has lots of unique architecture. This drawing was done whilst sitting on the beach during a brief visit with family. The waves were quite strong and choppy, creating a lot of white water and mist, which was a nice contrast to the deep blues and greens of the Pacific Ocean.
This Ink drawing was done just after the previous one and is of my old Taiwanese friend Jerry filming another good old friend called John Richardson. This picture was drawn while Jerry was stationery for a few moments as he prepared to follow John with the camera. It was easier to capture the filmer than the the skater as the movement was less for the most part!
This is an Ink sketch of two good old friends of mine John and Jerry, it was done during a day of street skating in Tienmu, Taiwan. It was drawn from life near the end of the day when my legs had said “enough skating” and they were filming a line of tricks, hence the extra arm on John during his trick! He was doing a trick called a Nollie Backside Tailslide on the ledge and I tried to draw him in action, which was very difficult because of the ever changing body shape and position of each attempt he had. It is always a challenge to try to capture someone in motion and this was possibly the most difficult challenge I’ve had as the trick and motion was over in a matter of seconds. A lot of fun though!
This Oil Painting on Canvas was done as a Portrait Commission for the subject’s 70th Birthday in 2017. It was commissioned as a surprise by his brother and was very bravely unveiled at Ian’s 70th Birthday Party in front of many of his friends before he had seen it! I feel very honoured to have been a part of this special celebration. I completed this Portrait from September to November 2016 working from photographic references. I really enjoyed painting this Portrait and I find that changing my subjects and mediums helps to improve my understanding and ability with different materials and techniques. I am very happy with the outcome of this portrait and tried to use new techniques and glaze mediums on it.
As the title suggests this painting was done on a misty day from inside Ferguson Unit 8, Chateaux Tongariro, New Zealand. This is actually the same view as the previous painting, painted from the same spot, but as it was so misty I decided to focus on the few trees, bushes and vegetation that I could actually see! This was our second day in this National Park and as you can see the weather changed from very clear to not so clear very quickly! Personally, I enjoy seeing and feeling the different types of weather (as we can’t control it) and always try to make the most of it and enjoy it as much as I can. Whilst painting this scene I was also fortunate to see many birds and rabbits come out to search for food and play in the rain. As you can see, I tried to show an example of these native creatures in the picture, this was actually much harder than you may think as they constantly kept moving and changing position as I stubbornly tried to capture their likeness in paint. It was a fun challenge that made me realise how much easier it is to capture trees than moving objects! Haha!