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 tree branch was drawn on a hike with my wife and friend in Xindian, Taipei City, Taiwan. I found this tree at the peak of the trail and drew it “en plein air” as we rested and enjoyed the views for a while. The trunk of the tree looks like it has been struck by lightning and broken in half with the charred remains surviving. The jagged shapes and textures were very interesting to me and I was drawn towards it.I also liked the shape of the branches stretching away from the trunk and find it quite amazing that it can still survive after being so severely burnt. Only nature knows how.
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 Ink drawing was done during a short break on a beautiful hike with my wife in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. It was a hot, clear and sunny day and after hiking and sitting in the sun for 40 minutes drawing this I had heatstroke! Again! I never learn! It is a quick sketch and hopefully you can make out the waterfall in the centre of the picture surrounded by the dark shadowy rocks.
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas, 24 x 30 cm, May 2014