Sadly, it was a bit of a quiet day at the vintage & retro market yesterday and business wasn't exactly booming. Still, the stand looked fab and I got to meet some more lovely people so it wasn't exactly wasted. Also on the plus side, I have lots of left over Christmas cards so I won't need to buy any this year! Merry Christmas!


I'm bidding a fond farewell to Gil Elvgren for the time being, these three will be my last little studies for a while so I can concentrate on my own work. I'll be taking them down to the next Vintage & Retro market at South London Pacific on the 9th of December, so if you're looking for some christmas presents - come on down!


Applied theory #2:
As promised, (if a little late) here's the next step along my journey - a pin-up painting taken from life. This is my dear friend, and loyal supporter, Ruby Rose in all her boudoir finery. The initial sitting was around 3 hours and consisted of a pencil sketch and some colour notes in oils. The painting itself developed from there, which unfortunately drifted a little from my reference, so it needed a second short sitting to get a better likeness.
It took far too long, but I'm reasonably happy with it now.
I'm currently in the middle of five new sittings so I'm applying everything I've learned from this one to the next batch. Must dash, lots to do.


Applied theory #1:
One avenue I'm exploring is working from photos. Luckily for me I have some friends who have great pictures to work from - like this one of Miss Venuss Envy. The enlarged drawing was done freehand, and only very basic colour information was taken from the photo, I wanted to push it more towards the colour palette of the Elvgren stuff I've been working from and also make a few changes to suit my needs. In retrospect, I'm wondering now if I should have just tried to reproduce the photo as accurately as possible to see how close I could get. Side by side I don't think the painting holds up very well at all, but as an image on it's own I have to say I'm reasonably happy with it for a first attempt. It definately shows the value of having good source material though, I wouldn't want to attempt something from a bad holiday snap, but then if you already have a good photo why bother painting it?
Up next: working from life.


I experimented with going even larger just to see what it would be like - this one is on a 12"x12" panel. Considering the image I was working from is just over a centimetre square, I think I did quite well! Seriously though, the lack of detail really shows up, this size is close to a traditional portrait and so could use an extra level of finessing - which it doesn't have. It's times like these that remind me how far I still have to go.


The market was really interesting, (and not quite as blurry as the picture makes out..) whilst not an obvious success in terms of sales, I had lots of lovely comments from everybody and a lot of interest in possible work further down the line. I'll definately be back there again when it doesn't conflict with any major sporting events or the first sunny day of the summer! If you're reading this and you picked up my card at the market, feel free to get in touch if there's anything you'd like, and please bear with me while I get a proper gallery and on-line shopping system sorted out.


Well, that's the last couple done before the market. They're all dry now and have been varnished ready to decorate someone's wall. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the reaction will be like - I'm hoping it will be positive! Anyway, I'll no doubt post a little report of how things went as soon as I can.


EXCITING NEWS!!! I've had a place confirmed at the next Vintage & Retro market being held at South London Pacific in Kennington on Sunday 8th July from Midday-6pm. It's being run by the lovely people at Hula Boogie and I shall be attempting to sell some of my little pin-up paintings (hence I've been pretty busy) - wish me luck!
I figured it was probably time to give my paintings a shiny new website of their own, and here it is! Hope you like it.

Picked up a load of the little square canvases on sale, so I've decided to do a batch of studies to keep up my practice whilst I decide how to continue with the my own work. I'm aiming for two studies a week, but I'm only averaging one. Not that I'm being slack or anything but there are other jobs in the studio that seem to take longer than anticipated - it's pretty frustrating.

Had my first go with real live model! Very hard to get enough information from one sitting to be able to go away and produce a painting. I didn't have a very clear idea of what I was after so it just sort of evolved. I'm not particularly happy with the finished result, the drawing is pretty weak all over but some of the painting technique transferred across from my studies quite nicely. Lots of lessons learned though. Onwards and upwards I guess..

I guess this is why there were no male pin-ups (either that or I'm no oil painting)! Technically speaking though, I'm quite pleased with my little self portrait. It's not a bad likeness, and the colour is pretty good for a change, I wasn't brave enough to keep the paint thick though. Still, it was fun to do - I might do a few more wearing my other hats :)

Sometimes you have to fight... Really struggled with this one, not too sure if I'm happy with it yet. The drawing was out in a few places. The underpainting went way too dark and I ended up with patches of different coloured flesh tones - thankfully this is a rubbish phone picture so you can't see that :) Still, it's nice doing these full figure paintings.

Sometimes it just works... This was a straight sketch onto canvas paper (at around half scale), all the underpainting went smoothly and so did the work-up. Nice when that happens :) I've got an animated gif of this as a work in progress, I'll post it later.

I liked the square format so much I had a go on a little 6"x6" canvas - turned out nice. I'm cheating on these now by transfering from a scan onto the card (or canvas) - It's to help me understand the drawing better, I'll go back to a straight sketch when I'm more comfortable with things.

Thats more like it!! These were lots of fun to do - just concentrating on the faces lets me work somewhere closer to real scale so the drawing is more forgiving, and there's more room to paint detail (so I don't need to use a ridiculously small brush..)

Some more experiments... The one with the toned background was interesting, but didn't come out as bright as I'd hoped. The pink one is just badly drawn.

Well, here goes..My first attempt with oils. Didn't turn out too bad, I was pleased with the colour match anyway.

Gotta start somewhere.... Before diving into the oil painting I started with a few sketches to get a feel for the style of drawing. I love the way they're quite stylized but still realistic - that's something I'm going to have to learn.