Saturday, August 15, 2015

Recent Sketchbook

Some recent pencil activity.  Faeries and sprites and a few other meadow dwellers - just for fun.

More soon, and thanks again for stopping by.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Wise Raven

New Watercolour.

The Wise Raven or Raven Witch is seen here in her natural habitat, the woods and fields around her home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


A new watercolour in my ongoing series of woodland nudes and the pencil rough from which it sprang.

More soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Northern Wood Sprite

New painting.  This is mostly watercolour with some gouache to finish it off.

It looks like I will be going to CTN this year, so if you are in the LA area in November, please stop by.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Watercolour - Sprite in the Open

Another one from the Nymphs and Pixies series that I have been working on lately.

Thanks again for stopping by.   More soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

New Watercolour - Chai Pixie

I'm on a bit of a painting binge right now and while I have the time I am going to continue to make pictures.  This is Chai Pixie.  Still busy - more soon and thanks again for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Two New Watercolours

Two new watercolours - Dancing Nymph and The Last Days of Autumn.  I have also included a couple of preliminary pencil drawings.

In the first one a Woodland Nymph has climbed up onto a root tendril. She is dancing to celebrate the late but welcome arrival of spring.  I see her dance as being slow like Tai Chi or Yoga, but when you look away she will be gone.

This next one I am calling The Last Days of Autumn.  Once you get into October any warm day could be the last one, so I try to enjoy each and every one, not knowing when the last warm day will actually be.  Here a couple of Meadow Sprites are sunning themselves on a petrified troll skull.  Lazy Sprites.

Thanks again for stopping by.  More soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Recent Sketchbook

Just back from a two week stint in the Arctic. For years now I have been working on an ongoing project concerning the mythology of the Arctic and now I have finally made a trip up there to breathe in the atmosphere and get a proper feel for the landscape. It was a very fun and exciting adventure.

Now that I am back I have been in my sketchbook and here are a couple of recent sketches.

More soon and thanks again for stopping by.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Garden Faerie

Fresh spring rains are falling and washing away the last of the persistent winter snow.  These feral little creatures can now be observed in your garden if you are sneaky and patient.  I should probably remind you that these little beings can be aggressive and if you try to catch one you may get scratched.  Be careful and be quiet.

More soon and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Book of Beasties

The Book of Beasties is my most recent illustration project.  It is concerned with the creatures and legends of old Scotland.  Giants, Faeries, Goblins and Witches.  The research is by Belle Robertson and pencil renderings by yours truly.  Check this link to see more if you dare -

Thanks again for stopping by.

More soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recent Sketchbook - Pencil and Watercolour

This is a bit of the doodling and designing I have been doing lately.  Netsuke Nymphs, Fauns, Pixies and Sprites.  I use the word Netsuke because it refers to miniature Japanese sculptures and that is essentially what I have in mind when I'm doodling out these little characters.  The next step of course is to get some modeling clay and sculpt one.

Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Garden Pixie

A little watercolour from last month.  The drawings you have seen before and the changes were made in order to improve the design.

I had originally drawn her with a flower but I felt a lot better about the drawing when I changed the flower to a sumac twig.  I like the long thin leaves of the sumac tree because I can put them where I need them to be to complete the design that feels right to me.

Thanks again for stopping by.  More soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Magic Mushrooms

This time we are going back to Gwelf.  My schedule last year deprived me of much of the time I normally spend painting and investigating the Gwelf region.  This year I intend to make up for that lost time and visit Gwelf more often.

Here we have an old Raven Witch tending her mushroom circle.  She protects it and feeds it and in return it offers her escape and travel. The kind of travel that can only come from a mushroom circle or "faerie ring" which, as we all know, can be an instant portal to the nether world for any ignorant mortal foolish enough to step within.  However in this case the Raven Witch cultivates the circle and thereby controls it's magic and it's power.  She is a traveler.

Time is short and I will get back to all of this "circle magic" as soon as I can but I wanted to be sure to drop in today while I had a few free minutes and update with you all.

Thanks for stopping by and more soon.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Airborne - Step by Step


It all starts with a drawing.  When I begin I have only a vague idea of what I want and do my best to find it and get it down.  I am improvising as I go and curious to see where it will end up.  I am not thinking in colour when I am drawing but rather in misty monochromatic tones such as Arthur Rackham might have used - nondescript sepia and paynes grey.  The colour choices come later.

I now take this drawing and with the aid of a light box trace it onto, in this case, a sheet of 140lb cold pressed watercolour paper which I have taped to a piece of Masonite - watercolour palette close to hand and ready to go.  I have already begun to lay in a few tentative washes as a way of tip toeing into the picture.  Blue for sky and shadows and yellow for trees.

At this stage I am working in watercolour and just laying in the broad washes in order to get a general feel for the picture I want to make.  I am thinking the light will be coming from the right in a late afternoon warm sunset kind of atmosphere.  I am still being very careful - no bold or gutsy displays of artistic gusto.  Often when I get to this point in a picture I rather like it and think it looks fine just as it is and I should stop.  However I know I must soldier on.

I now have the picture more or less established in watercolour and it is time to switch to gouache which is a much more robust water media.  Both watercolour and gouache are from the Winsor Newton brand and are colour matched perfectly.  Now that I have a reasonably good idea of where I want to go, gouache is going to get me there faster.  I am not yet utilizing the opaque potential of the gouache, that will come later, at the end of the process.  For now I am just putting unmixed colour on the board.

This is where I commit to the painting and continue to add gouache and really get the picture established.  The colour scheme is presenting itself.  The feeling now is that the train has left the station and it is up to me to not run it into the ditch.

Here is where I start to use the gouache in it's opaque form and begin over painting the way you might if you were using oil or acrylic - light colour over dark.  We do this by mixing white into whichever colour you want to make opaque and lay one over another.  In this way I can bring things forward and have them stand out or push them back and let them recede into the background.

The final stage is one I really enjoy.  The painting is mostly finished and I now can go in and refine details and clean up edges.  This is where gouache really shines because I can make all the little corrections and adjustments that finish off an image.  I also like to get in there with colour pencils and make little scratch marks and blur any areas that seem to tight or dark.  I may yet go back in and fiddle with it some more, but for now I think this one is finished.

While I was working on this picture I had the "My Neighbour Totoro"  art book out and occasionally leafed through it for inspiration.  I did not want my picture to look like that movie but I was hoping to tap into a bit of that spirit.

I will be more than happy to field any questions you might have.

Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.