I’m still working on my series of paintings from my sketch trip to Leeds. After all the studies and the alla prima heads I drew and painted I’ve got to bite the bullet, stop procrastinating and get stuck in to the main pieces.


The big news, and the main reason I need to get a move on is because I’m pencilled in for a solo exhibition in a small gallery in London from 23-27 October. I’m hoping and keeping fingers crossed that I can get all the work done, there’s certainly lots to do.

I also need to come up with a name for the portrait series, something I’m not great at. Whatever I asked the sitters, I think the common theme I have is that they are all posing doing something they love, whether that’s music, talking, laughing, writing, performing or relaxing.

Any name ideas would be seriously appreciated!

Painting updates


I’ve been tweaking the first painting I did of Rhiannon as I felt her hand was too static, and I’m still not quite finished so I’ll post an update when I’m happy.


My second painting is of Al, a saxophonist. I wanted to show the warmth and cool of the music, and the movement he makes while he plays, so I’ve tried to use warm and cool colours and superimpose one portrait over another.

I wanted one pose to be more of a ghost image then the other, and have also tried to give hints of drawing rather than making the piece very ‘finished’.

Again, this one is not quite finished. I’veĀ  hung it on the wall to see if anything occurs to me and will finish when it does, though I definitely need to add more detail to the saxophone.


I thought I’d continue with the musicians as they group together nicely, and if I only get three done then they’re a natural set. Ben is a brilliant cellist, I felt his playing right through me when he came to pose.

Again, I felt great warmth from the music so I’m keeping the palette rich in yellows and oranges. Ben also told me that he sees music in colours and orange relates to Bach, who he particularly enjoys playing so I thought I’d try to incorporate it.

I haven’t done much on this yet but am enjoying trying out different ways of suggesting movement, like repeating and overlapping shapes and dragging big brush marks in the direction of the bow.


As a change from the musicians I’ve just started painting Tim.

Tim is a classics postgraduate student who is extremely enthusiastic about his subject and explains it brilliantly. He uses his hands a lot so I’ve tried to suggest his movement and enthusiasm through multiple poses.

It’s nice to have a colour change, so I’m thinking reds, greens and greys for this one. It’s been a bit tricky sitting the poses together so I’m going to try to link them with the curves of the furniture.

Painting in series

I’m finding it helpful to paint these simultaneously, it seems to be helping me reinforce style decisions and work a bit more confidently. It is still a bit overwhelming so I’m going to have to get my head down and paint like fury to have enough finished work to hang as a group fairly quickly.

I’m really hoping I can get a painting in of everyone I sketched before the deadline, though that’s quite a tall order.

Next up will probably be a couple more music-related portraits, then I’ll have to regroup and get some more sketches done.

Let me know what you think of my series so far, it’s a bit of an adventure and an experiment so both fun and slightly stressful. And definitely let me know if you have any exhibition name ideas!


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