Welcome to my Blog

I'm a professional award winning Portrait artist from NSW Australia.

Not just a likeness- portraits with Life!
I bring your photos to life in paintings that will touch your heart!

A photo freezes a moment while a painting melts hearts.

Capture a moment in their life and
keep it alive in an Heirloom Portrait !

"Your portraits capture more life than a photo ever could!"

Satisfaction Guarantee .

Have me create a special portrait just for you!.
Supply the photos and then plan the great unveiling!

I have original animal and landscape artworks available for sale on my website.

Learn more at my website-


Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's important to have some clear photos taken of your pet while they are healthy

I keep getting people contacting me about a portrait after their pet has died but they have never taken many photos. Make sure you or someone takes photos of your pet while they are healthy.It doesn't matter if you don't get that perfect shot as long as they are clear.I can often come up with your perfect portrait by combining several clear photos. If you are local you can have me come and take photo's sutiable for a portrait and I'll keep them on file until you are ready to have one created.
Read the advice on how to take suitabel photos at this link on my website
The tips above are for dogs and pets. If you are taking photos of a horse look at this link-

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I don't always frame with the same type of frame it's just that the last two portraits have suited that particular one.I  choose the most flattering frame for each portrait .I f you have a preference - gold / wood types etc I'll try and see if I can get a frame of the type you prefer that suits and run it past you for approval.For overseas portraits it's often easier to provide an unframed portrait.An oil can be rolled and sent in a tube and you can frame the portrait when it arrives.

I've finally framed the cute little Shetland

I fiddled a little with him and framed him . He's for sale.You can buy him through Paypal click on the button below.
25 x 30 image size
 Framed size 43 x 51cms
For Sale
He's framed with 2 mats under glass with a distressed wood frame.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reeling back the years..

I'm not going to be able to make the Springer Spaniel  as young as I'd like to. She has an old face ( bone structure ) in the reference photo so if I just change her colour she will look old but the wrong colour. Also I don't think her owner will see it as her. I'm going to make her a bit less grey and try & make her a bit more alert.

 I've got to work out what it is that makes her look old & try & downplay it.If only it was that easy in real life! My ankle is holding up well which is good as I'm booked for a photoshoot of a red cattledog tomorrow morning so I need to be able to drive.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Walking wounded.

Well I'm hobbling around on home made crutches..grr.I went crewing on a raceboat ( yacht) after sailboarding yesterday.The wind was strong and we had too much sail up.I've strained my ankle.My partner went on another yacht and came home with a pulled muscle in his chest so we're both the walking wounded.I think we're getting too old to crew.We need our own boat were we can rig correctly for the conditions and get more powerful whinches.

I think I did it when I was on the foredeck .The boat deck was at 45 degrees and I had to get on the lower side and lift the headsail up over the lifelines where it was caught. The deck is open and slipperyso you could easily slip and fall through the lifelines.I had to grab a staunchion ( post) on the uphill side and lower myself to the other side and jam my foot up against another staunchion so I was in safe position to do the job.It was a long reach and all my weight went onto that ankle.I didnt feel it at the time but it started to stiffen up as I left the boat and it  was a real problem driving.

My partner made me some homemade crutches but well have to go in and get some real ones today.It was really painful yesterday but if I keep off it its not too bad today.I thought I might do some more painting but I have to stand to paint as I have a crook neck..The joys of getting old!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I've started on the two Spaniel and pig portrait

I've finally got over the scary stage  - the canvas is covered! Its pretty rugged at the moment but that doesn't worry me as I'll keep refining and correcting things as I paint until it's finally finished.It won't stay blue!
I was getting impatient by the time I got to the cocker spaniel so he is pretty rugged but there is enough information there to go on with.I just want to get the basic design done and check it looks ok. I'm really enjoying this one and I think it is going to look great when it's done!With the help of some younger photos of her I'm going to give the Springer Spaniel a makeover. Boy she certainly looks old these days!
 I'm not using the pets names for privacy reasons.My client's ! Not the pet's..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It was 'mother's club ' at our place this am.

2 of the 5 ducklings left from the original 8.They better grow wings soon so they can fly away and be safe! The family roams all over the place feeding and it's a long way to run to the dam for safety!
There were about 4 joeys out and about ( not including the ones in the pouch that you can't see). I tried to get a pic with them all in but didn't quite make it.The roos haven't been around the house for a while but since the rain we just had they are back to get the new grass shoots.
The little joey up the back to the right of the tree was cute. He came down for a visit but I didn't catch it with the camera.

Well I've done the sketches for the portrait of the two Spaniels and the pig and sent them off for approval.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let's go! Framed

I just need to sign him & he's finished!

Latest portrait painted from a live model in 2.30hrs - unfinished sketch

Heres' the latest portrait from my fortnightly portrait group sitting.


30 x 40cms

unfinished Oil sketch 2.30hrs

Im very happy with the colours.If I was to finish her I'd just refine things a little and finish her eyes etc better.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why get a painting? I have a photo....See below

Boss - Oil portrait on the left - the original photo on the right.
Notice how much more alive and interesting the Oil portrait is than the photo.It will look even better framed!

Remember this is a painting I did for myself so I was free to add a bit of extra colour.Boss's nan Ann loves the portrait as it is!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The horse event was interesting..

Well I set up my display at the horse event under the verandah of the clubhouse and thought I was safe but mid pm a big storm came through .There was a mad rush with people carrying stands and tables into the clubhouse.Luckily nothing too important got wet. I'm glad I wasn't one for the people out there doing a dressage test in the rain! I packed up early as a result. Some lovely horses there today.I get home and poor old Zeuss looks plain! Mind you he only cost me $600!
Thanks everyone who helped!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two spaniels and a pig!

We have chosen the best photos from the ones I took for the Springer Spaniel , Cocker Spaniel and Pig portrait.I've come up with an idea that I think looks best with the photo  placement and done a mockup and sent it through for approval.

Its now going to be a framed Oil rather than a Pastel.I think it is going ...to look great!
If this idea is approved I can then go ahead and do a sketch of each pet and send those through for approval .If there are any changes needed they can be done then and then once that is passed I can start the portrait!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm preparing for another public painting day

I'm going to be working on a commissioned portrait -  the large double horse portrait .I have it roughly underpainted.You normally work from dark to light colours and rough to more refined as you finish but I've had to leap ahead and put some of the finishing colours on ( just a few marks) as I will be painting outside in bright light.Now I know what colours I need to use for it to look ok inside.

Bright light shows colours well but normal inside light is duller so you need to paint more brightly to allow for that. It may look a bit over the top at the demo but I dont want to get it home & then have to brighten it up.

I won't be under shelter and the forecast is a bit iffy so I hope the rain holds off for the day.It's a public holiday tomorrow so I probably won't get any work done in the studio.

Good & bad news..

We had a thunderstorm with 20mm rain last night..Yeehaa! The place was tinder dry and trees were dying .Today you can see the grass growing and everything feels so lovely.

On the down side 3 of the ducklings are gone.Goanna ? Fox ? Eagle?
 Maybe this is the culprit..he's big! about 5'? This photo was taken on a really hot day a month or so ago.he was sitting in a cool spot near the tank.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A funny sight!

We have another lot of ducklings being raised by the native woodducks.I'm suprised they have survived as the local goanna is about and last time I saw him his belly was so full it was almost dragging on the ground.Maybe he's been sleeping it off and that's why they survived! The parents are 2nd time ones so they are pretty tame but yesterday I noticed mum was missing and dad and the brood were pretty twitchy.
The ducklings can't fly so they just walk around everywhere or run when they are scared.
They took fright at something yesterday and they were running so fast the little ducklings were doing someraults and landing on their backs with their feet in the air for a second . They'd pick themselves up and take off again only to go head over heels again.About 4 out of 8 did it and some 3 x in the one run..Wish I could have got it on video!
 Mum turned up looking bedraggled a bit later on and everyone was happy again.Animals! If only we could just live in the present all the time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nothing like kayaking in a gorgeous area to get me re inspired to paint landscapes!

We went kayaking down on the Hawkesbury / Pittwater area north of Sydney today. I haven't been inspired to paint landscapes for a long time but I was itching to today!In the past I have taken an easel in my kayak and stopped at a  beach and done a painting.I'll have to do it again.
 I now have two paintings I really want to do.If I get a chance I'll have to try and do a quick one before the inspiration goes but I have a lot of commissioned paintings to do and I'm inspired to do those too! Bummer I need a clone!
America Bay - I love the lighting in this one! It would be a challenge but I'll have to try & capture it sometime. What normally happens is I'm SO inspired but then other paintings take precedence and I never get around to painting it.
Oh I forgot! I was kayaking along and then squealed in fright as something surfaced 20 ' in front of me..It was a large turtle about 4 ' long coming up for air .I could see its shell, front flippers and it's big head before it saw me  and ducked back under! I'd love to get a photo of things like that but they happen so fast! It made my day.There were a lot of large jellyfish wafting by too. It's funny you think it's just water and then something like that happens to make you wonder what else is under there!
Beach near were I saw the turtle

Friday, March 11, 2011

It was a gorgeous evening last night.

 Check out the rainbow.If you look carefully the blue blob at its base is Zeuss.He's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Click on the image to enlarge it.

I've just sketched a double horse portrait concept and sent it away.

I'm really excited about this one asI've suggested something a bit different.I just hope the lady likes the idea as I can't wait to start it! Its a large portrait but a secret so I won't be able to post the result until after it's received.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here's my unfinished demo Oil of Boss the Staffy from the weekend.

Here's the demo I started on the weekend. Hopefully I'll get around to finishing it in the next week.He is sitting in a car. I still have to finish him off and do the window etc.

He will be a framed 30 x 40cms Oil when he's done.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An interesting portrait!

Well I'm just home from a photoshoot of a Springer Spaniel , Cocker Spaniel & a pig that thinks its a dog! I am going to create a 30 x 40cms framed Pastel portrait of the 3 of them.Head portraits..It should be interesting!
 I was worried about Godo the pig but she was very well behaved posing for a grape.She was more obliging than the dogs!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sometimes its not possible to have a really good photo but I can still create a portrait you'll love!

Initially we were going to do a head portrait of Jack and I  took the photos. Jenny decided that it wasn't really Jack without his 4 socks so we changed the portrait to a full body portrait.She would take the photos. It took 18months but Jenny finally took a photo with a pose she was happy with and we decided to go with that.The lighting was bad and it wasn't as clear as I'd like but I used the head photos we already had to help.

Enhanced reference photo - it was darker than this and further away. Jenny was happy for me to enhance the colour in the portrait.Click on the portrait to see a larger version so you can see his expression.All the portraits look better in the flesh.The photos have been reduced in quality for the web.

40 x 50cms image size
Framed Oil

Jack was a bit of a cheeky inquistive character so I wanted to capture that in his expression.
"OK - I have waited till I had all the family here to give me their opinions.
We are all thrilled!
You have definitely captured his inquisitive nature.
Thanks so much."

Framed portrait ( the portrait has his name on it but this photo was taken before I did that).

Get creative and have a unique portrait!

If you are thinking of having a portrait done you don't have to stick to a standard pose.If your pet has a typical look or pose and you can capture that in a sharp photo an unusual angle can really make your portrait stand out from the crowd!

Full body poses suit larger portraits unless they can be cropped and still keep the essence.Poses like the one in the post below of Boss can liven up a head portrait.Get creative or if you are local get me to take some suitable photos.

This photo isn't as sharp as I'd like but it is usable.Make sure you put your camera on sports mode or multishot so when you press the shutter the camera just keeps clicking away until you take your finger off the shutter.

This is Kody..
30 x 40cms
Ok so this one wasn't a commission but you could have one created of your horse.
 Remember I can only paint  from the photo you supply so get creative!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today's portrait sketch from a model

Here's what I did at our portrait painting group today.We have someone come in and pose for us and we paint them for about 2 1/2 hrs..This is where I experiment with colour and practise getting a likeness. Painting from real life is the best way to learn as photos don't show the 3D or colour like seeing something in the flesh.I rarely bother finishing them off when I get home and enjoy just getting impact or colour zap.I'm happy with the zap I got with Bob. If I WAS to bother finishing him off more I would just refine his eyes and slightly modify his forehead area. I suppose the portrait I did of my mother for the Archibald is one of these finished off..Although as the artist I can decide it is finished whenever I want!

 One of the problems with the portrait session is we have a dozen artist all trying to paint the one model so you end up about 15' from the model and can't see them properly! I didn't realise how bad it was until I was having trouble with the shape of his cheeks and got him to stand 1' in front of me..Aah! I can see..easy! You can't even see his eyes from that far away.If I finish him off I'll use the photo to help with detail.I just aim for an overall impression from the session.

30 x 40cms Oil on canvas

The camera doesn't photgraph the blue properly.The background and dark blues are darker.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Here's my demo piece finished

For Sale

25 x 30cms


You can buy him unframed at the moment.I intend to frame him ( see below) so email me if you want him unframed to see if he is available.

Framed or unframed

Have your own horse portrait created! Credit card accepted through Paypal.Payment can be split into several payments if required to help your budget.
Proposed frame
2 mats under glass with a distressed wooden frame

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Great news!

Harry has pulled through!He's coming home to share Cheryl's bed tonight!

Bad news

I just found out that one of my clients dogs has been bitten by a snake and has been getting treatment for the last six days.It doesn't sound good though as he is in renal failure at the moment.My thoughts are with her.

Here is the portrait she had done.Harry is the one sick.He was the milder natured of the two and is in the front of the portrait. They always did like to chase snakes and it looks like this time it's caught up with them.
Harry and  Zack
40 x 50cms
Framed Oil
" I could kiss them they look so real. You've brought tears to my eyes and I'm not a very emotional person.
I'm so impressed I'll have to get my horses painted by you as well.
I'm over the moon , you've made my day !

When we were preparing for this portrait  I talked to Cheryl about their personailites and she said Harry was milder and more laid back..Didn't I know it! Zack grabbed my bum when I came in to take photos! Luckily it was only a light nip but I got into the habit of covering my backside with something whenever I went there.So in the portrait I made Harry look a bit happier and Zack a bit more aggro to capture them both.
Cheryl did have a portrait created of her horses and I was ringing her about her portrait when I got the news.
Cheryl with her horses
Large Oil

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amazing effect

Its been really hot here today ..38 degrees odd.We just had a few thunderstorms go through and they dropped it by 10 degrees.Not enough rain to wet the ground worse luck. It was amazing as it was heavy rain with sun and all the trees looked like they were wearing glistening diamonds as the sun caught the wet leaves.It actually made me cry it was so amazing.Pity I didn't have my camera but some things a camera just can't capture.