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-


Monday, October 31, 2011

Todays portrait group portrait

We had a lovely girl as our model in our portrait group today! I was really inspired.It is rare to get a lovely model and a nice pose even then it's hard work staying still and even the prettiest model sags after a while .LOL"s
I might finish this one off sometime. She's much more subdued than my usual portrait group work. She had pale skin and I just felt I'd be more subtle for once to do her justice.If I do more to her I'll enhance the colours a little and tweak the likeness although it's pretty good.
I painted her differently too. Usually I do all the boring drab colours first and then finish off with the details but I decided today to do her features first and then the skin tones.More fun as you get a nicer result earlier!
Lydia  2.30hr Oil from a model unfinished

I thought I'd show you how big she is for once. This is the finish of the underpainting stage.
I painted in a different order today.I was impatient for results! Usually I do the skin tones first and then finish off with her eyes ,mouth and other details.
A bit further along. I left things more subtle than usual as she was so pale and beautiful I wanted to do her justice.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I've been given permission by Mel to post a photo of the portrait I created of Bonnie the labrador.
She's a surprise Xmas gift for Mel's parents.
Bonnie is 14 and arthritic and Mel was worried she wouldn't last much longer. She took a turn and collapsed the day before Mel received the portrait but has come good again.
 I've made her a bit younger in her portrait.

I asked Mel if she got her home without being discovered.

"My mum saw me carry it in but I kept it hidden under the blanket. Bonnie has picked up a bit again which is good .
I love it it looks great.I showed my neigbour and she nearly cried and said it looks so life like and that they should love it. I have even found a spot where I reckon they should hang it. I cant wait for Christmas to give it to them. I wanted to give it to them the other day"
c 35 x 35cms image size
Framed Pastel
Bonnie framed.( the type Sue Linton is not on the original portrait).

All images associated with this Blog are covered by Copyright.
Permission required for reproduction.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little steps..

 Oct 19th
It's a beautiful sunny spring day and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.I've been dying to go for a trail ride and I actually went for a short one and survived! Zeuss is fat and full of energy ( well tired and quiet until he sees something he thinks is going to eat him..and then full of energy!).
He was a bit lame so I took it easy and we went up and said hello to a bull, a paddock full of cows and the stallion up the road. The poor stallion thought all it's Xmas's had come at once as it rarely sees other horses. It whinnied and whinnied at Z who wanted to go up and sniff noses but I told him that wasn't a good idea..
Oct 29th
I'm feeling very happy with myself. I've been wanting to take Zeuss down the lane to meet the other horses for months but I've been worried he'd spook at something or get wound up by them galloping around and scare me.
I finally went and we got past the scary cattleyards with hardly an eyebat , he started getting a bit tense but then saw another horse..!!!? I stopped him near the mare up the road and she nickered at him.He was in heaven! Then some of the new horses cantered up in the paddock the otherside of him. I just stood him there till they settled down- he was in double heaven! I had to give him a bit of a listen to me jab with my heels and we trotted off.
The next obstacle was the main road.He's pretty bomb proof in traffic but we hadn't been out for months. A horse truck came along and stopped for directions..Z couldn't believe it when these loud whinnies came from it as he passed! We survived the cattle truck without a problem.
He got all spooked once we re entered the bush near home which is weird as he usually settles down there but I got his mind on his work and he settled again..Great ! I'll have to keep taking little steps..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To make budgeting easy plan ahead prebook your portrait and pay it off as it suits you!

I was just talking to someone on the phone and I realised he didn't know about my option of prebooking his portrait and paying off the balance through the ensuing months.
He was thinking of having a portrait done as a gift for Xmas but things are a bit tight.I suggested he book it in for late next year when a birthday is due and make interest free payments as it suited his budget .He thought that was a great idea.
Win/ win - he can have his great gift and I get plenty of time to make sure it's the best portrait I can create!
I thought I'd mention it here as well. If you've been thinking of having me create a portrait this is an easy way to obtain your own heirloom painting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Here's a photo of me painting at the horse event yesterday.Thanks Horse biz!

You can see the portrait of Equity with a suggested frame moulding at the right hand side of the photo. I usually wear glasses but I have to take them off to paint..

You can now view and purchase these landscapes at Vivid Gallery Cessnock

The gallery is at 
Shop 1 ,10-14 North Avenue
ph - 4990 3230
Open weekdays

View at Toorook
Cooling Off
First light
Cows at Bellbrook
Afternoon on the river
Gloucester Bucketts View



35 x 40cms 
Equity was a lovely mare who had many wins at shows and produced some lovely offspring.

Here are a few earlier progressive photos of the portrait as she was created.

A bit further along
Her early blue stage

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

John Boy - the secret birthday gift

John Boy
c 64 x 74 cms
Framed Oil
Karen contacted me back in August about having a portrait created of her husband Jeff's horse John Boy. John Boy is now 32 and looking a bit worse for wear so she was hoping I could make him look a bit younger. 

Here he is today
Luckily we had a 1970/80's photo of him in a lovely pose. 
The photo was taken in overcast conditions and when I enlarged it to see his eyes etc for detail it was blurry so I had Karen take additional photos of John Boy as he is now so I had detail for his eyes and the saddle.
Jeff was on him in the earlier photo but we wanted to have him riderless in his portrait. I needed photos of the saddle to help me paint the area Jeff 's body was covering in the ref photo.See below-

Closeup you can see the lack of detail for his face
in the photo 

Here is a lovely letter Karen sent me that  tells of her experience.

' I am writing this letter the night prior to giving Jeff his birthday gift of the beautiful portrait you painted of John Boy.

 I have been patiently waiting 65 days since he arrived to be able to give to and see Jeff's reaction. When I opened the package and saw the portrait , my response was one of ' Wow he is absolutely spectacular ! I knew once I saw the portrait in the flesh I would love him.'

I couldn't stop admiring him but had to package him back up and wait!

Your total process from the commencement till the finished product cannot be faltered. Your enthusiasm and desire to ensure the portrait is to the best of your ability is evident throughout the process and is a testament to your commitment to each piece you create.

The day !

' I was so excited about giving the portrait to Jeff. Finally the moment had arrived and the unveiling was taking place. He was actually speechless when he saw it.It seemed like he didn't say anything for an eternity. 

His expression was one of full emotion, it moved him that much. He didn't need to say anything his face said it all. He was , is , so delighted with it.
You truly have a wonderful gift and I hope you enjoy the accolades you receive and so deserve , as much as the enjoyment we have of the finished piece of art you have created for our family.
Once again thankyou Sue.

With our heartfelt thanks , 
 Karen & Jeff

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reference photos

A lot of the time the reason a photo is not sharp enough to use is that the original photo has been taken from a  long way away and we have cropped it down to just a head pose. To avoid this problem make sure to take some photos of your pet where you just stand about 2m away and zoom in and just take their face.Those photos will be nice and sharp if you ever want a portrait done ( assuming they are taken in bright light without a flash).
 Don't be put off by all this I have created lovely portraits from blurry photos it's just that with a little planning you can have nice sharp flattering photos that will give a much better portrait.

If you are local I can come and take suitable photos.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Supplied photos to paint portraits from - the good the bad and the ugly!

The better the reference photos you supply the better the final portrait and the easier it is for me to create one!
Here I'll show a few photos and explain why they are good , bad or ugly !

Good horse reference - although there is a shadow on his face it doesn't hide much , his coat colour shows well and I can see the structure of his head.The outline/ shape of his eye is obvious although it is in shadow so it is just a dark shape ( I managed to get around that problem).
Above - Bad reference photo - A lovely horse and pose but the circled areas are just dark blobs with no detail in them and the photo isn't very sharp. I can't see the shape of the neck and the gutter in the neck or the shape of the cheekbone or mouth. I can use this but it makes my job very hard!
Above - Bad reference - Another beautiful horse and pose but not a very good reference photo.It is unsharp and there is no detail in the area I have circled . I can't see the bone structure. I can paint from this but every animal is unique and if you want the portrait to look like your animal the more information I have in a photo the better  and  easier it will be for me to create your ideal portrait.  To avoid this problem get about 10' away and zoom in and just photograph your horse head so it fills the frame .( This is for a head portrait although even for a full body pose a good  reference for the head will help me enormously). Often if you take a photo from a long way away and then enlarge it it becomes like these ones - unsharp.
Go to my website with this link for more tips on getting suitable photos without distortions for a horse portrait -
taking horse reference photos

Good Dog Reference - A lovely expressive pose
Although the camera is only 4 mexapixels this photo has nice lighting and gloss on his coat . I can see the shape and colour of his eyes and nose and although part of his neck is in shadow it isn't an important part of his face.

Above - another good one - A happy pose and although the lighting is not out in the sun ( taken under a bright outdoor verandah) I can see the shape of his eyes , nose and there is some gloss on his coat.
Above - Bad reference - A happy pose but taken with a flash so I can't see the colours of his eyes and where his eyes end isn't very obvious. I used this photo mainly to see his colour and coat.I  used additional photos for the colour and shape of his eyes etc.( see below).

Better reference of the same dog - This was taken outside in the sun with no flash. I can see the colour of his eyes.His nose isn't really sharp but I got by.
Bad reference photos

This is a cute pup and a nice sharp photo with good detail d but her eyes have been 'flashed out' and she doesn't look very happy.I can't make your pet look happy if it's not in the photo.I can make a happy one happier but not a sad one happy. The whole face structure changes when your pet smiles so I can't just give them a 'smile ' as it will look strange and not like them.
A lovely pose but we have flashed out eyes again and a dark blob for a nose. The photo has been taken from a distance so when it is enlarged it is blurry and unsharp.
Here is an enlarged version of the same photo and I've circled the problem areas.
I can't see where her eyes end and where her eyesockets /lids start or any detail in her nose.The expression in her eyes  has been lost due to the flash.
I know it's not always going to be possible to have great photos especailly if your pet has passed away.( For those of you with pets still around start taking photos now!). Try and take photos of your pet somewhere bright so you don't need to use a flash and use sports setting on your camera.- under an outside verandah is great .
Follow this link for some pet phototaking hints-

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

For Sale - God's Country

For Sale
God's Country
 c 33 x 43cm 
 Framed oil

The wording ' Sue Linton' on the far hill isn't on the original painting.

The creation of " God's Country"

I know this image is too wide but it needs to be this big so you can read the type.