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-


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The creation of Tiki the Shar Pei's portrait

David had me create a portrait of Tiki as a secret Christmas gift for his wife Jacqui.
The original photos weren't sharp enough so  I had David take some more photos using my photo taking tips.

 This photo was one of his original ones and would have made a lovely portrait but was too blurry for me to use.

This was the one we decided on . 

The chosen photo was a bit dark and distorted ( her head is larger than it should be) but I fixed this in photoshop.
 It's easy to get 'big head' distortion if you get too close taking photos ( it's especially bad in horse photos! ).
 I recommend you get at your pets height and about 6-8' back and zoom in to avoid it.
 Here is is after I have  'fixed' it. The distortion doesn't show much in this example but it was obvious! In the one below she sits more upright. She seems to be front heavy in the one above.

Here is the acrylic underpainting done and I am starting to repaint her in Oil colour starting with the darks in her face and her eye.
Her eye was just a dark spot in the photo so I gave her more expression and life in the portrait.

Starting with Oil on her front leg. I chose my colours so she would be more 3D in the portrait than in the painting. Her face and front leg /shoulder are closer to you and stand out more while the rest of her body recedes.

I quite liked this stage but I wanted the background colour to make her really stand out and be the star. Although the portrait looked great from a distance at this stage it looked a bit unfinished and not 3D closeup so needed more work. Larger portraits take a long time to get to a good finish.

Starting on the background. I wanted her to have a simple background but sit convincingly in space. She is a very hard portrait to get a decent photo of. The camera kept washing out the photos ( too light and wishy washy). Even with editing I couldn't really get a photo that does her portrait justice in the flesh.

Here the background and overall concept is finished so I just have to fine tune her ( which takes the longest time.)
Her face isn't finished here but you can see their is more expression visible in a closeup photo. I forgot to take any when she was finished and you can't see it in the overall photos.
After this photo was taken  I just worked on making her face more 3D and real and the wrinkle folds convincing.

Here she is framed. As you can see the detail in her face doesn't show in the overall photo but you can see it in the original portrait.

 40 x 50cms image size
 Custom framed Oil
'It looks great!! Very happy with her, Jacqui is very impressed.'

Monday, December 15, 2014

The creation of Francis - a 2.30hr practise portrait from a model

It's always a race against time to create a portrait in such a short time. I spend a lot of time getting an accurate likeness in my blue acrylic under painting so I end up with only a very short time to put the Oil colour over the top and bring it all together.
 Francis is a great model and always gives us an interesting pose. I was disappointed to run out of time with this one as I felt given more time I could have created a good portrait.
Below is what I got done in the session.I'm happy with the general expression- I feel I have captured something of her nature. With more time I would have integrated her forehead and front of her cheeks with the rest of the portrait and done more with her hair and left eye.


Below- I start by just drawing the shape of her head to place it on the canvas. I use scraps of canvas and I was mad at myself as today I had only brought a skinny bit and when I saw the great model I wished I had a wider one! The yellow bits are just the tape holding the canvas onto the board. The tape comes off when it's finished.
  I just position her eyes nose and mouth making sure they are at the right angle for the pose and the distances are pretty right. Every person varies and even the angle of the head on the day affects where everything goes.


Above -  In this one I've darkened behinds her head to make it stand out drawn her clothes and started to block in her neck with tones ( shades of light and dark). This is what makes them look real and 3D.

Above-  A bit further along and it is starting to look like Francis!
 I'm starting to capture something of her expression.

 Coming along nicely.. I always hate continuing on from this stage. 
Often I have a good likeness and everything looks great and then I know it is going to start looking horrible for a while until right at the end.

Above-  Here I'm starting to put the Oil colour over. The usual method is to do all the darker colours / tones first, then the middle tones, the lightest and the details. 
Because I always run out of time I have come up with another way of working. It is harder to do as you have to be able to visualise a few stages ahead. Here I start on her mouth , nose base and eye doing dark accents.
Usually you would do all her skin colour first and do those last..This way I get to see if I am getting the expression earlier and it keep me motivated.

Above- Now I've started doing the highlights ( where the light catches on her face). I will fill in the darker skin tones later. This is a good way to go if the model starts to get tired and sag.The rims of light etc can then disappear/ change position  due to the different angle of her head so this way I have a record of them at their best!

Above - I'm starting to fill out her cheek- there was some great lighting that I wanted to catch. 

Below- Doing some darker bits of her hair- the lighter bits will now show better over them. 
I'm also starting to fill in the middletone colours in her face.

Below- This is as far as I got in the session. It's so frustrating when you're on a roll, things are going great , your all fired up, and then they say - "Ok that's it!' grr

Compare the colour between this one ( above ) and the one below.. Nothing has been changed except the lighting.. The top one is how she looked during the painting session- I was using the yellows etc..
When I got home the light was different and the yellow no longer showed. It's very frustrating! You get it how you want at portraits and then when you get them home they don't look as planned.. Oh well I suppose I don't mind either. 
This is one portrait that I may one day come back and finish. I have photos of her from the sitting.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I won't be going to the art bazaar today but it will still be a great event to visit.

Sorry everyone I really regret this but I WON"T be at the art bazaar today. It is still on and well worth visiting.
There is a high storm risk and as I would have to be there  from 10-8pm the risk is too high.
We had a storm last night that lasted 2hrs , heavy rain strong wind , lightning strikes 100m away , hail. The awning wouldn't last in that. ( It was great for the property the big dam is 80% full again -we got 72mm of rain.).
 It will be fine to visit as you can choose when you go and the storms will only be there for a short time if at all.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hunter Arts bazaar Tomorrow Saturday 6th Dec at Civic Park Newcastle

Here is some more information about this Saturdays Hunter arts bazaar at Civic park Newcastle.There is a whole day of activities planned!
Weather permitting I will be there all day demonstrating. I'll let you know if I cancel.

 Sorry I won't be there due to predicted storms but it will still be a great event to visit!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gift certificates available for Xmas and any special occasion!

I'm booked out for Xmas but you can still get a gift certificate for that hard to buy for person!
Pets, people , horses, property portraits...
You and I do the behind the scenes 'work' while they get the fun of organising their ideal portrait!
Contact me to have one sent out. I can email one through and you can print it out ready to give. Any size or combination of portrait..

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dexter's portrait on the wall

Michelle sent me this great photo of Dexter with his portrait. 
How well trained is he to pose like this?

Here is a closeup of his portrait 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas bookings almost filled . Gift certificates available.

It's getting very busy coming up to Christmas with a lot of enquiries..Soon I will not be able to guarantee Xmas delivery but I'll try and create as many as I can.
Gift certificates are available for Xmas. They make great gifts.
You can specify an amount and I can offer options that suit and deal with you on the business side of things.
The recipient doesn't need to know any of the background organisation. They can decide which option they prefer, choose photos and be involved in the creation of their beautiful portrait.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Photo of the Hunter Valley visitor centre Wine country Art trail exhibition

The exhibition has finished now. I was sitting in a drs surgery, picked up the Maitland Mercury newspaper and was surprised to see my artworks displayed here!
You can see my portraits behind the mayor. 
The image isn't the best quality- my portraits look much better in the flesh!

Ella - 20 x 20cms Oil on Canvas

Megan bought her friend Alison one of my gift certificates as a birthday gift. Alison and I organised the portrait soon after.

 Alison didn't have many sharp photos of Ella but luckily her favourite was just sharp enough to use.The original photo was a full body one but a small portrait has best impact with  a head only pose so I cropped it down.

 So cute !
A lovely photo but to do her justice a portrait would need to be a minimum 30 x 40cms or 40 x 50cms image size.Otherwise her face would be too small.

  This cropped image is much better for a small portrait! As you can see the photo isn't really sharp ( you can't see the edge of her nose or the hairline above her mouth) but I can get by.
It's always hard to get a sharp reference photo when you crop a photo.
 Cropping enhances any blurriness in the original photo and unless it's a really large megapixel file it won't be very sharp.
 Luckily Ella is a long haired dog. A short haired dog where you need to show the head bone structure needs a sharper photo so I can see where their cheekbones etc are.
I used other photos with Ella to get her nose and mouth correct.

 The finished portrait. I have suggested her eye just peeking out between her fringe. I removed her pink tag as it would have distracted us from her face.

 20 x 20cms 
 Oil on canvas hang as it or frame 

"It looks fantastic!! Definitely no need to change anything. You've done a great job."

Here are some early stages of the portrait.
Below - The rough as guts under painting ..I usually do an accurate sketch for portraits but with the smaller 20 x 20cms ones I just jump in boots and all and correct things as I go! You can see I am moving her right eye as I add the oil.

Below- Starting to do the Oil over painting . I had some fun doing her mouth first..

Below-  Here I'm having fun with her fur. I came back and changed the colours several time so the portrait was cohesive and then detailed a little more.
 For some reason the camera didn't focus very well on the portrait in the early stages so the photos aren't as sharp as they should be - sorry.
 You can see I've got tape on the portrait to make sure she doesn't fall forwards into the wet paint palette!  She already has the hanging cord on and that was pushing her out from the easel and making her more prone to tipping off.

The finished portrait again..I've chosen a background colour that enhances her and so she stands out well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dexter the demo painting

I ran a FB competition asking for people to send in their photos and I would select one for a demo painting. Michelle won with her photo of Dexter.
 She receives a $50 voucher towards a portrait , some hand made cards of  the portrait and a discounted option to buy.
With commissioned portraits I consult with you all along the way , you choose the size , whether it is Oil or Pastel and the framing. 
With a demo I more or less just do what I want which is why I offer any demo painting at a reduced rate. There is no obligation to purchase the portrait.
 Here is the original reference photo for Dexter.
Thanks to Penny Brookes Photography for allowing me to paint from her great photo! 

 25 x 30cms image size 
 Framed Pastel

The finished portrait. I removed Dexter's chain from around his neck
Here he is framed.

 I have cut the mats and show the frame I will be using. This is how I run my framing ideas past you for your feedback..You can see how much better the actual frame ( above) looks than the mockup ( bottom below) but it gives you an idea of what he will look like with that framing option.

Above - a rough computer mockup top show you what he will look like framed. This was done before I took his chain off. You can see how his neck is puffy because of the choker.
He will be approx 51 x 44 cms framed size.
 The 25 x 30cms image framed pastel is a great value portrait option!

Contact me to have your own pet's portrait created!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Holly sent me a photo of Bruno framed on the wall. I suggested the frame and she had her local framer frame him.
'I think it looks awesome! I have it hanging in a place I walk past all the time so that I can enjoy it!'
 Holly -Western Australia

A pet portriat painting of a St Bernard Cross Dog

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My portrait ' Homeward Bound " wins the 1st prize at the CA Brown Art show this weekend!

I was excited to hear that my portrait " Homeward Bound " won 1st Prize in the CA Brown Artshow last Friday !
I've included the judges comments . 

 It's great to have a judge confirm that my portraits capture the personality / soul of the subject. I've been working away for years perfecting my art with that aim foremost in my mind.
 People tell me I capture soul , something intangible thing in my portraits and  it's great to have this skill officially recognised in this way!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cessnock Visitors Centre exhibition opening Oct 24th

If you haven't managed to get to my other exhibition I will be having some paintings in an exhibition as part of the Wine Country Art trail so come along and have a look.

You can view more information about all the artists at the Art trail website


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The large Torso - complete and delivered

Well he's finally done and delivered!

Although he looks realistic from a distance he is actually quite colourful close up.

 Here is where we were last time I showed you.. I had made his rear shoulder blue green and although I liked each area I didn't feel it hung together as a whole..

Here is the final version..

The background is a bit more even than in this photo..


Contact me if you'd like something along these lines created! 
I can work from any photos you have. Dramatic lighting is best..I can take photos if necessary