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 22, 2015

Christmas greetings!

Best wishes that the Christmas period provides what you need- be it exhilaration or relaxation!
I'll won't be on the computer as much for a week or so but I will still be in the studio at times   so you can still contact me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Finishing off the rearing arabs - Freedom

For sale
She will be tastefully custom framed when dry and 72 x 76cms framed size.
 A stunning feature painting!

This is where I got to at the end of the demo day.

 Above - as they were at the demo.

Above - Now at home I wanted to refine the front horse and make her a bit more accurate.The first thing I did was increase the crest of her neck and add some highlights on her face. The lightest accents where the light hits her.

 Here I've done  more with her main . I still need to do her legs and general body and suggest some dapples.I still want to keep the orange glow as that will give the painting oomph and more depth.
  Now I've highlighted and refined her legs and body. Time to move onto the rear image. You can see the drawing lines on her and I want to build up her form and refine her more accurately.
 Now I've  roughly done the rear horse although her legs still need more work and a few dapples and minor changes. I've refined the background. It's hard to get a decent photo as the light shines back off the wetpaint and in the photos it comes out shiny and lighter than it really is.

 Finished! I've deliberately left her more suggested and colourful. I wanted to capture the movement and spirit and have depth in the painting with the 2nd horse a ghost image. I'm pretty happy with her!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Creating the fun demo painting of Aphrodite the gorgeous Arab

 I painted this demo at Lambton Park on Sunday when I was at the Hunter Arts bazaar. I didn't get as much done as usual as I was really busy and talked heaps!
 As this painting isn't a commission I'm being a bit more creative and going for more of a feeling than an exact likeness.
( Although if you'd like something a bit different and have some good action photos or an unusual angle they can make a stunning portrait!)

Here are the original inspiring photos of the arab mare Aphrodites - 
Thanks for letting me use them  Renee!

I played around for quite a while before I came up with this idea. 
I've got rid of the background , flipped one of the photos and I will take off her halter and lungeline.
 I like to have the photo in B + W as if it's in colour I find I start to blindly copy the photos colours . As photos can't capture all the colours your eye can see if you copy the photos colours you start at a disadvantage. With this one I'm being more adventurous than if it was a commission and choosing colours for best effect.

Early stages of sketching the idea. I wanted to make sure it fitted on the canvas.
Much as I loved this one below I could see that the head at the back was larger than the one in front so I had to make the front one larger or the rear one would dominate. I want the rear horse to be more of a ghost image to add to the feeling and not distract.

 Ok the heads are more the same size now and I've roughly got them done. The enlarged reference photo isn't very clear  so I can't see her head structure very well.
It doesn't matter as much here as it's not a commissioned portrait.
The paper is white at this stage it's just a colour caste in the photo.

This is the stage I got to before I went to the event.I would have liked to do the acrylic underwashes there but I need to lay it flat to do them and the paint would have dried too fast outdoor.
 Here they are at the event and I'm starting to come in and do the tonal underpainting on both horses ( both are Aphrodites)..

I've now got them underpainted and it's time to start doing the Oil paint over the top.This is the fun part!
 Starting on the dark accents in the front horses head and I've also roughly suggested the blue stripe in the background. This will be refined later.

Doing a bit of the in between tones / shades on her face. This is what gives her head the structure and reality. 

Starting to come together! I love the glow and how the front horse comes forward.

 A bit further along building up the tones.
 Below - closeup

This is where I got up to at the end of the day. I want to darken the background stripe, add highlight dapples on the front horse and refine her face a little plus a few more darks. I'll also refine the rear one a  little hopefully without losing the lovely oomph and glow it has!
I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing it off but will post it when I do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Amy & Lockie - the selfie that has been immortalised in an Oil painting!

Amy and Lockie
" Wow- it is amazing....
 It is SO good."
Her children were mucking about taking selfies in the back of the car and she really liked this selfie idea. 
Deborah had the idea of a having a portrait created for many years but just couldn't find the right artist until she contacted me. What a fun idea!

We decided to alter the colours a little from this photo as it wasn't very accurate and Deborah liked the warmer tones I used in the portrait. The reference photo also doesn't show their eye colours very well so I enhanced those in the painting.

So you can see the size here is the unfinished painting  on my easel.
My palette is approx 30 x 40cms  in size.

Have your own children's selfie immortalised in a painting!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My portrait of Jeremy & Django ( A winning team) wins an award at the CA Brown Artshow

I don't enter many art shows these days as I don't do enough original paintings to enter. Paintings generally have to be for sale so I can't ( and wouldn't) enter a commissioned portrait.
 I've won an award in each of the art shows I've recently entered.
This portrait is still a work in progress too! I fine tune things every time I get a chance.

"A winning Team "
c .7 x 1m
Oil on gallery wrap canvas 

The portrait is in a slightly bolder style than most of my portraits as being a larger painting I also want it to have impact from a distance. Top photo is the most accurate colourwise to the horse in the actual portrait.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One of my portraits has won an award at the 2015 Wollombi Emerging Artists Awards.

My portrait 'Homeward Bound" Just won a merit award in the 2015 Wollombi Emerging Artists awards!
Well so far it's won a 1st prize and now an award.
To me I'm not really an emerging artist as I've been around for 17 years but the awards are open for any artists that haven't had a solo exhibition in a regional gallery.
I only create one painting a year other than commissions ( and practise portraits at the group) so that's not bad!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The creation of Alex's memorial portrait

 Memorial portrait of Alex
30 x 40cms
Oil on gallery wrap canvas
" It's beautiful. You got her nose etc just perfect!!! Looks more like Alex than the photo!!! Tyler loves it too! So natural and Alex.
Makes me teary!!!

The portraits creation-
Alex was 23 when she was killed in a car accident in Australia shortly after returning from overseas.
Lanise is having me create a portrait to remember her in better times. 
I drew a sketch for her portrait today  but we have decided to use another photo so I'll draw another tomorrow. Below is the first photo I drew .
I was initially going to use this video still photo which really captures her character  but it was just too blurry.  I was guessing with her eye shape and smile and something just wasn't right in the sketch.
We were going to use extra photos to help but especially with people you have to be so accurate to capture them and a clear photo makes that so much easier. If I can see the shape of their eyes / mouth etc I can get a much better portrait.

 Lovely but not clear enough.
We decided to use this sharper photo and I would open her eyes more.

  It's appropriate that I am starting the portrait this week as I just found out it would have been her birthday this week. Her birthday was the day after mine!
  I've started the acrylic underpainting-

 Lanise said she liked a background I'd used in a previous portrait so I did a version of this in Alex's. I kept it a little subtle so it didn't overwhelm her.

Starting to do the tones on her face ( shades of darks and lights).
The way the light hits her face is what builds up her face structure and gives a likeness. It is often very subtle especially in younger women without wrinkles and has to be correct or you don't get a likeness. At this stage it's only rough as I know I will be coming back over with Oil and refining. Acrylic can give harsh edges but Oil gives lovely soft ones.

 Looking a bit spooky here with the red eyes and green lips! lol's. 
I knew how they would change as I progressed but as  I posted an early pic on FB I warned Lanise saying not to worry as she would change!

 Here I am happy enough to decide to change to Oil. I posted this stage with B +W version on my FB page.
If you get the tones right you can get away with almost any colours. Her mouth and eyes are still 'raw' and unfinished but I know they will be altered with Oil so I'm not worried.

 B + W version of  the earlier stage

 Now to the oil . 
The first thing I do is get rid of those evil eyes! This is still a bit rough but I ended up not changing them that much. 
Sometimes you just get it early on and to fiddle would lose something.

 Filling in the tones of her face-
 I want the portrait to read naturally from a distance but be interesting close up just not all boring pinks and creams. This is where I use the knowledge gained from painting from life - the colours my eyes can see in flesh. You can tell an artist who only works from photos as their work  often looks cutout with pasty pink and cream flesh tones.
Using more colours brings my portraits to life and makes them look much more realistic.
Eyes and mouth roughly done although I haven't painted her teeth. 
Teeth need to be subtle or can look garish and cartoonish. 


Here I've painted her mouth although I will be refining things more as I go along. 
I've painted the background it's final colour so I can  adjust the rest of the portrait to suit. It tends to be hard to photograph with a sheen so I have to take the photos from a bit of an angle. The tape is to ensure she doesn't fall forward into my wet paint palette!
 I had that happen to an almost finished wet portrait once and it wasn't fun so now I take no chances.
 Starting to do her hair.

 Almost there- just need to do some work on her shirt and suggest her necklace  a little more. I want the portrait to be alive and fresh and not overworked and tight.

Below-  Finished!