English born artist and designer.

I came to Australia in 2012, and have mainly been based in Melbourne, with a few stints in Darwin. I love Australia’s fauna, landscape and cultural diversity. Melbourne in particular feels like home, and I am inspired on a daily basis by the architecture and street art, In my first 6 months of living here, I had taken over 2000 photos!

My artwork is described as structured, technical, anatomical, dream-like, abstract and surreal, to name a few. I prefer to use just one colour (monochrome), or a combination of a few shades, as I’m an impatient man, I don’t like to waste time mixing colours. I like to use the female anatomy, trees, nature and animals in my art, and joining them together in my own way. I mainly use pastels and pencils, but I do enjoy using paints, especially spray paint as it lays flat and you have an instant palette.

This blog is a documentation of my pathway through 2017 to gain an Advanced Diploma in Creative Product Development, at Melbourne Polytechnic TAFE.
I will be producing a series of paintings and drawings over the next 10 months, and this will be where you can see my progress, and process.
My background is in street art, graphic design and tattoo art, and I have a monochrome and approach. I like to go with the flow, as when I plan, it never goes as it should, and I am more happy with my initial sketch. A lot of the time I ‘freestyle’, as I feel I have a more open and relaxed approach to my practice, and it makes for a happier environment and causes less stress in the process, and also a better end result.

Over the course of my studies this year I will be honing in on my style, technique and process, to then have a solid portfolio at the end. In an ideal world, I would like to go as big as possible, and then with my portfolio be able to show potential clients my work to go on to painting murals.


I’m no expert, but…

After finishing a diploma of Visual Arts last year, I was able to do some tutoring over the festive holidays. A former student put me in touch with her sister, and I went on to tutor her daughter  on how to draw faces, anatomy and how to use charcoal, pastels and pencils. It was a good experience, and I would like to do it again, when I have the time. Here’s a few sketches I did while showing her different techniques…



Off to the NGV, to see David Hockney!


I was excited to go and see a fellow Englishman’s art at the NGV, as I’ve always love. David Hockney’s ‘Current’ exhibit was interesting! Most, if not all of the works on display had been created with an iPad (something I have personal objections to), and then printed on a huge scale, over 2 metres in height. Most of the images were of English countryside, and there was a dedicated room full of portraits. These all had similar colours used, and all in sitting positions. I found it hard to connect with the works, especially the portraits, as they were all so similar and so many.


St – st – studio!

I spent the first week, or two, setting up my studio away from home at school. It’s basically a simplified version of my space at home. Visual stimulation is a must, and so I am always adding to my wall(s) and mood board for more inspiration. Here you can see a picture of my parents I am drawing for their wedding anniversary.



Life Drawing!

I love life drawing. Anatomy is one of my favourite things to draw. Finding lines, creating shapes of something that is alive and walks the earth, and turning it into a human form is very satisfying.
In our class we are asked to draw a few quick sketches, then as the class progresses we have a longer amount of time for each pose. I would of preferred longer poses all the time, as our class have all done it before we would of benefitted more. I am good at getting down the form, but I do struggle with faces, this is where I need to focus more attention on.





A drawing a day, for a month…

The class were given an assignment for a whole month, one drawing every day. This was music to my ears, and an excuse to draw the alphabet. It’s something I had wanted to do for ages, but never had the time. I have a background in graphic design and street art, so it was right up my alley (excuse the pun!).
I used Faber Castell Polychromo pencils, on 110gsm A5 cartridge paper, and I was pretty happy with the results. I went with the lines and shapes I put down, and did not use an eraser.



Abbotsford gallery tour (Convent, Tacit…)

As part of our theory class, we are attending galleries on Thursday afternoons, which is something I am enjoying. I love to go new places (being from England, I’m yet to see all of Melbourne even though I’ve been here since 2012) and see new art.

It was good to hear what the curators had to say, and they gave some good advice and information that may prove valuable in the future when I come to exhibit. It gave me a good idea of costs, installation and longevity of the show. Also, some of the art was well worth seeing.

We visited several galleries at the Abbotsford Convent including C3, and Tacit on Johnson St, both within 400m of each other. The convent is a great place to relax and enjoy some good art, food and coffee. Melbourne in a nutshell!

This photo came out great!
I like how the viewer taking the image depicts it’s placement in the room.
Some interesting abstract landscapes at Tacit on Johnson St.


Something on the side.

I haven’t seen my parents in nearly 18 months, and this year is their 40th wedding anniversary, so I drew a picture of them from their wedding. I used charcoal on Arches cold press paper, A2 size. I think I may have overworked a few areas, but the finished article I am happy with.
I prefer to use smooth illustration board for charcoal/pastel drawings, but as I have to post this overseas, I stayed with paper.



P-p-p-pick up a Penguin!

We were given a task to design a book cover for a Penguin Book, and had to be produced and presented in the style of the 1964 fiction novels, typically in orange, using the Marber grid to compose it. I have been inspired by some of my past paintings to do the cover I have chosen, for The Beach, written by Alex Garland, 1996.




After another great lecture with the Con-Artist, I decided to freshen up my dry home studio, and get to finalising my branding material. As I have a background in graphic design, I have always played around with logo’s, but I decided I didn’t want to be held to an image, so I went with a signature. I have used this already, but I did give it a bit of a tweek.

New business cards will be on the way soon too.


Screen-shot of my business stationary…


Back to life, back to reality.

Just a couple of quick life drawing sketches from the visual diary…



Let’s get down to business!

Last week, I was put in touch with someone (by a tutor – thanks Con!)  who was looking to get a mural painted on the rear of the building they live in, along the lane-way.
So I caught up with them for a coffee and a chat, and it’s quite a special project which does have some connections with myself, so I am more than happy to undertake the task.

I will have more information and rough ideas soon, but it’s quite a long wall, and has lots of potential!



Homage to James Jean.

As an assignment in drawing class, we were given the task to research an artist who we admire, aspire and relate to, and create a drawing in their style. I have chosen James Jean, as he has to be one of my favourite contemporary artists/illustrators. His style is very similar to my own, and I love his use of shapes and colour.
I managed to get down my idea pretty quick. It has to be produced no smaller than A3 – I will probably do it marginally bigger due to the subject matter.
Here’s a quick snap of the first concept. I like to lay down different colours and go a bit mad, to be able to find and select the right lines and shapes for the composition.



Outré, Outré!

While I was in the city the other day, I stopped in to the Outre Gallery on Elizabeth St, after my drawing tutor recommended I went and checked it out. The place is packed with artwork, and just up my alley! They currently have a collection by Shag, taking up the front half of the space. The use of subject matter and colours just drew me in. Most were sold – I’m not surprised. There’s a great collection in the back space too, some refreshing and inspiring stuff!



Contemporary Photography Exhibition

Visiting the NGV is becoming a weekly event on the calendar, and I enjoy taking it in bit by bit as it’s such a large building – because if you rush around – you won’t be able to take in all it has to offer under one roof. This time around I went to look at the photography exhibition for a school assignment. I do like photography as well as being a ‘traditional artist’, but I did have a little wander around at a few other exhibits.




Love the simplicity and perspective of these.
Probably my favourite of the whole exhibit.



While we’re on the subject…

Since I’ve been in Melbourne, I estimate that I’ve taken over 2000 images of graffiti and street art. In recent years I’ve not been so snap happy, mainly due to work commitments, but I’m managing to find some good stuff every now and then on my travels around the city. I’m considering sorting through them and making an online account, as I have a lot from all over the world, but time may be an issue, and the fact there are other people doing the same thing, it might be more hassle than it’s worth… or perhaps I will just sort through all my photo’s and just sell prints of good ones, as I don’t sell prints of my artwork, only originals.



Stock and scribe.

After, like most, using white paper for years without even thinking of other colours, I recently started to use black paper, but now I’m feeling even more adventurous, and so I bought a cheap pack of coloured paper (acid free 110gsm) to try out a few ideas and techniques. The blue was the first to jump out at me, and I had a photograph perfect for this colour. I used a black Sharpie, then just a blue pencil for highlights and a quick bit of detail…


Here’s a page from from visual diary, where I’ve marked different mediums just to see the difference between them all, and for a quick reference guide with notes.



One down… few to go…

Over the Easter break I finished my book cover design assignment. I drew the design by hand, then scanned it in and digitised it in Photoshop. Very pleased with the outcome, but I did have to try a few variations of the background before I was happy it had the correct feel for the period the assignment was aimed at.



Up, up, and AWAY!

In the past few weeks everything seem to of come to the forefront. I have several projects on the go at school, a mural side job, a book cover side job (got the ‘hook-up’ through a tutor at school), this is a slow back burner and isn’t priority yet, AND I have just been offered a second mural job, this one is in Darwin. The client (who does happen to be a friend) contacted me over Christmas, but then this week rang me to get the ball rolling and it has to happen ASAP. This, juggled with school, is running tight with deadlines, but it’s an amazing opportunity, and I’m extremely excited. The job is to paint a mural on the front wall of a hostel/bar which is under new management and having renovations.

Highlighted area is the space, obviously the four posters will be removed. Shame about that parking pole!

The book cover I mentioned above is to do with AMEP (Australian Migrant English Program), which focuses on migrants and asylum seekers who are now living in Australia, and also learning English at Melbourne Polytechnic. I am to design a cover (front and back) to compliment the stories and photographs inside. I have a few ideas, but as stated the deadline is not for a while.

While I was at the Prahan Campus at the book meeting, I had a chance to see this mural painted by Sofles, who is definitely up there as one of the best in the country, if not the world. He has his own style, and is always pushing for new ideas and concepts.



Slowly, but surely…

… and here’s a little update on my James Jean homage piece, which is coming along nicely. I’m using a light box to trace through, and UniPin fine-liners. This is A3 on smooth 360gsm acid free card. I chose this stock after testing a few out, and this came out top due to the fact the pens glide across the surface nice and smooth, with no drag, which means I can create super-smooth lines.



Man down…

This is something I do forget about, but I do have a bad shoulder (my drawing/painting arm). I dislocated it about 8 or 9 years ago, and I get issues every now and then with it, mainly due to my lack of exercising it properly. Trapped nerves are frequent, and I’ve had one for a few days, and I think my desk at home is to blame, so I just got a big sheet of MDF and put it across the previous gap where I was using a keyboard pull-out shelf with a piece of wood on. It was far too low for me (I’m 6’5″), and now it’s like a new world! And all for about $6.00.



The heat is on!

Line drawing done for the mural in Darwin. Took a few attempts to get orientation and sizing on point, but I got there in the end.
Hoping to fly up in the next week or two.




No, not the boy band from the 90’s, but how things seem to be going in the past few days. Ideas and projects are syncronising nicely. I am a little behind on my school work, due to a few outside jobs on the go, but I seem to be catching up and rolling through….. so I started my paintings for my main project at TAFE. I have some MDF (1200x600mm), and have laid down some colours (with aersols). This is how I start, with nothing in mind, just seeing what appears with the colours I’ve chosen.

Don’t want to upset the landlord!
Forgot the gloves!
This will be a set of eight, I think. The other two will be square.


Buy, buy!

Today a classmate mentioned Aldi had Copic style markers for $14.99 – for a set of 12 – so I naturally had to have a look. Low and behold a nice box, good variety of colours (unfortunately they only had one pack of colours), and a fraction of the price of Copic pens, worth a punt. I’ve been trying them out tonight and they work great. Flowing ink, quick drying, and the nips are great too. Bravo Aldi for bringing something like this to a more realistic price that students can afford! Muchos gracias.

I also picked up some tubes of acrylic paint, which are only 99c each, and great for testing and messing around. Not as cheap quality as you’d think for the price, but not artist quality.




I’ve had this plant for about 16 months, and it’s been sat in my bathroom for 12 of those.
It was being thrown out, I’ve no idea what it is (looks like a type of seaweed or cactus from the beach), and all I did was shove it in a pot, no soil, no water, nothing. In the past few months I noticed a few green shoots, and it’s growing new limbs! I’m amazed by nature, and this image of the bright green tips from the decaying roots I find amazing – contrast on many levels. It makes you think….



Done and dusted.

Here is my finished homage piece for drawing class… I did James Jean.
This is actually my second go, the first one I was restricting myself too much, and I did make a mistake which then tainted the whole piece, so I started again, and it turned out far better than I had anticipated.




As I am now to be painting, which I haven’t for a while – especially anything large – I needed a place to do so in my studio, I couldn’t quite find room, and I still wasn’t happy with how I’d set it all up.
All my furniture is from hard-rubbish or made by myself. I did have a sofa, but it took up too much room and I never used it, so I managed to get it out and down the stairs on my own, and re-arrange my office/studio, and it’s a million times better! Like a whole new world! I feel really comfortable, it’s hard leaving to go to school!

A nice warm and welcoming environment…
Standing desk for painting/cutting…
Make-shift easel on the edge. I don’t like to work like this, but it’s handy if I need to.
Computer and drawing side…


“Your flight has been cancelled”

So, my mural job in Darwin has been cancelled, and my weekend didn’t seem to be going to so well either, trying to figure out everything on the agenda, plus where my art is going (the usual artist’s stress-out scenario), but I came out the other side all good. Got on with my paintings, and so far so good.

I’ve come to realise my art is 100% my dreams, and is music driven. Music plays a huge part in my life… I don’t play an instrument, but I couldn’t live without it. I actually have (possibly ‘suffer’) from extremely vivid dreams, quite frequently. Subject matter is varied, but all of what I put down stems from them. My drawings are more detailed and accurate, where-as my paintings are almost a simplified version… as they are large (120x60cm/90x90cm) I want the contrast to have an impact from a further distance, enticing the viewer.

I like to draw, first and foremost. It’s clean, easy, quick, potentially cheaper to produce artwork etc etc… and it just suits me, being able to create anything with one instrument. An instant palette is also a winner, I don’t like wasting time, ever, so mixing paints is something I cut out. I keep it simple so I can paint and draw more freely. I draw two types of things, photo-realistic portraits, and my drawings – which are like surreal dream-like-landscapes.

A bit like this, which is just a sketch…


Secondly comes painting, this has two streams…. brush and aerosol. Spray paint is an amazing medium, it’s a natural form for me, and I could preach all day about it. I’ve painted a few murals just with aerosols in the past, which are more like my drawings, as essentially that’s what I want them to be subconsciously. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures, as my external hard-drives’ have both failed on me in the past few years and I lost a lot of photos. My brush paintings are impressionist landscapes, I like to be quick and use bright colours. This is more something I do sell or exhibit as a series. I can do detailed stuff, and I do sometimes, but when I’m doing my own thing….

I like my mediums to lay completely flat (apart from my impressionist landscapes, as that’s half the reason I paint that way, to add texture to the surface), so at a side glance you can’t see the surface change where the paint is, if that makes sense, so I like to use paint pens, as they don’t leave brush strokes and are continuous, so no need to keep going to a palette every two seconds, and even if you can see from a side angle, it just looks like a stencil or one continuous line.

So what I’ve just realised while writing this update, is that I have one style of very structured, controlled and detailed drawings, which take a long time (days). And to counter-balance I have my impressionist paintings, which don’t take much time, and so I can be rough, hard, and expressive without worrying about every single line… things are starting to make sense!

I usually start off by drawing one big thick solid line and let the painting flow from there, but this pink one; I saw an image within it and had to go with it…


I knew this had to be tree or jumgle related….
Had to re-stock on a few supplies.

I have one more larger board to spray, and one more tall one, then that’s it for this series of paintings, I have a few other ideas I want to try out, as well as do some landscapes to exercise my brain in a different artistic way. The board’s I’m currently doing I will approach some skateboard/snowboard companies with for printing on boards, which I’m confident has great potential.

Strike while the iron’s hot!


VVG @ the NGV

We were lucky enough to visit the Vincent Van Gogh ‘Seasons’ exhibit at the NGV today, for free! Our superb tutor managed this, which was greatly received. I have seen some of his work in Amsterdam and London, but it’s always nice to see more. It’s quite a big display, and the room was jam packed!

I was surprised to see Van Gogh also had a love of Japanese wood prints, as I do.
One of my favourites, mainly for the use of colour.
Some say, we look a like..?

Thoroughly enjoyed the chance to see this, and while I was there I went to have a look at the Japanese section on the 1st floor. I absolutely love Japanese art, mark making and wood block prints, the colours, contrast and suggestions that are depicted cannot be found in another other artwork in my opinion. It influences a lot in the artistic world today, and is all so relevant as well.

Here’s a few snaps I took…

Noh mask… a little scary…
Money pockets…





Start as you mean to go on…

When I get in the zone, I get in the zone. It can be hard for me to tear away from drawing/painting a certain thing to move on to more pressing matters, but I just can’t stop at the moment. I have 8 or 9 panels sprayed, but I’ve not decided if I will do them all or not. I’m just about to start the fifth, that may be it to be honest, as I want to get on with drawings. None are finished yet, I’ve just got the basic shapes and lines down at the moment.

These are so therapeutic, it’s like meditation. Not that I work in a calm environment, my music is loud, and there may be some dancing…

Number 3…
Number 4…
2017-05-29 22.01.30
Cheeky late night shot…


“It’s just the way she goes.”

A friend had mentioned in the morning that Riot Art & Craft stores had 50% everything today, so without hesitation I went down for some supplies.
I needed some A2 coloured paper for my drawings for another project, so it was a good chance to stock up, and they also sell Montana Gold spray paint, which is usually $18 a can.


This wasn’t planned, I’m just a creative genius…

So I got home, and had a board I’d sprayed for my main series of paintings as above, ready for the next step, but I wasn’t totally happy withthe colour’s, it was blue, but I went and used the Montana Gold cans on it, and ended up going a big mad with it, literally. I got to a point where I was getting so stressed out, I just put brush to paint to board… it nearly went in the bin, but the result is pretty much exactly what was in my head…. the fact you can be quick is what makes that possible. I’d not done one of these in a while, so it was a nice bit of artistic and mental release.

I have to admit, this came out great!


The start of something new.

Today’s been about solid colour. I’ve been playing around with small pieces of coloured paper, mainly for an assignment to produce three illustrations in a narrative form. I’ve chosen Robin Hood as my ‘legend’ story, and I shall produce three pastel/coloured pencil drawings on A4 170gsm coloured paper (acid free, of course).
So I’ve picked what I want for that, after checking a few variations of greens, browns and yellows…

2017-05-30 17.38.22

While I had all the paper out (must be over 20 colours), I noticed this arrangement…
I’m not quite sure where I’ll go with this, but I like it, even as it is, in block form. Something very satisfying and calming about it.

2017-05-30 17.37.36

… And on my daily travels I found this book in an opp shop.
I visit these places every week looking for a bargain, but I rarely look at the book sections. This had a picture of a Hokusai wood block print on the front which caught my eye. I had a flick through and it’s a brilliant book with all sorts of references, and it explains all aspects of art. It’s from the 70’s, so the design and layout is brilliant too.
My book shelf is minimal, but this makes for a great addition.


I finally ‘saw’ something in the last board (5 of 5) to paint while I was getting ready in the morning.
I added a bit more blue and white to this one the other day as I wasn’t happy with the rhythm of the colour, but I am now. It looks like several things, but today I drew the first line, so this is how they start. I very rarely do a sketch beforehand, I may sometimes so I don’t forget, but it wouldn’t be used for reference, as I like to let these flow naturally.

I will try and document this at several stages, here are the first three, which are probably the most critical lines.

I start with drawing one thick line.
Then I thicken and straighten the line a little, and this one needed to continue back onto the panel.
I then was able to add complimentary lines and continue the rhythm of the composition. Everything will now continue from these base-lines. Smoke was on my mind for this, but now it looks like a jellyfish… so we’ll see how it goes.


Winter has arrived.

I needed to get out of the house today and get some exercise and fresh air, so I went for a ride around Coburg Lake. I have lived right near it for a year now, and only been once. It’s such a nice area, a little oasis. It was a good excuse to take some photos, as I’ve neglected that part of my creativity for a while. Summer is usually peak season for photographs, but I didn’t get much of a chance to get out and about as I was working almost every day, apart from a trip down the Great Ocean Road over Christmas when my sister came to visit from the UK.
Over the past 20 years, I calculated I have taken roughly 25,000 photos. I remember when camera’s first came onto mobile phones… that changed everything.

Token silouette shot….
Love the lines and contrast between all the structures.
Quite a striking image… something very Soviet about it…?
These greens remind me of England in autumn….
Lovely old willow tree…
Such a shame people use public parks as a tip…
Nature has no mercy.


I keep forgetting I have so many boards, and I sprayed this one up the other day, but I’m a bit scared to put anything on it now as I really like this balance of colour. They weren’t done as a pair or set, but I think they should be sold together, as arranged apart in a nice big white room…




Before I start my narrative assignment (which I chose to do on coloured 170gsm paper), I wanted to try out a few different mediums. I initially thought of pastel or coloured pencil, but it didn’t take well… so after some pushing and pulling I settled on fine-liners and markers, as I wanted sharp solid lines and the image to be clear, so just two colours on each plus black.

I shall be using the 3 lightest, two yellows and one green.

And finished…

Fine-liner final drawings.
Scanned and filter applied and adjusted in Photoshop.


Door stop.

While I was waiting for some paint to dry today, I noticed a big slab in the bookshelf called ‘Surrealism and Dada’. Naturally I’m drawn to these types of art, as my own work has traits from these categories. I only had a quick flick through as I’m not much of a reader, more for the pictures, but the one page I stop on has my name on it… probably as it’s a Marcel Duchamp scribe…. but is that a coincidence….?

I do really like the shape on the opposite page though…. it’s all inspiration!


Words cannot describe… (well, they probably could!)

I am investigating some new artists for an assignment (create a body of work and show process and research), and so I have looked into Zdzislaw Beksiński. He was a Polish artist, born in Warsaw (as was my mothers father), Poland in 1929. He is well known for painting his nightmares (which has also been in news feeds recently), with amazing accuracy (or so it seems), and revealing very personal thoughts and feelings. The use of colour and composition is similar to my own, and initially drew me into his paintings, but upon a closer look the imagery and detail is just out of this world, quite literally. I can connect to this on a whole different level, it excites me and has almost instantly inspired me to create my drawings, which are also of my own nightmares and dreams, but I’ve had trouble executing them in the past, but now I feel I can.

In 2005 his caretakers’ son asked to borrow $100, to which he refused. Later that day he came back to Zdzislaw’s studio (3 days before his birthday), and stabbed him 17 times, 2 of which were fatal blows. It’s sad that someone can take a life, and such a brilliant artistic mind too. The killer got 25 years in prison, so he could be free in just over 10 years….
I have unfortunately been surrounded by death from an early age, and it’s something I am not afraid of, but because of this I think it can be seen in some of my work, along with other emotions such as love and fear. If I can translate this in my own artwork as well as he did, I would be a happy man.

Rest in peace Zdzislaw.
To me you are immortal, and a genius!



AMEP updated…

I was able to get up to speed with a few things yesterday, which enabled me to draw up some concepts for the AMEP book cover.
I want to use the Australian map outline to highlight where the book is being produced, and the give the cover some ‘meat’.


Just a photo…

I like the way it looks like a small street with buildings either side…



Take a break…

I decided this weekend I was going to relax and not draw or paint, to have a break from it while I can, but I did paint a little something as a present for a friend. Three initials on 8×8″ canvasses. I sprayed them first, then used paint pens.




After a bit of a crazy (literally) weekend, I did a bit of shopping looking for frames. After visiting a friends house for the first time and seeing all their framed artwork on the walls, it inspired me to do the same. So I went to a few opp-shops and bought a whole bunch. Some had mounts, some I made, but they were only $5-$10 each!

I might be a bit of an expert at this now… I may swap some out when I find some better sizes though, as a couple don’t quite work.

All works from last year’s diploma course.

I didn’t notice the print in this frame until I got home, but I like it, so it’s going to stay. Must be from the late 70’s or early 80’s.



Can you tell I’m an art student yet…?

On my weekly rounds of my local opp-shops (yes, I am slightly addicted to these places), I stumbled upon some books. Very happy about these. I’ve found a few good ones at this particular store. I’ve never been much of a book person, but the older I am getting, the more I am collecting these things, and thinking of them not in the obvious form, but more of an object, rather than just printed paper.




Here we go again…

Last year I moved four times – not out of choice, just bad luck – and I thought I was set for a while, but it seems I have to now vacate where I’m staying. So I am hunting for a new place once again and trying to juggle school and work. My artwork is suffering, and the sooner I can sort myself out the better. I am a little behind with my work for drawing class, but I shall finish that today.

I have also taken it upon myself to enter the Fact or Fiction competition that’s run at school. You are to produce an original-style portrait in A3 format (using any medium) of either a real or fictional person. I have chosen Simon Yuen, who was an actor in the 1970’s in kung-fu films alongside Jackie Chan, most well known for playing the ‘Drunken Master’. I have found a great photograph of him that suits my style perfectly I think.

I got stuck in today, this is just an hour’s work so far.


I am using Cansons 140gsm acid free black drawing paper, and Faber Castell watercolour pencils. They were to hand and worked well together, so I am using them just for drawing even though they are not specifically made for that as a final stage.


Self directed…

So I manage to finish some drawings last night for my self-directed drawing project. I was to draw several pieces, that I describe as my dream-drawings, but these are almost on a nightmare level. I do not think when I draw these, I let them happen, and here are the results. I have been quite stressed recently and it shows in these I think.



End of part 1.

Today marked the end of the first semester (halfway), and I feel I have accomplished something, even if just realising where my art is going, experimenting, and ‘letting go’ with my practice and method’s.
I originally set out to produce one mural and several paintings on wooden panels. It then changed to just paintings and then drawings, now it seems to be all three. I dropped the idea of doing a mural as I wanted to concentrate on my style and the way I work. I didn’t feel like I knew what I was to actually paint or draw, and I needed time to research and explore so I could be happy. I’m still not quite there, still lots of ideas I need to churn out…. I’m the type of person that has to actually do something to know whether it’s a good idea or not, I can’t just think about it.
As of today I have approximately one finished, and eight unfinished paintings, and two mural jobs – one to be started within the next week or two – I shall update on this in a few days when I’ve stocked up on supplies. Drawings, I will be constantly producing, so these are not necessarily an issue, neither are the paintings as I have plenty of time to finish them, however, I shall finish at least two over the two week break so I have at least one to hang in the midway show when we return mid-July.

I have been somewhat surprised of what the course has offered thus far.
At first it seemed like we had a lot of work given to us from tutors, but now it doesn’t seem so. What we’ve received has been varied, relevant and definitely exercised my brain as well as my hands. On a Tuesday we had Con in the afternoons, and this has been a great class, that most people seem to attend. It’s a casual environment where everyone seems to brainstorm and converse constructively, and people aren’t afraid to give opinions, which is good! I enjoyed completing the tasks handed out, it gave me a chance to brush up on my InDesign skills and freshen up my stationary, as well as produce a proper resume for once – something I did struggle with. I especially liked how we were all to present our business kits to the class. This I think is a valuable part of the class, as it encourages people to actually think about why they are studying, what they’re selling, and for how much. To basically be business-savvy by the end of it, and just talking to the room of fellow artists and getting feedback, it’s all experience and confidence building.

Drawing with Louise, I really enjoy. Some of the tasks I’ve found almost too easy, and I would of liked the life drawing classes to of been more of an investment. We had all, I thought, done it before, and I was looking forward to some long posses of an hour or two hours, as that’s what I was desperate for, as it just seemed to be a lot of quick poses which we had done last year. Louise is a great tutor who I’d not had before, and always makes time for everyone, and is always interested in everyone’s work. My highlight has to be the first task of one drawing per day. I think that’s very useful, I do this anyway, but it’s always good to draw more. I could see how others could benefit, you pick what you’re good at and enjoy drawing so you can do it quick, possibly realising something you didn’t know before. It could also be taken advantage of and used to produce postcards for example, which can help promote yourself and build up some things to sell or leave in coffee shops, art shops, and galleries…
In the afternoon on Thursday we have Greg, who I’d also not had before, but love the classes. Lots of interesting stuff shared, the briefs have been great too, both I really enjoyed doing. The gallery trips are great, I wish we could do more. I always love seeing new art, also a good chance to network if possible and grab freebies. We were able to too see the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit for free which I greatly appreciate. Although it seems the past three weeks we had no classes….?
The next semester we have photography, which I’m looking forward too!

2017 has been quiet so far, I don’t feel any monumental change has occurred for me in my life, apart from having a tooth pulled in February! Life is always interesting and busy though, just how I like it, but it seems that other world events are getting my attention recently. I’ve not been back to England for nearly two years, and the state of affairs there does not look promising. I dread to think what the next generation are being born into….



No rest for the wicked!

Over the break I’ve had a tiny bit of time to test out some colours and theories. I have a lot of A4 coloured paper, so I decided to pick some and try a few things out. They’re mixed media using coloured pencils, pastel pencils, fineliners, marker pens, paint pens, highlighters…
They’re more doodles than anything special… and just fun things to do, and after doing around 20 of them I now have a solid process of how to draw certain things, and what I like to do and what comes naturally. I do go full circle usually, but at least then I know I’m sure.

A screenshot from my Instagram feed…
My arsenal… well, about 90% of my drawing stuff anyway.

In the first week of holidays we did have our feedback and assessment interviews. I was unsure what to expect back from the tutors, but mostly positive, however, I seem to of not satisfied Con, so that needs rectifying.
I was given this though…



And….. relax.

I was lucky enough to get a few days away in Portarlington staying right by the beach, bit cold for swimming, but the weather was great.
I managed to get a couple of snaps while I was out and about….


Standard sunset shot from me. I can never resist.

I also visited  a few galleries, and saw some amazing artwork. A lot of lino-cut and wood block printing. I took a lot of names down to research, which I’ll get into when I return to school next week.


Softly, softly, touchy monkey…

I have not posted an update in a while, as I’ve had artistic constipation. I had too many ideas and theories in my head and couldn’t separate them. I tried to sit down and draw, but I was not inspired too. For me, this is VERY frustrating! I was able to create a logo for a friend, which put me in a different head space for a few days, and it was refreshing to be doing what I was ten years ago. One thing I think triggered this little stumble was my Fact or Fiction entry… I kind of messed it up and had such high hopes for it’s outcome, but I used the wrong medium to start with and so the piece was tainted from the start. Here it is anyway.

So, I didn’t stress about it all, I just did other things, like clean and tidy the apartment, polish my car, went for a ride, did a bit of shopping for supplies…. and I now feel a bit more at ease with what I’m doing and where my art is going. I go full circle with things quite a lot, and my love-hate relationship with painting is a main one. I just seem to gravitate to drawing… it’s fast, easy, no mess, instant palette, and cheaper than paint too! De-ja-vu… I feel like I’m repeating myself…?

A couple of things I did do, was cut up some MDF into different sizes (and gesso’d them) from works’ I’ve scrapped. So now I have a lot to choose from, but one thing’s for sure, I don’t like 4:3 ratio! And the other, I had a browse through all these books I’ve bought recently, and noted down some works that interest me, for inspiration.



Mid-Way show, yo!

So today we hung our works’ for the Mid-Way show next week. In all honesty, mine was rushed, I slapped it all together, and only did the four drawings the day before…. BUT… this turned out to be a very good thing. Things have come to the forefront, and I’ve just got on with it, and after a chat with Warren last week, I can start to piece together my art, one step at a time.

My impatience is my downfall, always.

The space was a bit tight, but I made it work.
Lookin’ good!
Mario looking a bit suspect…
Sophie doin’ her thing!
Shaping up nicely, I am slightly worried about space for the end of year show though…
Warren admiring some of A’kyo’s beautiful drawings.
Zanin’s cool corner! Loving those tables…
Carrie’s work looking great under the lighting.
My favourite without a doubt!


Black books.

For a while I have been looking for a good quality A4 black visual diary, but they don’t seem to exist anymore. So I have had to settle for just a ring-bounded sketch pad.

I’ve been trying out pastels, coloured pencils and paint pens, and how they can interact with each other…

20170728_161318-120170728_161158-120170728_162641-12017-07-28 18.09.542017-07-28 18.09.16

I also started a quick self portrait… there’s just something about black paper that I really love… and how you can control light…



Roll-up, roll-up!

Today marked the beginning of Task 3 with Con, which is all about getting the ball rolling with regards to the end of year show, which we have named ‘Flux’, after a class discussion and throwing around some ideas, we settled on that, and also have a pretty good concept drawn up for it also, so that’s saved a lot of time in the long run, and hopefully (compared to Illustre 2016), things will get done promptly.

The man, the myth, the legend….


AMEP updated…

I had a meeting with Kirsten last week to discuss the book cover design I am doing, and we hit some nails on heads. It’s good to talk things out sometimes, instead of trying to work it all out by ones’ self.

So I now have a solid idea, gathered my reference material, and the colours also…



It’s only been five years, but…

At last! After five years of living in Melbourne, I have finally visited the Melbourne Museum in Carlton. The building itself is quite impressive, although not to my architectural taste, I can admire the design.
Inside, I have to admit, I was disappointed. For such a large building there was a lot of unused and empty space. The variety lacked a little in areas, it seemed more about quantity than quality, and some area’s of the museum were almost baron.
I did take a lot of pictures, and it did give me a few ideas on further projects, so not all was lost from the visit.



After scrapping all those board, I cut one in half and carried on drawing on it with the paint pens, and this one came out great. It was totally unplanned, and I usually just do white, but I bit the bullet and did a layer of orange, then a layer of emerald green, then black. I think it offsets nicely and adds more dimension and contrast. I may or may not hang this at the end of the year…. I may do a better one between now and then!



Free hand.

After being a bit more carefree with my painting in the week, I felt more motivated to do more. So I went and spent $70 on spray paint and painted over the previous boards I’d started, which I have cut into several sizes. I now have around 20 boards, some will be abstract like the one above, as these take longer, but I estimate 75% will be landscapes of some sort, mainly in portrait orientation.

I started with the smallest, and coolest in regards to colour. It was not the shade of brown I was looking for, but I didn’t mind…. it put an image in my head of what should be painted, which is how I like it to happen.



Art weekend.

On Saturday I went for supplies from Art Stretchers in Northcote, and in the carpark behind I spotted this mural by camscale (ignore the tag on the right hand side…), who is on my list of people to contact as part of a short brief we’ve been given as in business classes. I may also contact Dean Jones who came to do a talk yesterday, which was excellent – great guy and speaker – but I suspect a few student will probably email him, so I’m not so sure.


After visiting the Melbourne Museum, and NGV several times, I decided to go to a few galleries at the weekend.
On Saturday I went to the Heide in Bulleen. I got there in time for a talk by two female extraction geometric artists, and it was a very intimate and engaging talk, some of the artwork was not to my taste, but one definitely was and I couldn’t stop looking at it, which is the series of black and white sprayed perspex panels below (first picture).

It’s not what I expected, as there’s a few buildings, and most of the works weren’t in my categories, but it’s always good to take in other images and ideas, take your mind away from your own path for a bit.

After a few too many wines on Saturday night, Sunday was going to be a quiet one, so I ended up checking out the Brunswick Street Gallery, which I’ve heard so much about, but never been before. It’s an interesting space, with creaky floorboards, but lots of different size rooms so it makes for a great space for all types of artists.



I’m running a bit behind with this, as it’s due this week, but I’ve got three ideas, and I may do all of them. We are to produce 9 drawings/paintings that represent the term ‘Ugly Pretty’.
I have chosen car tail-lights that I believe are from well designed, beautiful cars, which to most are not a thing of beauty, but an object of functionality. These I shall use pastel on black paper. For my second, I’ve gone for butterflies… their wings are very pretty indeed, but when you look closely, their bodies are quite gross. So I shall draw them cropped around the body. The wings also resemble some of my abstract art. I’m not sure on medium, but possible alcohol markers. And lastly gem stones, slices of them to be more accurate. The lines, colours and contrast which has formed over thousands and millions of years is just amazing to me. They look alien, and so vivid and bright! On the outside they are a grey/brown ugly rock, but hidden inside is a universe of colour and time!


I know we only had to produce one set of nine drawings, but the possibilities are endless, and I just ended up doing the others anyway. The butterflies took a while, around 2hrs per drawing. Dots take ages, but are great fun!

The finished sets…

Marker pen/paint pen on gloss card, 7x14cm.
Paint pen/soft pastel on 135gsm recycled acid free black paper, 15x21cm.
Marker pen/paint pen on gloss card, 14x14cm.



I’ve got ‘stuck’ into the new assignment from Greg, which is to produce a collage for editorial use, with a subject heading of “No Way Out”, which must have a strong political theme. I have two strong ideas, I will do them both, possibly more. Collage is such a great way to create. My first is gay rights, I have gay friends and family, and due to the current epidemic there seems to be in Australia regarding equal rights, it only seems fitting. And my second is in relation to indigenous Australians. This was something completely new to me when I arrived, I had no idea. I feel very strongly about this subject, and have some very strong opinions too, but my artists blog is not the forum to vent my feelings at what happens here.

Got to gathering straight away… I’m keeping it fairly simply with where I’m getting my material as I could spend an eternity cutting up paper and card. My main source is going to be a 2017 Melbourne Festival booklet. I thought this to be quite fitting, as that’s where I’ve come to live, it’s a piece of nicely designed literature, and full of creativity. I’ve some coloured paper, a Coles magazine, and a visitor guide from the Heide for some variety.


I also thought I’d share an update of my home studio, and how it’s looking…. there’s not much wall space left!



Little Mt. Milestone

On this day five years ago I arrived in Australia. There’s nothing too significant other than that. I am still not a resident and have a long way to go to getting a sponsorship next year, which would need to be as a graphic designer (as that’s on the Australian Skilled Occupation List).

Anyway… on to more pressing matters…

I contacted Cam Scale today, as part of out industry experience brief. I have a short list of others I shall be over the weekend, and I’m looking forward to some replies, hopefully!

As part of the end of year FLUX show, I am technical support, due to my broad knowledge and handy skills with a toolbox. I took a design role last year in Illustre as that’s where I have a lot of experience, but it stressed me out and created more work that was a waste of time, so I am taking a slight back seat, but over-seeing all the areas, and am happy to help any way I can, which I have been today with the logo. These three are on the ball, and great to see working well together.




I’ve not created a finished collage in over 20 years. As soon as I started cutting up the paper it took me back to my years at infant and junior school (5-11yo), which are some of my earliest and fondest memories.
I use to collect old magazines and cut them up when I was younger as it’s a much easier and quicker process to making art. It’s a totally different dimension and medium, and has only been around about 100 years.

So I had a flick through the main booklet I was to use, and selected a few images to work from, and the rest, is history. We were to produce one, I’ve done three so far, and will probably do more, as there’s a certain abstract and geometric form I am looking for, but I don’t like to plan it too much as when you start sticking, things can go slightly off-track.




The first one I finished…. I think I prefer it in black and white, and I purposely took the photos on the big table in our school studio as I knew it was a rough and splattered surface which would lend itself well as a backdrop.



Number 2… equal rights for woman in Australia.

Number 3… trolling, and online bullying and what laws or lack of are current for changing times.
Number 4, immigration.


I’m quite happy with how they turned out, it has been a while since I’ve done one, and they did become a bit messy, and I wasn’t paying too much attention to saturation levels or clashing colours, but I love doing them!



I use a bunch of plastic trays (which I think held flowers in at Bunnings at one point) to rest things on when I’m spraying, stacked together they make for an interesting subject matter to photograph….





Friday is business, and we got down to it, no messing around. Logo is finalised, we voted – and surprisingly my background image got the most votes – and it was just thrown together from a photo of over-spray on a cardboard box.


The winning logo, and my daily whiteboard doodle.


Open all hours.

Today, is a Sunday, and I am at school. I put my name forward to take part in the open day at Preston campus, gave me a bit of time to do some drawing, meet some teachers, buy some postcards and zines from the Diploma guys, and chat to staff about further education for myself. I managed to blag a lot of freebies too!


Danny made a new friend!
This was painted four days prior to the open day as an interactive 3D piece. I was offered this job, but I was unsure of the brief and what essentially was required as the outcome, so I passed on the opportunity. I now regret that, as I feel I could of done a better job.




Over this weekend I drew a picture as a birthday present for a friends daughter. My go-to medium for this is pastel, and it was the first time I’d used a specific textured paper. At first I thought I had used the wrong side, but I persisted and the result is just what I was looking for. It was also the first time I’d used white charcoal with black for highlights…. I was worried of going too far with it, but I managed to restrain myself.

30 minutes
2 hours
3 hours
All done and dusted in under 5 hours.


I also received a message from an old school friend who I drew a portrait for (of his fiance), they got married this weekend and she loves it… although she doesn’t look too happy…. maybe hungover and no make-up! It was nice to get the message with the picture though.



Full frontal.

Recently, I applied (on a whim) to be part of the first annual Sydney Road Window Gallery, which is a privately run community event where several artists are commissioned to paint glass windows and doors of business along Sydney Road in Brunswick. I was very happy to be selected for this, I thought there would be an abundance of entries, however, after chatting to the organiser only around 20 people applied.

This was my first time painting on glass with brushes, and it went ok to be fair. I knew it wouldn’t be so straight forward, so I came semi-prepared with a variety of brushes, rags etc… the paint was supplied as they wanted to use a non-toxic paint as they would be washed off after two weeks, and so it had to be environmentally friendly. We were allowed six tubes of 75ml, or a bottle of 250ml and three tubes… this limited what could be painted.
As windows are essentially treated as a black canvas, and are very smooth, I had to prime mine first as I was using red and yellow, and I didn’t want the yellow to look green. Unfortunately, there was not much water available, and I only had approximately five hours to paint start to finish, and around an hour of that was waiting for paint to dry, and on glass it takes twice as long, so there were some small technical problems, so thinking on your feet is a must. I ran out of yellow too right near the end, but unless you’re me, you wouldn’t know.

It was interesting being on a very busy street painting, and having the general public stop and chat, it was encouraging and boosted my confidence a little, also made me realise a few things with my art and where it’s heading, and how I need to step-up my game and get going with my project, which has taken a back seat for a month or two due to my work-load.

I went down a few days before to check out the space, and to get inspired.
I did a bit of a sketch on the whiteboard… then took a photo, and printed it…
… then re-drew with some colour to show the organisers what I intended to paint.
I arrived at 10.30am, had a coffee and set-up…
First layer down…. (approximately 150ml)
Yellow all down, this needed a lot of layers… I used a sponge for the clouds.
I then started to add a bit of foreground subject matter…
And finished off with a few Kangaroo’s and a bird in the tree to give it some substance.
All done. I didn’t use any reference, as I don’t like to, the matt finish really looks good.


I thought I’d check Instagram to see what’d been uploaded….



… Let’s talk about you and me.

Today was presentation day with Greg. This week we were talking about our own art, where as previous weeks we had presented out typology and collage assignments, which I showed lack of interest in, although my results were well received by the class, and Greg. I couldn’t connect to them as much as I do with my own art, which almost confirms that’s I am an artist, rather than an illustrator. I felt more confident today, and I like talking about my own outputs and progression, processes, etc, and to get feedback and responses from what I’m saying is great. Greg always asks good questions, and I respect his comments and criticisms.


AMEP Update

This is due next week, and I’ve finally cleared my schedule (almost), and can focus on this. I’m unsure which medium to use. Initially I wanted to do pastels on coloured paper, but I didn’t want to have to go and buy anymore materials. In hindsight, I should of, but it’s a bit late now. I will be running the end result through Photoshop anyway, so adjustments can be made. So I’ve done three to test what to use. I want it to have a realistic feel, but also semi-graphic. The cover is 11×11″ (a square), and so I need to keep in mind text will be on the front, and to keep the composition neutral and not overpowering.

These are all tests, the final output will be a wrap around cover.

Number 1, this I laid down a pale yellow watercolour wash first, then the rest with pastels.
Number 2, which is acrylic. I thought it would give it a stronger more graphic look. This is usually how I paint, with blends and fades, so this could be my own impressionist style.
Number 3, watercolour. I started this as the first one I felt I should of added more paint before starting pastels. I quite like the look of this so far, and the clouds will be harder to do with watercolour, so that will probably be pastels, so give it the softer look and feel. The harder lines I’ll leave exposed in the sky should give it a good contrast too.


Next on the agenda!

Good meeting today, sort of. It seems a lot of people aren’t bothered about coming to business class on Fridays’, which is basically just a group meeting to organise FLUX; our end of year exhibition. A lot aren’t even turning up, which doesn’t bother me personally, but as a group it changes things, as we have to pick up the slack. Things seem to be going well anyway, but I feel delegation is an issue, as well as attendance.


Sometimes, it’s just not worth it.

So, I finished the AMEP book cover design, after a bit of a stressful few days and around 10 variations…. It’s not quite the image I had in my head, but I’m pleased with what I’ve produced. I also sent an altered photograph so the designer has a back-up, and she’s chosen to go with the photograph, which I think fits and I am annoyed with myself for not just sending that in the first place, as it wasn’t even a paid job. I’m glad I didn’t waste too much time on it, but still…

Bottom one is the final artwork.



I’d been waiting for over a month to go an see the Hokusai exhibit at the NGV, and Greg organised for a trip there with the class, which I was very excited about. Hokusai is one of my favourite artists of all time. He specialised in wood-block printing, and his skills and accuracy are second to none. I am hugely influenced by Asian art, and I was hugely impressed with the exhibit. So many pieces, and lots to read too. The display of his books in the glass cabinet was great too.




My first self portrait. I used a basic stock and white and black charcoal. Came out good, but the white I went to hard with on the shoulders and couldn’t erase it, but that may be down to the stock I used.

I just liked the shade of yellow and this photo seemed to suit that. I have a couple of other photographs people have taken of me recently, so I shall be doing another one soon enough, but I will go bigger. I’m not satisfied enough at this scale (it’s inbetween A3 and A2).



Mural update…

It’s been about six months, but it’s getting close to me actually painting this mural, in Preston. At the moment the weather has delayed it, as I can’t paint in the wind or rain, and especially if it’s wet and damp, the paint just won’t hold as long as it would if it was dry and sunny, and I want it to have the best possible outcome, so I’m waiting for three days of sunshine. We have a lot of time off now from school, so fingers crossed.

I am playing around with what colours to use in the meantime, this is what I’m working with at the moment. I will be rolling it white and black before I start.




I’m not counting them yet, but I think I’ve struck a chord with my project…


Stay tuned.


Happy birthday, to you.

I was commissioned to do a painting for a 13th birthday present. The concept was to paint a skateboard deck, but I prefer to work with flat, level surfaces, whereas, skateboards have curves and contours. So I set about cutting a piece of MDF the same size and shape to paint.

I had a rough idea of what I was to do, and it did take a bit longer than usual, as the colour paint I used to spray it wasn’t exactly the right shade of yellow I was looking for, but I went with it anyway.

Doodle to hand, and putting down the rough lines with a NON permanent felt pen.
Outline of text done, with paint pens.
Outer outline, and highlights…. to give it a bit of contrast and pop.
I carried off the black to give it rhythm and find the composition. Also some blue to act as a reflective light.
I thickened the red outline a bit, and carried off the red, and added more blue to make the text stand out more.
While some paint was drying I measured and cut a piece to glue on the back so there is a method to hang it…
Rough shape cut with a hand-saw, including the corners.
Both ends sanded and smoothed off.
Hook screwed in…
Sticker and signature applied to the final piece.
Now to sandwich the two together…
2017-09-15 23.06.29
… and leave over-night.
By adding depth to the back of the panel, it makes it sit out further from the wall, and not look so flat and it just makes it look a bit more professional.
2017-09-16 21.50.56
And the final artwork. It’s not come out how I had planned, but then when ever does it…?


Slow and steady… *snif*cough*

I’ve decided to try some stencils, and I’m not going to rush it!

I’m sick with the flu at the moment, so I’m just getting things semi-ready.

I have boards sprayed, and I like the colours and effects I’ve laid down already… I do like to not work from a blank canvas… and spraying some colour down gives me reference points and points for the peice to flow. I thought about doing some simple portraits, but with some added lines/shapes with paint pens, which I’ve become rather attracted to using. They will be partly abstract, but that’s about all I can describe at the moment, not until I’ve cut some of the stencils out, and can show some progress.

As well as these, I am going to still try and produce some drawings, and landscapes, but we’ll see how we go.

I split the image and had it printed on A3, as A2 is 20x more expensive.


I then offered it up to a board that I think it will work with.
2017-09-27 19.46.55.jpg
I’m not convinced on this one, so I may do it first as a tester.
This one will just be black and white, and maybe a little splash of colour.
And this is the last one. I’m struggling to find good shots/poses, and I’m quite particular.





As per usual, Greg provides another great assignment, which I already had an idea for, and it’s actually something I already do. Photo-illustration combines the use of a photograph as part of the piece, and I have always drawn around and expanded photographs, more so as a doodle, but it’s great fun.

I obviously wanted to use my own photographs, and subconciously, maybe this is why I’ve taken so many. Since mobile phones started having cameras built in, it’s changed the way we take photos.
I had a flick through my ‘good photos’ folder, and went to Officeworks to get them printed. I got a few done on cheap 100gsm paper so I can try out different ideas, and then a bunch on 200gsm for the final pieces.

Playing around with where lines end on the photo…
The 200gsm ‘good’ copies.


I realised the photo’s need certain factors, and had to be placed on the page in a particular place to create the illusion the whole piece of paper was a photo, difficult to explain I think. I like to play around with things, and for once I had some self-control… almost too much, but I like the minimal effect.

These are some first attempts… trying out using grey as well as black, and colour.



Here are the final pieces, and I’ll start by showing the process on the most intricate of the them all. These are so much fun!

Using a ruler, extending the most prominent lines…
Then all the other lines…
Now the tricky bit… and I did mess it up on the right edge, and bottom corner, so I cropped it…
… and I really like this. I need to find some more pictures like this.

And the other three I shall submit;




While browsing Instagram, I came across some paintings that were hung, and the artist had also prepared the walls too with similar abstract marks, this I like. I would like to see it done on a more permanent basis, but perhaps painting it all on one panel anyway…?

Interesting stuff.



No, I’m not Banksy… (or am I?)

So…. here we go. I think I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.
I’ve been playing with stencils for years, I use to apply them to all sorts of objects. The last one I did was probably about 7 years ago, but this is the first time I’ve made an artwork with them.

This will be a series of around 9, not all to be hung at Flux, but I shall be having a solo exhibition, so I’d like a nice solid amount.

Board was already sprayed white, and I had the photo (cutout filter applied in Photoshop) printed on two bits of A3.
Tracing the outlines of the blocks of colour/shapes.
Black down first, as it was the largest area, and everything else will lay on top.
Then with what was cut out from the first stencil, was used for the other colours…
Darkest shade first…
This took about an hour… it’s all in the preparation!
Mid, and light tones added….
It needed something along the bottom, so I used paint pens instead of masking it and spraying, as I wanted some texture and contrast, and to make it feel more levelled.


Stencils seem to fit my style, but more so my technique and method. You have a liberal spray of the board, to create some feelings and flow, then cutting the stencils is a very precise and controlled task, and then adding lines is a bit of freedom, so these three elements together make for a really satisfying piece of art at the end. I sometimes struggle when to stop, as I like to do all sorts, and this feels almost like they are coming together.

I’ve done three now (I shall update with pictures soon), and have another five to do. Generally speaking I take a day to do one, as you have to wait for paint to dry etc, but in total they take no more than 5hrs from start to finish.

I like to let these happen, like most of my art…. I see an idea in my head, and I just do it. I don’t over-think things or over-complicate matters, as I know I will be doing more of these, so there is time to try other ideas. I like to do paintings as a series, all in one go, so with a bit of luck, I’ll have the other 5 done by the end of October.


Ain’t no stoppin’…

Next two stencils… (which I think will now be a series of 12).

With the piece I cut out, I put aside for use later.
Placing the stencil in the right spot can take the most time. Composition is key.
First layer down.
Second later (lighter blue) done…
Then I had to go back and do a layer of black on top. This is easier and quicker than trying to keep the original black parts from the base. As as black is essentially the last colour your eyes see, it should be the last layer to add to the depth of the painting, if only a small bit, it all helps.
I kept the original cutout from the start, and places it over what I’d done for the figure, now to do the background…
I liberally sprayed some colour down onto the black, I wasn’t sure the effect and scene I wanted to create, but I knew where the light source was, and worked off that.
It felt shallow, so I ripped up a piece of paper and used as a ‘horizon’ line.
I also added a bit more magenta to warm the background up, as the figure is quite cool.
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Then some complimentary lines and splats, and she’s done!


This next one is the largest I’ve done so far, 1200x600mm.

The board was already sprayed, I did it a while ago, and this picture I felt went with the tones. So I got to tracing and cutting…
I use parts I’ve cut out for the next stencil, when I can. Sometimes it’s not possible.
Black all done.
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Next layer is the face…
She looks like a fish!
Steady hands, and a careful eye!
Taped up, using scraps to not waste paper! Starving artist over here….


Then the top black layer…
Main area done, the hair still needs some work.
Extra hair done with a stencil. I did really like it at this stage, but it was too minimal.
These lines took hours, not to physically draw then, but the placement.


At last, the sun’s come out!

The sun has started to appear more frequently, and this week I was able to get a mural done. It’s been in the pipeline for around 6 months, but bad weather, bad luck, and the flu delayed it, as well as school work, but the client was in no rush, so it wasn’t an issue. I was commissioned to paint something in my own style, and due the the location and the fact it was down a narrow laneway, I wanted to keep it simple, but also create some depth, as well as warm the place up a bit, and make it a nice environment for local residents.

It was a bit of a mess…
… So I went to Bunnings and got myself 4litres of paint to prime the wall before I sprayed anything. I did want a yellow, but they had a tin of pale grey which actually worked quite well, it just meant I had to use more spraypaint.
Started the furthest thing away first, so the sky…
Then the sea, and some soft blending of the sky – which was hard due to the wind.
Some rocks, a tree, and my ‘signature’ abstract shapes, and it’s all done.

It took me around 10 hours in total, and was a lot of fun. I have painted large scale before with aerosols, but nothing quite this big.

Im quite happy with the overall finished piece. I didn’t plan it – I don’t like to – I’d rather ‘feel’ what needs to be there, and go with the flow.

I had a few people stop and chat, and I did hand my business card to one lady, but I’m not sure she will call, but that’s fine, I’m busy enough as it is!


I’m a machine!

More stencil action…

Creating atmosphere for the background, although this never is visible at the end result.
Giving me ideas….
First stencil placement…
Second layer, I curled some edges to get a soft edge, rather than sharp/hard.
Looking good…
Darker tones added…
I then had a bit of a battle, and almost completely did it over, but I thought; no. So I stuck with it and worked around my ‘mistake’. I put a sun in, but it was in the wrong place, and shouldn’t of even been there.
After some pen work, I propped it up, and a shadow appeared over the top, which looked good, so I made that into a stencil, and sprayed over the sun.
And this one’s done!




First layer down, on-top of my oceanic background…
Second layer…. trying to go lightly, but when everything is covered apart from what you’re spraying, it’s hard to tell if you’ve gone too dark or too light until you removed the paper and masking.
Third layer, which added some light…
Black tones added…
Few lines and spots, and it’s all wrapped up.



Pale pastel green and grey background for this one, with purple/pink.
This took some time to cut!
I ran out the pink paint, but I decided to go with it…
I like how the cut paper looks sometimes, some interesting shapes that give me ideas for future projects. This almost looks like a mountain and a river.
Lighter pink added…
This is the black stencil, the last…
And then a last purple layer on top, for parts I couldn’t cut and keep with the one piece of paper.
All done, excuse the lo-res photo.


And one more for today….


This was a dusk scene, and I so happened to have the right colours, so I got to it…
Placement is key! Sometimes it can look wrong, but you have to trust your instincts sometimes.
Last layer…. at this stage I did think of drawing something on the far right, like a tree, but I didn’t want to over-do it, and sometimes leaving it can leave more to the imagination.
After a little spray here and there, a few spots of pale yellow, and she’s finished.



I wasn’t sure on this one, mainly with the size, but the image was interesting, and the background I did a while ago, and they just seemed to match quite well, so I got to it.
These took some time!
Weighing down the areas so they don’t lift/blow away and keep crisp edges.
First level done…
Third and fourth stencils cut…
Third down…
Fourth down…
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I then added an orange line to bounce the green off, and a few splats to create a bit more atmosphere and movement.


Slightly dreaded this one, but I love a challenge!
I’ll use this for putting black back on-top after the other layers.
Because the image was quite hectic, I felt black and grey would work well, so the darkest layer down first….
Then the second, which didn’t go so well, but thats the nature of spraying, sometimes the colour can be off, or the nozzle car clog.
I then set about cutting the rest…
Enter a caption
This took nearly 2 hours, but it was the most crucial of them all. I was going to do it white, but instead I chose a very light grey, as white was too much of a contrast.
Quite happy at this stage, but the layers and levels need adjusting, which I’ll use pens for.
2017-10-25 14.26.08.jpg
I carried the hair off and highlighted a few areas with grey paint pens, and she’s done.



Lovely gradient fade…
Focal point for the distance…
Lighter reflective patch of water in…
Darker tones added to the distant rocks, and more light reflection on the water…
Small bit of darker blue… barely noticable, but every layer helps…
Subject matter added.
And now the last stencil, which took the longest out of all of them so far…
Placement, and weights so things don’t move or get paint underneath…
Now for the exciting bit… I almost ran out of black, thankfully I had enough!
All peeled off, and just needs a few finishing touches.


Can’t stop to chat, too busy…

I literally have no spare time at the moment. After someone crashing into my car last weekend, having to move, finishing school work, packing for my trip to England… as well as several private jobs I’m juggling…. so I may not of photographed every stage of these stencils as before, but you still get the process…

I was going to do 14, but I’ve actually completed 16, and that’s DEFINITELY it for this series. I have plenty more ideas to try out next year.

I had a lot of pink left over….
First down, leaving some pink showing through on the right, as that’s where the light source is.
‘Action’ shot….
Second and third down, looking clean. I did slightly lay the third down a few millimetres, but barely noticable.
Lighter tone and white added to the hair…
2017-10-31 12.09.14.jpg
Then some spots and a couple of lines to pull the image a bit the other way, and that’s another done.




Decided to go for a different green on this one… the image was forest related…
One of the most complicated stencils I’ve got so far! I laid down the two parts and it looked cool, so I took a photo to remind myself to trying other ideas down the line.
Usually I lay down dark colours, and go on-top with light, but I decided to do the other way round and use the part of the stencil I cut out.
Looking good, I like how this ones working going lighter.
I had to go back on with a bit of black, and add some mist and highlights…
2017-10-28 15.33.11.jpg
Then a couple of lines to give the piece some balance, and another one wrapped up.



I had one last picture I wasn’t sure whether or not to use, but I saw a colour that worked, and decided to go with it.
First down, using a lighter tone…
Second layer down…. lighter again…
And the third. Only 3 stencils for this one, so it was quite a quick turnaround.
Adding these geo-shapes and lines can take time.
2017-10-28 17.58.55.jpg
All done, this one worked out quite well, but not exactly what I thought.


The last lot…

The more of these stencils I do, the better they get and more adventurous I am with the accenting shapes and lines. I think this is enough for this series now, the next lot I will be using animals, most probably birds.

Atmosphere laid… this is three colours… black, red and dark brown.
I then laid a siloutte stencil down to spray more red around the figure and leave a dark shape…
I forgot to take a shot of just the first layer, but here’s the first and second done.
Third done…
Fourth done with an almost flourescent red/orange to make it pop more…
Then attaching the frame to the rear…
2017-10-31 17.07.26.jpg
A complimentary line and a couple of dots, and all done.


I wanted to try something slightly different with this one…


I almost didn’t want to do anything on this, as it looks like part of a sky during sunset. This was purely fluke that this happened.
First stencil down, and weighed down…
Mid-tone down, number two…
Then white… number three…
2017-10-31 17.08.25.jpg
And a few lines to balance it out… another finished. I figure all this out as I go.

And the last, number 16…

This one is the smallest I’ve done at 60x30cm, and I had an idea that wasn’t concrete, but I went with it anyway to see what would happen. I almost threw this in the bin, but it’s now one of my favourites of the lot.

I had sprayed the board months ago, and only just figured out the right image to use…
I didn’t take as many shots with this one as it was quite quick, and there’s plenty of progress shots on the others.
2017-11-01 10.58.04.jpg
Now this I wondered what to do, but I’m really feeling the minimalistic approach. Finding a shape or line to reflect the main image. Fin.


FLUX Preperation

Today me and Warren played around with my paintings to see which to hang for the exhibition. I thought I was only going to have enough space for 8 at a max, but we’ve managed to get 10 in, and they work quite well. Quite excited to get them up now!

I’ve been given another small wall downstairs, which I think I will hang a landscape painting I did earlier in the year, which was at the Mid-way Show, but then I think; maybe I should have something different, and not too similar to my stencils, maybe some ink work from Inktober this year, some of which (A5) came out pretty good. I may put 3 in small frames, they won’t be for sale, but the rest will be and have set a price for them now too.




Con came up with a few ideas of making a big sign to stick out the front. After a bit of a brainstorm a few weeks ago we came up with making 3D letters, around 5ft high. This turned out to sound like a lot of work, so we opted for an easier option. Me and Danny set to it, he bought the jig-saw, and I just went for it. We were able to essentially make two from one piece of wood.

They will be painted, and fastened into the ground outside the front of the building on the opening night, to attract attention from the main road outside, which is a busy road.





This is the end… :’-(

After two years full-time study at the Preston campus of Melbourne Polytechnic, I have now finished, and am onto the Fairfield campus to do the Bachelor’s of Illustration, entering into the second year.

At first, I was sceptical of the Advanced Diplomas’ intentions, and it’s purpose, and I did get a bit nervous at times, as I thought it was a degree level, but it’s wasn’t, and this effected my next visa options, but I persisted and feel I definitely made the most of it.
I started studying to find my artistic side again after a rough few years, and not really drawing or painting since high-school, as well as to be able to stay in this magnificent country I like to call home.

Generally speaking the year went well for me. I started off with a vague idea of what I was to achieve, but I didn’t put too much pressure on myself, in order to create freely and let things come naturally. I spent most of the year trying out ideas, mediums, surfaces, subject matter, and just doing the assignments handed to us, all of which were excellent, I thoroughly enjoyed each one, and they all seemed to suit my practice and ideas came almost instantly, which let me refine and find my style. Writing this blog also helped, it’s like talking to yourself and you realise all sorts of things.

I ended up doing the stencils posted above, without much planning. It all came together about four weeks before the show, and I did all sixteen within three weeks. I was planning to do some large pastel drawings, but for that I realised I needed to do more life-drawing, and this is something I will work on next year. I have some epic ideas for the next two years, as I like to use different mediums and I’m not a one trick pony, so stay tuned for that!

A very productive year for me it seems, without even realising. I had few hiccups along the way, with school, work, and in my private life, but I’m not one to sit around complaining, and blaming anyone else, I just get on with it, because this is who I am – an artist – and who I’ll be until the day I die, and I wouldn’t be at this glorious point in my life without the help and support of the staff and my fellow students at Melbourne Polytechnic. Thank you everyone.