Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Black Labrador

Black Labrador - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

It's been a while since I painted a black labrador and so here is one - no champion this time, just a dog with a lovely face and expression.

When this painting is sold I will make a donation of 10% from the profits to Noah's Bark to help them in their efforts at finding homes for unwanted dogs. Probably the best place to see what they do is their facebook page here -!/pages/Noahs-Bark-Animal-Rescue/139298188002?ref=ts

This painting is offered at auction with no reserve! please click here to bid (or just to see details)

On request this was changed to buy it now


This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before shipping but since the auction is a 7 day listing, this should work out just about right!!

for more information please email me at 
or visit my website -

My thanks to bacondog at Flickr for kindly making the reference photo available

Friday, 26 March 2010

Boxer dog - Ch Sulez Blackmagic

Boxer - Ch Sulez Blackmagic
20" x 16" watercolour on Saunders Wateford NOT paper

Another head study, this time of a beautiful boxer bitch, Ch Sulez Blackmagic. Magic has won more awards than I have time to list! Needless to say she is the top winning brindle boxer in UK history. This another dog who I have painted that I  have had the pleasure of meeting. For those who wonder about the temperaments of show dogs, I would just like to let you know that this bitch on meeting me, tried to climb on my lap to kiss me. I would have let her but she was rather big and I was trying to paint at the same time! She was a real sweetheart but on this occasion she just had to make do with having a fuss made of her instead!

To commission a pet portrait please email me at for more information or visit

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Cairn Terrier - Multi Champion Glenmore's Top Gun

Multi Ch Glenmore's Top Gun - Cairn Terrier
20" x 16" watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT paper

I thought that it might be nice to feature a head study for today's painting. This little terrier was bred and lives in Germany although he came to live in the UK for about a year while he was campaigned to his UK Champion title. This was one of the many dogs I have painted that I have had the pleasure to meet.

To commission a pet portrait please email me at or visit my website

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Stretching Watercolor Paper - Step By Step

I've been asked several times if I could explain clearly how to stretch watercolour paper and so here are several photos showing my (reasonably foolproof) method of stretching 140lb Saunders Waterford NOT watercolour paper.

This is my board - it is made of ¼" plywood and I use each side alternately so that by warping slightly in different directions each time, it remains flat. By the way, the tape around the edges is just where I haven't bothered to remove it after I had cut out my previous painting - I generally leave it a few times before removing it all.
Here is my roll of gummed tape and the stips cut from it. Cut this tape before you handle your paper so that your hands are totally dry as you don't want any of the glue removed from it. Make sure to make them slightly longer than the edges of your paper.

I take my paper (I normally work on a half full sheet) and soak it in a clean bath (no traces of cleaners or other chemicals) for approximately 15 minutes. I've been known to forget it and leave it in there for more than an hour and I've never suffered adverse consequences!
Remove the paper from the bath with clean hands, holding it along one edge and let the excess water drip off. Take it to your board and lay it down.
With clean kitchen roll - just a couple of sheets - remove the excess water. Just lightly run your hand over the back of the kitchen roll - no heavy handedness.
Then just lighly run the kitchen roll down the edges of the paper.
 Now wet half of a piece of tape. The reason for leaving half of it dry is as it absorbs the water from your paper, if it is already wet, it becomes too wet and won't stick. Do just completely wet the very ends of the tape though as they will extend further than your paper and won't otherwise stick down.
 This photo shows one piece of tape stuck down. Run the back of your nail up and down it and you will see it start to adhere to your paper - do this until it is smooth.
And the final result ... a lovely taut, clean piece of paper just waiting to be painted on!  :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any questions, just leave a comment or email me at

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Ch Monalou Nelly Pledge - Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Record Holder

Bernese Mountain Dog - Ch Monalou Nelly Pledge
20" x 16" watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT watercolour paper

As I explained in my last post, I can't at the moment reveal the painting I am working on as it is to be a gift.
The painting I am showing today was also a gift to her owner, Michelle Gurney, from a group of her friends, as a celebration of the fact that this bitch is the all time Breed Record Holder in the UK. I think even those who don't know what a show quality Bernese Mountain Dog should look like, will be able to see what a beautiful bitch she is.

To commission a pet portrait please email me at for more information 
or visit

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Dalmatians - Ch Sophtspot Sugar Daddy at Dvojica & Ch Dvojica Voodoo

Dalmatians - Ch Sophtspot Sugar Daddy at Dvojica & Ch Dvojica Voodoo
(watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT paper) 
At the moment I am painting a commission which is a gift and therefore I can't share it here, so I thought instead that I would post a past commission of mine. 
The two Dalmatians above are owned by Mark Dunnachie, owner/breeder of Dvojica Dalmatians, and as well as being very successful show dogs are also much loved and spoilt family pets - which is of course what all Dalmatians should be. Both dogs have won extremely well and become UK Champions, with Ch Dvojica Voodoo - Magic as she is known to her friends - doing a phenomenal amount of winning and becoming the top winning Dalmatian in UK history (she is the one on the right as you look at the painting). It was a pleasure painting these two dogs and I know that Mark has been delighted with his painting :)
If you should wish to commission a portrait of your dog - or other pet - please email me at for more information or visit

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Pug Beach

Pug Beach - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

As I am painting today, the sun in shining and the daffodils are finally blooming. We've had a very late spring this year and the weather has been cold and miserable. However, today - today is a day when summer doesn't seem too very far away, when days stretch out into evening and the sun doesn't set until late; when the scents of flowers fill the air and the world seems a perfect place.

I had started this painting some while ago but simply couldn't bring myself to finish it in the dark days of winter, but today I couldn't stop myself from finishing it!! I would like to be on this beach right now and maybe throw a stick into the ocean for the little pug to fetch - he seems to want to swim!

10% donation to Old Dog Haven once this painting is sold. If you have a moment, do visit their website and see all the wonderful things they do - and maybe I could twist your arm to make a small (or big of course!) donation to help them in their efforts.

I have only just taken this painting off the easel and so it will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped

If you have any questions please email me at or visit my website

My thanks to Mary R Vogt at Morguefile for making the photograph of her pug available for use as reference.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Ready To Play

Ready To Play - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

This photograph was posted by Hank's owner, Rachel, a fellow artist on the boards at Wet Canvas. He is a beagle/terrier cross and was just so pretty - or I suppose I should say handsome - that I had to paint him!

My thanks to Rachel at Wet Canvas for providing the reference photograph

Thursday, 11 March 2010

German Shepherd Dog commission in watercolour

Ch. Jasueter Silber Yacco - watercolour 20" x 16"

This is a commission I finished a few weeks ago and I thought you might like to see it; I would say a German Shepherd face and expression at its best - honest and true.  It is a watercolour painted on Saunders Waterford NOT paper - my favourite paper to use. My watercolour paints are Winsor and Newton as are my oils - quality paints in my opinion. I do feel that when you are painting it is foolish to use anything less than top quality materials. When you think of the enormous amount of hours it takes to create a painting such as this one, it seems crazy to use less than the best materials. It is the same with brushes. I never use anything other than sable brushes for my watercolours. I admit I have tried cheaper nylon mixes, but have never used them in an actual painting as I have found them useless - despite what all the advertisements would have you believe! 

I did take several photographs some while ago detailing the process of stretching watercolour paper as I know this poses a problem for quite a few people - nothing more irritating that having a lovely piece of watercolour paper buckling in all directions when a water wash is applied to it! I have filed the photos away somewhere and at the moment have no idea where! If there is a demand, I will hunt them out and show them here to try and help all you aspiring watercolourists! :)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

This is another dog rescued by Eileen, the woman who rescued the dog in the painting "In A Dog's Eyes".

Indie was a puppy rescued from a the Metro Animal Services shelter in Louisville, KY, where Eileen says that most animals are euthanized. She was shy, stressed and scared. Another puppy in the kennel who looked just like Indie was adopted but returned to the shelter a few months later and was going to be euthanized. Eileen pleaded her case and got her out to an adoption event at Petsmart where she was adopted by a wonderful family.
Eileen herself adopted Indie and Indie is a sweet natured, happy girl now - full of fun and love.

The title of this painting, from the song of the same name, came to me while I was painting it and I feel it is particularly apt for all those dogs in shelters who are in danger of losing their lives while waiting for their own special family.

When this painting is sold, I will make a donation of 10% from the profits to an animal rescue charity. I haven't decided which one yet as I'm wondering whether a pitbull rescue might be appropriate as Indie is one of this breed and I know they have a difficult time finding homes in view of their reputation. I will let the purchaser know which charity will be the recipient and also post it here.  Following some research, I've decided the charity which will benefit from any donation from the sale of this painting will be Bad Rap Pitbull Rescue.


This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped

For more information please email me at or visit

My thanks to outlier dogs at flickr for making this photo available for use as a reference

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Love Bug

The Love Bug - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite

This painting was completed as part of the Daily Painters International Art Gallery February challenge where we were given 3 photos and were told to incorporate at least two of them into a finished painting. I decided to incorporate all three and they were - obviously the car!, the 'love' sign and some lego blocks (which can just be seen on the poster in my painting).

Perhaps you were on the road in the sixties, when love and flower power were in the air - if so, I hope this painting will take you back there for a while and revive some happy memories ...............

Once this painting is sold I will make a donation of 10% to Save the Dalmatians. I chose this charity on this occasion as I had originally planned to paint a Dalmatian with the features from two of the photos, but thought that for once it might be nice to paint something without a dog in it - not for long though as I'm painting a dog right now - well, not at the same time as I type of course!!


Please email to purchase

If you have any questions please email me at the above address or visit