Monday, 31 March 2014

Tiger Light

Tiger Light - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/mdf

I must admit I do enjoy painting big cats. Oh well, the truth is I enjoy painting and I love painting all animals! This young tiger is just off the easel and sold on preview.

If you would like to receive previews of my paintings before they are made generally available online, just drop me a line at and I'll put you on my list.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 (finished) Tutorial - Lesson 4

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 4

So here is the painting now finished. I've also featured the head of this girl to show it in detail. Since the last blog post, all the spots have been completed and more work has been done on the shading of the body. This is the stage when small areas of detail are added - such as the toe nails. In this painting, the paint has been thinned on two occasions only - firstly for the underpainting sketch and then for the whiskers. Finally the background has been painted, my signature added and that's it!

I hope you've enjoyed the little journey through the development of one of my paintings.

If you have any comments, please email me at


Monday, 17 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 3

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 3

As can be seen, things have moved on quite a lot since I last showed you the progress of this painting. The head and ears have almost been completed although there will be some more detail added. The entire body has been worked on with the shading being refined and all the spots have had thick paint applied but only fairly roughly. The spots above the collar and a few below have had detail added so the next stage of the painting will be to add detail to all of the spots on the body and legs. It will then be back to her head and together with the detail mentioned above, whiskers will also be painted in. Once all of this has been done, I will paint the background and then sign it. It will then be ready for her owner to check that she is happy with the painting.


If you have any questions, please email me at

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 2

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 2

A considerable amount of work has been done since the last stage of this painting. All of the shading has been roughed in together with the spots on the head and ears and more work has been done on the eyes. Please note though that not one area of the dog is finished yet. I should also admit that I don't always paint in an ordered and sensible fashion and quite often get attracted by a particular area of the painting or take a rest from a difficult part! I am sure this is not the accepted way to paint, but since I am self-taught, I can please myself! 

If you'd like to ask any questions, please email me at


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Dalmatian #2 Tutorial - Lesson 1

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 1

I think the photo of this stage of the painting is fairly self-explanatory. As can be seen, once again I have painted the eyes first so that I can develop a relationship with the dog. After that I have blocked in shaded areas and the spots with thin paint. In this painting I have also added a foot which was not visible in the reference photo but without which I felt the painting looked wrong. 

At this point, I like to step away from the painting and look at it to make sure that it is developing along the right lines. Even when only in the beginning stages I aim to make the paintings visually interesting.

If you have any questions, please email me at


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 4

 Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 4

So, here is the final painting. I hope it's going to be clear enough to see easily as I've found it incredibly hard to get a reasonable photo of it. 

I think a lot of this lesson really is self-explanatory. As can be seen, the black background has been painted in and the black edges of the ears have been slightly lightened so that they can be seen against the background - albeit not very well in this photo! Sometimes it can be very effective to paint 'lost and found' edges where parts of a painting are indistinguishable against the background but I didn't feel this would be right with this painting. More detail was added to the muzzle area and whiskers were painted in. The bed was painted but less than in the actual photo and toes were added which weren't in the photo! The final part of all was the blending in of the reflection with brush strokes both horizontal and vertical. Although the reflection is an important part of the painting it must not take centre stage - this position must be left to the VIP of the painting. 

Good girl Macy!

I hope you've enjoyed this journey into painting - another one to follow very shortly.

If you have any questions, please email me at


Monday, 10 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 3

 Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 3

At this stage the painting of the Dalmatian itself is almost finished. More detail has been added to the spots and the shading. The reflection has been added although this will need blurring into the background when that has been completed. 

It's always a good idea to look at your painting from slightly different angles and stand back to see it from a little further away. It's so easy when you're concentrating hard on the details of a painting to lose sight of the whole picture and for exaggerations to creep in. When you look at your painting, do you feel you could stroke the dog, feel its body under your hands? If you do, then you know you're getting it right. 

Any questions - just drop me a line at


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial - lesson 2

Step by step oil painting instructions - lesson 2

As can be seen, the painting has developed considerably since the last lesson. The spots have all had oil paint applied without the addition of any thinner or medium. At the moment the edges are only roughly painted although the shapes are more or less accurate. The areas in shadow have had considerably more paint applied and again, like the spots, the paint has had nothing mixed with it. A large amount of detail has been added creating much more form. I've also added much more detail to the eye rims but haven't touched the eyes themselves as I got the expression I wanted when I first painted them and don't want this changed until I'm ready to work in the final detail - quite a time consuming part as getting the eye detail right is crucial. 

When you get to this stage, take time to look at the painting to make sure that your image is really starting to gain shape so that you feel you can reach out and touch the dog. If you don't feel that yourself,  you'll be lucky if anybody else does! If you're not sure, try looking at it through a mirror as when you're not used to painting, it can be useful to have a different perspective. For now, I feel very fond of this little girl and look forward to the next stage of work.

Again, if anyone has any questions, please email me at or leave a comment here.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Dalmatian oil painting tutorial

Step by step oil painting instructions

I've been asked so many times to give painting tuition in my way of painting that I have decided to do my best and show the progress of a painting and describe the steps along the way. If anyone has any questions, please either email them to me at or leave a comment here. 

The painting I will be showing you is on a 16" x 12" box canvas and is going to be a 'reflection' painting. 

As usual I like to paint the eyes first, even though only roughly, but this aspect of the painting is extremely important to me. Once I have the eyes painted I can relax and start to build up the rest of the body. I like to get the shading of the body painted next as it starts then to form the flat image into something with form and life. I start by blocking in a thin layer of paint in the areas of shadow and also all the spots. I don't worry at this stage about making sure the spots are all the same depth of colour but I do try and get the different tones of shading more or less correct although not at their final depth. At this stage I only use Ivory Black and Titanium White. This is a very important step in the painting and if it lacks interest now, the final painting is also likely to be boring. If the painting was of a different coloured animal I would use a complementary but still neutral colour for the shadow. 

I hope you've enjoyed this first lesson in painting my way and will join me for the next stage which will follow soon.