Kea Ora

Part sculpture/part painting is finished :). It went from a cut out piece of board:











What do you think – is he cheeky enough??

Here’s another picture, this time with no background i.e. just the cut out board. He flies off to his new home on Monday.



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Kea sculpture/painting, second layer finished

I finished the second layer of the kea painting today. Once this has dried I’ll fill in the highlights and lowlights using a transparent glaze media. What do you think? Cheeky enough yet?


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Part sculpture, part painting, update


This weekend’s painting, what do you think?

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Part sculpture, part painting update


A quick update on the kea. As you can see I spent Waitangi day painting a fair bit of the first colour layer. I always love painting the head and eyes as it gives me a real sense of connection to the subject. I think this ones a bit cheeky!

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Something slightly different

At my day job there is a couple of people leaving. I’ve been the organiser of the presents and I’ve just finished this one, which is a lime tree in a simple but beautiful terracotta pot. The twist is a mulch of painted river stones (there are no prizes for guessing who painted them). Some are plain colours, some have abstract designs and some I’ve painted with mine and my colleagues names.

Here are some close ups.




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New project, part sculpture, part painting

I’ve been working on a project with a friend to produce a 3D painting for his house. After chatting about paintings one we came up with the idea of joining forces (he makes guitars in his spare time) to make a 3D kea about 1m wide. I was to draw up the outline and he would cut it out of board. On this cut out I’d do a realistic painting, with the final piece mounted on blocks to hold it out from the wall.

I did some sketches until I was happy with the image and the drew this out as a template. The template was then used to cut out the board – my friend did an amazing job!! Then it was back to me for painting, which I started today by covering the whole board in yellow ochre in acrylics to help seal the board. I then painted the first underpainting using a tonal technique similar to the Verdaccio techneque I’ve been learning.

I’ve taken pictures of these first steps and I’m planning to take more at each completed step. Oh, and the cut out is temporarily mounted on to a board to allow me to clamp it on to my easel (I’ll remove this once finished). Can you tell what it is yet?


How about now?


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Copying an old master

To continue learning the verdaccio technique I’m copying a second old master’s painting. This time round I’ve chosen a Caravaggio, Saint Catherine, you can read about it (and see an image of the orignal painting) here on Wiki.

If you remember from my last post, with the verdaccio technique you start with an underpainting in gesso and ink. I’ve just finished this layer, and I thought that this time round I’d document each layer so you can see the painting develop until I’ve finished it.


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Old masters

It’s been a while since I last updated my art blog and you may be wondering why. Well I’ve been back at school learning a new technique (well old technique) called verdaccio. The best way to learn a technique is often to copy an existing painting, so I chose a still life to copy by a Dutch Old Master (Willen Claeszoon Heda).

Still life, retake on an old master[Click thumbnail for a larger image]

Its quite a time consuming process, which starts by doing an initial underpating in gesso and ink. A further tonal underpainting in oils (grey/green) goes on top. After the two layers of underpainting, the colours are put on in a series of translucent glazes. The key to using this technique is to get the underpainting really accurate. As you might imagine I went through a range of emotions with this painting – sometimes I loved it and other times I really detested it! However, once I got onto the colour layers I really started to enjoy the verdaccio technique and the depth you can create using the colour layers.

Anyway, have a look and see how you think I did with this technique. I’ve also started a second painting in a bit to try and master verdaccio. This time I’m copying a Caravaggio, his painting of St Catherine to be precise. I love the drama of light and dark that Caravaggio uses to realise his figures, even if the subject matter isn’t entirely my cup of tea. That said, I think its going to be fun to see how close I can get. Also if I remember, I’ll be taking a photo at each step so you can see how the technique is developed.


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Pukeko and chick

A while a go I did a painting of one of my favourite NZ birds, the pukeko, with a chick for a friend of mine as a new baby present. The painting had been on this site for sometime when the lovely people at Wildside Gifts spotted it and asked if they could use the image on one of their sponge bags. I thought this was a great idea and happily said yes.

This is the pukeko and chick painting

Pukeko and chick [Click thumbnail for larger image]

After some discussion and a lot of work by Wildside a sponge bag, cosmetics bag and a coin purse were made and they even sent me some free samples! Have a look and see what you think.

pukeko and chick bags[Click thumbnail for larger image]

pukeko and chick bags [Click thumbnail for larger image]

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Finished portrait and earthquakes

I’ve been working on a portrait of a collegue of mine who died from cancer last year. It’s been a hard project as it brings back so many memories of my friend and because of earthquakes!

The painting is going to hang in the meeting/tea room at work as the room is named after her. A copy of the painting is going to her family – so no pressure, right?! Just before the lastest 6.3 (under the house – grrr) I’ve finished all the underpainting and I’m due to start putting coloured glazing layers on, when….you guessed it….an earthquake (the 6.3) throughs it off the easel and the studio lamp goes straight through the canvas. I nearly cried!

Once I’d got power and water back on at home, cleared up the rubble and picked things back up, I patched the canvas. Here’s a picture of what it looked like patched.

Here’s a picture of the back

And here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for….here’s the finished picture:


(click for full a larger image)

Turned out ok in the end :).

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