Check out my YouTube channel at

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Babbs Mill III, Kingshurst 12"x10" Oil on Canvas Board

Here I was stood on the eastern side of Babbs Mill Lake looking across to the west. 
The island here in the middle is a wonderful sanctuary for the hundreds of birds that live around the lake.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Babbs Mill Lake II, Kingshurst 12" x 9" Oil on Canvas

This painting is from the south-eastern corner of Babbs Mill Lake in Kingshurst, Birmingham just before you reach the football fields.
It was an overcast day and had just finished raining as I reached this point.  I've tried to liven it up a little more with a bit of blue in the sky and water.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Babbs Mill Lake, Kingshurst 12" x 9" Oil on Canvas

I recently walked along the River Cole from Stechford to Chelmsley Wood searching for painting subjects.  As I reached my old domain, Kingshurst, I saw this view for the first time in about 25 years.  As the memories began to flood back I suddenly realized I was surrounded by potential painting subjects right here on my doorstep.
I'm very grateful to Keith Tilley for encouraging me to find local scenes to paint.

World War I Automata Week 3

What a miserable week it's been with the weather.  Overcast and constant drizzle hasn't offered much opportunity to get out and about this week.  I'm hoping the weekend will bring a little more sun.

The automata is slowly beginning to take shape with the gunner taking his place on stage.  My dad's finally managed to suss out how to get the ammo belt revolving constantly through the gun, so it should look good.

Hoping to get a little more painting done today - I've been slacking a bit the last few days.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

'Cafe de Flore, Paris' 12" x 9" Oil on Canvas

Saw a photo of this place on the web and felt I had to have a go at it.  I wish I could have got some more contrast between the 3 sides of the building.

Monday, 12 October 2009

River Cole, Kingshurst 12" x 9" Oil Painting on Canvas

I must have walked or rode my bike a million times past this part of the River Cole when I was a kid. This bend in the river is just before you get to Cooks Lane heading towards Chelmsley Wood.

I can't wait until the snow starts to fall so I can paint this again as a winter scene. There are some lovely little river bends along here and towards Babbs Mill lake.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

'Corporation Street, Birmingham' 12" x 9" Oil on Canvas

I thought I'd try something closer to home and in a completely different style to what I'm used to.  To be honest, I'm not quite sure what to make of it.  It's the first time I've tried oil painting with just a palette knife.  The only brush I used was a rigger for the two figures.
I quite like this style but I think a little more practice is the order of the day.  I'd like to try another like this.  I'm waiting for the next really sunny day so I can try and catch some strong light and shadow in the city centre.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

World War I Automata - Week 2

Another week on and all the cogs and things are beginning to take shape. It all looks a bit complicated at the moment but will start to make sense once some of the other bits and pieces are fitted.

I'm told the big wheel is for the flying fighter planes. As for the rest of it, I'm as clueless as everyone else!

Monday, 5 October 2009

'River Cole, Coleshill' 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

This is a loose impression of the River Cole that flows through East Birmingham and out to Coleshill.  I've a lot of childhood memories of various locations along this river.
Recently the council have opened the Kingfisher Country Park that basically allows anyone to walk alongside the River Cole for its entire length.  The plucky volunteers help rid the river of shopping trolleys and other unfortunate items that end up partly submerged in its flow.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

'River Wye in Winter' 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

I've used just the 3 colours again here - Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber in this watercolour.  Painted from Ron Ranson's original, I love the way he simplifies everything and uses the fewest strokes possible.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

'Long Walk Home' 12' x 9' oil on canvas

This was based on an old black and white painting I saw in a book.  I've tried to keep the colours as subtle as possible, again using just Raw Sienna, Vandyke Brown and Phthalo Blue.
The scene reminds me of somewhere around Coleshill, about 15 minutes drive from where I live.  It's inspired me to drive up there and see what compositions I can find.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Kirkcubright Wood Mill in Oil

I love the moody look you can sometimes get with a limited palette.  I only used three colours for this painting - Raw Sienna, Vandyke Brown and Phthalo Blue.  I think there's a little more atmosphere in this one than in some of the previous.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

New World War I Wooden Automata Project

This is the beginning of my dad's new wooden automata project. This time the theme will be World War I with soldiers, machine guns, fighter planes and anything else he dreams up.

His aim is to have it finished by Christmas though don't hold your breath as these machines require infinite patience. The gears, cogs and levers are all designed and made to fit as the build develops.

To get a flavour of what these automata machines are about you can watch his previous creation 'Cowboy Serenade' at

I'm going to post a photo each week to see how the thing grows. When it's finished I'll post a video on here to show it in all its glory!

Total Pageviews