Saturday, 22 June 2013

My comedy novel is on Amazon

It's been a great month so far.  BLISTER my comedy novel has finally been published and is available to buy on Amazon and to download as an ebook for your kindle device or app, again from Amazon.

It has lots of action and humour in the story.  It is a dark comedy, (two murders) but plenty of laughs along the way.  Downloading the book is just a click away.  Please have a look and see if you like it.
Here is the direct link.  Click on the word BLISTER to take you direct to the Kindle section. BLISTER  Enjoy!
I have also been doing some loose watercolours recently.  My local art club is having an exhibition at the beginning of August.  These two paintings just might be in contention as submissions.
The guitarist


Thursday, 23 May 2013

My month of May, so far . . .

Hi there.  Three very different pictures here that sum up my month of May so far, and there is still quite a bit left to go!  The first picture, the silhouette double profile cut, is of  my good friend Cameron Reid and his girlfriend, Annette.  Cameron has just opened a new art store at the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow.  It is aptly named, 'ART'.  I went along to the opening party to help welcoming the guests by offering to cut their silhouettes.  It was a very busy and enjoyable evening.  Good luck to Cameron and Annette.  I am sure the store will grow from strength to strength.
The second picture is a watercolour portrait that I did of my granddaughter, Niamh.  She celebrated her 1st Holy Communion this month.  A fantastic landmark.  Painting this watercolour of Niamh rolled back the years to when I did an oil painting of her mother for her special day.
The last painting is a watercolour that I have completed this very day.  Just keeping my hand in and producing as many portrait and figure work watercolours as possible right now.
I don't allow myself to get 'rusty'.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Serious Cartoons

I have been asked to produce a couple of cartoons recently that required to be humorous but at the same time, carry a serious message.  The above pictures are the results.  It was a good opportunity to combine my love of drawing with my desire to be comically creative.

I do hope that the serious message gets across though.  If that happens I will be very pleased indeed.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Willie Young

I would like to dedicate this blog post to a friend of mine who retired from work last week after many years of good service in the nuclear power industry.  Willie Young has been a fantastic leader and a very popular guy.
We all went along to his retirement party last week and I am glad to say that I managed to capture his whole shift in this caricature, which was presented to him.
It is at times like this that I am thankful that I can supply these little presents to people.  I suppose I am guilty of taking things just a little bit for granted.  I know that I would love this kind of presentation to me when I retire.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Black & White or colour?

So, tell me . . . Now that I have done a coloured version of the wise old man, which do you prefer?   Personally, I can't make my mind up.  

Sorry - this is a short blog.  I am currently working on a new project that involves coloured card and paper.  I will post the results here if they are worth looking at.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Silhouettes, Magic and Celtic

Well, 3D day at Celtic Park came and went and not much chalk was used.  I did turn up though and tried my best to beat the elements, but it just wasn't to be!  The rain fell from the heavens relentlessly and after ten minutes the weather finally won the contest.
I shall return though and raise some much needed cash for those starving souls in Africa.  I shall keep you posted.

By a strange coincidence, I was asked along to a Celtic dinner at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews later that same week.  I got the chance to meet and chat with some of the hospitality people whom I have come to know.  I also met past legends, George McCluskey and Dixie Deans.  They enjoyed having their silhouette cut.

It was a very enjoyable night.  
Talking of enjoyable nights, I enjoyed an evening of nostalgia earlier in the month when my old friends from the Scottish Conjurer's Association asked me along to their new home in Glasgow's west end to deliver a lecture on the art of silhouette cutting.  It was great to see all the old faces, and some new ones too.  It has been ten years since I was a member of this establishment.  They were all very receptive to the demonstration and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the night.
I was presented with a honorary year's membership, a club tie, a poem written especially for me and a large bag full of balloon creations that my granddaughter loved.  A massive thanks to all those 
talented magicians at the

On stage at the Scottish Conjurer's Association.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


It is snowing outside right now, (Sunday) but the weather forecast for next weekend in Glasgow is for it to be dry all day.  Hard to believe, and they have got it all wrong before.

Anyway, Saturday is 3DDDay for me.  Confused?  That is the day that I have arranged with Celtic Football Club to do a 3D chalk painting outside the stadium prior to their home match against Aberdeen.  The picture above is a simulation of what I am hoping the final picture will look like.

If you know anything about 3D art work, you will understand that there is an awful lot of forced perspective going on.  For instance, this figure of Jimmy Johnstone will appear life size, but in actual fact his legs alone will be twelve feet long.  The perspective then changes as the figure is continued up the concrete pillar and the raised arm is yet another plane, as it is at right angles to the upper body.

Even I am starting to get confused here!  But if everything works out OK, the figure of Jimmy Johnstone, when viewed from a distance of ten feet, should be life size.  I will then be inviting fans to stand level with Jimmy's feet for a photograph (with their own phone). If all works out well, they should be the same size as the drawn figure.

It is all being done for Celtic's charity to help the needy in Africa.  Celtic charity reps will be there with donation buckets, so if you are passing Celtic Park on Saturday,  say hello and drop some change in the bucket.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Renioresque watercolour

I saw a photograph on and was immediately taken with it.  Although the photograph was fairly recent, it had that old fashioned look about it.  This was just asking to be painted, so I did a watercolour of it tonight.
I am not one for painting flowers, in fact I am not very good at it, but my hope is that the little girl will attract the attention more.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Wise old man

Don't really know why I called this drawing 'Wise old man'.   He certainly looks thoughtful, but what could he be thinking  about?

I am not really sure where the original drawing is at the moment.  I found this image on a website that I used to visit regularly.  This was part of a drawing challenge.  

Looking at the date, I couldn't believe that I had done this in 2011.

Where has all the time gone?

Strike thoughtful pose . . . 

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Red Pen.

This loose watercolour figure painting is typical of the type of work that I have been doing recently.  It is similar to another painting on here called, 'Reflection', whereby the subject is busy writing on a piece of paper.  
In this version the person is turned around more towards the viewer.  His head leans forward, which presents interesting foreshortening challenges.  With not much to look at in the way of features,  the focal point moves towards his hands.  This was the real attraction to me.  I am a big fan of drawing and painting hands.
The skin tones on view on the hands, arms and face have a subtle mixture of warm and cool tones sitting adjacent to each other.  The blue shirt and grey hair give an overall cool cast to the figure.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wrong pastels.

This a really old effort from me.   I bought a set of pastels years ago, thinking that they were the soft kind.  Turns out that it was oil pastels.    I had a pad with various shades of pastel paper for working on.  I blindly did a few pictures.  Had no idea what I was doing really!  I was studying some Rembrandt work at the time, so I had a go at copying one of his oil paintings.  The resulting creation, although the head is too large, ended up looking rather like the original.  I didn't have a black  crayon in the box, so I used a . . . wait  for it . . . An eyebrow pencil.  

Funny how things work out.  

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Loose ink Elvis

It is good to get back to painting for myself,  after a long period of commissions over the Christmas period.
I was looking through some old You Tube videos of a young Elvis Presley in action.  I knew the exact pose I wanted and I also could visualise how it was going to look.  I wanted lots of movement and energy in the painting, so I opted for Indian ink and my trusty painting tool, the plastic fork with one tine.
Using the fork as a painting tool allows me to be very sketchy and loose.  I added two  shades of blue watercolour for his denims and a little red and yellow ochre for the skin tones.  The whole painting took around three minutes to complete.  Freeze framing the video gave me the exact pose that I was looking for.  Perfectly balanced, he wound up to a big finish for his song.
The film was Called Loving You.  His second movie.  Hope you like my interpretation.

Monday, 4 February 2013

My first 3D pavement drawing.

It has been a while since my last blog.  It has been a busy time for me over the festive period.  In my last blog I mentioned 3D drawings and my involvement in that area.  I am pleased to say that I have been invited to Celtic Park, Glasgow tomorrow to discuss a large 3D pavement drawing on the ground outside the stadium.  I would be creating it on a match day, so as to attract maximum attention.  Proceeds will be going to Celtic's charity.
I will be listing the exact charities that will benefit from this in a later blog, along with pictures from the day.  Looking at possibly April sometime.

Here is the prep drawing that I have been working on.  you will notice that it is seriously out of proportion.  This is necessary in order to get the 3D effect when viewed from a certain angle.

The finished chalk drawing will be at least twice this size, which will make it around 18 feet long and 3 feet wide.