New Masters Academy DLDS #20

As well as the always-reliable Croquis Cafe videos on Vimeo, there’s some excellent life drawing videos on YouTube courtesy of New Masters Academy. Earlier this week I had a couple of drawing sessions working from this video, and the above drawings are the result. The first 3 images were all generally time-limited, while the fourth was a paused-video effort and took at least an hour. All drawn using vine charcoal, I think they turned out okay, especially the left leg on the long drawing – I wish I’d used that ‘outline’ style on the rest of the piece.

Croquis Cafe #446 – Anderson

These were drawn to time (1, 2 and 5 mins) using condensed charcoal. I rubbed the drawings with a chamois cloth, which meant I had a nicely toned sheet of paper by the time I drew the 5 min pose – those white highlights were made using a putty rubber. You can see the video on Vimeo at

Life drawing sketchbook, mid-October


Things have been rather quiet here lately, simply because life has been rather full-on. I’ve not been able to start the next series of figure paintings, but a few sketches when time and energy has allowed. Here’s the latest couple of pages, working from some of the most recent videos at Croquis Cafe.

Stretch in Ochre (4), 2018

Here we go, the fourth one in four weeks. Really glad I’ve stuck with them – the concept is simple enough to fit into a number of evenings, and it’s resulted in more oil painting over a month than I’ve done in the last 2 years combined. I’m going to take a week or two off before carrying on, give some thought as to whether continue working with this series based around a limited ochre colour palette, or try something else for a bit.


Stretch in Ochre (4), 2018 – oils on canvas board, £60

Back in Black & White, 2018

Here’s a figure drawing from a few weeks ago of a female model, drawn using white pastel pencils on some lovely black paper. Always enjoy working like that, but it can be hard to find a pose that’s lit in such a way to make the most of white-on-black. I think this one, courtesy of this NMA video, fits the bill. It’s now up for sale at the usual place for 50 of your earth pounds.

Back in Black and White, 2018 – pastel pencil on black paper, £50

I think I’ll return to that pose another time in the future in a different medium, since the bright whiteness of the model’s skin against the black background really is striking – white oil paint, perhaps?

August Thoughts (Commission), August 2018

A pretty straightforward commission – do a painting like this one from four years ago


…but with a male model instead. Righto!

First step was to find a pose and model. Since I’m currently lacking in any life drawing sessions, I browsed through the Croquis Cafe Photo Archive until I found some pictures that clicked. Once the client had confirmed which pose they preferred, I got the same kind of paper (textured paper made for acrylic painting) and the same paints – water-mixable oils. The majority of the painting was finished in one evening, with some extra touches the following day after I saw it from a distance and thought “hmmm… hang on.” Now it’s all done and the client is delighted with the result. Hooray!


August Thoughts, 2018 – Oils on canvas paper (SOLD).

It was the first time I’d tried oil painting in the evening for as long as I can remember (ie, since becoming a parent) and I was pleasantly surprised with how it went. As a result I’m now committing myself to more evening painting (when I’m not reading bedtime stories, of course) working from videos like Croquis Cafe and New Masters Academy in the absence of a real model. Stay tuned for more!

Stretch in Ochre (1), 2018

First in a new series of oil paintings I’m going to produce (hopefully on a weekly basis, if reality will let me) based around poses showing various kinds of stretching, working with a limited palette. Such poses are a real pleasure (and challenge) to capture, especially in a painting. It’s one thing to do a sharp, exaggerated gesture drawing in 30 seconds, quite another to maintain a similar vitality in a painting that took a couple of hours to produce. I’m looking forward to seeing how these paintings progress as the weeks go by, but here’s the first – now up for sale.


Stretch in Ochre (1), 2018 – Oils on canvas board, £60.