Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

LICC 2016 winner.jpg

Thrilled with the Honourable Mention received at the 2016 London International Creative Competition for the ‘Homeless of Knysna’ series of portraits I have been painting.

The focus, imparting, that while they are homeless they still have dignity, with their unique stories captured in each composition.
First light found us zooming to Cape Town airport to get a painting to its new owners for their flight to London, before scooting back to the studio.
We stopped at Hermanus to stretch our legs, with a compulsory glass of wine, and have a delicious meal at Origins Restaurant. The ‘Art Walk’, took us past a bunch of the galleries in Hermanus, taking note of what resonated, what was jarring, and what that meant for the studio. As such, the studio has a simpler, cleaner look to the seating area with less clutter.
The Windsor Hotel our stop for the night. One of the older buildings in Hermanus that started life as a sanatorium, it’s unpretentious, with the waves almost visiting the front door. The room in the annex had no view, however we spent very little time there, leaving before daybreak.
What would a road-trip be with chicken pies? Delish in Heidelberg is definitely worth a stop. You can find that magical spot of sun to warm bones in the cool dawn. The service is friendly, attentive and swift, with a touch of humour. The chicken pies are ‘delish’, and the cappuccino great. This while soothing the soul surrounded by vibrant sunflowers and agapanthus flowers. That extra touch of magic! an old man coming down the road on his bicycle. Nattily dressed in black suite, white shirt and red tie, his white fedora the perfect touch. Perfect!
Finished the painting of ‘Life’s a Bitch’. Changing the background to a dark green (Ultramarine blue and Cadmium yellow deep) and a deepening the colour of his hat to a almost red black (Madderdeep and Ultramarine blue). This emphasised the highlights of his face, adding tension to the painting. I used the same dark green for the lines and shadows of his face with a Yellow Ochre and Quinacridone Rose mixture.
Messing About with Paint

London International Creative Competition 2015

Ernest, Honourable Mention Winner at LICC 2015


The composition of my portrait of Ernest wasn’t sitting correctly on the canvas. He felt either overawed by the space around him, or caught in headlight dazzle.

I used the ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ to determine the golden points and cropped the portrait so his eye was centered on one of them. I then tilted the composition by 5 degrees to bring his shoulders onto the diagonal line, and create tension with the space around him.

Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue, mixed for the base grey colour. The ‘Cooler’ colour pushing back the shadow areas. The warmer colours of Magenta and Indian Yellow Deep were used for the shadow area, over painted with Van Dyk Brown and Golden Ocher, to create depth and interest.

Naples Yellow Light and Deep were used for the lighter areas of the face, with pure white for the highlights. A tad risky, and a first for me.