Thursday, 8 December 2016

"How to Oil Paint a Cockatoo" iBook

Check out my newly published ibook "How to Oil Paint a Cockatoo".  There are over 100 beautiful photos with corresponding advice, tips and techniques used to explain how we painted this. 

The Australian Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is a mischievous, very noisy and at the same time lovable bird.  Sadly, my Freddy died last year so I will be keeping this painting in her memory.  I aim to do more paintings of these birds as it was such fun.

This book is aimed at those who can paint, but written so that a beginner could enjoy too.  You can find it in your iTunes store or click on the link in my blog.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Let's Get Rid of the White Canvas

Pick out your darkest tones and paint these in with a "turpsy" wash.  Lighten the mix as you go, leaving white areas for the whites, until the canvas is covered.  This will help with building up the shadows and highlights with a finer brush later.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Paint the Eyes First

I like to paint in the eyes of an animal early into the painting, so that you can start to relate to the subject straight away.  Then it's usually nose and mouth next.  These parts have to be pretty accurate if you are doing someone's pet, otherwise it could look like any other dog.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Painting an Interesting Background that is Soft and Out-of-Focus

I have made the green foliage of the background very soft by brushing over it with a very soft, dry flat brush.  You'll notice that there are still strong darks and highlights there.  You can always brush in more darks and highlights if there is not enough contrast (as long as it is out-of-focus).

I've started to bring in a bit of interest with a middle foreground of frangipanis.  These have a little more structure, yet I have brushed them in so that they do not compete with the focal point and star of the painting - Sophie!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


This little girl is an abandoned puppy rescued by my friend.  She has crazy hair that will be a challenge.  Anyway, background first, nice and soft. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

"Playing in the Mud"

My finished painting of the young rhinos at Australia Zoo.  I would love to paint some more but I have so many other paintings to do that I'm afraid they will have to wait.  What beautiful, awesome animals! 

Friday, 16 September 2016

"Perfection is in the Detail"

Or so they say.  I was just thinking that when I started these rhino's, I thought there wasn't too much detail in the skin, but having to do every millimetre of their bodies with a fine brush, I've changed my mind.  The more detail you can provide, the more realistic the painting (if that's what you're after of course).