Tag Archives: self portrait

The Very Slow Selfie

2 May

I carried on with this self portrait I started AGES ago, a very slow selfie. I’m trying to develop my own way of working, rather than copy another artist’s style, which is what I’ve been doing over the past year with Ed Sumner’s Cheese and Wine Painting Club over on Facebook. I’m trying out different types of brush strokes and different approaches to colour as well. One thing I’ve learnt from the Painting Club is not to be afraid of paint, to try things out because you can always paint over it. Still a ways to go though. Who knows, I might never finish it, maybe I’ll keep on experimenting! I’m using Liquitex acrylic paint onto stretched and primed canvas.

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left and to see the complete image.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

Working With Wood

19 Jun

selfie wood

I recently did a woodcut selfie. I showed the print that I took a couple of days ago, and here now is the woodblock. I often like the blocks more than the prints, especially if they’re on a nice grained wood. I sometimes don’t want to ink up a woodblock because I think it would spoil the image.

nude wood

I’ve been working on this nude for a while now, but I don’t really want to finish it and print it up because I really like the way it looks. Maybe I’ll finish cutting it and leave it unprinted, as a unique piece.

Gazing Darkly

17 Jun

Rose woodcut

Today I printed up the woodcut I carved out earlier in the week. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink mixed 50:50 with Extender and took the print by hand on Hosho paper using a Japanese Baren. This self-portrait was inspired by the late, great Käthe Kollwitz, an artist who produced loads of self-portraits during her long career. That’s a very dark gaze I’ve got going on there!


process 2


bamboo baren

A Japanese bamboo baren


A Wooden Selfie

10 Jun

process 1

I started a selfie today, a self portrait woodcut, using a piece of plywood. I transferred my drawing onto the wood and commenced hacking away with my Flexcut tools, they’re pretty good but plywood is quite tough and takes some effort.

I did a rubbing, with tracing paper and a graphite block, as I cut, to keep tabs on how it was progressing. Tomorrow I’ll do a first proof print to see exactly what’s going on and then finish the cutting, if necessary.



Self Portrait With A Male Nude

5 Mar


This is one of my artworks in the new exhibition in Swansea’s Cinema & Co, I drew it the other evening at life drawing in Swansea Print Workshop using conté crayons, black, white and sanguine, onto brown wrapping paper. The exhibition opens on Wednesday March 8th, International Women’s Day and continues throughout the month. Cinema & Co has organised a great programme of films and events for the month, which coincides with International Month of Women’s History and is showing the film Frida (Kahlo) immediately after the opening of the exhibition – click here to find out more and / or book tickets.


The celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) has been around for over a hundred years. Its roots were in the campaign to win votes for women and it was ratified by the United Nations in 1977 as a day for women’s equality and world peace.


I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Immense Character

15 Feb

I’ve come to the last of my Baby Boomer drawings for a little while as The SPace, where I have been doing these drawings since November, has now closed at the end of its temporary lease. I need to find a new place to continue the drawings over the next few months. This Baby Boomer has a face of immense character. One of the things I really appreciate about doing these drawings of my generation is seeing a lifetime reflected in these faces, so many stories, so much experience leaving their mark.

I have done 42 drawings so far into my sketchbooks and I have 58 to go to reach my target of 100. Several of my models have suggested that number 100 should be a self portrait, so I guess that’s a good idea. I hate drawing myself though because I frown so much when I’m concentrating, I look really cross.







A Humongous Proof

11 Oct


Today was day 2 of a Masterclass with woodcut artist John Abell at Swansea Print Workshop and I carried on cutting the humongous piece of MDF I started yesterday. I used compressed charcoal to darken the surface while I cut with my Flexcut tools. Finally, I reached the point where I wanted to get an idea of what it would look like printed up – you can always cut more away but you can never replace it once it’s gone. So I printed a proof print. This is a first pull, to see what you’ve done and decide whether it’s just right or needs more work.


I used a 50:50 mix of Daler Rowney Georgian Lamp Black oil paint with their Block Printing Medium, very soft, much softer than the relief printing ink I normally use. I rolled the ink over the wood, but it was very absorbent and used up far more than I am used to. I used Fabriano Accademica paper from a roll which was a bit awkward to handle at that size. I used a wooden spoon and a Japanese baren, rubbing hard over the back of the paper to take the print.


I have mixed feelings about it. I like the bits where I used a larger cutting tool in bold strokes, towards the top, but where I tried smaller tools to get a softer, more nuanced effect, it didn’t work at all and I need to get back into it, cutting much more boldly. I think I’ll also put in some lettering. But I’ll leave it a few days to dry out a bit so I’m not cutting through sticky goo.

Self Portrait? I Don’t Think So!

5 Sep

Ink drawing: self portrait.


I admire professional artists’ models because they put up with a level of scrutiny that would terrify most people and that includes me. I rarely do a self-portrait because when I look into a mirror I see what I want to see, someone younger and thinner! Subjecting myself to the same level of objective scrutiny that I inflict on models is hard going. You can’t avoid seeing the wrinkles and flab and you have to confront all the bits you’ve always avoided looking at too closely.

In my case it’s the lopsided mouth that reminds me of my Mam; the huge nostrils that got me the nickname ‘Mersey Tunnels’ in school; the big fat apple cheeks that old people used to pinch when I was tiny – what is it with old people and cheeks? I’ve started doing it to kids now! And my pointy eyebrows. I hate them. They’d get me into a Star Trek film as a Vulcan.

Here’s one I did a few months ago in Faber Castell Pitt pen onto Bockingford paper. I left most of my wrinkles off. Artistic licence see  😉

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