Digital Drawing/Painting experiments

a3 copy

Candy Crush A3 digital drawing 2016



Photoshop Cs3/XP on a 're-purposed' laptop base and Philips square screen. Medion tablet.

I have spent the week both preparing new oil painting surfaces and fitting up my home pc/ laptop and studio old laptop to use tablets. I have not done a lot of digital drawing..even Moogee was mostly scanned drawings but am learning.

Mostly I experimenting with lag (home 64 bit ironically slowest) Windows 10 laptop fastest depending on which tablet/pen I mix up. The nearest to a true drawing experience ironically seems to be laptop and CS3 maybe because of inherent latency in other versions.

I also tried printing out both A4 and A3 images scaled down just to see how looked which interesting. I think if printed on high quality printer at A3 with decent paper could be equivalent of prints.

As for subject matter like paintings I re-investigating notion of code or residual mark-making based on landscape. Filtered through an Arshile Gorky/Paul Klee lens so to speak. I presently reading ( have been reading for two years!) a biography of Gorky (see below). It a little romanticised but does give a good account of his migrant status and position in American society..hence the name change and pretense of being Maxim Gorky’s nephew.

Here three test images . First is a very basic drawn image. Second a stage pre-layers in photoshop and finally the completed image.


I was taken with the way Dan Perfect used digital ‘pre-drawing’ in his joint show with partner Fiona Rae at The Castle (above an image of his) and it somehow combined with my reading about Gorky.



New Oil Paintings – 23 Years On


So after 23 years I open a can of oil paint and start painting. First thought is why did it take so long. Is far nicer to work with than acrylic and whereas I appreciate the quick-drying facility that allows rapid over-painting there something too dry about acrylic.

Early days but have started over-painting a couple of series from last year that failed to convince me or the public. Most interesting thing is I started to work in references to previous drawing research and cartooning in a roundabout way.

Here the drawing from Nottingham Open two years ago it links directly to painting above.


I also connecting that with my early 1980’s decorative and aboriginal art influenced work. I do not feel the pressure of the career break any more and actually feel like this could be a career for possibly the first time ever. I have never been a part-time painter and I shall give it a good go for the next year and see what happens.




Pattern and Decoration 1975-1985

New French Painting especially Figuration Libre was also an influence


crossed over with NY Grafitti art…..Haring and Basquait etc….

Old Paint Never Dies – Moon Over The Downs 1993


‘Moon Over The Downs’ oil on canvas 5′ x 5′ un-stretched canvas. 1993

In January 1993 things were pretty much as usual. I was still officially unemployed.

I received a ‘commission’ from my friend Pete Astor who was at that time living in Walthamstow with Sukie Smith. This was £150 for materials to paint a large canvas for their living room. It was a great boost after a bad year and I soon spent the money on oil paints and painted out my dad’s unused garage as a studio which was quite good.

The paintings below came from that brief period before I moved to London to be with Ana Fortun who I met on 3rd March 1993 at a friend’s birthday party. I gave the large barn canvas above to Ana when we parted 7 years later but do not have an image of Pete’s canvas sadly and I am not sure if it survived.

The rest of the paintings were ‘saved’ by Laura Stenhouse, an artist friend, who a year later picked them up to stop them getting damaged in the garage when I moved to Edinburgh. I know the Kew Gardens canvas went to Laura who sadly passed away a few years back.  Her husband Bob Lindsay-Smith still has this painting I believe.


Kew Gardens 0il on canvas 24” x 36”

And this from same batch but painted over.. all dated January- March 1993


Red Barn oil on canvas 24″ x 24″ 1993

Old Spectrum Paint – 20 years in a shed…


Old paint never dies….

In 1993 I was back home in Didcot, Oxfordshire and a musician friend Pete Astor who I had done record covers for commissioned a wall hanging.

He gave me a £100 and I said I would put in to materials…it was a friend’s gesture of support as I was on the dole at the time.

I bought the paint tins from Atlantis in London. I painted the canvas for him then…

I met a Spanish lady and we ran off to Edinburgh and the paints were placed in a suitcase in my father’s shed.

In 2013 I was clearing the shed following my parent’s deaths and the sale of their house.

I took the suitcase and this week opened them again for first time worried they would be dried out as had rusted over the years.

As can be seen from the photos the paint is still in perfect condition….I start painting in oil again next week…I been using acrylic for last few years….

Linseed oil smells great 🙂

Like me Spectrum is still going…