On graduating from Ravensbourne Art College in the late
nineteen seventies, I worked in Fleet Street drawing portraits
of political figures for the national and international press.
After this, I developed a successful career in advertising,
becoming an art director with several London agencies,
During the nineteen nineties, I started working in traditional
portraiture, having been taught period painting techniques
by Dr David Cranswick, a specialist in old master materials.
Today, my studio is in Sevenoaks Kent, thirty minutes from
central London, where I paint portraits to commission for
a range of clients in the UK and overseas.
Ideally, portrait commissions are painted from life
in the studio. They usually require between four to
six sittings of about two to three hours each.
Allowing for drying time between sittings, a portrait
can typically take about three months to complete.
Where sittings are not an option, portraits can be
painted from suitable photographic reference.
The portraits start with an underpainting that is built up
gradually in layers of glaze. The shadows are deepened and
white is used to develop highlights and delicate halftones.
Colour is applied once the tones have been established.
Underpainting can bring a subtle and nuanced naturalism
to portraiture by permeating transparent colours and
adding pictorial depth.