Painting outdoors is challenging. The light changes rapidly, equipment can blow over. You need to be organised to easily set up and clean up and pack up in the event of sudden bad weather. This means you are forced to work quickly. Therein lies a hidden advantage--to work fast is often difficult to achieve in the studio and fast work often exhibits a fascinating and attractive loose arty quality.

So here is a compromise. In this work, I spent a limited time working in the field, then finished it in the studio entirely from imagination. The loose nature of the work was carried forward into the studio, probably this is an after effect of working first at speed on the same painting.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the result.


Paint is expensive but you don't want to limit your creativity by worrying about the cost of materials. People like reasonably sized paintings though and galleries like huge ones. To jot down ideas it is great to use a sketch book and even better to add colour pencils into the mix. But I've found a great way to take it one step further into full colour mini prototypes.

Using high gloss ink jet printer paper in typical photo size, you can apply acrylics neat or as a wash to great affect. It takes the colour well and has a curious ability to permit you to slide the paint and scratch through it at various stages of dryness.

I have has good luck using a toothpick to apply and push paint about.

Since the size is so small, you don't use a lot of paint but it is in full colour and makes a great practice sketch. Use this to find ideas then later make a full size picture.

Update. This small painting sold at the twitter art exhibit in Orlando 2014.

This is a triptych I did in acrylic paints. It only took one session.

If you create art for charity, then I figure you deserve some free promotion. Let me know if you would like to feature on this site. I have a link exchange program and would love to do little interviews. You can tell the world about your art and how you came to be an artist. Show your work, provide links and advertise your charity focus. Find me on twitter @spooks_art

Go to for a decent review of an app for the iPad which lets you create rich text, picture and embedded video content, all animated and narrated as you explain what you see to your audience. It's a nice interface too, with vector drawn rescalable objects that you can individually rotate and zoom. There is a pointer too, in various shapes. Upload and save the video. This is a great app. Don't confuse it with "explain anything" which may even have more features, but crashes and is baffling.

Today, I would like to draw your intention (no pun intended!) to some wonderfully in-the-moment art from a rising star: Check out Rebecca's Artwork and Reviews in the 'Links' section of SpOOk's art. 

Rebecca popped up on twitter one day and I was draw to her raw and powerful images. Take a look!
How much work is it to write a book? To get a clue, take a look at the date of my last post!

I've made over 100 illustrations. ended up with 37,500 words which is about half the length of a typical novel. It took 11 editing sessions. 

In the book you will find tips and tricks possibly not seen elsewhere. There is a comprehensive index and sprinkles of links throughout to help you jump back to the index. With this, you can treat it like a reference book or read it from start to finish.

Please download a copy while it is free. All I ask in return is for you to spread the word. Use Facebook, Pin it, Tweet it, or email the link to a friend. Please use THIS link: (Each person must download their own copy.)

This is a close-up of the eyes from a new portrait. This portrait is posthumous and therefore referenced from a photograph that I took.
To date, 32,000 words and 101 illustrations. Still more to do but it's coming together now. I promise, there will be things in this book that you are unlikely to find anywhere else in print. It will be published as an ebook for Kindle and others via smashwords who will send it off to Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony Reader Store, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store.
This is a link that is worth reading in detail - including the Q&A. It talks about shadows and light and their colours over the human face.
... and made a short video about it. Here it is: Manna in the wild.