During my time at art college in Chester & Sheffield in the late 1980’s I supplemented my student grant by doing large scale pavement drawings in pastels, chalk & charcoal. A subsequent career in art & illustration followed involving the creation & publication of numerous greetings cards & limited edition prints for large companies.
More recently I have enjoyed returning to pastels & charcoal with my depiction of everyday subjects in a realist style. I love the hands-on creative process involved & the vibrant colours & various mark-making techniques I can use from broad sweeps of colour to the tiniest of details. Although my primary aim is to paint a realistic picture I also like how, on closer inspection, some techniques I use such as cross hatching & underlying brushstrokes are revealed to the viewer. With simple compositions & a limited colour palette I try to give
emphasis to the textures & fine details which help give the impression of reality.
I work mainly in soft pastels & pastel pencils as well as charcoal.
My pastel technique involves painting onto a ready-made lightly textured paper or onto a wooden panel with a brushed on textured ground. Having taken many photographs of the subject & settled on a composition I sketch the basic outline & important details onto the board. Then, using the soft pastels, I block in the larger areas & gradually work towards the finer details with the pastel pencils. I use my fingers for blending as well as the outside of my palm for large flat areas & a paper stump for the small details. The pastel pencils
are especially good for highlights & when I need a crisp edge.
When drawing in charcoal I use compressed charcoal for the darkest areas, charcoal sticks & pencils for the mid tones & simply the white of the board for the white areas & highlights. As with the pastels, I use my fingers & paper stump for blending but also use a putty rubber for lifting off lighter areas & a scalpel blade for sharp edges & subtle texture.
Foundation in Art & Design, Chester School of Art, 1984-1985
Industrial Design BA (hons), Sheffield Art College, 1985-1988
Freelance Artist & Illustrator, 1988-1992
Artist & Illustrator, Hallmark Cards, 1992-2003
Freelance Artist & Illustrator, 2003-present day, including work for:
De Montfort Fine Art Publishers, 2005-2012
Card Factory, 2010-present day
Collier & Dobson Fine Art Publishers, 2014-15
Picture House gallery, Harrogate 2005
De Montfort Fine Art: Various galleries 2005 to 2012
Blue Tree Gallery, York 2013
Collier & Dobson Gallery, Fordingbridge 2015
Pastel Society Exhibition 2018, Mall Galleries London
Pastel Society Exhibition 2019, Mall Galleries London
Pastel Society Exhibition 2020, Mall Galleries London
Drawing from the Heart, The Gallery, Holt 2020
Pastel Society Exhibition 2021, Mall Galleries London
Fusion, The Gallery, Holt 2021
West Design-Faber Castell Award, Pastel Society Exhibition, Mall Galleries London 2018
Visitors’ Choice Award, Pastel Society Exhibition, Mall Galleries London 2018
Visitors’ Choice Award, Pastel Society Exhibition, Mall Galleries London 2019
The Pastel Society UK