Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm sat watching the annual Jools Holland Hootenany, and just thought I'd stop to wish you all a Happy New Year and that 2014 brings you all you hope for. 

Thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year, it's something I really appreciate. 

It's a privilege to paint for people, you've helped me stay well this year as well as raise money for Oxfam. I will be opening up my painting list again at the end of January/ beginning of February, so watch out if you're interested in commissioning something from me.


Even more of Samsara done

Once I had the background blocked out, I started on the foreground. I wanted to make the floor tiled and the rug as strong a blue as I could. This particular paint is a bit translucent, so I had to build the colour up in stages:

Here's a closer look at the background through the windows:

Saturday 28 December 2013

Samsara update 3

Here's a bit more of the background of painting done. You can see that I've sketched in the characters already and have done the blocking in of the background without any detail yet:

Here's the whole image:

A close-up of the right:

A close-up of the left:

Samsara background started

Once we'd agreed on the background and characters, I started painting.

Here's the rough painted sketch I sent my commissioner first, showing the background we'd agreed on and the placing of the characters - the Nawab, the Chai shop server and the Dreamer:

Once he confirmed he was happy with the image, I started the final version on canvas - the previous images had all been drawn and painted on paper, which has a very different absorption rate to canvas. Paint stays easy to manipulate on canvas as compared to on paper for much longer!

Here's a close-up of the view through the windows:

Friday 27 December 2013

Samsara step 2

Here's what I did next; I did a few sketches on paper with some quick washes of colour to see if I had the right ideas for the painting:

This one was one idea for a room, with one character in place:

This one was a pencil sketch of an archway:

This one of a potential character:

And another:

And one more:

I did a couple more, then had a discussion with the person who commissioned the painting to decide the way forward. We agreed a final image, and I started on the background.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Secret painting number 1!

At last, I can post about a couple of paintings I've been doing over the last 2 months - both were Christmas presents, so I couldn't post about them just in case the giftee saw!

The first one is from a lovely Storynexus game called Samsara, Samsara is created by Meg Jayanth, and her partner commissioned me to paint something from it. As it is a text based game, I had to imagine it completely.

The game is an interactive story set in 18th Century Bengal,and features walking in dreams.

The game tells you: 

"Samsara India, 1757. 

You have won a grand position in the Nawab of Bengal's court because of your rare and powerful talent: you can walk in dreams. But your Kingdom is threatened on all sides. 

The warlike Afghans grow restless to the North. The ambitious Maratha Empire looms from the West. And the British and French East India Companies grow more powerful, poised on the brink of a war which could engulf the subcontinent. 

You are perfectly placed to tip the balance of power. Explore the glittering courts and trade towns of Bengal by day and slip into the treacherous, delirious dreaming by night.

Find the rest of the story at: http://samsara.storynexus.com/s"

You play a Hindu sorcerer called a sa-ilu - someone who can walk in dreams. They serve the local Nawaab so they are generally very richly dressed and are a magician-spy. As the player, you get to travel around and investigate what's going on, and can enter people's dreams.

I was fortunate to find a set of C19th illustrations of a collection of Bengal folk tales, by Warwick Goble and used them as my inspiration. 

Here's where I ended up. I did a series of trial sketches in different styles, with different characters until my commissioner was happy with the overall feel. It was interesting working like this - he made some really good suggestions to enhance what I was painting, and the painting changed several times. We agreed I'd paint the Nawaab  being served a drink by a woman , with the Sa-ilu watching from the side. To make it feel more dream-like, I drew a night sky in one part of the picture, and daylight in another. This is what I ended up painting:

Pencil outline:

Close-up left:

Close-up right:

Thursday 12 December 2013

Journey is finished

I've finished another Journey painting - its now in the post, heading out to its new owner.

I think this is one of my favourite pictures to paint - its such a lovely image, as well as being a wonderful game.

Here it is:

 The whole thing:

Right hand side:

Left hand side:

Next, I'm finishing one of my secret commissions - I'll be able to post about that over Christmas.

Monday 2 December 2013

More of Journey done

I've had a day off work, and have painted. I can only show a little of what I've been painting, as one of the paintings I've been working on is still a secret, another is for my Secret Santee, and then Journey.

I will have lots to post about at Christmas, though!

Here's where I'm up to with Journey:

I need to re-work the sand dune on the right, as its too dark, and the sky needs a little work on it as well, but I'm happy with it so far!

Saturday 23 November 2013

Journey update

I really enjoy this game, and painting it as well. I think this is the fourth image I've painted from it. I've spent this morning painting, both on this and another secret commission I'm doing - I'll post about that one after Christmas.

Here's where I'm up to on Journey:

I'll be doing some more tomorrow.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Time flies!

I have no idea where the time goes - I've been busy going to gigs and writing for www.new-reviews.co.uk about the gigs I've been to, as well as interviewing a couple of musicians. Its great fun, but it sure does get in the way of painting - every interview I do takes hours to transcribe afterwards!

Anyway, I'm currently doing a secret commission that I can't talk about - but it is based on a game someone has made; and another Journey. 

I can post pictures of Journey, but not the other one. I love this game, love the artwork, the concept, the music, everything really!

Here's the pencil outline:

I know it is a bit hard to see, but if I draw on the canvas too firmly the lines are still visible after I've painted it, as the colours are fairly pale. I'm hoping to start painting it this week, juggling it with the other commission.

I've not heard back from Nathan, who was next on my list, so as soon as I've finished these two paintings, I'll be contacting the next person.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Children's name drawings

I've just become great auntie to twins - a girl and a boy - my youngest niece gave birth on Thursday last week. I had no idea what to buy as a present for them - I went baby clothes shopping, but everything was pale blue or pale pink, and I a) don't like those colours in clothing, b) haven't met them yet so I don't know what would suit them and c) what if I bought them something their parents didn't like?

In the end, I decided to go with what I know and drew their names on some watercolour paper, coloured them in, then framed them. Here they are:

They were really easy to do, only took a short while, and so I'm also doing another for a fundraising page on FaceBook, called A Mile Of Rainbows - parents raising money to fund their daughter's physiotherapy - she has cerebral palsy. They are holding a fundraiser tonight at 8:00 pm UK time, and I've offered to draw a child's name as a prize. Check it out on FB!

Friday 18 October 2013

Secret commission step 6

I brought the painting to The Olde Rectory and discovered I'd missed the weather vane from the top of the church tower! Thankfully, I had brought paints with me, for my pretend-sketching on the Saturday afternoon, so I could fix it.

We arrived about 4:30 pm on the Friday and set about decorating the buildings and trees with bunting, fairy lights and candles, and spent Friday evening in Gooch Hall sharing cheese and wine.

I spent Saturday afternoon drawing the entrance to the main building, repeatedly 'getting it wrong', rubbing it out and starting again. My BFF was convinced by my efforts, and seemed fairly happy with how the sketch was progressing. I may well keep it and paint it anyway, as part of my Doorways to the World series.

I had noticed there was a sign on the wall above the table, but couldn't work out what it said. I'd brought a very fine pen with me, thinking I could ink it in, but it said 'No Parking' so I left it blank!

On the Saturday evening, we had champagne and presents - I hid my wrapped painting in with the other presents. She had the most beautiful presents from people, it was wonderful to see how creative people could be. She liked my painting, and was baffled how I'd managed to to it that afternoon. I explained.

Here's the finished painting:

The whole painting:

The church tower:

The wall:

It was fun painting something not videogame related for a change, but I'm now doing some preliminary sketches for another secret commission, so I'll be posting other stuff for a while.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Secret commission step 5

Next, I did the rest of the trees and the shrubs, and the lichen/grass on the gravel. Its almost done,just the chairs and table left to do!

Monday 14 October 2013

Secret commission step 4

Here's the trees and shrubs started. I started off with the ones the furthest away - the dark conifer to the right of the church tower, then the dark one to the right of the image, then the closer ones.

I decided to do the gravel path next, as some of the greenery spills out onto it. Then I did the lighter, closer trees.

I was worried about it being too dark, as there were going to be three fairly dark conifers in the painting, but I hoped the contrast between them and the much lighter trees and shrubs would work:

Sunday 13 October 2013

Secret commission step 3

Here's the walls started - I had fun with this, as I decided to first do a wash for the pointing, then paint each brick individually. I wasn't going to do that at first, I was just going to paint a few bricks in and leave the rest just terracotta, but they were so beautiful, I couldn't help myself. 

I'm pleased with the wall, here's a close-up of it:

Here's the whole thing so far:

Saturday 12 October 2013

Secret Commission step 2

Once I arrived home, I started drawing the picture out. Having it on my ipad was really useful, as I could zoom in on the image to get the fine detail. The only problem was that I started painting before I took a photo of the pencil outline. Whoops!

Here's the sky and church tower done. I've painted more of the tower than will show on the finished painting as I'll be painting tree branches over it, but wanted bits of the building to show through.

I painted the sky an even blue first, then dry brushed the clouds in place afterwards, so bits of sky could show through them:

Friday 11 October 2013

Secret commission 1

I couldn't post about this at all, but now I can.

Its not a video game painting, but a painting of a place. My BFF was 50 last month, and she took 28 of us away for the weekend to the Olde Rectory in Whitbourne near Worcester.

She didn't want people to buy her a present, but asked for home-made presents. I'd asked her about 6 months ago what she'd like, and she said a painting. Easy enough, but of what?

In June, she said she'd like a painting of where we were going to stay for her birthday, but realised she couldn't have that painting until after we had been. She said she imagined me sitting and sketching on the Saturday afternoon.

Well, on the way home from the Glastonbury Festival, I googled The Olde Rectory, and discovering it could be on the way home, phoned them to arrange to go there to take photos. Sadly, there are more than one place called The Olde Rectory, and as soon as I pulled up, I realised it was the wrong place - it was far too small for 28 people.

The owners were waiting for me outside, so I couldn't just drive away - I took a few photos, thanked them then left. Whoops! Worse, I had my very tired daughter with me, who had just wanted to go home. She's very forgiving, though, and didn't complain.

I fared better on attempt #2, on the way back from London this time with my son. I didn't phone ahead, just in case it was the wrong place again. I arrived, and there was no-one there, so I roamed around the grounds taking lots of photos on my ipad.

I chose this image to paint, as I loved the church building peering through the branches of the trees. I also took a few close-ups of the church tower so I could get the stonework detail right.

I decided to focus in on just a section of the painting:

Then I headed home, relieved to have gone to the right place.

Monday 30 September 2013

Eurogamer expo

Well I went back, in trepidation of what I might find - you may well recall a blog post I made following last year's EGX. 

I had a great time, played lots of lovely indie games - Octodad, which seemed easy but was ridiculously difficult - apparently it's extremely funny watching me mishandle my tentacles, and the suckers attach to everything except what I wanted them to. 

I played Myriad, and chatted to Erlund, the Dev - what a beautiful, fast game - it looks amazing! 

I also played Doom Piano - hilarious playing co-op with Lewie, I started off trying to avoid opponents, and ended up getting cross with Lewie for not letting me kill people. 

I played The Room 2 - a lovely puzzle game that looks stunning, I'm looking forward to playing that one when it comes out.

Fist Of Awesome is an evil game - you have to punch, kick and stomp on deer, I tried running away but you can't, and if you don't kick, punch or stomp on the deer they kill you! I think it took me about 4 minutes to become a deer killing machine! I know I like venison, but this was wanton deer murder!

Skipping Stones is also beautiful - you do exactly what the title suggests, and your stones create music, discordant notes as each stone hits the water. This was just a small part of the game; if you like Proteus, you'll also like this. 

Lüftrousers is a flying, shooting game that I'm hopeless at - you choose the plane you fly, the weapons you use then laugh at me as I crash into the sea, fly into the missiles aimed at me and generally demonstrate my incompetence.

Madam, you are being hunted is a scary game by Jim Rossignol from RPS - a Tweed Punk game that generates a completely new landscape each time you play it, and where you're hunted down by robots who try to stop you recovering parts of your exploded spacecraft. 

I watched Lewie play Assault Cactus Android - a pretty game where you have to dodge stuff, shoot stuff and pick up other stuff. Sanatana, the Dev, is a lovely bloke. 

RockSmith - at last, a guitar game that has a real guitar to play - I play guitar, but can't on RockBand or Guitar Hero; I have to play drums, which I really like but get cross about not being able to play the guitar. I played rhythm guitar and sang along to an Oasis track and a Radiohead track. They told me I'd be able to use my own guitar to play the game - it's an Ibanez jumbo acoustic.

I also talked to the Virgin Media lead person, as all their staff were dressed appropriately this year. She talked a little about the staff last year, and how she made sure that they were dressed decently. 

I've had fun today; I'm absolutely shattered, but am so glad I came. Thank you Eurogamer for making it worth the trip.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Altair, Connor, a TARDIS and Journey for sale

I got far too carried away painting things to take to Nine Worlds - every time I went to a festival, I took some canvases with me - I need to rest between doing stuff, and I wake up really early in the morning when I'm camping, so taking paintings gave me something useful to do.

Problem was, I forgot how many paintings I'd done, and ended up with more than I thought I would.

Rather than stick them in a cupboard until I'm next exhibiting, I thought I'd offer them for sale here.

They are:

Limbo - I did this a few years ago, its about 11"x9", is as usual, acrylics on canvas board, £25:

Altair - 12"x10" acrylics on canvas board, £30:

Connor - 12"x10" acrylics on canvas board, £30:

A Van Gogh TARDIS, again 12"x10" acrylics on canvas board, £30:

And one of my favourite images to paint, Journey: this one is on stretched canvas, is 16"x20" and costs £90:

Those prices include P&P first class within the UK, I'll let you know the cost to other countries once I know where you'd like me to post them.

You can contact me at canvasandpaints@gmail.com for anything you'd like to ask about any of the paintings.

Nine Worlds

Well, I'm back from Nine Worlds and finally have some time to update canvasandpaints!

I've had a hectic month - I volunteered for Oxfam at another music festival, Carfest North, which is unlike any festival I've ever been to in my life - people went to bed when the music finished, all the stalls and food outlets shut down by 11:00 pm, it was very strange.

I did post a series of paintings using my iphone (I'm sorry) camera, as I was painting them at festivals without my camera, ready to take to Nine Worlds to sell.

I painted more than I realised, and some didn't sell, so I'll be posting them later. I just wanted to tell you about Nine Worlds first.

I decided to go as soon as I saw someone tweeting about it, as it looked just my cup of tea - if you don't know about Nine Worlds, check out here.

It was a kickstarter funded convention, with a very positive statement on disability, race, sex and LGBTTQ stuff - which said "Nine Worlds is dedicated to providing a great convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion. For this reason, we will not tolerate any form of harassment of convention participants. Con participants found to be engaging in harassment may be sanctioned or expelled from the con without refund.".

It was a joy to be there, from the second I arrived at the hotel. It was like coming home. The funny thing was watching airline cabin crew looking puzzled, and then seeing we were in the majority!

There was so much to do over the weekend - sci-fi, Dr. Who, tabletop gaming, Larping, books, poetry, steam punk, skeptic discussions, Rock Band in the evening. I met Adric (who the Cybermen killed on my birthday) (yes, I know he actually chose to die to save everyone else, but it WAS the Cybermen's fault!), met up with a few people I know from PAX, which was great, made some new friends, hung out with fabulous people all weekend. I also spoke at 2 panels, the first on disability and gaming, the second on difficulty and art in gaming. They were fun!

I'm so looking forward to next year - I'll definitely be going, maybe I'll see you there?

Friday 9 August 2013

Van Gogh's TARDIS

Whoops, I forgot to post about this! Seeing as I'm about to head to Nine Worlds, I thought I'd better paint something Whovian, so I've decided to paint Van Gogh's TARDIS. I'm already part way through, so here it is with its base coat and some of the stars done:

The ultramarine and cobalt mix I'm using is a bit translucent, so I'll be layering it up. 

I love Dr Who, and am really looking forward to seeing the new Doctor in action!

Altäir is finished

I finished Altäir this morning:

Thursday 8 August 2013

More Altäir done

I'm heading down to London for Nine Worlds and have brought Altäir with me to finish it. I've done all the colour blocking now and just need to do the detail, but I've had to stop as the train is too bumpy to carry on. 
Here's where I've got up to:

I'll finish it at Lewie's in the morning. 

Sunday 4 August 2013

Saturday 3 August 2013

Another Altäir to take to Nine Worlds

The paintings that get the most hits here are Assassin's Creed images, so I've decided to take a few to Nine Worlds next weekend to sell. 

Here's the one I'm painting today:

I'm hoping to finish it this morning. 

Friday 2 August 2013

Journey complete

I've finished Journey, started painting early this morning. It's taken about 9 hours to complete, I'll be taking it to Nine Worlds next weekend to sell. 

Here it is: 

Close up left:

Close up right:

Thursday 1 August 2013


Here's a bit more done:

Journey to take to Nine Worlds next weekend

I'm at a festival and have brought a couple of paintings to do. I'm having to use my phone camera, so the image quality isn't great, but here's where I'm up to:

pencil outline:

Yes, it's very hot and sunny. The paint is drying quickly and I'm being dive bombed by wasps :(

Sky done:

Dust clouds done: