Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A family celebration at Ockenden Manor

This painting was commissioned to remember a very special family celebration, where all the family came together to celebrate a Golden anniversary.

Portrait of a family holiday

A family portrait on holiday in Cornwall, painted from several photographs for a christmas commission. The crab has spotted his moment to escape!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

How to get a 6'8" chap into a Smart car

Like a lot of small cars, they are a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside!
Another christmas commission completed 

Dog walking, on Brighton Beach

back in Brighton and on the beach again for this little Christmas commission. Got to have plenty of gulls!

An Autumn Walk

This autumn walk was another commission for Christmas. I enjoyed dropping all the warm colours into the crispy autumn leaves.

Richards the butchers, Lewes

Richards Butchers is a family run butcher shop in Lewes that has been serving Lewes residents and their dogs for generations
Three generations of butcher were brought back for this special Christmas commission.
here is a closer look ...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have been busy with Christmas commissions, so my little painting blog has been very quiet for the last couple of months. Now Christmas is done, a new painting year is about to begin, things should get a bit busier on here. Time to share a few pictures, too, now!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Painting Oldlands Mill

I have not been able to share much on my blog recently because at this time of year I start painting Christmas commissions, which cant be shared for a while!
Here is one that can be shared though, Oldlands Mill at Keymer is the subject of community fundraising and restoration, and it is a real beauty! I am painting it as you can see it on an Open Day.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Food and friends in Brighton

initial first sketch out

all drawn up in ink

the first colours to go on neutrals and purples 

all painted up..did I miss anything?

Food for Friends in Brighton, a wedge shaped building in the heart of all the eateries!
The flower baskets and breezy skies brought this view to life for me .

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A meander round Mayfair, London

I had time on Tuesday to have a wander around Mayfair before going to the Society of Graphic Fine Art Exhibition at the Menier. Shepherd Market kept coming to my attention, so I decided it was time to discover it for myself. The day was sunny and I walked until my feet were sore. However I did find time to sit and have some lunch, then have a little sketch up. It was warm enough to sit outside and watch the world go by which was just wonderful.

I sketched the view in Curzon Street, and added the colour to the sketch when I got home.

The Old Co-Op, Lewes

All finished at the Co-op! and a closer look at the little sausage dog!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Wallis & Wallis, or the Old Co-op, Lewes

initial sketch of the old co op

all drawn out and ready to paint
I went for a  1920s theme to my characters

The Old Co-op building in Lewes built in 1907 still exists thankfully, narrowly escaping a second world war bombing which wiped out rows of cottages in front and behind. I imagine the building may have lost the very top of its fairy tale tower at this time.
I have drawn what I imagine when I look at the buildings...how they may have looked, and how life may have gone on around them. Nothing is real.
I heard stories that there used to be dances in the barn at the back. The building is now occupied by Wallis and Wallis Auctioneers, and the parents of one of the ladies that works there now actually met at a dance there. The lady that works there now also met her own husband, not at the dance, but at the Auctioneers. The building obviously has some charm and the ability to bring people together!
The co op had a cash train, that ran across the ceiling from the pay point up to the cashiers office, and would be returned again to the customer with change inside. Pity it isnt there now!

Two Weddings...two different decades

 1964 wedding

1989 wedding

It has been a time for special anniversaries! Here are a couple of commissions painted from old wedding photographs and separate images of the churches...

Sunday, 21 September 2014

All done at The Dorset, Lewes

first the browns

then the greens and purple bring it colour

finally the people bring it alive

all finished at the Dorset Arms! The pub has been brought to life with Morris Dancers and people sitting out side enjoying some good old British sunshine.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Doing the Dorset Arms, Lewes

sketched out the pub and splashed on the colour

and now for the drawing on heavy paper

close up on the drinkers, more Morris Men!

For my next Lewes painting I have chosen to paint The Dorset Arms which nestles at the end of Malling Street under the Downs.
I think this pub was probably a very lucky survivor, the street immediatel to it's north was closed off and buildings demolished for the building of the new road, bridge and Cuilfail tunnel.
The Dorset gets its name from the Dukes of Dorset that originally were the landowners of the manor of Cliffe and the Coat of Arms shows leopards holding a shield, which gave the Dorset Arms its original name of The Cats.

Anyway, enough drawing, now it is time to play with paint!

Friday, 12 September 2014

A Bespoke Corporate Christmas Card

initial sketch 
 then it's all drawn out and the very first layers of colour go on, white on white!...

And finished! A couple of seagulls and an extra person added, oh and Father Christmas of course!

Ice skating at The Pells, Charity Christmas card

Here it is, all finished and gone off for printing. I hope Lewes will have somewhere to sell this card for good causes soon! : )

Friday, 5 September 2014

Friday, 22 August 2014

Another Review for Railway Land Dogs' Club

"This beautifully illustrated story will bring huge delight to all children, dog lovers and those who know how much of the natural world can be found in an urban environment. Lewes and it surroundings form a lovingly appreciated background to the joyful escapades of the endearing Ivy and her many canine friends."
Antony Penrose, Farmer, author and photo-curator.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A first review of "Railway Land Dogs' Club" by Christopher Dorling

The Railway Land Dogs' Club
Ivy's Lost Ball

....an appreciation....

I am first struck by the utterly charming illustrations; so many quirky details true to the location, recognisable by those in the know, intriguing to others. And the dogs; as doggie as one could wish with their 'waggy tails and fluffy bottoms'. There are no doubt small human counterparts in every primary school class. Here is a sympathetic world where children will connect and cotton on.
Perhaps the real achievement of this first Dogs' Club story lies in the creation of a complete fantasy, a fantasy that is also totally believable. It is almost too good to be true, but it is true which may be it's secret.
I like to imagine a future volume with the dogs now older and beginning to behave more like grown-ups. Children will understand, and love and laugh at that too.
Finally (and with apologies to Jamie Oliver); Dogtastic....get stuck in!'

Christopher Dorling
Founder, Dorling Kindersley Ltd

Monday, 18 August 2014

Update on the Charity Christmas Card

I am still going!!
more characters keep popping in to the scene. Can you spot the difference?
Really really nearly there now, then it's off to get printed. But will the Cards For Good Causes get an empty shop to sell it in Lewes, this year?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Snowtime at the Pells

First layer of paint..easy to paint a snowy background! A winter sunset sky reflects in the shadows in the snow. I have splattered the trees with masking fluid which shows up blue at the moment.
I will paint the trees next, and then hopefully they will look snowy when I remove the mask.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Time for this year's Card for a Good Cause

The plan is for ice skating at the Pells Pool in Lewes

all drawn out in pencil, might add more people but time for pen

here is a close up, Rodin is making a new Ice sculpture

Well, it is that time of year again. The Eastbourne Bandstand picture with faces to recognise was popular as a Christmas Card, so it was suggested that I could try to do something for Lewes this year.
The Pells Pool is the setting, with a couple of other Lewes landmarks popping up, and lots of ice skaters.
All drawn out in pencil now, time for the pen.
So many little people, I am not sure if anyone will be able to recognise them once they are scaled down on to an A6 card, but hopefully they will. Maybe we should sell magnifying glasses along side the cards!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Railway Land Dogs' Club

Come rain or shine, the Railway Land Dogs' Club book will be out in paperback later this month. Written by Julian Warrender, her second book following Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor, and illustrated by me.
Hopefully Lewes locals and lovers of the Railway Land Nature Reserve will recognise the settings, and possibly some of the dogs!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Dial House - Waterstones Lewes, all finished

I finished this lovely building today, complete with Quaker girls two by two, John Godlee and Wynne Baxter...Oh and the Wham Bam Bhajia van too!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Dial House (Waterstones) Lewes

Plans for a new Lewes painting. Dial house sits on the pedestrian precint, a fairly rare survivor amongst the rather boring buildings that replaced the railway line and bridge that used to cross the road down there.
It is a beautiful building in a creamy stone that would look at home in Bath.
For 100 years it has been the home of Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors office. Wynne Baxter was Lewes Mayor many years ago, and also lead inquest into cases such as Jack the Ripper and the Elephant Man.
Prior to the Solicitors, it was home to the Quaker girls school. The girls would be seen walking two by two from the school to the Friends meeting house in Friars Walk.
Lots of things to think about when I was drawing this out! Also cant forget the usual busker and bhaji van from down that end of town!