Kārearea / New Zealand Falcon Swoop

Oct 15

See him fly . This one i finished a little while back , it will be heading towards Soul Gallery in Hamilton in a couple of months for a still-in-the-works group show.  I wanted to add a lot more colour and excitement to the usually-brown-and-white falcon, and got carried away with a full on watercolour bouquet flourishing/swoop behind him …

Falcon Flourish    2014

Falcon Flourish 2014

Falcon Flourish Close-up

Falcon Flourish Close-up

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French Alps, Ultramarine Blue, and White Roses

Oct 15

This one was inspired by my recent trip through the French Alps -and a cabin called Les Roses Blanches (The White Roses) in St. Gervais. So majestic. So fancy. End of summer, so only a little snow, and we could climb right up to the glacier.

I love the quaint French Style, so many flower baskets, crusty churches, and blue and white!

Les Roses Blanches  2014

Les Roses Blanches 2014

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Tui and Huia Watercolour Diptych

Oct 08

I finished this double-native-bird diptych a few weeks ago, and it looks fairly impressive in frames. I wanted to do a really large piece at first (it’s a commission for a big empty wall) but the watercolour paper i like to use doesn’t come big enough; so i decided to have two adjacent paintings that are held together by the textured branches twisting through both papers.  It works! You may notice that i used spraypaint for the leaves and a few of the feathers, its good for mixing up the textures and the gold spray picks up the light at certain angles …

Tui bird closeup

Tui bird closeup

Huia Tail close-up

Huia Tail close-up

Huia Diptych 2014

Huia Diptych 2014

Tui Diptych  2014

Tui Diptych 2014

Tui Huia Diptych 2014

Tui Huia Diptych 2014

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Handdrawn ink frames

Jul 28

Loved designing and inking these up ! Although the ink-nib hand really aches after a while.  I gave them a little art nouveau, little gumtree feeling.

They’re going to be used in  a still-in-progress makeup artists website gallery ( Belle Blue;  i’ve previously posted my other designs for her ) So pretty. Will update when she’s up and running.

Frame Designs inked up

Frame Designs inked up

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The Watercolour Yet Staunch Bull

Jul 28

That’s right. And here he is. Who could ask for a cooler commission. It can be a bit difficult to paint a black subject in traditionally translucent watercolours, so i built up his mid/light tones with colours from the surrounding desert, and a bit of a blueblack sheen, but used my black ink pot for his darkest areas.

Oh, and for some reason i love that hoof kick and signature close-up, delicate layery bits etc.

Salud, Mr Hall.

Signature with Kick

Signature with Kick

Lone Bull

Lone Bull

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Underwater Elephant

Jul 13

Water Elephant 2014

Water Elephant 2014

Well, wading in the water. I wanted to try something different, breaking the painting into two halves; one all ink and one watercolour …

Elephant close-up

Elephant close-up

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Te Mata Peak : having a go at landscape

Jul 13

Te Mata Peak 2014

Te Mata Peak 2014

I was pleased to be commissioned recently to paint a local Hawkes Bay landscape feature; Te Mata Peak. Landscape painting is new to me so it was a bit of a different process. I made as much mess as i could, trying to add lively splashes and layers to make a plain grass-and-rock coloured subject a touch more exciting and summery…

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Triple Creature: Tui, Gecko, Butterfly

Jun 10

Prestage Gecko close-up  2014

Prestage Gecko close-up 2014

Recently i was commissioned to create something including a few local New Zealand creatures – the Tui, the Forest Gecko, and the Longtailed Blue Butterfly.  It was one of my favourites to work on this year.  At first a challenge yes -  a good composition idea was tough with 3 focal points – so i decided to put the bold focus on the Tui and have the gecko do what geckos do best and blend into their surroundings (I used textured white acrylic underneath the watercolour to get a mossy/scaly effect on the branch).  Lastly i applied light washy butterflies, being careful not to put them in the line of sight / menu of the bird.

The blending and camoflage on the Gecko was fun – i am thinking that a big Chameleon should be on my list.

Prestage Tui  2014

Prestage Tui 2014

Triple Creatures  2014

Triple Creatures 2014

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King of Animals ?

Mar 24

Lion in Progress headshot

Lion in Progress headshot

This time i’ve gone for one of the most famous predators out there.  When i spent my few months in France i chose to paint a glorious rooster : the rooster is the national animal of France. Would you guess that the Barbary Lion is the national animal of England ? No, i wouldn’t. But it is so. Grandeur.

Specifically, it is the Barbary / Atlas lion, which is now extinct in the wild. This especially long maned and shaggy dark lion was native to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, at the very top of Africa. Prized by Roman Emperors, Sultans, and English Kings, this huge mountain and desert roaming lion slowly faded into extinction, with the last male dying in a concrete zoo.

There are interbred part-barbary lions in some zoos around the world – and so, some efforts have been made to save the Barbary by breeding it back using these genes. Will that work ? How ? Very interesting.

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More Strange and Carnivorous Plants

Mar 13

Next is the Carnivorous Rose – otherwise known as Pinguicular Florian. This one uses tiny sticky droplets to trap insects unfortunate enough to land on its’ delicious petals, and promptly dissolves and absorbs them. Perhaps a big enough flower could digest a bird …..

This first photograph was taken when i propped the finished painting up against the windows, and the light beamed on in through the blinds and made magical.

Pinguicula Florian (Carnivorous Rose)  2014

Pinguicula Florian (Carnivorous Rose) 2014

Pinguicula Florian Closeup  2014

Pinguicula Florian Closeup 2014

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