Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Working on painting detail


I have done some more work to the detail of my current oil painting.

Last time I posted  the painting had been worked over in white  and looked like this:

I have now done some more detail work in dark colours and have added more detail to the clothing and the moon figures.

It now looks like this:

I will continue to work on the detail.

Until next time


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Small Game Hunter 9


Here is another in my new collection of Sprites

This is an Enchanted Prince ( Wakinim Wilbifunferus ) collected in Ulm in 1881

Until next time


Wednesday, 5 September 2018

More work to painting


I have been doing some further work to my current oil painting.

I have added further green  and white glazes  and have been working on the detail in white.

As usual I am using a glazing medium mixed with turpentine.

The painting looked like this last time.

It now looks like this:

Once this dries, I will work over the detail again in dark colours. I will carry on this process, alternating white work with dark, until I am happy with the detail.

Until next time 


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Small Game Hunter 8


Here is another in my new set of sprites.

This is the Golden Lad ( Losaeleaf Anistarcus ) Collected in Crete in 1888.

Until next time


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Ripped Jeans


Here is a drawing of a fine young man with ripped abs - wearing jeans.

Until next time


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Small Game Hunter 7


Some time ago I posted about some Lilliputians that I had sculpted from Fimo.

I have now made some Sprites of the order Fairae.

This is a Questing Prince (  Forgold Wilselisas  ), collected in Prague in 1870.

Until next time.


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Summer Storm


Here is  a large watercolour I painted some years ago.

It was originally titled Midsummer Tempest, but, as I subsequently gave that title to another work, I am now calling it Summer Storm.

This falls within the Landscape of Dreams, as this is a constructed landscape.

You will also note the Celtic strapwork borders.

 I sometimes use strapwork in my illuminated manuscripts and spent some time learning the secrets of its construction. The thicker base border is particularly complex and is known as the Eight Strand Cruxiform break.

Every other centre junction forms a cross of negative space.

These crosses should be as even as possible.

Until next time


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Leather Lad


Here is a drawing of a young man in leather.

This might be another candidate for use on a book bag at at some point.

Until next time


Wednesday, 25 July 2018



As promised, I shall now tell you about the visit to Oxford.

We had arranged to go to see the Tolkien exhibition at New Weston Library with the friends we play D & D with on the Tuesday after a weekend of campaigning.

We decided to go up on the Monday, spend the afternoon and the next morning going round Oxford before the ticket entry time of 1 PM.

The journey up was not pleasant. Oxford station is closed due to upgrading the line to electric, so we had to get a Weston-super-Mare train to Didcot and change to a bus. The train was packed-all the seats were reserved from Padington and we had to stand in the small vestibule at the end of the caridge - by the loo.

Still, at least we were given free water by the train company when we got to Didcot and the bus was air-conditioned.

Here are some of the pictures I took around Oxford

I take some pictures to record the trip, but most I take because I may use them in my art. Some may become watercolours, others may by used in my oil paintings.

The exhibition was quite small, but was very good, with many details of Tolkien's life, influences and the background , as well as many examples of his art and interesting facts about his writing.

I was particularly interested that the he initially proposed to use the name Gandalf as the leader of the dwarves in the Hobbit and later changed it to Thorin Oakenshield.

I didn't buy any mementos from the shop, as everything was hideously overpriced and I already have a rather nice volume of Tolkien's artworks.

After a tip from a helpful street guide, we managed to get into Exeter College and spend a pleasant half hour wandering round.

The journey back was much nicer- though Trainline had mucked up our tickets and we found we'd been given Day Returns instead of Period Returns. Luckily the nice lady at the station upgraded them for us, so we only had to pay about £3.00 extra each- rather than a full single fair of £23.00( or thereabouts).

Despite the difficulties and the scorching weather, it was a nice trip.

Until next time


Wednesday, 18 July 2018



I was hoping to go to do a re-enactment of the battle of Tewkesbury last weekend ( which I used to do quite regularly up until 2007), but, unfortunately, the forecast said that it would be between 26 and 27 degrees.

Previous experience has told me that this is too hot for me to fight in full plate and it is not wise to fight at Tewkesbury in anything less than full plate. There are usually about 2,000 to 3,000 men on the field . They come from multiple re-enactment societies and quite a lot of them are from other European countries. Hence their level of skill and training is variable and not all of them speak English.

Consequently, I decided to stay home- which was just as well. Some of the other Paladins went and they told me that the temperature went up to 30 degrees and there were lots of men passing out from the heat.

I had also had a nasty bash to the first joint of my right forefinger whilst training one of our newer fighters and, whist it was getting better and I had been making sure it stayed flexible, it was still at a stage when fighting battle for an hour might not have been the best policy.

I missed training last week, due to  getting back late from a trip to Oxford ( which I will blog about later), but went to training last night.

I made sure I wore steel gauntlets and , whilst I am still getting the odd ache and  twinge, barely notice my bad finger whist fighting.

Here is a picture I found of me advancing with the Duke of Somerset to take part in a melee. I think this might have been at Rochester Castle.

Until next time


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Beautiful Blond


Here is a drawing of a beautiful blond boy from one of  my sketch books

Until next time


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

St Albans 2018


Last weekend I was at St Albans Country Show with seven other Paladins.

For the first time for absolutely ages we had a FLAT campsite. Here are some pictures of the encampment

As you can see, we formed a little crescent-shaped island of the Fourteenth century in a sea of plastic gazebos.

There was also a small group of Viking reenactors there, who camped just behind us and put on a reasonable fight display of swords, shields and dane-axes.

It was very hot with not a cloud in the sky , though, luckily, there was a bit of wind. We didn't get many people stopping to ask questions, try on armour etc, which meant we could stay in the shade a lot until we had to do our tourney.

The main area was in a corner of the field near trees, so got no wind. It was probably the hottest part of the site.

On Saturday I light armoured in jack, mail, legs and spaulders. We only had four fighters, but we still each managed two fights and a short melee in the main arena lasting( in total) about 15 minutes, before the heat got  to us

There was a sparse audience, but those that watched us seemed to appreciate the show..

The Sunday was verging on 30 degrees.  I had been for a walk round the stall set about the main area at about 2 Pm and , even in cassock and rochet( with a large straw hat) it was like being hammered by the sun.

Luckily, we had been moved to the small arena near to our camp, so there was some wind, but the Marshal went on in just a jack and I went on in just jack and mail to try to make the fights last as long as possible.

Less luckily, the grass in the small arena had been trampled flat and and was the colour and texture of straw, which meant that the footing was very slippery under medieval boots. I was even noticing it and I've got hobnailed boots.

Despite this, we still managed to do a reasonable fight for about fifteen minutes total.

This time we had a grand total of about eight people watching- including the children.

Still, the client was happy...

Until next time


Wednesday, 27 June 2018



Here is a commission piece I did for a friend.

She is a fan of the author Roger Zelazny's Princes of Amber series.

The characters can communicate by concentrating on Trump cards depicting each other ( rather like a sort of magical tarot cards)

She is fond of the character Benedict and asked me to do a painting of his trump. His card is described as showing him with long hair, in golden armour holding a lance covered in flowers with a horse behind him.

I opted to do a close up, as if someone was concentrating on the face.

  Until next time


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Eltham 2018


Last weekend I took part in the Grand Medieval Joust at Eltham Palace.

As a member of the Paladins of Chivalry, I am only allowed to take photos before the public are on site, after they have left, or if I change back into modern kit.

I was able to get a shot of my tent, banner, standard and achievement of arms when it was finally all ready, but  not, unfortunately before the Duke of Lancaster had moved his car...

Here is another picture of my tent within the camp

I spent some time in the off-season painting the dags of the roof with the bishop's mitre badges.

The bishop's livery colours are black and white and one of his main badges is a red mitre( as can be seen on the standard), so I have painted red mitres on the white dags and white mitres on the black. As there were an odd number of dags, I painted a papal tiara on a red ground to go over the doorway.

The inside of the tent is dived in two by curtains, with my sleeping area behind. 

I have a small table set up as an alter in one corner and try to sing a mass at least once during the weekend. This time I sang it on Sunday morning soon after the site opened at ten.

You will notice from the first picture that I had a fire box set up in front of the tent. I lit a fire in it using flint and steel on Saturday ( only nicking myself once on the flint) and then used a coal from the fire to light my thurible (which can be seen hanging up in this picture) so I could cense the alter and bless the weapons in the arming tent.

There was a strong breeze all day Saturday and the pile of wood only lasted to mid afternoon.

The foot tourney went well and it wasn't too hot, as the sky stayed kindly overcast. I also had a lot of fun being the marshal and commentator for the kiddies battle later in the afternoon.

I closed the tent after the tourney on Sunday and started to pack some things up, which helped a lot when it came time to break camp.

All in all it was a good show.

Until next time


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

St David's Gate


I often put interesting buildings into my Landscape of Dreams and utilise watercolours I have painted in the past,

Here is a watercolour of the gatehouse of St David's Cathedral.

I haven't reused this image in a oil painting to date, but , as an interesting building, it may well find its way into a future painting.

Until next time


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

More work to painting


I have recently done some more to the oil painting I am working on.

I have been working on shadows and distance and it now looks like this.

I will post again when I have done more to it

Until next time


Wednesday, 30 May 2018



Here is a small oil painting I did a few years ago.

I called it ' Summer'.

until next time


Wednesday, 23 May 2018



Here is a drawing I found in one of my sketchbooks.

It is a pencil study based on a photo of a young man in a leopard-print speedo.

I used this figure as the inspiration for an acrylic painting of a superhero, who I called Icefire.

Until next time


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Misheard Words


I was discussing Napoleonic uniform at a re-enactment fayre when a passer-by misheard the word 'gorget' .

I thought it would make a good cartoon.

If I think of any other examples, I my make this a series...

Until next time


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

May Bank Holiday reenactment


I have just been to my first camping re-enactment of the season at the Weald Park Country Fair in Essex.

Most of us arrived on site on Saturday afternoon to set up, as we were on show on the Sunday and Monday and we had most of the camp ready by the time it started to get dark.

Some more Paladins turned up on Saturday morning and we completed the camp.

We had been planning to do a dance show, archery demonstration, fight training in a small ring and a tourney in the event's main arena.

Things didn't quite turn out that way. The event was a country fair/ dog show and was somewhat haphazard regarding organisation.

They had promised us a archery range, but this was not provided. Deejay and I surveyed a possible usable site on Saturday,only to find someone parked a couple of vans in it overnight, so we had to ditch the archery.

Then we found that a wrestling ring was being set up not far from us and each bout was announced over loudspeakers with loud music, so we had to ditch the dance show as well.

It was very hot and most all of the guys spent most of the day down to poltocks and hose, but,as we were spending most of the time doing training and katas in the ring , this was (mostly) still authentic.

We armoured up for the tourney at 3.40 and I any lasted for my first fight before going down with heatstroke. The others managed to keep going through to the end of the tourney and helped me back to camp. Luckily, I' d recognised the signs and had dropped out before the full force of the heatstroke had taken effect, so I recovered quire quickly and was spared the massive headache.

We found out the the Monday would also be very hot, so I opted to try fighting in jack, collar, gauntlets and helm and, having taken the extra precaution of soaking my arming cap, I was able to fight for the whole tourney. It also meant that I could fight hand-and-a -half, which is always popular with the crowd ( big swords-big moves, lots of shouting).

I closed my tent when we got back to camp and began a bit of pack down, so had a reasonable start by the time we were declared off duty. I had the car packed by about 7.00 and stayed to help pack club kit into the van till about 7.30, so was home by 8.30.

All in all ( saving the heatstroke) it was a good event.

I have not pictures, but here is one of me fighting with hand-and-a- half at a previous event.

Until next time


Wednesday, 2 May 2018



Here is a cartoon I exhibited at Eastercon this year.

Until next time


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Dive 2


I posted earlier about a painting I had done after visiting a swimming pool with observation windows.

Here is the second acrylic painting.

Until next time


Wednesday, 18 April 2018



I have just completed a commission to provide  my friend Kelly four A1 size ink drawings for a performance piece.

The performance concerned the Harvey Wienstein  case, so I had to do an Oscar , a non disclosure agreement, a picture of the American version of the figure of Justice with TBC ( to be continued) on it and a picture of Weinstein.

She emailed me photos and a picture of Justice and I printed them up, then scaled them up from A4 to A1 to do the ink drawings.

As I am not a portrait artist, I made sure Kelly was happy with my best approximation of Weinstein's face, as  putting the person ' behind the eyes' is a particular skill.

Anyway, she was happy with the results and here are the finished drawings.

Until next time


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Eastercon part 2


Here is a picture of the Georgian 1740's outfit that I wore on Easter Sunday, complete with clocked stockings, beaver felt tricorn and brown tie wig.

I received over 40 hall costume tokens...

That evening ( and after I had changed back into jeans and T-shirt) I took part in a programme item of sketches.  My part of this was to demonstrate the Builders' Tea Ceremony ( as dating back to the Mid eighteenth  century), which I had written.

The Ceremony was presided over by the Foreman ( or Gaffer), who served tea to the Lag ( or Old Lag) and the Lad ( or , in our case, the Lass). The ceremony was full of ritual phrases , the correct was to rotate the teapot, how to stir your tea ( with the handle of a fork) and the correct procedure for dunking and eating a biscuit.

We had great fun performing it and it seemed to go over well.

Our journey back on Monday was better than the journey up, but marred somewhat by Teddy getting a  bad stomach upset from something he ate at a cafe we stopped at for lunch , resulting in me having to make a couple of emergency stops on the hard shoulder for him to be ill.

Still, once it was out, he felt a lot better and was OK for the last bit of the journey.

Until next time

Wednesday, 4 April 2018



We have just been to Follycon II, the British National Science Fiction Convention, which was in Harrogate this year'

The Journey up was horrendous. We had to pick up Teddy's cousin, Gail, from Walthamstow and, setting out just after 10, we didn't get there until after 12.

Then we stopped for Lunch at the services just before the A1(M) and began our trek. The traffic was horrible and, as usual, it had just started moving again just when we were near services, so the temptation to carry on was strong.

Towards the end of the journey, I realised that I was getting close to going Hypo, but the TomTom ( Yes, Tom has a TomTom) told me we were only an hour and a half from destination, so I thought I could make it if I ate as soon as we got there.

Unfortunately, the Machine did not seem to adjust it's prediction when we hit traffic again, but, by this time, we were off the A1 and onto B roads.

Teddy helped a lot as I finally negotiated the streets of Harrogate, dropped Gail at her hotel and, with some difficulty, located the way into the car park at our hotel. It was now 8.30 PM.

Teddy dealt with the hotel and they produced some ham sandwiches pretty quickly.

I  ate sandwiches and slowly recovered and was Ok after a night's sleep and a good breakfast.

As the theme for the Con was Mad Hatter's Tea Party, I took costume with interesting hats. I wore Fifteenth century  on Friday, with blue doublet, black hose, thigh-length back boots and a black borolay( Can't remember the right  spelling- padded roll hat with side drape and lirripipe ).

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of that one, but here is the Crimea War Green Howards uniform I wore on Saturday. I chose that one due to the unusual shape of the hat, which is halfway between a shako and a kepi.

I will blog further about events at the Con