Raghava KK.

I have just finished watching Raghava KK’s talk on TED.com titled ‘five lives of an artist’.

I found this extremely entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

He tells how he went from drawing caricatures, to teaching himself to paint, and the fact that he didn’t want to use brushes was instrumental in his creations. He wanted his work to come alive so he used real people.

He also states that over in the USA he met some billboard painters who he asked to teach him to paint like they did, only to be told that billboard painting was a thing of the past and it was cheaper and quicker to to it all digitally.

He then goes on to talk about his mother, who he loved very dearly, falling very ill and how this effected his paintings and the mood of his paintings. They became very dark and with the coming out of his friend who was gay in India, which was frowned upon severely, his paintings again changed to dark and violent.

He tells how he decided that he needed to change his mind set and decides to go home and have a child. His mother regained her health after a major operation and he decides to move to New York.

To finish off he tells of his love of working with children and how they inspire him in his work on occasions.

Here are some examples of his work.

To watch his talk on ted.com click on the link below



Exquisite corpse- the final piece and how I got there

As promised I am posting the final piece for my Exquisite corpse, or as it has turned out, pieces. I played around on photoshop with the painting and got a few different versions.

Above is the plan of the painting and below shows the process.

Below shows where I was working.

This picture was taken at 3am, which was when I finished the painting

Below is the Photograph taken outside for the natural daylight.

The next evening I decided to get the best photographs I could and take them into photoshop. This first one was taken with limited lighting.

and here are the 2 images which came out of ‘the shop’

Above is the painting altered with the water colour filter, and below I used the canvas texture and added text.

This was taken in lighter circumstances, then again taken into photoshop.

Again using the canvas texture and adding the text.

Well although not 100% satisfied I think the outcome has been ok, I can always go back to it at a later date, when everything else is finished .

My quiet place.

I park up to next to the river ‘Brookhouse’ salmon troughs. It is so peaceful, if there if I need to get away from all the noise at home, to think clearly and to fight through the creative block that some of us creatives suffer with on occasions I go there.

It is the sound of the river running by, it is the sound of the birds, it is the sound of the tranquility and it is the view I have from the driver’s seat of my car. It is all so calming and allows me to think clearly and sometimes ideas that would never have appeared to me in the loud environment at home, yes 7 children can be quite distracting at times.

Here is my oil painting of my quiet place.

The natural colours which Mother Nature placed so carefully in our world help to create and inspire, using her very own colour board, which she has down to a T, allows uninterrupted thought. No bold colours to distract you, every colour compliments the others, which have been so carefully chosen to make her world just right, a piece of art in its self.

Now if anyone was a designer, she was, and still is. Talk about sustainability, how many years has her, creation been revolving around the sun.

She stuck to quite strict borders and boundaries, so that the whole earth could exist and evolve within its own time scale. Then we came along and broke those rules, we now need our own designers to repair the damage we have done.

I also have my own little piece of solitude when I am at home. My study (a home made shed) which is perfect to settle down in and allow my creative mode to take its course.

As you can see everything I need is to hand. It is great when I am in the middle of something and I can leave the work I am doing out until the next time. Whereas when I am working in my dining room everything needs to be put away when I am not working on it or the kids will have it!!!

Anyway that is where I work and I wonder how many more pieces of work will come from here, many more I am sure.

My first attempt at ‘illustrator’

The brief: to take a line drawing of our choice and turn into a line drawing on Adobe illustrator.

The drawing I chose was:I then placed in illustrator, and using paths I turned it into this:My  next step was to save this as a PDF document and open in photoshop, where I’m not sure what I did but I came up with this, which I quite liked:

After getting myself back on track I ended up with this:

I spotted the error on the left arm and started playing around with it, then I got a bit carried away using the smudge tool and came up with this:

I thought this last image had something about it, something which made it quite striking.

All finished, I submitted them today

My Exquisite Corpse. (So Far…)

My Words:


Horses Head





At first I struggled with the words that I had chosen. I could not get horse racing out of my head, I tried different scenarios and spoke to tutors, but I felt that I still was not getting anywhere.

I decided that instead of writing sentences with my words, I would have to extend mine into a small passage. After numerous passages being written I came up one I did actually like quite a lot.


The icy cold blade cut the surface of his cheek. The man who he had thought to be his friend had turned out to be his enemy. He had carried the hold all many miles, he had fought through icy blizzards, waded through smelly marshland and swampland, climbed over Horse Head Mountain.Racing to his friend, only to be met with the worst kind of deception.


Once I was happy with this I set about on work sheets, designing the characters and the landscape he would be exploring and the general layout of the image.

Next is the final image which I have not started yet, but am doing very soon.

Here are some of the drawings to demonstrate how I have got to where I am at the moment.

Character design.

More character design

And again.

Composition of sorts

A five minute snowy landscape in pastel, just to actually visualise it. The final image will be darker obviously

Wading through the swamp.

Battling through the blizzard.

When the final piece is finished I will post it up.

Stay posted!

John William Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse has got to be one of my main influences, his work is full of life and emotion and drama. From Romanticism to childhood to death.Sorrow, love, joviality (I think that’s a word :), innocence, loneliness to name a few. You can feel what he is painting about just by looking upon one of his paintings.

Waterhouse was born in the city of Rome to the British painters William and Isabella Waterhouse in 1849, in the same year that the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including Dante RossettiJohn Millais and William Holman Hunt, were first causing a stir in the London art scene.[2] The exact date of his birth is unknown, though he was baptised on 6 April, and the later scholar of Waterhouse’s work, Peter Trippi, believed that he was born between 1 and 23 January.[3] His early life in Italy has been cited as one of the reasons why many of his later paintings were set in ancient Rome or based upon scenes taken from Roman mythology.

In 1854, the Waterhouses returned to England and moved to a newly-built house in South Kensington, London, which was near to the newly founded Victoria and Albert Museum. Waterhouse, or ‘Nino’ as he was nicknamed, coming from an artistic family, was encouraged to get involved in drawing, and often sketched artworks that he found in the British Museumand the National Gallery.[4] In 1871 he entered the Royal Academy of Art school, initially to study sculpture, before moving on to painting.

Early career

Waterhouse’s early works were not Pre-Raphaelite in nature, but were of classical themes in the spirit of Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton. These early works were exhibited at theDudley Gallery, and the Society of British Artists, and in 1874 his painting Sleep and His Half Brother Death was exhibited at the Royal Academy summer exhibition.[5] The painting was a success and Waterhouse would exhibit at the annual exhibition every year until 1916, with the exception of 1890 and 1915. He then went from strength to strength in the London art scene, with his 1876 piece After the Dance being given the prime position in that year’s summer exhibition. Perhaps due to his success, his paintings typically became larger and larger in size

Later career

In 1883 he married Esther Kenworthy, the daughter of an art schoolmaster from Ealing who had exhibited her own flower-paintings at the Royal Academy and elsewhere. They did not have any children. In 1895 Waterhouse was elected to the status of full Academician. He taught at the St. John’s Wood Art School, joined the St John’s Wood Arts Club, and served on the Royal Academy Council.

One of Waterhouse’s most famous paintings is The Lady of Shalott, a study of Elaine of Astolat, who dies of grief when Lancelot will not love her. He actually painted three different versions of this character, in 1888, 1894, and 1916. Another of Waterhouse’s favorite subjects was Ophelia; the most famous of his paintings of Ophelia depicts her just before her death, putting flowers in her hair as she sits on a tree branch leaning over a lake. Like The Lady of Shalott and other Waterhouse paintings, it deals with a woman dying in or near water. He also may have been inspired by paintings of Ophelia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Millais. He submitted his Ophelia painting of 1888 in order to receive his diploma from the Royal Academy. (He had originally wanted to submit a painting titled “A Mermaid”, but it was not completed in time.) After this, the painting was lost until the 20th century, and is now displayed in the collection of Lord Lloyd-Webber. Waterhouse would paint Ophelia again in 1894 and 1909 or 1910, and planned another painting in the series, called “Ophelia in the Churchyard”.

Waterhouse could not finish the series of Ophelia paintings because he was gravely ill with cancer by 1915. He died two years later, and his grave can be found at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

This biography was taken from wikipedia on 23/03/10http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_William_Waterhouse

Here are some of my favourites of his.