When starting a painting I must be clear about the feeling I wish it to express. I light the picture, compose it, apply the colours and use violent or soft brushwork, depending on this feeling. In painting it, all these elements come together. I know the painting is finished when I can look at the picture and see that the feeling that I intended to convey at the start comes across.
I like to have an informal meeting with my sitter prior to painting them, even if it is quick, just to have a chat to get a sense of who they are, and really to spark my imagination so I can have thoughts as to how I might light and paint them. I then go away and think about the image, particularly about how I will light my subject. (My images are as much to do with mood and atmosphere as anything else). I then have the photographic session where I take about 200-300 photos at of the sitter. I then paint the image, normally in oil on canvas but sometimes in watercolour.
Towards the end of the image being painted, I normally invite the client to see the work, and discuss any alterations they feel may or may not be necessary.
1970 Born in Edinburgh.
1989-93 BA (Hons) in Drawing and Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art.
1993 Scholarship to study at the Athens School of Fine Art, Greece.
2006 Elected a Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
2007 Head of Drawing at The Art Academy, London.
Student Prize, Hunting Observer Competition, 1991
MacFarlane Painting Prize, 1995
Commended, BP Portrait Award, 1992 and 1993
Second Prize, BP Portrait Award, 2001
De Laszlo Prize: Best Portrait by a Young Artist, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 2004
HSBC Prize: Best Portrait by a Young Artist, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 2006
Changing Faces Prize, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 2007
2006 NATO War Artist in Afghanistan
2005-08 Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2004 Being Present: 8 Figurative Painters, The Jerwood Space
1991-2005 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London