The very first thing I need to do before I embark on an artistic adventure is to set-up and arrange my home studio. This involves a number of key tasks such as:

  • gathering together all my resources (materials and tools) that I plan to use;
  • pinning up all manner of inspiration onto large mood boards;
  • adjusting and arranging my desk and room lighting (daylight globes):
  • sharpening my pencils;
  • dusting and cleaning all surfaces;
  • sorting out my reference library; and
  • setting up my MP3 playlists and radio.

Like most artists I simply cannot get motivated or started on a project unless I have created the appropriate environment.

Here’s how my home studio looks so far….


The tricky part is trying to keep the kids (and the wife) entertained so they don’t feel neglected. I imagine I will have to learn to strike a balance between my art project, work commitments, family and of course my social life.

Worse case scenario I may have to resort to working all night at times.I seem to work better and more productively when the household is asleep.

Well see how it all goes….


Once I have gathered together sufficient photographic reference, I start sketching out some concepts. For my first travel poster, I will depict the famous monastery of Stavrovouni located in the Larnaca district of Cyprus. This beautiful Byzantine structure dates back to 324AD.

Here is my first page of concepts.

The same concepts scanned and superimposed on textured stock. Looking to recreate an aged look and feel.

As you can see, I am trying to investigate different angles and viewpoints of the monastery. I have also included people such as monks and priests. I am especially keen to try and depict how the mountain looked before two large rocks at the east-end of the building collapsed in 1963. I worked overnight on these concepts using only HB, 2B and 6B pencils to try and render different tones, textures and shading. I also switched from cartridge paper to hot press watercolour paper just to see how the pencil would react with the tooth or grain of different paper.

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