Tuesday 31 December 2019

Friday 27 December 2019

Ear tag

Acrylics on Masonite, ACEO (= 2.5 x 3.5 inches = 64 x 89 mm):


Cows are cute, so why not another one?

Thursday 26 December 2019

Grazing cow

Acrylics on Masonite, ACEO (= 2.5 x 3.5 inches, or 64 x 89 mm):


It has been a while since I have done any painting; I have been busy working on a new children's book, which will hopefully be available some time in January 2020 - watch this space! But in the meantime, a little ACEO, just to keep me from going completely rusty.

Thursday 31 October 2019

Happy Halloween

I have been experimenting with coloring images digitally. There's a bit of a learning curve involved...

Pencil drawing; color added with Gimp.

Monday 16 September 2019

Red-billed hornbill

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:

The hornbills have a rather strange system of breeding. They breed in hollows in trees. The opening is mostly blocked off with a plaster made of mud and droppings, leaving only a narrow opening through which the male feeds the female and her chicks. When the hole becomes too small for its occupants, the female breaks out; the opening is then resealed as before, and the chicks fed by both parents until they are ready to leave the nest.

This item may be for sale on my Bid-or-Buy store

Wednesday 11 September 2019


Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:

I am not overly fond of painting predators. When I do, I decidedly prefer the smaller, lesser known ones, rather than the big glamorous ones like lions or leopards. Caracals are medium sized cats, and quite common throughout much of Africa, the Middle East and India, but are elusive and seldom seen.

This item may be for sale on my Bid-or-buy store.

Monday 9 September 2019

Three springbok

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:

The name springbok is from Afrikaans, meaning "jumping antelope." These medium-sized antelope are found in suitable habitat through much of the western half of southern Africa. They get their name from a curious behaviour known as "pronking" (from the Afrikaans, meaning "to show off"), in which they jump into the air in a stiff-legged posture. It is not clear what the purpose of this behaviour is.

This item may be for sale on my Bid-or-Buy store

Friday 6 September 2019


Acrylics on Masonite, 10 x 15 cm:


The Afrikaans name for these huge frogs is "brulpadda" ("roaring frog"), and refers to their raucous calls, which can be heard from a very long way off. It is a common night sound after good rains, when the females lay their eggs in temporary stands of water.

Thursday 5 September 2019

White-bellied sunbird

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


These small birds are fairly common around here where I live, in parks and gardens, as well as wooded wild areas. But they are not seen all that often because of their small size and wooded habitat. Not easy to photograph either, because they seem never to remain still for more than a fraction of a second at a time. Only the males have bright, iridescent colors; the females, like the females of other sunbirds, are drab grey-brown. They have a similar lifestyle to those of the hummingbirds of the Americas, and live on nectar, small insects and spiders.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Southern Red Bishop

Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


The bishop birds are part of the weaver family, and like other weavers, in the breeding season the males turn into bright colors, build woven nests and engage in mating displays in an attempt to attract females. In the non-breeding season, they lose their bright feathers and turn drab like the females.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Orange-breasted waxbill

Acrylic on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


These colorful critters are fairly common along water courses in the eastern half of southern Africa. They're pretty small and elusive though, so usually you have sit quietly for a while before you wil see them, often in small groups, flitting from perch to perch.

Monday 26 August 2019

Black-eyed bulbul

Acrylic on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


Common garden birds in the eastern half of South Africa. In the west, the are replaced by the red-eyed bulbul, which is almost identical, except for a red ring around the eye.

Sunday 25 August 2019

Cape robin-chat

Acrylic on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


These birds used to be known simply as Cape robins - not difficult to see why, as they look rather like European robins, but are found in South Africa. Then, some years ago, the powers that be in bird nomenclature made extensive changes to the common names of lots of birds, presumably in an attempt to standardize names, and the Cape robin also got renamed. 

Thursday 22 August 2019

Early bird (hoopoe)

Acrylic on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


I saw this hoopoe in the early morning gloom, looking for breakfast - the early bird does indeed get the worm. Took a quick reference photo or two. The light was so low that the photo came out fuzzy and grainy, but it was still suitable as reference.

Monday 19 August 2019

A bird and a big beast

Red-headed finch on a branch. Acrylic on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


A big beast in a small painting: Grazing elephant. Acrylic on Masonite, ACEO, i.e. 2.5 x 3.5 inch (64 x 89 mm):



Sunday 18 August 2019

Small gifts

Gifts for various people about to embark on long journeys, in the form of a bunch of small paintings of subject matter they happen to like. All done in acrylics on Masonite. The elephant is an ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches in size = 64 x 89 mm), and the other two are 10 x 15 cm:

Thursday 15 August 2019

Masked weaver

More precisely, Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus) male, building a nest. Acrylic on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


Monday 15 July 2019

Sunflowers in a ceramic vase

Acrylics on Masonite, 36 x 51 cm (= about 14 x 20 inches):


This one is a bit larger than my usual thing, and as such I did not put it up on my Bid-or-Buy store, because it is likely a bit too unwieldy to send anywhere by mail. It will hopefully feature in a local exhibition in due course.

Sunday 7 July 2019

Red jungle fowl

Acrylics on Masonite, 10 x 15 cm:


These are the critters domestic chickens are descended from. I experimented a bit here with a much looser, expressionist sort of style; I have yet to decide whether I like it!

Thursday 4 July 2019

Two blue waxbills

Acrylics on Masonite, 15 x 20 cm:


When you wander around in dry thorn veld, it's all muted greens and earth colors. Until you glimpse a little flock of blue waxbills; they always come as a pleasant surprise, their powder blue plumage looking strangely out of place in surroundings. Which is perhaps one reason why I enjoy painting them.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Sunbird and Protea Flower

More specifically, a greater double-banded sunbird. Acrylics on Masonite, 20 x 15 cm:


The sunbirds (there are many species) are Africa's version of the hummingbirds of the Americas. despite their similar looks, they are not closely related. The sunbirds have a similar lifestyle though, and live on nectar and small insects.

Sunday 12 May 2019

A Whale of a Tale

My latest venture in children's books, The Tale of Wally Whale, is finally available! It turned out to be a bit of a battle.

I decided to try out a new format, in which I stretch a single illustration across two facing pages - this is a popular format for children's books. Alas, I simply could not get Amazon's software to accept the paperback version of the manuscript. Either they simply cannot print it that way, or I did something wrong, but even with the friendly help of human operators at Amazon, I could not get the manuscript print-ready; I have no idea what went wrong.

This went on for weeks, and I eventually gave up. Looks like this one will only be available in electronic format!

EDIT, 23/7/2020: I decided to give it another go, and this time round managed to solve the technical problems. The book is finally available in a paperback format too.

Feeling sick to his stomach for no good reason, Wally has to travel all the way to the coral reef, to go ask the Sea Wizard for a cure... Ages 5 - 8.

Here's the free web version

If you enjoyed this story, please consider buying a copy on Amazon:

or make a donation of you choice by clicking the PayPal donate button in the panel on the right.