Sunday, November 2, 2014

Denmark Antiques

Brass vase and flowers still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
Brass vase with yellow bouquet
25x30 cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

I currently have a couple of recent still life paintings for sale at Denmark Antiques, located at 5 Mt Shadforth Road Denmark, Western Australia. They're just down the road from the IGA supermarket.

If you're in the region and want to spend a pleasant half-hour or so browsing through antiques, collectibles and books, you should pop in and take a look. They have some beautiful wares on display.

Teddy bear, flowers and beads still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Albany ANZAC commemoration

If you're one of the tens of thousands of people visiting the Great Southern region for the Albany ANZAC 100-year commemoration this weekend, you might like to stop in Mt Barker and take a look at a small community art exhibition and sale at Mitchell House, on Albany Highway.

The exhibition is open each day from 10am to 4pm and finishes on Wednesday, November 5.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Perth Royal Show prize

I'm a little late writing about this, but my painting "Bantam Rooster" took out the Packers' Prize at this year's Perth Royal Show Agricultural Award, after winning the Wagin Woolorama Best Oil or Acrylic plus the Agricultural Award in March.

Bantam Rooster
30x40cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southern Art Trail

Brass vase and flowers still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
 Brass vase with yellow bouquet
25x30 cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

It's that time of year again, time for the Southern Art & Craft Trail, featuring exhibitions across the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

This year I am participating in a group exhibition at Manyat Peak Gallery at the foot of the Porongurup Range.

This will be the first public showing of the still life paintings I've featured here over recent months. A few of the artists will be in attendance at various times during the exhibition which is open Wednesdays to Sundays, with a small opening get together at 5pm on Sunday 28 September.

I have also entered two paintings in the Plantagenet Art Prize, which opens next Friday evening and each day throughout the Trail.

If you're in the region between September 26 and October 12, grab a copy of the directory from a visitor centre or gallery, or check details on the Trail website (download PDF brochure here), and take a look at the variety of work on offer.

Friday, September 12, 2014

More toys - still life oil painting

Here's my latest still life.

The teddy bear, books and candlestick came from a local op-shop, the flowers are synthetic and from a discount shop, and the beads were my daughter's, before she grew up.

I chose the bear because he looked pre-loved and has an expression suggesting he's just a little bit lost in his own world. I found he looked even better when he was sitting just slightly off vertical.

Teddy bear, flowers and beads still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

Here's a  reminder, too, that the Great Southern Art & Craft Trail starts in just a couple of weeks, on September 27, and runs for two weeks.

I'll have a few paintings out at Manyat Peak Gallery near the Porongurup Range, and will be spending a little bit of time out there painting and meeting visitors. If you're in the region, be sure to pick up a trail map from a visitor centre or gallery, and check out the wide range of work on display.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Girl's stuff - still life oil painting

Here's my latest still life painting in oil.

Girl's toys still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
30x25cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

The plushy dog, the vase and the sequined shoes are all op-shop bargains.

I haven't really got a title for it yet. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments. (I've renamed it "Treasure" since I first posted it here.)

This was begun as a simple exercise in preparation for a larger painting but I ended up spending quite a bit of time on it. I still think I'll do another version, although I might rearrange a couple of things.

I introduced a range of new colours to my palette for this one, including a violet, sap green, a transparent yellow and two rosey reds. I felt that with a subject like this, I needed some vibrant colours that I wouldn't be able to mix from my standard set.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Treasurer's poor apology

If you're not into politics, feel free to skip down to the picture.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has a had a bad week.

Tasked with the job of a selling a budget no one likes, Mr Hockey decided to dismiss the concerns of "the poor" by saying they won't much be affected by a rise in the fuel excise, because they don't drive cars anyway.

He went on to describe the fuel excise as a progressive tax, and became possibly the first treasurer in history to not know what "progressive tax" means. In fact, he might be the first high-school graduate in history to not know what progressive taxation is - assuming he graduated.

Challenged over his insensitivity, he dug in his heels and said the statistics backed him up. Unfortunately, he couldn't find any actual people who would back him up, not even among his closest workmates, and eventually began to realise he might need to give up and say "sorry".

And say sorry he did. Although, reading the full transcript of his on-air apology, it mostly seems like he's sorry people noticed that he's completely out of touch with the needs and concerns of low-income Australians.

If he wants to remain as Treasurer, he really should have apologised for not understanding basic tax philosophy.

Anyway, that was just a long explanation of why I felt compelled to do another Joe Hockey caricature.

Joe Hockey poor don't drive apology caricature by andy dolphin

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New video - storing wet paintings

For a long time I battled with the problem of what to do with wet oil paintings.

I had a small rack I'd made from a piece of chipboard with some strips of pine screwed to it, but it only held four paintings at a time and there was a risk of the paintings falling off it, face first.

A few months ago I saw a much better solution to the problem...

As always, it's best if you go to Youtube to see the video in higher resolution

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vintage Walter T. Foster books

In November last year, I wrote about my first-ever visit to the local auction house. It was a serendipitous visit, as I explained back then, which resulted in me owning the much-coveted, but long-out-of-print "Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes" book.

I also mentioned that I missed out on some Walter T. Foster art instruction books that were on offer in the same auction. They went with an opening bid of $30, which was more than I was prepared to pay for them that day (as I had already bought a couple of things and was yet to find out how much the Schmid book might cost me).

I grew up with Walter Foster books. My family had four or five of them covering a range of subjects from cartoons to animals to general drawing instruction. To this day, I can't walk past a Walter Foster book without flicking through it, although I don't see them all that often. I've bought a few over the years if the subject matter was relevant to me.

I have visited the auction house every week since my first visit in the hope of a repeat performance, but pickings have been thin, until this week.

Yesterday, I waited patiently for three hours as the auctioneers worked their way through the list of items from lawn mowers, to diesel engines, to lumber, furniture, crockery and, finally, to a small stack of Walter T. Foster art instruction books.

Again I readied myself for the bidding battle to end all battles. The auctioneer started at "Thirty Dollars?", "Twenty?", "Ten? Okay next item".

I raised my hand and cheekily offered five dollars for the books.

"Okay. Five dollars on the art books. Eight anywhere?...Yes. Eight I have. Ten dollars?"

Bummer, someone else wanted them after all. I nodded to ten dollars and resigned myself to paying more. I'd expected to pay anywhere up to $30 anyway, so I was ready for this.

But it was over. No more counter offers. A nod at ten dollars, and 14 Walter Foster books, including seascape and still life titles, were mine.

Walter T Foster vintage art instruction books

It now looks like I might be a collector of Walter T. Foster books. So if you have any you don't want.... :)


I just discovered the Walter Foster publishing company, founded in 1922, has a website and is still producing instruction books.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Brass vase and flowers - still life in oil

Here's the latest painting in my "brass on red" series.

Brass vase and flowers still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
 Brass vase with yellow bouquet
25x30 cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

As with the other still lifes, I'll probably work a little more on this one after it's dried a bit. I'll also try to get a better photo.

Here's how it looked as just an under-painting.

Brass vase and flowers still life under-painting by Andy Dolphin

I liked it so much at this stage, I'm thinking of doing a similar one with orange flowers.

I never intended for this to be a series but I'm enjoying the vivid colours and will probably keep playing with different arrangements until I get bored with them.


September 3 and 4, 2014

I entered the Newdegate Machinery Field Days art competition for the first time last year. My wife and I took the 3-plus-hours trip to visit the event and were impressed with the exhibition so I decided I had to enter again.

You'll find Newdegate about 400km south-east of Perth and 50km east of Lake Grace.

If you're anywhere near that region in a few week's time, you really should pay the show a visit. I may even bump into you there.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Brass pitcher - oil still life

I bought this stumpy brass pitcher a few weeks ago at the local secondhand shop. I've been itching to paint it ever since.

I polished it last weekend and set it up today with some synthetic flowers and grapes.

Still life oil painting. Brass jug with flowers by Andy Dolphin.
Short pitcher with flowers - stage 1
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

I consider this one just unfinished as seen here. I had less time than expected and didn't get to spend as long as I would have liked on some areas. I'll take another look at it later in the week and see if I can tidy it up a little.

I am really enjoying the "brass on red" series. This is the fourth one so far and I've been surprised by where the red reflects each time. This one was particularly interesting as the pitcher reflects itself at the base and features alternating upward and downward facing surfaces. It certainly presented a challenge.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

9 by 5 reminder - HURRY!

Just a quick reminder that if you're anywhere near Mt Barker in the next couple of days, you should drop into the community art gallery at Mitchell House and take a look at the 9 by 5 Exhibition.

There are 100 2D and 3D works on display from a raft of local artists and all pieces are available to buy via a pencil auction. The quality and variety of work is astonishing and presents a visual feast when you enter the gallery. Even if you don't make a bid, I think it's worth a look.

To make a bid, you just find the painting number in the bidding book, check the current bid and enter a higher offer. The minimum bid on any one item is $25, which is a bargain price for any of the paintings or sculptures on display.

Bidding ends on Saturday so time is running out.

Here's my entry and it is only available at this exhibition.

floral fireworks still life painting in oil by Andy Dolphin
Floral fireworks
12.5cm x 22.5cm oil on ply panel.
© Andy Dolphin

Mitchell House is located in Mt Barker, on Albany Highway, opposite the old railway station building. It's a pink building on the corner of Ormond Road. You can't miss it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Clive Palmer digital caricature

Considered by some to be the current leader of the Australian Parliament, larger-than-life MP Clive Palmer is the subject of my latest caricature sketch.

Clive Palmer digital caricature by Andy Dolphin
Clive Palmer MP
Digital caricature sketch.
Original 1000x1000px
© 2014, Andy Dolphin
Despite some obvious features, Mr Palmer was surprisingly difficult to caricature.

This isn't exactly a finished piece, but it will do for now.

Before copying, please read the copyright details at the bottom of the sidebar.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dr Oz digital caricature

 Dr Oz Senate hearing digital caricature
Dr Oz in the headlights
Digital caricature sketch.
Original 830x975px
© 2014, Andy Dolphin

After reading a few recent news reports from the US, I quickly knocked up this preliminary caricature sketch of TV personality and cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Oz.

Nicknamed "America's Doctor", Dr Oz found himself in front of US Senator Claire McCaskill, and facing some heavy questioning about his enthusiastic promotion of "miracle" weight loss products on his show.

Video of the doctor's testimony resulted in some "roo in the headlights" moments ("deer in the headlights" moments, if you're in the US. Others can insert their own local variant.) as the much-adored surgeon tried to answer the Senator's questions.

Those moments were the inspiration for me to finally caricature Dr Oz, something I've been planning for a while.

NOTE: Permission is NOT granted to use this image for any purpose. Sorry.

Small floral oil painting

My latest painting is a 9 by 5 inch oil on plywood panel and will be donated to the Plantagenet Community Art Centre to be auctioned in a fundraiser for the facility.

Several local artists and community members have been invited to participate, with all works presented on a similar 9 x 5 panel. Entries will include 2D and 3D work.

The "9 by 5" has a special place in Australian art history as it was the approximate size of cigar box lids favoured as painting surfaces by some artists in the mid-late 1800s. In 1889 the "9 by 5 Impression Exhibition" was held in Melbourne and featured such luminaries as Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton.

floral fireworks still life painting in oil by Andy Dolphin
Floral fireworks
12.5cm x 22.5cm oil on ply panel.
© Andy Dolphin

My aim here was to produce a fast, loose explosion of bold colour. I already had the image in my mind before I arranged the flowers in the set-up. Set against a dark backdrop and facing in different directions the flowers look, to me, like fireworks.

The 9x5 exhibition opens on Friday night, July 11, and runs for a week at Mitchel House in Mt Barker, WA. Purchase is by silent auction and, with opening prices starting at just $25, I imagine there will be many bargains to be had.

Monday, June 2, 2014

On the easel - Brass & Bear

Here's my latest still life oil painting in progress. It is the third in a series of paintings featuring polished brass.

Still life oil painting with brass jug pitcher and ceramic bear by Andy Dolphin
Brass & bear - stage 1
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

This isn't too far from a finished product but I do want to get in and make some refinements. I'll give it a few days to dry then get stuck into it again.

I am loving the reflective brass with the brilliant red tablecloth.

The ceramic bear was found last week in a local op-shop. The rose is synthetic and is one of a bunch that came from a secondhand shop, along with another brass vase that will no doubt show up in a painting soon.

My collection of brass and other oddments is growing quite fast.

Object collection for still life paintings

All I need now is the time to use them all in paintings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Australian Federal Budget 2014

I think this pretty much sums up community sentiment from last night's federal budget.

Joe Hockey Abbott Australian Budget Cuts & Broken Promises
Joe Hockey
Digital caricature.
Original 1700x2060px
© 2014, Andy Dolphin

This was a relative "quickie", taking a little under three hours from start to finish. I might spend some time refining it, one day.

As always, if you wish to use this image online, for non-commercial purposes, please remember to include a link back here. For any other purpose please ask in the comments or contact me at

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flowers with brass vase - still life in oil

My latest still life painting features another op-shop treasure. I tried several different arrangements using this round-bottomed, squat brass vase, and finally settled on this one.

Brass vase and flowers still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
Flowers with brass vase
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

As with previous paintings, the flowers are synthetic. This allows me time to experiment with arrangements without worrying about the flowers succumbing to the heat from the lamp. In fact, I can set things up one day and then start the painting days, or even weeks, later without everything wilting and dying.

I'm more interested in composition and colour than the accurate portrayal of particular species of plants, so I have no need for living specimens at this stage.

Interestingly, the most difficult part of this painting was polishing the vase. It was very tarnished but had a lacquer coating that was impervious to lacquer thinners and had to be removed with lots of elbow grease and car polish.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yellow flower with brass - still life in oil

I set this up a couple of weeks ago and just got around to painting it this afternoon. The flower is synthetic - the brass is solid. You might remember the tall Indian brass ewer from a couple of months ago. I now have quite a collection of brass, pewter and silver-plate, all waiting for their turn in a still life.

Sunflower and brass jug pitcher still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
Yellow flower with brass
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

My intent here was to treat this as an exercise in saturated colour and tonal separation. I wasn't trying for a finished painting but with a little more work after it's dried, it just might end up in a frame.

After marking the approximate location of the three main shapes, I roughed in the darkest shadow areas then methodically filled in mid tones, shadows then highlights.

I gave little thought to the objects as "things" and paid attention only to the relative values, hues and colour temperatures of adjacent areas.

Polished brass is interesting because we think of it as being a warm yellow sort of colour but its surface reflects all the colours around it, warm and cool. I was amazed just how accurately it reflected the red table cloth.

The photo was taken under a combination of incandescent and fluorescent light and I struggled to reduce reflection off the still-wet brush strokes. I guess I need a polarising filter to help with that.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chinese vase still life - new video

 Miniature Chinese vase still life in oil by Andy Dolphin
Miniature Chinese vase
21x25cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

I uploaded a new video last night giving a glimpse of the process I followed when painting my Miniature Chinese Vase still life.

As always, it's best if you go to Youtube to see the video in higher resolution.

Let me know what you think. If I get enough feedback, I'll look at uploading videos more often, so if you like it, share it widely via your favourite social media.


I've been doing quite a bit of op-shopping since shifting my focus to still life paintings. I now have a small but interesting collection of ornaments including cups, vases and candlesticks. Patience and persistence are key when looking for gems at thrift shops. Many visits result in no purchases at all but every once in a while there will be something that just begs to be purchased.

I popped into a local op-shop a couple of days ago and spotted a brass jug standing among the wood and metal bric-a-brac. I loved the shape and since I'm particularly interested in including brass objects in still life paintings, I had to have it.

Apparently these wide-mouthed pitchers are called ewers. This one, I believe, was made in India. It's solid brass, stands around 20cm tall and weighs over half a kilogram. Online values for seemingly identical ewers range from around $15 to over $90. I think the lower price is more reflective of the true value.

Brass is often lacquered to prevent tarnishing but the lacquer coating eventually breaks down in some areas, leaving a combination of shiny and tarnished metal. In this case, all vertical and upward-facing surfaces were completely tarnished while all downward-facing surfaces were still quite bright. Although this is fairly typical, I didn't really want to use it like this in paintings, so I decided to clean it up a bit.

Here's the before and after pics...

tarnished unpolished brass Indian ewer pitcher jug
polished brass Indian ewer pitcher jug

I removed the lacquer with lacquer thinners (this is definitely an outdoor job), then used car polish and elbow grease to bring the brass to an overall level of brightness. If this were a display piece, I would polish it further to remove remaining spots of heavy tarnish, then apply a coat of wax to deliver a mirror-like shine and a level of protection. But I don't want it to be too reflective so I'll actually leave it to tarnish a bit then hit it with a light coat of either lacquer or wax.

Keep an eye out for it in future paintings.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Woolorama wins!

I enjoyed great success at Wagin Woolorama this year, winning three prizes.

My studio painting Bantam Rooster took out first prize in the oil and acrylic category while my plein air painting Narpyn Cottage, winter morning was awarded second prize in the same category.

Bantam Rooster
30x40cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

Narpyn Cottage, winter morning.
Plein air. 38x35cm oil on board.
© Andy Dolphin

Bantam Rooster also won the Agricultural Award. This means it will now have to travel to the Perth Royal Show in September to be exhibited and judged with all other Agricultural Award winners from around the state.

Here I am with Woolorama Art Award coordinator Natala King...

Andy Dolphin, Natala King, Wagin Woolorama

The major award went to Perth artist Casss Gartner for her watercolour painting An Early Morning Walk.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Miniature Chinese vase still life

I painted this little still life a couple of days ago.

 Miniature Chinese vase still life in oil by Andy Dolphin
Miniature Chinese vase
21x25cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

The miniature Chinese-style vase was purchased two weeks ago at a local op-shop (thrift shop) and stands around 8cm tall. The flowers are synthetic and were picked up at a garage sale for two dollars.

I used a new full-spectrum, 6400K compact fluorescent bulb to light the set-up on this one. Full spectrum lamps give a much cooler, true-white light compared to other globes. It took a bit of searching to find a bulb but the local lighting shop tracked one down for me for $9, which is much cheaper than I'd seen quoted elsewhere for similar bulbs.

I used the same lamp to add extra light in the studio while photographing the painting and am very pleased with the result. I did hardly any adjusting in Photoshop at all this time. I'm going to look for a couple of lamp stands and get some more bulbs to make that process even better.

I did shoot some video of progress on this one. Hopefully it will be good enough to edit together and put on Youtube.


I completely forgot to mention that this weekend (Friday 7th & Saturday 8th March) is Wagin Woolorama weekend. I took out first prize last year and have entered three paintings again this year.

Fingers crossed.

If you are in the region on Saturday, or feel like a day out (it's about two and a half hours from Perth), I might see you there. Just follow the map to Wagin then follow everyone else when you get there.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blue vase - still life in oil

Over the last few weeks, I've been visiting op-shops and garage sales and picking up interesting odds and ends for use in still life paintings.

This blue vase was one of the things I collected. It is a very dark, yet intense blue with a gold and silver foil pattern on one side. The small cream-coloured ceramic pot is one I picked up at an op-shop years ago. The flowers are synthetic, but if you don't tell anyone, then I won't mention it either.

Blue vase
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

I almost never do still life paintings but I want 2014 to be the year where that changes. This painting is the first step in that journey. I started it at 8pm yesterday when the mood suddenly hit, and I was done by 10pm, with a short break half-way through. I had already set it up the day before.

I don't consider it finished but I'm happy with the overall feeling of it as a "proof of concept".

The palette is quite limited: ultramarine, permanent crimson, cad-yellow light, yellow ochre and burnt sienna.

The lighting for this was supplied by an old domestic compact fluorescent globe but I got a new full-spectrum compact fluoro yesterday that I hope to use in future.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

400-Day Clock Digital Still Life

I was playing around this afternoon trying to assemble an interesting still life setup using one of our recently-acquired dome clocks.

I don't have a lot of useful ornaments or bric-a-brac to populate a still life, and February is a dreadful time to go looking for colour around the garden, but I did find a petunia that was still holding onto some flowers. Using the still-life stand I built last month, I added a few small vases and even some lemons and got to work arranging.

I spent hours trying different arrangements and lighting, taking photos as I went. With no time left to start an oil painting, I did this digital painting of a close-up of the clock pendulum.

Schatz 400 day anniversary dome clock pendulum - digital still life painting
400-day dome clock pendulum
Digital painting
© 2014, Andy Dolphin

Friday, January 31, 2014

As an aside...

For years my wife, Janet, expressed her interest in "dome clocks". We looked around from time to time but never saw any for sale in the places where we expected to find them.

Then, a few months ago, I saw one at the local auction house. It was a genuine wind-up clock - though it was without a key. I had no idea if it would work or not, and I knew nothing about these clocks, but I got it cheap. At the very least it would make a nice ornament and I even foresaw the possibility of including it in a still life painting at some point.

kern MIV 400 day anniversary dome clock
Kern MIV Anniversary Clock
circa 1962

Once home, I set it up on the bookcase and tried to get it to work – without success. And so began my education in "400-day" or "Anniversary Clocks" (as it turns out they are officially called, because they only need winding once a year, in theory) and my fascination with these time-keeping devices was born.

To cut a potentially long story short, the clock started working after a month or so, with just a little perseverance on our part. It's been running mesmerisingly non-stop now for two months. This, apparently, is something of a victory as these clocks are renowned for being exceptionally difficult to work with, to the point where many experienced clock repairers simply refuse to have anything to do with them. As a result, they are often found for next-to-nothing in thrift shops and flea markets.

Shortly after buying this clock, I had discovered the location of another unwanted, unworking anniversary clock so I approached the owner and he gave it to me. A few parts were detached, but present, and the clock hadn't run for a long time. It was clear someone had tried and failed to fix it.

I worked methodically through the steps I had learnt to date. I assembled the detached parts and got the clock turning as it should, albeit for a very short time. Ultimately I had to dismantle part of the clock, make some adjustments and reassemble – then it started to work. A few days later I decided to give it a bit of a shine.

Schatz 53 400 Day Anniversary Dome Clock
 Schatz 53 Anniversary Clock
November, 1954

It's early days for the second clock (life was not meant to be this easy when dealing with these devices and I know it has some deep-seated issues we'll need to work through at some point) but we now have two "functioning" 400-day clocks.

They are marvels of finely-balanced engineering and works of art, in a rather "steampunk" sort of way.

Now I want more of them. I have the urge to completely dismantle, service and rebuild anniversary clocks – for fun.

I'm not usually mechanically inclined but something about these clocks appeals to my inner-geek. I have a need to learn everything there is to learn about what makes these things tick, if you'll pardon the obvious pun, but the two clocks we have are behaving too well to risk upsetting them.

I also have the inclination to include several of them in a still life setup, so this article really is about painting after all.

If you happen to know where there are some of these unwanted treasures, whether in an attic or a secondhand shop, preferably within "easy" reach of southern Western Australia, Yanchep to Augusta to Bremer Bay , please drop me a line at

Thanks for listening, now back to normal programming.

Friday, January 17, 2014


For much of the last week or so I've been sorting out my garage. The time had almost come where hard hats and climbing gear were recommended attire for anyone who dared enter.

During the clear-out, I discovered a couple of boxes of illustration board that had obviously been "put away for later" when we moved here ten years ago. When I checked the contents of one of the boxes, I discovered some long-lost artwork from my teenage years.

Here's a little of what I was into back in 1978-82, when I was 17-21 years old (and when my CB radio call-sign was "Grot" as you might note in the signatures).

Bedford van - Mini - Mack Kenworth Truck - drawings sketch by Andy Dolphin
Felt-tip pen and coloured pencil
on scrap book "butcher's paper" 
© Andy Dolphin

Back then, custom paint jobs, including airbrushed murals, were all the rage. My brothers had oodles of magazines of custom-built cars of all shapes and sizes and I would spend hours dreaming up my own designs and paint schemes, using the magazine images as reference.

As the years went by, I got quite good at illustrating reflections.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Profiting from Copyright Infringement

The never-ending battle continues.

I have just filed four notices of copyright infringement with Youtube. The first notice has already resulted in the taking down of a copy of one of my plein air painting videos that had been uploaded to another account.

(UPDATE: Seven videos from three near-identical accounts. All copies now removed. UPDATE Jan 29: It appears the offending channels have been deleted.)

Yesterday afternoon I was showing a friend some of my videos on Youtube but I noticed that infringing copies on two other channels were often the first ones to come up in the Youtube search results. This is, to put it mildly, annoying.

Taking a look at the two offending channels, each of which contains over 200 videos, it was soon clear to me that these were not fans celebrating the work of their favourite artists. Their content includes all types of "paint" from watercolour to house paint and the "About" information consists of nothing more than long lists of paint-related key words.

It appears to me that the channels in question are monetised, which means they receive payment every time a video on their channel is viewed. I suspect the channels are there solely to attract viewers, presumably to profit from views, and that the account holder has little interest in the material reproduced on the site.

When someone steals your content, they also steal your viewers. If your own channel is is monetised, then the copyright offender is also stealing your money.

Most importantly, perhaps, is that the original author misses out on interacting with viewers. Comments and questions asked on copyright-offending channels usually go unanswered as the channel owner is unlikely to care or even be in a position to answer questions. Likes and dislikes are important ways for an author to gauge viewer interest and guide future projects, but they do not get this information if the content is viewed and rated elsewhere.

If you find interesting-looking videos on Youtube, check who has posted it and, if they don't appear to be the author, take a look around Youtube and see if you can find the person who owns that video content. Then view the videos on the authors' Youtube sites instead.

How to lodge a Copyright Complaint on Youtube:

If you are an author who feels their video copyright has been infringed, lodge a complaint with Youtube.

Click on the flag symbol under the offending video and a list of options will appear. Choose "Infringes my rights" then choose "Infringes my copyright" from the next list to appear. Press submit.

From the next window, choose the option to submit a copyright complaint and another browser window/tab will open up where you can fill out all the relevant information including the web address of the offending videos and the address of your original. You can include multiple complaints on one form by choosing "Add another video".

Copyright complaints are legal claims to ownership and there can be penalties for lodging false claims, so you will also have to fill out some personal details plus make a declaration that you own the content and are making the complaint in good faith. Hit the submit button and you will receive emails from Youtube advising you of the status of the complaint. Hopefully the offending video will be removed within 24 hours.

If enough complaints are received, I understand Youtube is likely to delete an entire channel. If a channel exists only to profit from other people's work, without credit or agreement, then this would be a good outcome.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Still Life Painting Stand

Happy new year blog reader!

I haven't had much chance to paint over the "festive season" but I did manage to find some time to build myself a stand for setting up still life arrangements.

I've wanted to do still life for some time but I never really had a convenient way to set them up. Cardboard boxes on top of cardboard boxes just don't cut it.

Here's my solution to that problem...

diy still life oil painting set up stand

I built it out of some old shelves and other bits of chipboard and timber I had in the garage and I finished it in the same colour as my studio walls. It's made in two sections and can be set to four different heights. Like several other things in my studio, it's on castors so I can shove it around.

The idea is to have an assortment of different sized boards and surfaces that can sit on top to the stand to hold arrangements of objects. I also need to accommodate a "back wall" that can be either painted matte black or covered in draped cloth. I may even build a simple shadow box to sit on top.