Sunday, December 27, 2009

Waiting on the station Mk II - Oil painting

Waiting on the station - Oil painting by South African artist Stephen Scott
Waiting on the station
Oil on Board
21 cm x 26 cm

I've posted this painting before, in it's unfinished state (here) - it sat on my desk for a long time, it needed something... and I was not sure what...

I finished it last week and posted it for sale a few hours ago.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Friday, November 27, 2009

Seated Figure

Seated female figure - oil painting by stephen scott

Seated Figure - the painting continues....

The painting heads on towards completion, see the bigger image on my figure study blog.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seated Figure

Stephen Scott - seated figure - oil on board
New picture uploaded to my figure study blog.
Seated Figure
Oil on Board

A new model, and a new work - this painting is still incomplete; see the bigger version at my figure study blog.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Friday, September 25, 2009

On the beach - pen sketch

On the beach - pen sketch by Cape Town artist Stephen Scott

On the beach
Felt tip pen on paper

This little sketch was done as a tonal study while preparing to do a small painting. I often do a tonal study in pen before starting a painting; it helps me work out what I'm going to do with the paint. In this case I messed up the painting, the tones were right, but the umbrella was overworked and ill-proportioned - the overall presentation sucked.... I like the sketch though...

How to buy this sketch: How to buy a painting

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seated Model - Charchoal on paper and Oil on canvas.

Seated girl (Oil on canvas) by South African artist - Stephen Scott Seated girl (Charcoal on Paper) by South African artist - Stephen Scott
Two new picture uploaded to my figure study blog.
Seated Girl
Oil on Board / Charcaol on paper
I've been very busy working on a new project, it's an art project, but it's not art.... I'll explain in detail soon.

In the meantime, here are two paintings done during our weekly figure study session.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

3x3 Practice board

stephen scott - farmhouse painting - tonal studyLouis Trichardt farmhouse - in progress

stephen scott - farmhouse painting - tonal studyLaangebaan farmhouse

I'm frustrated - painting's just not working for me at the moment! I seem to be making too many mistakes and end up scrapping the painting I'm working on.
I tried to work out what the problem is and it comes down to my erratic way of working, I don't seem to have any sort of system.

I took a piece of masonite (60 cm x 45 cm) and marked off 9 squares (3x3) which leaves me 9 mini canvases of 18 x 14 cm - 9 practice attempts where the object is to practice and test concepts, not to deliver a finished work of art. The two paintings were done fast with only tonal study in mind.

The Langebaan farmhouse got bumped while it was still wet - I like the smudged effect... now I got to workout how to do it as part of my repertoire of techniques.

I still need to add a few details to the Louis Trichardt farmhouse, but I'm quite sure that I'm going to do a larger scale painting of it.

Only 7 more practice paintings to go........

To buy this painting...

How to buy a painting

If you've been browsing this blog wondering how to buy an original oil painting from me... this post will explain all.

The best way to purchase a painting from me is through Bid or Buy - I have partnered with them to facilitate selling. Bid or Buy adds value by ensuring the credentials of both the seller and the buyer.
Click here to see the paintings I currently have on offer.

There is one problem though - not all my paintings are registered on the auction site; I alternate paintings on the site to gauge interest from the Bid or Buy web users, and to give myself a break from the stress of waiting for a sale (yes it is very stressful).

If there is a painting on this site that you like, and it's not marked as sold, please pop me a mail at - I welcome offers. Payment can be done electronically or the painting can be loaded to Bid or Buy for an agreed period (2-3 hours) enabling only you to bid on the item and also making the transaction safer for both buyer and seller.

In summary - go to Bid or Buy or mail me your request.

I'm open to suggestions should you'd like to recommend another transaction method.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Waiting at the station - oil painting by Stephen Scott

Waiting for the train - oil on board - Stephen Scott
Publish Post
Waiting for the Train
Oil on Board
21cm x 25 cm

This is another composite picture... a week ago I did a quick sketch while waiting for the train at Claremont station. The sketch was of a man dressed in blue, sitting on a bench, in the background was the shadow of the overhead walkway.

It was a < 1 minute sketch, but I liked the composition so I did a warm-up painting using the sketch as a reference - a quick 10min painting which concentrated on tone and without pretending to be a real painting. I wished that I had had a camera with me...

Then I went to Karin Jurick's blog - the latest image was so similar that I just had to use it to fill the void left by not having a camera with me.

See paintings from the other artists for the challenge at DSDF.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pink Bikini - oil on board

Pink bikini - oil on board - painting by Stephen Scott
Pink Bikini
Oil on board
20cm x 15cm

I've cheated here... or is it more a case of artistic license? The figure here never existed as is, it is a composite of a few reference photos with the gaps filled by my imagination. The painting was an exercise in light and painting with tones.
I enjoyed the contrast of the bright blue sky against the warm flesh tones of the sunlight figure... or is it the other way around?

Since this is not a nude in the proper sense of nudes; I've posted it here; and on the 500Nudes blog.

White Cat - Oil painting on canvas board

white cat, oil painting, Stephen Scott
White Cat
21cm x 25cm Oil on board

I've posted the progression of 'white cat' before (here) and in that post I said I had to stop because the paint was simply too wet... well after two weeks all I added were the highlights to the eyes... worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beach Couple - oil on board

Beach couple, oil painting, Stephen Scott
Beach Couple
Oil on Board
21cm x 25 cm

We went down to the beach despite the miserable weather - I think we were hoping to see whales (we did not). What we did see were some odd folks, I suppose like us, that were out on the beach with clouds looming behind us.

The sun came out and warmed us for a while, but with the sun cam the wind - a perfect day for bed and a book, yet we were out at the cold waters edge.

I got some great reference photos though... this is the first painting from those photos.

This couple, must have been in their seventies, strolled out along the beach, then stood for ages watching the waves come in. As they walked on it was hand in hand - I wonder how long they've been lovers for?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Barry Jackson - Painter and Sculptor

barry jackson, portrait, oil painting on boardBarry Jackson
by Stephen Scott
Oil on board

This is my friend and fellow painter - Barry Jackson.
About a year ago the model did not pitch up so Barry sat for us. This is a quick study done in oils and I'd like to think that it would have become quite a nice painting had we had another session with him as the model.

Barry is a commercial artist by trade currently working as a professional sculpture. He recently started spending more time behind the easel doing oils - Visit his blog at

Barry specializes in African wildlife and the human figure. His kudu leap, his bushmen dance and his miners toil... take a look at his bronzes, it's worth the click.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New blog for figures

A work colleague wrinkled his nose as he peered at my paintings.
"This is certainly not office friendly," commented pointing at one of my figures study paintings.
On the screen in front of him was a beautiful model in a complete state of undress... "and I won't show this to my mother either," he continued.

He's view may initially be taken as prudish, but it's not about him, it's about what other people think as they walk past his desk... what are they thinking about him?

I've decided to move all my figure study paintings away from this blog and onto a new site dedicated to figure study paintings.

I created the figure study blog ages ago then abandoned it favoring this site instead.

Figure study is an important part of art and an artist's development in his/her skill, so it is still an important part of my weekly schedule.

So this blog will be reserved for clothed figures, cats, vegetables, old paint tubes and anything else that begs to be painted.

For the figures go to

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Different Strokes...

Summer vegtables

This is a small quick sketch - I almost missed the challenge completely this week, as it is I'm hoping that the time difference is in my favor and I've made it in time....

Check out the other artists HERE

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Model Standing - Alla Prima

[image moved to my figure study site: 500Nudes.]

Model Standing - Alla Prima
Oil on canvas - 25cm x 36cm

This is from the archives - which in my case is a pile of paintings that have been stacked away in a dark cupboard, mostly of unfinished paintings and paintings that desperately deserve to be shredded... finding this one was a nice little surprise.

The model for this painting was a lovely mother of one in her early thirties, she decided she wanted to try modeling for an artist group - we were very happy that she chose us. She has a lovely figure and a very pleasant manor.

The paint on here is very thin on a canvas roughly primed with gesso, it's the texture in the gesso that you see, not really the brush strokes.

The painting was completed in one two hour session so the size was a perfect fit for the amount of painting time I had available, any bigger and it would have looked incomplete - smaller and it would have looked overworked.

Onion - Oil on canvas board

Oil on Canvas Board
21cm x 23cm

I can't write the word 'onion' without thinking of my father - when I was a kid there was a silly joke in a kids book; what is an Oz-oz the joke asks... the answer is of course an onion with all it's letters turned sideways - it's all in the font.

I did this little painting as an exercise in simplicity, I wanted efficiency in brush strokes, bold brushwork, perfect colours... I got sidetracked and stuck to my normal little 'licks' of the paint brush... and I liked it!

It's not what I set out to do, but I have to ask myself what I was thinking - the style I set out to mimick is not mine, and it's not in my personality. This last year I've spent trying new things and I've made a lot of mistakes and churned out a lot of crap that I'm not willing to show anyone, while I have works going back a couple of years that I'm very fond of.

It's time to go back to doing what I know.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

White Cat - Oil painting

White Cat - painting in progress
Oil on Canvas board

I could not carry on with it, the paint was simply too wet to continue... there is probably about ten minutes work still to be done, but it has to wait a day or two.

I've spent a bit of time ruining a bunch of paintings, nothing seems to be working at the moment, so it's great to have this small win.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks

Different Strokes...

This little painting was done in response to Karin Jurick's challenge on her blog: Different Strokes from Different Folks - She puts out a photo as a challenge, artists then respond to the challenge by painting an interpretation of that photo and then posting the painting to her site.

This week we're working from a black and white photo of a landscape somewhere in Pennsylvania, the idea is to fill in colour from your imagination - I've given it a South African feel, since I have no idea what the landscape looks like.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Knysna holiday - Girl on the beach in Natures Valley

Girl on beach in Natures Valley - oil painting by Stephen Scott
Girl on the beach in Natures Valley

We spent a week in March traveling through the Garden Route (Western Cape, South Africa), our base was in Kynsna a beautiful seaside town famous for it's treacherous 'Heads'.

This painting was done from a photo taken in Natures Valley - just short of two hours drive from Knysna. Natures Valley is one of the most beautiful places to live in the world!

The weather was perfect - light breeze and clear sky - but the aerial perspective was thick and close... Aerial perspective is the effect where distant hills are blue'er and less detailed. (More info on aerial perspective.)
I watched as people walk along the beach in what seemed to be perfectly clear weather, but they'd start fading as if they were walking into a thin mist. Details only a few hundred meters away were completely lost. This girl stood pondering something on the beach unaware that she was fading.

This is the first completed painting in a series from that holiday.

The winter rain is setting in now and it's heart warming to be working on paintings filled with bright sun!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Girl Walking

New Oil painting for sale - 'Girl Walking' by South African artist Stephen Scott.Girl Walking
Oil on Masonite
150mm x 180mm
Click here To Bid

As with many of my paintings, this painting was done in the studio from a photo taken on the streets of Cape Town.
This girl was walking at a brisk pace through the suburbs where I live. I captured this image as she walked past a neighbor's wall with the midday sun filtering through the tree branches.
Capturing the light flitering through those branches was interesting - it's amazing how easy it is to completely mess up something that looks so easy.

Fruit Seller - Smoke break

Fruit Seller (Smoke break) - New oil painting by South African artist Stephen ScottFruit Seller - Smoke break
Oil on Masonite
150mm x 180mm

This vendor sells his wares about 50m from the Queen of the Street selling seasonal fruit.
Cape Town's CBD is littered by vendors of all sorts, you can buy anything off the street from muti, to food, to radios, TVs and imitation fragrances.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Rocker

The Rocker - Oil painting of Brain May by Cape Town artist Stephen ScottOil on Stretched Canvas
610mm x 770mm
Click here To Bid

You may recognize this rocker: Brain May (Queen).
My intention was to use the photo (a still from their 1986 concert) as a reference for a generic guitar hero, but then my wife convinced me to just paint it as it is... he would have been playing a Gibson 335 (Chuck Berry type guitar) if I had my way.
What I did want is that feeling of a god like guitarist in the spotlight caught midway through a spine chilling solo - I think I got it.

Did you know that Brain May and his dad made his first electric guitar out of the old coffee table (your useless fact for the day).

Oilcan Guitar

Oil can guitar - oil painting by Stephen ScottOil on Stretched Canvas
610mm x 770mm

This one was painted almost sarcastically; it's not in my normal style and was done almost completely from imagination. The only time I referenced real life objects was for the tuning pegs on the headstock, the way the fret board and string are lit... and the amp is loosely based on my Marshal amp.

I stood back from the painting and thought, 'Yeah that works' - I was surprised. The painting ended up on exhibition for a few days and was sold as I was unpacking it. During the exhibition this painting got more comments and praise than any other on display. I am still stumped - why is this painting so popular? What makes it more appealing than... well, what makes it so appealing?

It hung on my wall for three months before the buyer cam to pick it up, now it's gone and I miss it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the easel at the moment...

Girl Walking

Street Vendor

I've not been working very hard the last two weeks - I could blame it on computer problems; which is true, but an oil paint artist can't really use 'PC problems' as an excuse... but that's where all my reference photos, notes, planing, etc. live...

These are the two paintings I'm slowly working on at the moment, both are only 30min away from finished, and have been for the last week or so. The photos show the progression of the paintings - I'll probably delete this post once the finished paintings are posted.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On a Bike

On a Bike
420mm x 320mm
Oil on Masonite
Click here To Bid

The painting was done in the studio almost entirely from imagination.

The inspiration for this painting cam from seeing an old man on a bike smoking a cigarette, my imagination ran away with me and I started picturing an old man in a suit, early morning, riding through the mist with his bike rack laded… this painting was the result of that mental image.

There was a simplicity about the subject and it was pure enjoyment creating this work, I love the way it painted… I think that’s the definition of a great painter; someone who can create a fantastic painting every time; at the moment it’s a bit of hit and miss for me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Different Strokes - Beach Scene

Different Strokes - Beach Girl
105mm x 145mm Oil on Acrylic Paper

This is another challenge from 'Different Strokes from Different Folks' (interpretation of other artists)

Karin's challenge is simple - one photo, many interpretations; this is mine. Again painted with a alla pima feeling and in under an hour... it's simple, it lacks finesse and it's simply an exercise in putting paint on the canvas.

I added this painting to my 'for sale' list after taking note of how many people liked it - I'm pleasantly surprised at the attention it's received!

If you'd like to buy one of my other paintings: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The queen of the street

I posted this one a little while back, last week it went on auction at Bid or Buy and it caused a bit of a stir... there was more activity on this posting than many of the others and the bidding was fierce (well by my standards anyway - Lucian Freud would laugh out loud at me calling it fierce)

This auction has made me very happy, it is a huge motivator to receive so much positive attention.

Another painting also received it's fair share of attention this week - Nude on a Persian carpet. It's been sold and unfortunately I am not able to ship it because I'm on holiday... (I'm very embarrassed about that)

One viewer left a message on the Persian Carpet post - she said "...your work is fantastic!" - It is so nice to get flattering message like this!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter Buffalo

Winter Buffalo

150mm x 180mm

Click here to Bid

I snapped this group of buffalo while visiting in Pretoria last year (I forget the park’s name; maybe someone can remind me? It's en route to The Cradle of Man.)

As we were leaving in the late afternoon we stumbled upon this small herd of buffalo settling in for the night. The sun was low on the horizon so the grass was ablaze with golden light. The Highveld has a special light to it during the winter, its crisp… if light can be described that way.

This is a studio produce work - oil on Masonite and is part of my 'postcards' series. This is the first wild life painting in the series. I have a small stock pile of wild life photos from which I intend creating more a broader gallery of African animal paintings. Look forward to seeing cheetah, giraffe, wildebeest and other African wildlife in the near future.

The other 'postcards' currently on sale are street and urban scenes from in and around Cape Town

Monday, March 2, 2009

Reclining model on a Persian Carpet

This is one of those paintings that I just fell in love with! (which seems a bit egotistical since it's my own painting)

It was a simple life study that works. The brush strokes are bolder than my normal style and the detail is in the suggested shape.

The model is a pleasure to work with; not only is she beautiful, but she's also got a natural understanding of what the artist expects of a model.

Reclining Nude on a Persian Carpet - Oil painting by Stephen ScottReclining Nude on a Persian Carpet
410mm x 300mm

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Junk food Mall

This is a companion piece to the Lady on the street the two photos were taken about twenty meters from each other.

For it's size it's too complicated and I'll be more careful in the future, but this one works - it was late afternoon and this group were just resting, organizing rowdy shopping bags, chatting, smoking, eating...

It's not really a mall in the true sense; its a strip of open air shops that specialize in Halal food, and in Cape Town talk that means: high cholesterol.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This was a small warm up painting.

These Jalapenos are the first off my bush this year; I enjoyed painting them... then I enjoyed eating them (sounds cannibalistic!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Matroosberg - the painting

This is the back side of the row of cottages out at the Matroosberg and is the painting based on the sketch from the previous post.

The late afternoon sun set behind blue gum trees and cottages, there was a distinct variation in tones - from the dark blue tones in the shadows to the glowing light generously sprayed over of the fynbos. As the light dipped towards the horizon colours emerged from the foliage that I'd not noticed before... it became an enchanted wonderland of shape and colour.

An icy wind blew up a few minutes after I finished the sketch, that night the wind howled and the temperature plummeted - November is normally blisteringly hot, but not on the night of this sketch.

Late afternoon at Matroosberg - oil painting by Stephen ScottLate Afternoon at Matroosberg
600mm x 340mm Oil on Masonite
Click here to bid

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sketch book - Matroosberg

We've got a little cottage out in the mountains and we don't go there often enough... I digress; this sketch was done on a trip out there late last year.
I had my box with me and I had the intention of painting, but it was too windy - the easel would have blown away! Instead I huddled up and did this sketch and took a few pictures with my cellphone to get an idea of the colours.

Back at home I did a painting of the scene - I'll post that soon, in the meantime here's the page from my sketch book:

Matroosberg Cottages - pen sketch by South African Artist - Stephen Scott Matroosberg cottages - 2008
Felt tipped pen on Paper

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sketch book - 11/02/2009

This man sat down opposite me, loosened his tie, snuggled into the corner and then fell asleep.

My 'real job' has been keeping me up at night (IT batch jobs) so I felt like he looked - in desperate need of sleep.

I did a quick sketch of him instead of sleeping - about 5 to 8 minutes.

Pen on paper

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oil wash sketch

This was the first painting I sold... and also one of the paintings I'm fondest of.

We'd painted the model before and I had completely stuffed up the painting, so when she walked in for this session I immediately had a feeling of impending doom, but when she posed I knew that it was going to be a fantastic session.

This painting was done as a study for a bigger work; the bigger work is still unfinished a year down the line and has very little emotional value to me. However, this little one; she's my pride and joy.
Oil wash portrait - seated nude by Cape Town based South African Artist, Stephen Scott
Oil sketch - 23cm x 30cm

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lady on the Street

This lady was sitting on the steps... I don't know what she was waiting for...

The way she was sitting, the colours, just everything made me think it'll be a good painting. Like a geek I pulled out my HTC and snapped a quick picture.

I did this painting on the same night... well actually at about 3am the next morning (I had to be up for work and while the batch was running I worked on this.)

It's not for sale yet because the paint is still wet, I'll tell you this though - it's small. Bigger than a 'jumbo' photo, but not by much. I'm going to be doing a lot of smaller painting in the next while (my aim is for about 5 per week.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Looking Away

This little 255x255mm painting was done in one sitting.

It is the first in what I hope will be a very successful series called 'Glimpses.' I'll describe the intent of the series in a separate entry, in the meanwhile here is 'Looking Away':


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks

This is a fantastic idea...
Different Strokes from Different Folks

A photo is posted every two weeks and then any number of artists create a work based on that photo... there's nothing sepectacular about creating a painting from someone else's photo, it's actually unacceptable, but there is some magic here - the number of variations are incredible style, skill, interpretation, composition... there are so many variables that it blows my mind to even try contemplate the number of possible interpretations!

San Francisco Victorian
other artists

I'm treating these exercises as practice sessions - my aim for this one was to paint loosely and within an hour. I did not achieve the overall effect that I wanted, but it's not terrible either.

Of course this painting is for sale, but not yet... it's still wet!
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