Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chinese Umbrella Ladies

Chinese Umbrella Ladies - an oil painting by South African artist; Stephen ScottChinese Umbrella Ladies
Oil on Masonite

While having breakfast at Groot Constantia wine farm (the first wine farm in South Africa!) we noticed that a group of Chinese ladies were staring at my daughter; I think they were fascinated by her blond hair and blue eyes.
Then they started taking pictures of her, at first they were trying to take the photos so that we'd not notice, but only a short while later they were blatantly turning our breakfast into a photo shoot.
As they wondered off the matriarch took out her umbrella and held it up to shade her daughter from the African sun - I took out my camera and snapped a few reference shots... We're even now

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Seated Nude in Charcoal

Seated nude
Charcoal on Paper

We got together last night after a few weeks of being homeless (our studio is being renovated) - we annexed a friend's house and turned her upstairs area into a studio for the night before heading out to the pub.

All in all it was a very successful evening out.

See the full picture at my figure study blog - here

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stephen Scott - Seated Nude - Charcoal on paper

Seated Nude
Charcoal on Paper

See the full picture in my figure study blog - Here

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Stephen Scott - Seated Nude - Charcoal on paper

Seated Nude
Charcoal on Paper

See the full picture in my figure study blog - Here

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Girl on the train - Pen Sketch

Girl on the train
Pen sketch

This is a simple pen sketch done on the train coming home from work - it was late and she had all the attitude in the world.
She chewed on a piece of gum all the way home, every now and then she'd blow a gum bubble - she's good at it.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The eclectic mind of my desk

The eclectic mind of my desk - my desk an pallet - artist stephen scott
Sometimes I think my desk has a mind of it's own, and it's a weird mind...

What a strange collection of items; paint brushes, pallet (front left), dect phone (in front of the jar on the pallet), a kiddies book, a box set of Paulo Coehlo's fantastic books (the Alchemist is my favorite), a dress maker's tape measure (for measuring canvas sizes), a collection of paintings... there's other junk there too if you care to look.

I've not been painting - my studio got burgled... the only item of real value stolen was my bike (my precious bike)... but they took their time to trash my studio, overturned my easel, trampled paint all over, emptied drawers out.... it's taken a bit of time to get the courage to come out here and spend time in the studio. I become so angry that painting is impossible.

....maybe tomorrow....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Seated nude; charcoal on paper by Stephen Scott

Seated nude
charcoal on paper by Stephen Scott

Another week in the fantastic house with it's studio on the third floor!

It was the first week of winter for us - the studio was cold and impossible to heat up, our model huddled as close as possible to the heater during breaks, but during the pose she sat beautifully - the sign of a good model.

It's fascinating how the best models are also the smartest - our new girl has an honors degree in fine art and is currently working at the University of Cape Town.

See the full picture at my figure's blog - seated-nude-charcoal-on-paper-by

Picture blurb... How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seated nude with a red cushion

Seated nude with a red cushion - Oil on board - by South African artist Stephen Scott
Seated nude with a red cushion
Oil on Board
20cm x 25cm

This is the first painting from our new studio you can see the full story on my figure study blog.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Old man and the Mosquito

Mosquito MkVI - painting by Darryl Legg
(Featured artist)

Yesterday I met an old man on the train - during the conversation it turned out that he's birthday was coming up on Friday (today); I joked with him by asking if he was turning fifty... "No," he said, "I'm turning 90!"
He laughed showing a mouth that was devoid of teeth bar one or two.
He had remnants of a British accent so I asked if he was from the UK; turns out that he came to South Africa in 1947 after the war.
"Did you serve active duty?" I asked.
"I was in the Mosquito squadron," says he.

The Mosquito was a wooden frame fighter / bomber / reconnaissance plane and the man I met was a navigator.

In most dual seat planes the navigator sits behind the pilot, but in the Mosquito and the Vampire (both built by de Havilland) the Navigator and the Pilot sit (or used to sit) next to each other.

He told me a story of his friend that had received a DFC for successfully crashing his Mosquito...
In case of a water landing the pilots were trained to lift the nose of the plane, the theory was that as the tail touched the water the plane would belly-flop onto the water and float - not so for the Mosquito - being a wooden frame plane the tail simply broke off and then the Roles Royce engines pulled the wreckage under.
This young pilot's plan, if he got shot down over the water, was to dive straight into the water. He got his chance while flying in the Mediterranean and the experiment proved correct. The plane dived about 12 foot (3m) then then bobbed up to the surface intact and floated there. That daring move changed how Mosquito pilots executed emergancy landings in the water and earned him the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross).

There's an entire site dedicated to the plane:

The painting above was done by Darryl Legg - you can see his art here:

Darryl's paintings are beautifully executed - here's one of my favorite planes painted in the glorious colours of the South African Air force. Pop over to his site for more on SAAF war planes.

North American Harvard Mk 111 (SAAF)- painting by Darryl Legg

North American Harvard Mk 111 (SAAF)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chaeli Champaign

Well the Chaeli campaign is over for this year - we've raised tens of thousands of rands (still counting) and we had a lot of fun!

We started in Hermanus (see the sun rising behind us!) and cycled through to Stellenbosch on Friday - the ride took nearly 8 hours; which is a very long time, but we were a social group riding with people who had never ridden long distance before. They did very well! (122km in total)

The ride was beautiful (as you can see in the pictures)

The Frenchman smiling at you in the center photo is Jeremie Dupont; he's setting out for Paris in October with girlfriend Charlene Dickson.

You can see all the details of where they are going here.

The chap behind him is Deon, my friend and colleague.

Deon and I will probably ride with Jeremie and Charlene for the first few hundred Km. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday we rode from Stellenbosch to Cape Town in the rain! (70km)

Sunday was the big day - the Cape Argus - 109km in the wind! It was hell!

In total just on 300Km and nearly 16 hours on the saddle!

Remembering that 25% of all paintings sold this moth will go to the charity... so to buy a painting: How to buy a painting

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chaeli 2010 - Starting tomorrow

This is the 2009 team, tomorrow morning I'll be standing where they were last year and I'll be as nervous as they were... 300Km is a long, long way to ride.

The weather prediction is that it's going to be very warm to hot, and with the warm weather comes the wind - not pleasant riding conditions!

My daughter gave me a teddy bear this morning, evidently it wants to ride with me - so I've got to find some way of attaching it to the bike so that it can participate in the ride.

Hopefully I can get back to painting next week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Girl reading on the beach - oil painting by Stephen Scott

Girl Reading on the beach - Pletenberg bay - oil painting by Stephen Scott
Girl Reading on the beach - Pletenberg bay
Oil on Board
20cm x 25cm

Pletenberg bay is a wonderful beach destination, during the holiday season thousands of people flock to the water's edge. We were there in March last year, during the off season.
On the beach only a handful of people swam, and relaxed on the sand. The day was hot and the sea refreshingly cold.

Later in the afternoon storm clouds built up sending a cool mist ahead of the rain. The beach was deserted by the time we'd packed up our bags and folded up our chairs and umbrellas.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google BUZZ

I feel like I'm on the cutting edge of a new fad - Google Buzz.

It took me years to sign up with gmail and much longer to get facebook and twitter accounts... but here I am in the first week of the Google Buzz launch!

I feel so proud of myself.

Cycling and painting for charity

Two years ago I joined a bunch of crazy cyclists to raise money for a charity The Chaeli Campaign.

This year I'm doing the ride again.

We're starting in Hermanus on 12 March and cycling through to Stellenbosch, the next day (Saturday) we cycle to Cape Town. On Sunday we join the Argus Cycle tour for the last 109Km. In total we'll cover over 300km over the three days.

The Argus tour is the largest cycling e
vent in the South African cycling calendar. There's starting group that is entirely dedicated to Charity. In this group there are a combination of celebrities and people like me who have the intent of raising money for a good cause.

The celebrities in this group include (and have included) people like Lance Armstrong (the intrepid 7 times winner of the Tour de France), Lucas Redebe (South African born soccer star), Francious Pinaar (Captain of the 1995 World Cup winning rugby team), Springbok Rugby player Bob Skinstad
and the beautiful tennis player Gabriella Sabatini.

Gabriella Sabatini Tennis playerFrancious Pinaar (Captain of the 1995 World Cup winning rugby team) with Nelson Mandela7 Times winner of the Tour de France - Lance Armstrong.
Lucas Radebe, South African born soccer star.Some of the 2010 charity group ridersBob Skinstad, South African rugby player.

There are two ways you can support the charity, One by donating directly or Secondly - Buy a painting. A portion (25%) of every painting sold is going to be donated to The Chaeli Campaign till the end of March (Argus month.)

Daniel Scocco's free blogging tips

The main goal of my blog is to promote my art work with the intention of generating sales, which in turn enables me to afford to paint more.... the cycle of art life.
Here's the problem I'm having:
About three in a hundred visitors to this blog will click through to the sales page, of that about 1 in a hundred will buy a painting... (about 1 sale for every thousand views)
The maths seems simple enough: to increase sales all I got to do is increase the number of visitors to my blog... but how?
One of my biggest failures with this blog has been my inability to generate the web traffic (number of visits) that is needed to be able to realise the sales - I'm an artist after all, not a web marketing guru.
I've been scouring the internet trying to understand this internet business, then I stumbled on Daniel Scocco's free eBook on how to make money through blogging. His book is not a perfect fit for an art blog, but it's been incredibly helpful in understanding the current personality of blogging and the internet.
If you intend taking your blog to a new level; go get the book here:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The sleeping coach

The sleeping coach - pen sketch - Felt tipped pen on paper by Cape Town artist.
The sleeping coach
Felt tipped pen on paper

As I've mentioned before, there are three main things people do on the train; sleep, read and text.

These two were complete strangers in that they did not know each other, and yet they were a perfect match in habit - within minutes of sitting down both their heads were nodding and snoring in unison.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Westcoast silos - a revision

Westcoast silos - oil painting by Stephen Scott - Cape Town, South Africa

Oil on Board
20 cm x 15 cm

I've posted this painting before (here) but as it's been standing on my shelf I've had this feeling that I need to do something to fix it... and I did...

See if you can spot the difference.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Floppy hat and sun dress

Floppy hat and sun dress - oil painting by Stephen Scott
Oil on Board
15cm x 20cm

This is a frivolous painting, it borders on sentimental, but I love it! It was fun to paint, it's bright and it just.... well it's just fun.

There's no back story, I saw an image like this somewhere and used the idea; I almost feel like I've cheated beacause there was no back breaking effort to get the reference image...but I don't care.

Enjoy it!

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Journal of a painting I - Coffee on a winter's beach

This post is aimed at the budding artist and anyone that's interested in the process of creating art.

I've been asked about the method behind the painting, so here's step one to how I go about completing a painting, so here's step one in a short painting tutorial - a basic "method of painting."

The start:
It is very seldom that I start a painting without a planing phase - I've taken to doing my composition sketches in pen. You can see that the sketch is kept loose with no attempt at detail.

The Composition:
The frame around the sketch was added afterwords while I was deciding on the composition.
There are a couple of pencil lines that I added afterwords as markers while I transferred the sketch to the canvas.
First are the diagonal lines that cross through the center of the figure - the center of the drawing gives me a coordinate that I can easily mark off on the canvas.
Also you can see how the one diagonal flows along the slant of the figure - it's pleasing to the eye.

There are two vertical lines - these are in the third positions (if you divide the width into three you'd get these positions)
There's a rule of thirds in composition which recommends that key points in your composition should be on the third lines - in this case the knees and the body are on the thirds.

The horizontal line breaks the rule of thirds - its the halfway mark for the vertical. I'm not sure if I'm breaking rules here, but it works. The main part of the figure is central.

Once I've made these line I make the same markings on the canvas, then I fill in the picture using these reference points as markers - it becomes a join the dots exercise.

Here's the painted sketch before the block in begins:
Painted sketch - Coffee on a winter's beachPainted sketch - Coffee on a winter's beach
painted with a thinned solution of turps and burnt sienna

As you can see, the initial painted sketch is even rougher than the pen sketch. (Also you'll see that I missed the third position for the knees - I'll end up paying for that mistake later on...)

In the next post I'll show you the block in phase.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coffee on a winter’s beach - Oil Painting

Coffee on a winter’s beach - Oil Painting - Stephen Scott
Oil on Board
21 cm x 25 cm

On the same day as the beach couple strolled out along the beach hand in hand this lady had made herself comfortable in her camping chair. The day was far from beach weather, but it was the best weather we’d had in a long time – after weeks of rain this day of partially cloudy with scattered sunshine was the best day of the month... and it was weekend!

The beach was busy; a motley crew of people were attracted to the sea for whatever flimsy reason (I can't remember why we were there) – one thing we had in common was that we all had our best winter woollies with us, either wearing it or tucked under our arms… and some of us had coffee, a whole thermos of it…

We fled the beach an hour later as thick, dark clouds headed towards us, we gave up the beach for our own coffee in front of the fire at home.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Reclining Figure – Red hair and creamy skin

We’ve had this model sitting for us before, but I have not published a painting of her yet (still need to do some touching up) - I did publish a pen sketch of her a couple of weeks back - see the sketch here.

She’s got longish, curly red hair, creamy white skin and she sits beautifully… and for some reason I am very pleased with the way her knees were captured. There’s more detail about the painting and a bigger image over at my figure study blog.

It's got a similar feel to the Girl on a Persian carpet from last year.

How to buy this painting: How to buy a painting

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sleeper on the train - pen sketch

Sleeper - Pen sketch
felt tipped pen on paper

As I've mentioned before; sleeping is one of the most favored pastimes on the train, especially on a winter's evening. What's nice about the sleepers is that they sit still for longer than 5 minutes.... well mostly.

This was a typical evening on the train, it was late (about 6:30pm) and the end of a long day at the office. I felt the same way, I wanted to snuggle in and sleep, but I have a fear of waking up in the train terminal in the middle of the night with no way of getting home, or worst waking up with drool dripping from your chin and three strangers staring at you...

How to buy paintings from this site: How to buy a painting

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sleeper on the train - pen sketch

Pen sketch - sleeper on the train - stephen scott
Pen sketch - sleeper on the train
Pen on Paper
Sketch book

I carry my sketch book with me all the time - there's mostly only three things that people do on the train: read, text or sleep.

This lady tucked herself in, clutching her bag with her hood pulled up as high as possible and crashed.

This as with all the sketches in my book, is done with felt tipped pen and the drawing is done quickly (under 10 minutes)
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Warmup - Oil sketch of old man.

oil man - oil sketch by stephen scott
Oil sketch of Old man
Oil on paper

This painting was done as a warm up and as an exercise in tonality. The painting took about 25 minutes.
It's rough and there is no attempt at refinement (it was an exercise after all) but the sketch captures the character of the man.
If I were to do a final painting I'd love to keep this very loose/rough feel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The thinker - Pen sketch by Stephen Scott

the thinker - pen sketch by Stephen Scott
The Thinker - concept sketch
Pen on paper
10 cm x 10 cm
I had a bit of time to kill while waiting outside home affairs the other day, it seems this guy had as much time as he wanted. He calmly pondered life from his perch on the steps of a utility entrance while we scurried around stressing about ques and bureaucracy!

This sketch is not for sale, but if there are any other paintings or drawings you'd like to buy: How to buy a painting
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