Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monument Valley Mural Glow-in-the-dark

As promised I managed to take a couple of photos of the mural in the dark to show the effect with the glow-in-the-dark paint.

The silhouette effect of the monoliths works really well and was worth the extra effort in masking off all the areas I didn't want splattered with glow paint.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monument Valley Mural - Finished

It has taken a bit longer than expected but the mural is now finally finished.

The ceiling has glow-in-the-dark stars, galaxies & comets and then comes down to the horizon so, when the lights are off, the rocky monoliths form striking silhouettes.
Unfortunately my mobile phone's camera cannot capture this and I cannot find my other (proper) camera at the moment. I need to mount the camera on a tripod and set a long exposure in order to capture the glow effect. It does look stunning but for the time being you will just have to take my word for it :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Monument Valley Mural

Slowly getting there with this one. Gradually building up the rocky forms in a monotone way with a little white. Also starting picking out the stars in Titanium White - still got quite a bit of work to do.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monument Valley Mural

Gradually building up the night sky - this is the really messy part as I am building up the effects using a nail brush to splatter the paint. Most of the paint ends up on me but that's a small price to pay.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monument Valley

I have recently started work on a mural depicting Monument Valley at night. I am painting all four walls and the ceiling in a child's bedroom - the ceiling has been painted a deep purple and this will be the backdrop to some swirling galaxies, stars and comets which I will continue down the walls.

What started as as simple idea has now become a bit more involved - my plan is to also used my glow-in-the-dark paints to give as close an authentic night sky effect as I can. Hopefully it will not disappoint.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Medusa Doors

I painted these two cupboard doors for the bathroom in which I painted the Roman fresco a couple of weeks ago. The Medusa motif was chosen to reflect the bathroom tiles with the Greek key pattern. Once again I aged and cracked the design to match the first mural.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Butterfly Window

Here is a photo of a quick mural I painted a few days ago. It was painted as a surprise for a girl who loves butterflies, hearts, pinks & purples. I just needed to combine all these elements to make sure she was happy.

I completed the mural in one very long day - luckily I was working only a mile up the road so didn't mind working the long hours.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Desert Mural - Day 5

Finished the mural late yesterday evening. It was just as well that I finished late as the M25 was completely clogged during the afternoon due to the closure of the QE2 Bridge amongst other problems. By the time I drove home the road was nice & clear - even through all the roadworks :)

I painted the glow-in-the-dark stars yesterday. Because the ceiling had been painted blue I first painted the stars in white acrylic and then painted the glow paint on top. this will help the paints to glow more effectively.
The varnishing took me much longer than anticipated. This was due to the fact that I have painted the mural on top of a textured wallpaper so the varnish took a lot more working in.

The clients were very happy with the finished result and no doubt look forward to getting their room back :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Desert Mural - Day 4

Just about there now. Finished off the pyramids today and the chap riding the camel.
Just the glow-in-the-dark stars to add and a couple of coats of varnish - long day tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Desert Mural - Day 3

Just worked on the two desert palm trees today - nice to get some green into the mural.
Back onto the pyramids and camel tomorrow - and I have the moon to add as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Desert Mural - Day 2

2nd day into my desert theme mural. Now I have some pyramids and some colour at last. I am sketching the bulk of this mural using the brush & paint rather than drawing it all out first.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Desert Mural

I am currently working on a desert theme mural. As with the tropical island mural I painted at the end of last year, I have started with a blue base and have sketched out the mural using Raw Umber. Once I have fleshed out the design out in I will gradually introduce the colours.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Roman Fresco

I finished my Roman Fresco mural yesterday. It is a reproduction of a fresco found in The Villa of Agrippa Postumus in a settlement on the southern slopes of Mount Vesuvius, north of Pompeii.

As usual my favourite part of the work was adding the cracks and aging effects. I was also pleased that I managed to paint this within the four day window that I allowed myself - all my speed painting on 'DIY SOS' and '60 Minute Makeover' is paying off : )

Friday, July 23, 2010


It has finally appeared on the TV after such a long wait and it proved beyond reasonable doubt that I can dance as well as paint :)

The trompe l'oeil mural is a generic view of Provence with my favourite louver shutters (& a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape).

The week before I was filmed for this show I did a trial run of the mural at home just to make sure I could do it within the time frame. I also filmed myself painting the trial mural as well and the video can be seen on my website and YouTube page (just follow the links on the left).

It doesn't seem possible that this was filmed 14 months ago. Not bad for two days work though - although they were very long days !

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roman Fresco

I am now three days into my Roman fresco mural.

After building up the tones in mono I have now added some colour - next I will give it an aged finish.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Roman Fresco

Here is a photo of a project that I am currently one day into. It will be the recreation of an aged Roman fresco - complete with some subtle cracks and pits on the surface.

It is being painted in a large bathroom on the wall above the bath - as usual I start of fairly monotone before gradually adding the colour. The look of the fresco has a very fluid feel as it would have originally been painted very quickly (before the plaster had gone off).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It has taken a while for this one to appear on our screens (14 months to be precise) but the DIY SOS show I was involved with up in sunny Norfolk in May last year will be on BBC1 on Friday 23rd July at 7:30pm.

I will of course post up some photos once the show has aired.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Mum

We were finally able to say our goodbyes to mum yesterday. I am sure that she would have approved of the send-off we gave her - and may have even laughed at some of the jokes in my eulogy to her.

I know in my heart that she would have loved my short reading from her favourite childhood book, 'The Wind in the Willows'.

My brother Graham's eulogy to her was also very moving and recalled aspects of Mum's life and her larger-than-life personality.

The service was conducted by Reverend Stephen Robertson of St. Margaret's Church, Downham, Essex and Mum's ashes are to be interred here in with my father and brother.

It was wonderful to meet up with the all the extended family again, despite the sadness of the occasion. It was also heartening to realise just how much mum was loved by all.

We all love and miss you Mum.

x x

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Trudi Alice Westall

Sadly I lost my dear Mum today after a short illness. My sister, brother & myself had prepared ourselves for the worst and have been at her bedside over the last week.

Mum was born in Wickford, Essex on 1st August 1928 - the youngest of four children. During the 2nd World War she worked as a Land Girl on a local farm. It was after the war when she was working for Bata Shoe Company in Laindon, Essex where she met my father Eddie who, back then, was her manager.

They married in 1949 and had four children of which I was the youngest born in 1970. We tragically lost my brother David in 1974 and three years later we lost our father. Mum had to carry on - I was only seven years old and we also had a family business with two shoe shops in Wickford & Maldon Essex named 'Paul David Shoes' (named in memory of my brother David).
Mum never re-married but did have a long-term partner, Fred, who sadly passed away a few years ago.

In 1994 mum suffered a severe brain hemorrhage and had to undergo a life saving operation. She was unresponsive for weeks afterwards and had to slowly learn to walk and speak again. But she did amaze us by her miraculous recovery and one year later she was able to attend my wedding.

Mum has five grandchildren in all, two of them supplied by my wife & myself, and this month her first great grandchild was born, a little girl called Madison (this also makes me a great uncle). Ironically the day she was to see Madison for the first time was the day she was admitted to hospital just over a week ago.

Mum was an intensely loving person, sometimes very demanding and stubborn (as older people can be) but above all she was very loving and that is how we will remember her.

We miss you mum & will always love you.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moroccan Mural

I have finished my Moroccan style mural and just in time as the weather is beginning to really hot up and a south-facing conservatory is the last place I want to be working in : )

It also feels as if I have painted miles and miles of the mosaic effect - I am delighted with the finished effect of the aged mosaic but I am in no great rush to paint another right now - I don't even want to estimate how many little blue squares I have painted : )

The finished mural has been protected with two coats of a flat acrylic varnish. This process is always unnerving for me even though I have been doing it for years. The varnish takes on a milky appearance when it is applied and slightly obscures the mural - it then dries completely clear and with a fantastic matt surface which has little or no light reflection.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moroccan Theme

Here is another photo of the mural I am currently working on. This shows the aged mosaic effect which I am painting around the entire room.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moroccan theme

I am working on a Moroccan theme mural for a conservatory at the moment. Luckily the sun is mainly behind the clouds at the moment as the conservatory is south facing. It should feel authentically Moroccan in the height of the summer.

I am having fun doing my trademark crumbling effects.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Chrysalis Collection

The auction of the 51 celebrity butterfly paintings on eBay has now finished and has been a great success, raising £8,082 for Keech Hospice Care.
My little effort went for £198 in the end so a big thank-you goes out to everyone who bid. I'd love to hear from the bidder who won my butterfly.

The top seller was the Coldplay picture for £1,260. This was followed by Elaine Paige's butterfly at £770, Katherine Jenkins at £722 and Rupert Grint at £560.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


As I write this my Venetian Window mural video on YouTube has now had just over 10,000 hits and my channel has 48 subscribers.

I am long overdue with regards to putting another video together - I have an idea for a canvas I would like to paint and it may be fun to film the process as well. All I need now is to find the time : )

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Chrysalis Collection

You may remember that I was asked to paint a picture of a butterfly to be auctioned on behalf of the Keech Cottage Children's Hospice.
Lots of famous celebrities have also been asked to paint such a piece and the group of paintings will be on display at the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton from 1st - 29th March. The paintings will then be auctioned on eBay between the 19th-28th March.

Please follow this link for more details - The Chrysalis Collection

Amongst the many celebrities who have produced a painting are Nick Knowles & Billy Byrne, Gail Porter, Martin Kemp, Noddy Holder, Julian Clary and Coldplay. My name also made the list which was an honor (not to mention a shock).