Sunday 18 September 2011

More summer

Another painting of the Royal Crescent, but this time it's up close - up close and personal...

A few things of interest:
  • A squirrel runs across the road and up the steps. He pauses, sniffing the air before running off into the small garden underneath the left hand window.
  • Some media type peepel turn up for a photo shoot and this model runs up and down in front of me with a dog at her heels while the photographer snaps away with his impressive lens.
  • The squirrel comes back. He's carrying something big in his mouth as he scampers down the steps and back across the road to safety.
  • The media peepel turn up again, but this time the model is in a different outfit. No running this time, but still with the dog. She tries to look thoughtful yet stylish while still holding a big model grin.
  • Someone laughs wildly in the distance. Whatever it was, I can't believe it was that funny.

Saturday 10 September 2011


The last few days of summer (what summer?!) and I try and make an effort. It all goes horribly wrong when I set up and realise I've forgotten to bring any white paint. I try and compensate for the fundamental error by digging into this big heap of old dried white(ish) stuff on the edge of my palette and scraping it across the board, but it's no help with the delicate highlights on the windows and the little pinky bits (technical term) on the clouds. I have to give up and come back to finish it, but in the end I think it gets there:

Saturday 3 September 2011


August - what happened there?!

I know what happened - holidays and stuff. The 'stuff' mostly consisted of wind and rain, but on the couple of sunny days we did have I managed to whip out the easel:

Sunday 31 July 2011


No new paintings to post - been away for a few days and still working on the pre-faces show - but in the meantime here's the amazing Dogboy cuddly toy!!!

You know you want one! Currently just a prototype, but who knows ...

Thanks to my sister-in-law Desiree B. for going above and beyond on this.

Sunday 24 July 2011

TBP days 4&5

Day 3 and I think it's coming together - I'm committed now to the Theatre being the only painted building and maybe it will work and maybe it won't. I repair the figures as best I can - damn, but it's hard to paint people walking around. I'm standing in front of a pub courtyard and every morning the landlord is there clearing up. He seems to know everyone that walks past, but today he's not so happy, cos a seagull has just shat all over him. There, but for the grace of God, goes my painting ...

Day 4 - the end - it was pretty well finished yesterday, but I've arranged to meet Rodney, the big issue seller, to take some photos for a portrait. Lots of positive comments about the painting, but I don't know whether they realise that this is it:

Rodney turns up and I take a few snaps - it's going to be an interesting portrait.

Back in the studio:

Friday 15 July 2011

TBP Days 2 & 3

Progress is slow - dogged by delivery vans and slow moving cloud I soldier on. But how far? Should I paint the other buildings in?

I do the yellow lines and cock up a couple of figures, but is it enough?

Arty angst aside I become acquainted with Rodney Willis, Big Issue salesman extraordinaire (preferred pitch being the bench opposite the Pasty shop). He's got a big bushy beard and a grizzled face and he's amenable to sitting for a portrait - all promising for the pre{faces} project.

Also bump into the dad of the 13 year old genius painter I met down Great Pulteney Street. His sons career is going from strength to strength - just like mine! .... heh heh ...

3rd person - photographer guy who sells promo shots of Bath takes some snaps. Who knows, might be good - maybe lead to something, but hold on, shouldn't I have given him my card so I can get a mention. As it is I'm just some anonymous painter guy. Just the back of my head at that. Idiot.

Friday 1 July 2011

Here we go again ...

I told you: big, bold and splashy and boo yah (again, that exclamation that I never really say) something or other ... [I've totally lost the track of where I was going with this line]. Big, oh yes, big - it's the biggest painting I've ever done plein air - 4 feet wide and it acts like a sail as I walk into town. This would probably be fine if the wind was with me, but it isn't, so it just annoys me.

It's early in the morning - ostensibly this is because the sun will cover the face of the theatre in a lovely warm glow, but it also suits the need to minimise my exposure to ridicule. I'm standing in front of the outside seating area of a pub and anytime after 11.00 I'm likely to have a crowd of drinkers behind me who may, or may not, appreciate what I'm trying to do.

That said, it's good to be back outside painting again and after the initial nerves when the painting is just a load of sploshes, as soon as I can see that it's going to look alright I start to enjoy myself. Just until my back starts aching from my funny angle - canvas must be at an angle as well as the drips have gone sideways ...

It's a start.

Back in the studio:

Sunday 26 June 2011

Return of The Bath Prize

For some reason the grey paint wasn't going on flat on this one, so I've resorted to putting a pattern on the background. Not sure it quite works, but it's done now.

On the plein air front, the Bath Prize has once again raised it's ugly head. After last years abysmal performance (although I still like the paintings I put in) I don't hold out much hope, but, hey ho, here we go ...

I get given (is that good English?!) the Theatre Royal/ Saw Close as a mandatory location to paint. It's somewhere I've never managed to capture satisfactorily before so I spend today trying out views/angles. Check out the following:

It's gonna be long and skinny and exciting with lots of brush strokes and stuff and boo ya! in ya face Bath Prize painter people!

I'll start painting next week (weather permitting!).

Saturday 14 May 2011

Ben Hughes: Party Painter!

Again, I've let it slip with the street painting, but it's the royal wedding and we're having a street party - after the success of last year's street party painting how could I resist? (posted last June)

I've got the wrong size and shape board and there's no sun to speak of, but I've started now and there's a gaggle (what is the correct collective noun? - naggle?) of neighbours expecting results.

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it and then the crowd of country dancers in the middle gets all too messy and I have to admit defeat. Hopefully I can rescue it later in the studio and, anyway, I think it's time for a beer ...

I get a five second slot on the local news (which I didn't see, but have on reliable information) in their royal wedding street party round up. Which is nice.

Two weeks later and I've finally got round to sorting it out:

Maybe this is it - Ben Hughes: Party Painter! Birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs. Street parties a speciality ...


Saturday 16 April 2011


I originally posted these pictures a couple of months ago without the lines, but I just couldn't live with them. I kept on wondering what they would look like if ... So here they are with lines, although still without any pattern on the background, and that, I think, is how they will stay.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Going Green


I'm out on the street painting again. It's been a while - must be almost 6 months, but the weather's fantastic and I've got a Wednesday free, so why not?

I go off piste so as not to attract too much attention with my bright green background. Despite this I spend the entire time trying to come up with a good response to the inevitable 'why are you painting on bright green' question. I need to be witty & cutting, yes, yes, & sound incredibly arty & clever. hmmm ... Yes, that's it! I've got it.

Apparently it's not so inevitable as no one asks me and I have to save my 'wouldn't you like to know' for another time.

I don't last long - I think painting is like gardening: take the winter off, then go out in spring & try digging the veg patch - your back is going to go ...


I go outside again to finish the green painting. I start chatting with this guy who tells me about his 13 year old son who is having a one man show in Cardiff - they're saying he's like a young picasso ( and he shows me images on his phone. Wow 13! When I was 13 I was only doing pencil sketches of women in nudey mags, but maybe the less said about that, the better.

Saturday 19 March 2011


I'm still busy posting pics with my portrait painting pals over on pre-faces, but in the mean time I am trying to push the landscapes slowly forward:

I don't know what's going wrong, but I can't seem to get rid of these streaks that keep appearing on the background. Another coat maybe? This one has already had five ...

And as a bit of light relief, check out the new yetispaghetti theme song:

Sunday 20 February 2011

Old(ish) Stuff

It's a slow blog week, cos I'm working on a body of portraits that I'm posting on a group blog over at so here's a couple of recent commissions:

and some more sketches of Jeffrey Archer. Why oh why oh why ...

I think I almost got him in that last one.

Thursday 10 February 2011


I think it's finished ...

& I planned to do a frame and patterns all over the background of these ones, but I quite like them as they are:

It's Venice Jim, but not as you know it. Ha ha - shame about the rubbish photography.

Thursday 3 February 2011

The Bunny Shot

Sorry, rubbish pun (although I'm secretly quite pleased with it (not so secret now)), but hey look, here's the last one:

and when you put them all together - WOO HOO!:

hmm, well maybe in a different order:

or like this ...