Here is a supremely elegant-looking lady: an Audrey Hepburn among dogs. Just loved those ladylike crossed-paws. Painted with chromatic black mixed using Pthalo Green and Cadmium Red (warmish) and Pthalo Blue and Ultramarine (coolish). I only used tube black for her eye-liner and nostrils.
Today is the day, three years ago, that I stopped smoking after 34 years of committed puffing. This was part of a drastic economy plan to enable me to paint full-time. So an important anniversary.
Ironically, the single most important inspiration was and is himself a committed puffer: David Hockney. I had been given a book about him by Martin Gayford, Conversations with David Hockney.
This book had a profound impact, triggering a desire to paint - which I have never done before (always something arty, just not paint). I visited Hockney's 2012 exhibition at the Royal Academy in March and nothing was ever the same again.
He had filled a whole room with work he had made in watercolour - a medium he had never used before. How amazing is that?
Never too late I decided. And set a date.