PAOTM – Brian May – June 2021

Brian May CBE proved a popular choice this month with some people completing two portraits of him. Brian has many strings to his bow (or guitar) as a musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, astrophysicist and university administrator, but it’s as a member of the rock band Queen that we all know him best. His lustrous, long locks proved a challenge, but everyone rose to that challenge.

Well done everyone who drew or painted Brian, your portraits of him are excellent, you are getting better and better!

Ron drew Brian with coloured pencils and included tiny details. Then he painted a second portrait in acrylics using a bright, bold background to effectively bring Brian’s figure to the front of the picture. Ron felt he had to include Brian’s guitar as it’s what he is best know for.

Kay sketched Brian playing his guitar and Freddie Mercury singing. The figures at the bottom of the page show how effective a few lines are as we immediately recognise who they are.

Steve drew Brian in oil pastels, using several different colours of pastel on his mop of hair to give volume. The guitar has been very well drawn and the subtle shadows behind it give a 3D effect to Brian’s portrait.

Juliet used pencils for her portrait of Brian, staring mesmerisingly at the viewer. Here is another use of using minimal pencil lines in Brian’s hair, but it is so effective as we know what is being portrayed.

Dot tackled two portraits of Brian, the first being a drawing in pencils of him as a young man. Drawn using the grid method Dot has captured Brian’s intense gaze and his hair is super. The second portrait is of an older Brian, this time with grey hair and a more lined face, very well painted.

Susan started her portrait of Brian using watercolour in a very loose way. One dry she used an ink pen over the top to create Brian’s features. Isn’t that a very effective way of producing a portrait?

Tracy decided to draw a portrait of Brian in one hour using one HB pencil. It was faster than she would normally draw but it was a personal challenge. As she started the picture she turned on the radio and Bohemian Rhapsody started playing…the perfect song to draw to!

June 2021 Saturday

19 members came along and enjoyed painting together for a few hours last Saturday. It was super to see everyone in such good spirits and chatting in their bubbles, catching up with news.

The suggested subjects were the Thames Estuary and the goddess Juno. The Thames was painted in London and along the north Kent coast, with big skies and wide waters. There were sailing and abandoned boats and barges, flowers, birds, fish and the Dartford Bridge. Members also painted their own choice of subject which is always welcome, to enjoy seeing how creative you are. (Any paintings of Brian May for the PAOTM will be posted at the end of the month.)

June 2021 Wednesday

Thirteen members met last Wednesday, our first evening session for several months. It was a very still, balmy evening and as a Covid-secure venue the hall should have air moving around so it was rather nice when the cool aircon kicked in efficiently!

Some members finished paintings from a while ago and others started working on this month’s subjects of the Thames Estuary (boats, flora, fauna etc), Brian May and the goddess Juno.

Most pictures started on the night are WIPs, i.e. works in progress, which will continue to be worked on at home or at our next session on 19th June (please note the change from the fourth Saturday to the third Saturday of June as the hall is being used for something else). All photos were taken at arm’s length with a selfie stick so Tracy didn’t get too near the other artists. Enjoy looking through the photos and hopefully they will inspire you to start your own picture.

June 2021

Our two sessions this month are due to go ahead, both under the ‘rule of six’ again, i.e. tables of 6, no mixing between groups, cleaning the tables and chairs and no access to the kitchen.

Hopefully you will have read recent emails from Steve saying that a small £2 fee will be due on a Wednesday evening and that the hall has already been booked by the vicar on our usual 4th Saturday session so we are meeting on the 3rd Saturday instead, 19th June.

Dates of meetings in June are therefore…

Wednesday 9th – 7-9pm – £2

Saturday 19th – 10am-3pm – £6

Here are some ideas for you to draw and paint at either or both sessions…


  • Brian May – the guitarist of Queen with his mop of curly hair is this month’s challenge. Paint him from his younger days or as he is now. Add other members of Queen too if you’d rather paint a group of figures.


  • Named for the Roman goddess Juno, goddess of marriage, daughter of Saturn and wife of the supreme deity Jupiter. In Greek mythology she was known as Hera, queen of all the gods.

There are many images of her online as statues and paintings have survived to modern times and are displayed in museums.


To tie in with this month’s Estuary Festival held in Gravesend and along the Thames, let’s draw or paint anything to do with the river and its environs.

  • the Dartford Bridge was opened 30 years ago. Love it for its elegant lines or loathe it for the traffic jams on it, paint its shape from a distance or close up.
  • ships and boats that currently used the Thames.
  • boats that now rust and decay along the riverbanks.
  • plants – colt’s-foot, marsh marigold, dog’s mercury, cuckoo flower, gorse, sea aster, yellow-horned poppy.
  • animals– harbour and grey seals, short-snouted seahorses, oysters, dolphins.
  • fish – did you know the Thames is home to 125 types of fish? Including Dover sole, salmon, flounder, corkwing wrasse, five-bearded rockling, goby, sea scorpions, sea bass, twaite shad, smelt.
  • birds – lapwing, avocet, black-tailed godwits, geese, knot, oystercatcher, shoveler, dunlin, redshank.
  • Deadman’s Island– actually in the Medway estuary not the Thames estuary, this island has been on the BBC news as coffin-buried bodies from prison hulks are now exposed due to rising water levels.

You may of course paint anything you want to. The subject ideas are there to help you if you need inspiration.