With all those paintings and drawings on this blog, a question invariably arise: is this how I make my living? Does it pay to paint? Answer is ambiguous, as usually. It does pay to paint, but “paint” with a different slant. With bigger brush, on awkward surfaces, at a specific direction of the client. Over the past few years I have done a fair bit of signwriting, the old way, with a brush and a can of paint. Most of my work is rewriting old signs, signing boat names on old timber hulls where the modern stickers would not hold, freshening up old signs so they last another year.

Ted’s containers were one of the better jobs. Done on a tight budget, but I did over 40 of them.

Another budget job, retaining as much as possible from the previous sign, changing the owner’s name and the destinations.

Beksie wanted a dancing croc playing a fiddle, and he had one on a cover of a CD. So I freehanded it on the side of his boat.

Doing one-off signs on boats I do not use computer generated fonts. Mostly it’s a question of fitting the sign in between the other fixtures on the boat, so the font has to be flexible.

Updating temporary signs is another common job.

This one I did for myself, a Far-Eastern Nivki pattern scaled up and drawn on my dinghy sail.

All photos by Nat from

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