ben ashton

Rag n Bone Man and the painting of Human

I have recently been commissioned to paint an entire album campaign for the artist Rag n Bone Man. This will include 3 singles (so far) and an album, and the artwork will probably be available as merch, too.

The concept for the campaign is to slowly reveal Rory as the person behind the music, starting with his hands. I have always found painting tattooed skin challenging as the ink must appear to be under the skin and not painted on top...what fun!

The Many Layers of Goliath

I have passed the midway point with this painting and it's starting to feel like i'm getting somewhere. There are so many different variables when painting on glass in layers, one of the most annoying of them all is the fact that the glass has a greenish hue to it. The more layers you add, the more green it gets. This means you have to add more magenta glazes to the back panels to counteract the effect. I can't wait to add the final details to each pane.

The Disappearance of Hiero Black

I'm currently painting over two perfectly-painted pictures of Hiero. For as long as I can remember, I have been attempting to paint perfect realism; now I find myself tired of seeing everything in such sharp relief. It's challenging to destroy something that you have spent so long trying to achieve, but in fact quite cathartic.

They may just disappear entirely.

Goliath and his Layers

This shows the building up of layers that make the 3D face. It will be an arduous task working on these 11 layers individually but, even at this early stage, Goliath has real presence. Not sure whether I want to keep the layers separated, as they are, or sandwich the glass together as a single unit.  I will have plenty of time to consider this.


Wylde Magazine

I have been really looking forward to this issue coming out. I love the design, layout and the sheer size of the magazine, it's a work of art in itself. David Newton interviewed me and it makes a very amusing read.

Hiero in Stereo

I have made a box in exaggerated perspective and drew a grid on the inside. I then printed out tiny Hiero's which I placed at different depths within the box. Then I photographed the box in stereo, hoping that the grid inside the box would aid the stereoscopic effect. It did.

Hiero and the Happy Accident?

My first painting of Hiero was going quite well but on my final glaze it went a bit too dark. When stripping back the glaze I decided that I was liking the eroded effect. Now I am working back into the painting to find a happy balance.

Double Image

I have started playing with double portraits using glass as a way to layer one image over another.  This was inspired by looking into the double glazing on the Picadilly Line. This is my first experiment but I really want to try full body, life sized portraits. I have made a frame for this one, that's quite unusual for me.

Mask Completion

The first Death Mask is now complete, can't wait to get the second leather cast from Rachel Freire.

Paintings Evolution

The paintings are starting to take shape now. This is when the paintings are at their most exciting, so much potential, who knows what will happen. When they are finished they become immediately boring. I have started covering the finished paintings in muslin.

GQ Style - David Bailey Shoot

Yesterday we went to the launch party for the latest issue of GQ Style. David Bailey photographed me for the 'Young Idea' story that is featured in this magazine wearing Ada + Nik. It was real honour to be shot by him.

S . A . D at Torture Gardens

My painting schedule has been interrupted by the learning of guitar parts for the band S . A . D. We played at Torture Garden today, I witnessed things that I will never un-see. 

Priming then Sanding then Priming and then Sanding again

I have started three new paintings. It took four whole days of priming and sanding to get them ready to paint. I hope it has been worth it.