Behind the Scenes…

THE SWEET LIFE Painting by Drew Brophy for Nectar Sunglasses April 2014A majority of my business is painting commissions for collectors and companies.

This painting, titled THE SWEET LIFE, was painted for Nectar Sunglasses.   Painted on gallery-wrap canvas, sized 15″ x 45″, with Uni Posca Paint Pens.

The Sweet Life artwork is inspired by my love of  a quiet beach, big surf and the idea of living a laid back lifestyle; peaceful and getting back to nature.

I’ve painted a lot of images of the lone surfer on a beach with a surf shack in the sand.  It’s what many people dream of, a more simple way of living.  I guess that’s why every time I paint a scene like this, it gets a lot of attention.

I hope you like it!  Feel free to share this image online, just be sure to include this notice:  Artwork (c) Drew Brophy.

And if you want your own surf hut on the beach, email!

Life is good -Drew

Rough sketches before painting

Rough sketches before painting

First Color on the Canvas
First Color on the Canvas

Painting the Sweet Life

Painting the Sweet Life



SUNSET KELP Painting on Surfboard By Drew Brophy Feb 2014One of my favorite things about surfboard paintings is making an art piece/sculpture that reflects 25 years of being a production surfboard painter.  (Order your Commissioned Surfboard Painting here)

This painting, titled SUNSET KELP was painted on a 7’0” single fin swallow tail shaped by Ron House, with red tinted pigment.

SUNSET KELP surfboard art was inspired by the reefs off of San Clemente that I paddled two days before designing this painting. The water was ultra clear, and there were more garibaldi fish than I’ve ever seen before.

It was a beautiful sunset that afternoon.  The only thing missing was giant waves. So I used my imagination and painted what I wished the waves looked like.

My best work comes from this type of encounter.  The painting flows easily when I’m inspired by real events.  I don’t mock them up with computers.  I don’t try to impress anyone with fancy embellishments.

I just love to surf and surfboards have been my canvas since the beginning.

This surfboard was a commissioned piece for a video game designer named Colm.  Colm loves surfing and fish.  He and his wife, Yumee, met me about ten years ago when I did a live painting at a surf shop in Santa Cruz.  I used to tour surf shops all over the world and leave a little piece of my art with the community.  I met Colm and Yumee way back then and gave them a poster, and that day they decided that they wanted to own one of my original boards one day.

Maria and I hand delivered the painting to Yumee.  She surprised Colm with it for his birthday.  He was so stoked, he sent us a picture of him with it!  Colm Nelson and his Birthday Surfboard painting by Drew Brophy Feb 2014

Life is good,  Drew

SUNSET KELP Surfboard Painting Feb 23 2014 in Progress by Drew Brophy



Lighthouse by Drew Brophy Nov 2013HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE paint pen on canvas board sized 11″ x 14″, Medium:  Uni Posca Paint Pens.

The lighthouse in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, was a part of my life as a young surfer.

I lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a six hour drive south from Buxton, NC at the time, and in Myrtle Beach, the waves are small.

So, when the waves got big in Hatteras, my friends and I would make the drive north.

We had many great surf sessions in front of this lighthouse in Buxton.

Since then, the lighthouse was moved off the sand to another spot.

This painting reflects my memories of back in the day, when the lighthouse was a beacon to all surfers when the waves got big.

This painting went to a couple who have a house in Buxton.  I hope they love it.

Life is Good,

DrewDrew Brophy Painting the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for Buxton Couple Nov 2013

Drew Brophy and the WD Fan Night Mural Painting CES2014“I always wanted my father to be proud of my work.  It felt good being back at home, after all these years, and having him watch me do what I do for a living.  This painting was the last one my father got to see me create.”  Drew Brophy

In December, Western Digital (WD) asked me to paint a mural to put on display at their big party, the WDFanNight event in Las Vegas during CES2014.

At the time, I didn’t realize just how special the memory of creating this painting would become for me.

I was on an extended stay at my parents’ home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  My father was very sick, and Maria and I were helping my mom take care of him.  We brought our work with us across country, and I transformed my parents’ garage into my working studio and went to work!

I built five canvas frames, each one 6′ x 2′, designed that way so the mural would be easy to transport.

This was painted with a variety of mediums; first the background, using Mtn94 Spray Paint.  Then acrylic paints, applied with brushes, to get greater texture.  Then I used airbrush and Uni Posca Paint pens for the finer details.

WD wanted a surf painting in my traditional style, with symbolism that was relevant to their products, which is hard drives.  Hard drives hold things that you want to keep forever.  When I think of things that last forever, I think of ancient times and things that were made in stone.  In a way, hard drives hold information that is saved and passed down.  All of my art is saved on hard drives; it’s like my safety deposit box.  The art will be passed down to my son, and his kids as well.  So in this painting, the character is carving a WD in stone.

One of the best photographers in the area, Scott Smallin, came by every day during the painting of this mural to capture the progress on video and pictures.  Scott became a good friend and someone to lean on, as the days went on and my father got sicker.

I always wanted my father to be proud of my work.  It felt good being back at home, after all these years, and having him watch me do what I do for a living.  This painting was the last one my father got to see me create.

Here’s the video of me painting the mural.  Photo and video credit to Scott Smallin, video editing by Don Perry, music by Brian ILL: