Saturday, 24 March 2012

Red Shoes

Red Shoes
Here is a little sketch, greeting card size, to show you today. What can I say, definitely not a pair of my shoes, lol!!! A friend has fallen in love with the little painting so I am going to give it to her as a thank you card. So what do I learn from little sketches? When I like something
enough, it is worth trying on a larger scale.
And this is what I will be doing
with these shoes!
Thanks for looking and don't forget the clocks tonight ;-)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Take a photo!


Work in Progress
Tip: If indoubt, stop and take a photo.

It’s unusual for me to show a painting that isn’t finished but I felt that I learnt something at this stage of the painting. My vision was to achieve the effect of splashing water
and movement and, for this, the tone in the water was important. I reached the stage in this painting where I believed that more depth of colour was required in the water. I stopped and took a photo.

By looking at the small photo, it became clear to me where I needed to see darker tones in the water area – I’m not sure why it became clear from the photo, but it seemed to work and I was then able to carry on with the painting.

So, if in doubt, take a photo and play with the photo before you commit to the rest of the painting.

Thursday, 22 March 2012



In 2010 I painted a collection of watercolours themed
around images of war and they were auctioned with the proceeds going to Help for Heroes. There are still scenes that I see now that make me want to pick up my brush to see if I can capture them in watercolour and this is one of them.

The main aim for me with this painting was to emulate
the downdraft from the Chinook blades with the dust and sand in the air. The glow in the sky around the mountains on the right appeared with the colours merging wet-in-wet. It’s the true magic of watercolour!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Old and Bold

Old and Bold!

This old fella has been sitting on my easel for a
while now, he keeps looking at me, wondering when I’ll finish his
painting! In truth, I enjoyed painting it
so much, I have been adding little bits each day, watching the face appear out
of a fairly pale wash.

I could see warm colours in this painting although I have
used cool colours in the shadow areas and warmer colours where the sun is catching
the trunk and ears.

My old and bold friend is here for you to see, hope
you like him!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sharp Edge

Sharp Edge
Lake District

Anyone who knows our family well will wonder why, with
a smile, that I don’t paint more of the Lake District. I wonder why too, perhaps it is that I’ve
fallen in love with the Somerset Levels which couldn’t be further from the
heights of the fells!

There is more to this painting that meets the
eye. Dark versus light, colour versus
monochrome, sharp versus fuzzy. I wonder
how much we actually take in when we glance at a landscape view?



There can be tricks and tips that may help to make a
painting “work”. In many paintings, I sometimes
use tonal counterchange which is a placement of dark tones adjacent to very
light tones and vice versa. This useful
technique can help to form shapes, and is sometimes useful in defining the
focal point of the painting.

A jaunty head angle with this hare, was deliberately
placed to suit the shape of the painting.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dancing Light

There are so very many factors to consider about
planning a painting before picking up your paint-brush. For me, the beauty of watercolour is that,
however hard I plan there will always be little surprises around the corner.

This painting has an unusual composition and narrow
format with the left hand side of the ballerina creating a wavy line down the
page. What I wasn’t expecting was the
way the water flowed back into the deeper colours, creating wonderful watermarks
and glowing highlights across the shoulders, tutu and back of leg.

I have named this painting, “Dancing Light” because of

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Old Faithful!

Old Faithful!

When you are pushing yourself to experiment to achieve something a little different in your paintings, I think it is sometimes comforting to return to a subject that you are familiar with, such as “Old Faithful”.

In doing this, you may not feel that you are pushing the boundaries but I believe that, following your experiments, it is unlikely that you’ll paint your familiar subject in exactly the same way, with the same colours. It is because of this that I believe this is a good exercise to try. Compare the paintings!