Sunday, 26 October 2014

Painting Poppies - new online watercolour tuition

Poppy Trailer from Kaye Parmenter on Vimeo.

I am excited to release my new online tuition - Five Fabulous Poppies in watercolour.  The full details are available on 

Join in for some tips, hints, techniques and fun with watercolour!

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Household Cavalry

"Winter March"
Original Watercolour 56cm x 37cm
©Kaye Parmenter 2014

Original Watercolour 56cm x 37cm
©Kaye Parmenter 2014

My paintings "Winter March" and "Plumes" sold at auction for total £3077 last week - sparking the great rivalry at auction between the two regiments, Blues and Royals and Lifeguards! Four of my images will now appear on the Household Cavalry Foundation Christmas Cards this year.

Full blog post at:

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Foxy Red

Watercolour painting of Fox Red Labrador
Using red to paint this gorgeous fox red labrador in watercolour

Original Watercolour
56cm x 37cm
©Kaye Parmenter 2014

I took a photograph of this Fox Red Labrador on a shoot last year.  His owner mentioned to me that they have to be careful on shoots as, from a distance, he looks like a fox.  I can imagine.  The gorgeous red fur seems unusual to me, and it was the first time that I’d seen this breed.
I wanted to paint this lovely dog for my exhibition at the King John Inn, however I hesitated after picking up my brush – how could I paint with red to create this gorgeous colour?
My decision for palette lied with the siennas, Raw and Burnt, yellow ochre with the addition of “Light Red” for the darker sections.  This was a brave selection as light red is an opaque watercolour and seems quite “sluggish” to me on the paper.  I usually use this pigment for skies as, when mixed with Ultramarine Blue, makes the most fabulous grey.
So really, my red effect has come from Burnt Sienna and Light Red.
It would have been tempting to add a darker background, maybe a complimentary green, but there is something I really like about seeing the “red” emerge from a soft background.
This handsome chap was a pleasure to paint!

Friday, 3 October 2014

An unusual perspective

Original Watercolour
15cm x 30cm

There are some obvious things in this painting that make it appealing and there are some less obvious points that help to make the painting work.    It's such a great thing to consider everything when painting as you have such power with the ability to use artistic licence.
  • Composition.  Head tilted upwards.  Lots of white paper above the head with two watercolour "drips" (painted upside down) which should lead your eye to the eyes.
  • Tone - dark tone placed behind the right side of the face gives the impression of strong light falling on the up-turned face.
  • Colours are quite muted and greyish which helps to make the more colourful green eyes and pink nose stand out.
  • Less obvious.......can you see the dark left side to the ear.  This dark tone is painted alongside paper which was deliberately left white.   This has the effect of clearly defining the shape of the kittens head and ear.
  • The shadow under the chin contains  raw sienna which "warms up" and unifies the painting.
The photograph from which I painted the kitten was a quick snap taken by my son on his mobile phone, a brief moment captured when the kitten turned her head.

What followed afterwards with the creation of the painting, was a process of translation of key points onto the paper.  Sometimes you simply have to ask yourself why you like a photograph and how can you translate the key features in a simple yet effective way.

For more details on my online tuition, please click here 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Such an honour

Merlin Helicopter watercolour sketch

Such an honour to have been invited to attend the ceremonial Disbandment Ceremony of 78 Squadron Royal Air Force and Standing Up Ceremony of 846 Naval Air Squadron – a future with Merlin.
My first sight of the Merlin were a number of helicopters lined up by the runway at RAF Benson, with the ubiquitous Sea King in the background.
A large presence of both Royal Navy and Royal Air Force service personnel welcomed the arrived of HRH Duke of York and Prince Michael of Kent.  All speeches were moving and explained well the transition of the aircraft between squadrons.
I have a huge database of images from the day and I wish to produce a piece of artwork which expresses the feelings of the day.  It is clear that there is a huge emotional connection from the crew/maintainers  to the aircraft which has served them in many combat zones across the world .  It was quite a moment to see a formation flypast of 7 helicopters.
I am looking forward to starting the painting but, for now, the thought process behind the painting is going to take a little time.  I will keep you all posted!