Starting some Loose Spring Flower Studies

Working on preparation for first ‘Flowers’ workshop this year was really refreshing (although I’m doing ‘Chilly Landscapes’ and ‘Polar Bears’ before January is out. I had hoped to hang greenery up with something like hellebores so that we might do some drippy work but my hellebores were being rather shy. So I bought some flowers from supermarkets and picked a little, rather bedraggled viola from the garden. The large blank sheet is Arches paper. It’s expensive paper and is a bit intimidating when it sits there saying, “go on, just start will you…” These are to be continued later in the month…

Winter Paintings



Two watercolours on a Winter Solstice theme, look for the badger in one and the fox in the other.  The top two are on Saunders Waterford 425gsm (NOT) which is a beautiful paper to work on and very tolerant of wet washes. Below is an unfinished acrylic version of ‘January Sun’ on the wall behind (the yellow will be softened with some rose glazes). That was painted on Bockingford 425gsm (NOT) also a paper in a weight that can cope with wet work and without being stretched.

This coming week workshops resume. Looking forward to some loose ‘winter flowers’ paintings.


WI Bearsted Workshop

Great time meeting the Bearsted WI Art group this week. The theme was ‘Chilly Landscapes’ and we happened to have chosen probably the last really hot day of Autumn just before Storm Ali struck. We used a limited palette of the watercolours Aureolin Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. We mixed a cool, dark, blue grey for the trees and shrubbery .We dropped in Sepia Acrylic ink into the wet washes and carefully etched some lines for fine branches with cocktail sticks. I managed a very fast demo of printing leaves with white acrylic paint , which once dry can be over-glazed with diluted acrylic paint in golds or deep reds or cool blues.

Mounted, framed and sold


I painted this just before Medway Open Studios as a commission. I had painted another piece but was sure the customer would prefer this one. As it turned out they really liked the first painting. This one sold a few days later in the final couple of hours of Medway Open Studios . It was a good week in the end, slow to start but the Wednesday was really busy (surprising) and the final weekend became quite hectic. Thank you those who came to browse, chat and buy paintings and cards.


getting out ‘en plein air’ just do it, as they say…

A workshop morning: Always a great idea to get out and make drawings and notes in any medium that you can handle. Pen and pencil are great, especially the cheap pens that one can blend with a waterbrush. We used pastels and the ‘developed the sketch’ back in the studio. It was fun. It’s still quite muggy now but no excuse not to get out there. I just don’t do it enough. It really feeds the mind. It helps us build a ‘visual vocabulary’ which is laid down in our brains. Working from direct observation is always surprising to, things take on shapes that one might not draw if working from the imagination back in the studio. It’s good to take photographs as you work outside too as the light changes EVERYTHING in seconds.