Saturday, 24 December 2011

My top five Winter paintings

Well here is my top five winter paintings, I enjoyed going back and finding some of my old favourites and there certainly will be no new snow in Keswick tomorrow for Christmas day, the met office is
forecasting 13 degrees!

 Number five Skiddaw in Winter painted in pastels

 Number four Sharp Edge painted in pastels on the wonderful 'Wallis paper'
I had ten sheets shipped across from America

 Number three Stickle Tarn painted in Pastels.
I was supposed to be sketching at Grasmere but the magnificent Langdales caught my attention instead, so after a slippery walk up to Stickle Tarn which was all worth it  for the stunning cold view. 
Number two Winter flock painted in Oils, I so enjoyed painting this little picture

Number One Striding Edge of course, this was the painting that gave me the confidence to go for a dream.
'Alf Roberts' off 'Coronation Street' bought my first Striding Edge at The British Painters Exhibition.

Happy Christmas to everyone
and Many thanks for following my blog it really does help me keep creative.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

My top ten winter paintings

 With temperatures around a barmy 11 degrees, I don't think we will be having a white Christmas here in Keswick, but I still have my fingers crossed. So here is my top ten favourite winter paintings just to remind you of a white Christmas. I'll post the top five tomorrow.
Castlerigg Stone Circle painted in pastels.

Sharp Edge painted in watercolours

The lost valley, Glencoe painted in watercolours. This really was sketched on site, be it a quick sketch!

On the Edge painted in pastels.
After a three hour slog to the top, I knew the view would be breathtaking, a sketch with crampons on.

Rannoch Moor, Scottish Highlands painted in pastels. Two puffa jackets need for this sketch and this was just in the car.

Friday, 16 December 2011

A little beauty on Derwentwater

Beautiful, Beautiful morning down at Derwentwater, it was a little grey to start and then the clouds opened and 'Wow' the fells look so magnificent with snow and the lake was still and silent.

Panaramic Catbells and Friars Crag perfect reflections

The best seat in the house, perched on the end of Friars Crag

Sunday, 11 December 2011

What materials to buy a beginner of watercolor

When you start watercolour painting it can be a bit daunting knowing what materials to buy. Here is a list that I would suggest and is ideal for starting the Watercolor Online Course this course is ideal for beginners and those who would like to improve further with watercolours at £45.00 for six projects if you would like more information just email me

Watercolour paper either a block which means it is already stretched and ready for painting, after finishing simply take a knife and run it round the edges and take the paper off, you are then ready to work on a new piece of paper.
A watercolour pad or singular piece of watercolour paper these all come in different weights 140lb I find that this does need stretching or 200lb or even 300lb both of these can be painted on without stretching. I like to work on a 'Not' surface. This has a very slightly rough texture ideal for landscape painting.
Bockingford, Fabriano or Arches are all excellent watercolour paper.

Watercolour paint comes in either tubes or pan sets I prefer tubes when painting indoors I find I can achieve more tonal strength with these, but pan sets are ideal for outdoor painting.
Winsor and Newton or Daler Rowney both do student quality which is ideal to start painting with and then to move onto artist quality

The First Online Watercolour Course uses the following colours
Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue, Gamboge Yellow, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Viridian, Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red and some White Gouache paint

Brushes I enjoy using a 1inch Hake, number 12 and 8 round, 1inch flat synthetic and number 6 and 4 sable riggers these can all be bought from

Mixing palettes can be bought but working at home you can't beat white china saucers!
A large container for water, I like the large collapsible water containers.
2b pencil, rubber, masking tape and a small sponge I find a household washing up sponge ideal torn into small pieces

Friday, 9 December 2011

Wild weather in Keswick

What weather Britain is having, Keswick nearly saw terrible floods yesterday, the new flood defences were certainly tested. With the river Greta rising at a rapid rate. Today however the winds have dropped and fresh wet snow on the fells and just the occasional hail storm, brought some of us down to the Lakeshore to see how high it was.This is the ticket office for the launch and luckily it looks like it just missed been flooded.

'Barf' what a strange name for a small mountain! With snow and mist circling around it's rocky top, it looked quite Alpine.I wanted to paint today, but inspiration didn't get there and with daylight hours at a minuim time ran out. Instead inspiration hit a big pan of Leek, bacon and potato soup! 
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas cards for artists

Even the old post boxes can make a painting. I demonstrated a similar picture to this once, and it makes a perfect Christmas card! A little snow on the dry stone wall, Cadmium red of course for the box and you can even pop your own message on the post box. Because once you start sending out painted Christmas cards to friends and family that's it, they won't be happy with a box standard M&S card!
Or you can cheat and I do have a pack of five Christmas cards for £7 inc p&p
Today in the Lakes it's been pretty nasty weather and tomorrow is supposed to be worse!
I've been sending out Christmas vouchers for painting holidays, they come with a personalised card and can be put towards any Workshop, Course or Italian holiday.
Just email for more details

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Castlerigg Stone circle

I don't know how long it's( It's been Snow!) going to last but here are a couple of photo's I took this afternoon. Leaving Keswick and driving up to the Castlerigg stone circle, the temperature dropped and the snow appeared. The stone circle has a tremendous view with Clough head reaching down to Helvellyn and round to Dalehead and across to Grizdale, this is without mentioning mighty Blencathra and Skiddaw. I had the pochade box but was spoilt for what to paint and not enough time.
But a famous actors quote ' I'll be back' 

Monday, 5 December 2011

The first Snow showers

Misty snow showers on Derwentwater
Grey, cold and lots of snow flurries in Keswick the first taste of winter. With this happening and so my seasonal painting will change I'm sure! Gone maybe are warm Oranges and replaced with harmonising Blues and Liliacs . Donning full winter wear, ready to face Antarctic conditions a walk through Springs wood and down to Derwentwater, with barely a soul to be seen. It is a joy at this time of the year having the lake free from crowds.
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