Friday, 29 June 2012

Cirque de Gavarnie

I was looking forward to seeing the Cirque of Gavarnie, I had read that you had to see Gavarnie if you were coming to the Pyrenees, if you didn't 'why come to the Pyrennes?' So with this in mind I cycled the twelve miles from Luz St Sauveur. Following the gorge up the valley, note I say 'Up' the valley. The Cirque was amazing, definitely a few paintings to keep a mountain artist very happy. From there we cycled up, yes again that word. There seems more of that in the Pyrenees than 'flat' but eh if you want to see stunning mountain scenery! At 2,270 metres on the Col de Boucharo we reached our goal. Wow was it impressive, the scenery was fantastic but the cycle ride up was something to be proud of . But with all this 'up' there's plenty of free wheeling down. Eighteen miles up and Eighteen down.

Cirque de Gavarnie

I was really looking forward to seeing the wild flowers in the Pyrenees and they have been beautiful.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Col de Tourmalet

Six months ago I did a silly thing I bought Nigel a book on the top fifty Tour de France passes. Not thinking at the time that he would contemplate wanting to do them. How wrong was I! So six months later and I find myself an artist who links pink cycling up the Col de Tourmalet! The scenery was magnificent in fact there was numerous if not hundreds of painting locations along the route. But today it was all about the Bike! The chain came off only once, I cycled all the way, but there were times when tears nearly came! Well I do like pink! But I did it, yes I did it. Goodness only knows how the tour de France cycle this after 100 miles already and probably going four times as fast. My ride time was three hours. But for me just to do it was an achievement. By the way the cows in the photo had bells that made a lovely tune!

Col de Tourmalet the 1st of the fifty

Monday, 18 June 2012

Favourite Watercolour brushes

The Hake in use on my Online watercolour course

I'm often asked about which brushes I use.
For watercolour painting I have only a few favourites, I prefer to buy a couple of really good brushes and just use these instead of hundreds of different size, bristle and shapes that promise the perfect tree shape.
 Rosemary and Co make great Kolinsky sable riggers I have a number 12, 8 and a  number 4. Many people don't realise that you can get a number 12  rigger. I find them wonderful for painting tree foliage, scree and just about anything that needs any detail. My other favourite brush is a 'Hake' these cheap brushes last for years and are excellent for starting a painting and also if you need to glaze completely over a painting without removing dried paint.
My Online course goes into more detail about brushes and how to use them to your benefit for painting successful pictures.

In each course there are Six projects each with a sketch, colour tag, material list and easy step by step instructions and photographs with feedback on each project the cost of the course is £45.00

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Still Waters inspired by the Bee Gees

Tarn Hows stage one

Tarn Hows as you've never seen before, it could be on fire!
I'm trying some new ideas with the Oils, as you can see I'm not in a Green mood!
Applied quite thickly Red and Yellow Acrylic to a 24inch square canvas board.

Stage two
Painting an Acrylic under base is ideal I find, for then applying Oils on top, I like the feel of the board to paint on, the Oil paint seems to move about better. Maybe because I'm used to the watercolours moving I find this easier to handle. Indian yellow and Winsor Blue and Red were the only colours used. 

Day Two stage three
I was quite excited about figuring how where this painting was going!
I painted more light into the trees, but the previous days paint was still fairly wet, so it didn't go quite has planned. So I write this blog and wait for paint to dry just a little.
I'll keep you posted on how it behaves!

P.s I quite like the first stage and wonder if I'm going a little crazy? Wonder if it's the BeeGees Album I'm listening to while painting, could it be a 'Tragedy', or maybe my 'Spirits have flown' or maybe it's my 'emotion'

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

e- Watercolour Painting

When I first had the idea about an Online watercolour course, some people thought I was a little crazy!
Some asked 'what is it all about?' Well it's learning watercolour in your own time, some students work fast some slow. One common problem can be not knowing what to paint, or how to paint it!  With each project and there are six in each course, you get a rough outline sketch, a colour tag and step by step showing each stage, what equipment and colours are used  in each painting. So now you are ready to start, take your time, enjoy the painting and  learn some new techniques. Then take a photo of your painting and send it back by email for some friendly guidance and a few more tips. I'm always delighted to see the paintings come back and it's fantastic how many people can paint a beautiful picture.

 If you fancy joining my e-painting as one artist calls it, here are Three of the paintings from Course One.

Online Watercolour course six projects £65.00 for more information.

Monday, 11 June 2012

How to make a Landscape painting Special

With grey skies and heavy downpours, this was not the weather I had envisaged  for a Outdoor watercolour weekend. With Umbrellas at the ready and waterproof jackets on, nothing was going to disturb hours of joy spent painting on the shores of Derwentwater. I'm delighted to share the joy of 'Outdoor painting with other Artists, appreciating stunning scenery, been amongst wildlife and above all watching the weather approach. All of this while, you try to put  paint to paper and create something special. And it is always special. It may not be a masterpiece, but to spend a few hours looking at one view will always be remembered on that piece of paper. Certain memories come back when painting in the studio and those are the special ingredients for what makes a 'painting'

Derwent Island
Note the Umbrella at the ready!

If you fancy coming along to 'Derwent Island' weekend I have a couple of spaces left
Sat 21st and Sun 22nd July 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Jubilee celebrations in Keswick

Keswick had a great Jubilee weekend, appropriate coloured boats moored on the foreshore, a virtual living room at Friars Crag, local bands played all afternoon in the busy square with plenty of food stalls and smells to entice the busy crowds. A duck race along the river and a beacon lit on Catbells to finish the day.

The sun didn't shine much but it didn't rain either

With the large screen in the square nothing was missed and the bands played on.

With my own birthday celebrations to enjoy and plenty of cream cakes, scones and finger sandwiches it's been a lovely long weekend.

'Feeding time' painted in watercolours seemed a suitable painting to have a go at, I'm going to have another go on a larger scale and may even try it in Oils.