Thursday, 28 November 2013

Painting a Winter Woodland scene

Winter Wonderland
Painted in Watercolours

I really enjoyed painting 'Winter Wonderland' I found it most challenging, nearly gave up and then didn't want to stop, just like reading a good book. 
I've watched this little wood change throughout the year and wanted to capture it. With early snow it became magical, when the sun warmed the heavy branches and the snowdust fell to the ground, it was mesmerising to watch.
I masked large sections of paper first and then washed in mixes of Pinks, Mauves and Emerald, the paper was turned this way and that to get the paint moving and then salt was sprinkled. With all this dry, I then tried to find my way through the wood.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Alpine Hideaway in the French Alps

Alpine Hideaway
Painted in Watercolours

I had lots of fun with this little watercolour.Watching the snow come down and then seeing the sun come out. I quickly got the paper and paints out before the snow would melt and disapear.
I was unsure about how to paint so much White! snow, so I started with the old barn, I masked out a few branches and roofs with tape and fluid and then went for it with strong shades of Blues and Pinks. I dropped in plenty of water and also salt crystals and then hoped for some action to develop.
When all was dry the salt and masking was removed and I then painted some dark tones around the barn and popped in the tree with a rigger and the trusty palette knife.

An online watercolour course for  beginners and Intermediates

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Snowfall in Samoens

We had our first big snowfall in Samoens last night and wow the valley looks truly magical.
I watched the sky change to Prussian blue and then the snow covered trees turn to coral pink, the mist in the valley showed mauves and looked like cotton wool floating by. The sun tried to get out casting a lemon yellow circle in the sky. 
It was a painters delight, to just watch and enjoy the magic of snow and winter.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Winter Afternoon, Derwentwater Original watercolour Painting

Winter afternoon, Derwentwater

Painted in Watercolours 

With the mention of bad weather approaching, unlike most people I do get excited about the prospect of snow and ice. I know it's not ideal to drive in, but it sure looks pretty!!
I painted this scene on Derwentwater after walking down to the Lake, I sat on a very cold rock, quickly got my sketchbook out and did some rapid sketches. I then returned to a warm studio with ideas still fresh and started to paint. The next day I returned to my cold rock, armed with a warm coffee and watched the ducks playing and fighting amongst themselves, the lake was starting to freeze around the edges. The mist kept opening to reveal the snowy mountain tops. Another quick sketch to capture the ducks at play and back to the warmth of the studio to finish this original watercolour.

If you would like more information about this painting please email me at
Fancy painting in watercolours and not sure where to begin? Let me show you how easy it is.
It's wonderful to do, you start and see the world through more colourful eyes!

Friday, 15 November 2013

The most beautiful river in the Lakes

 A few days back in the Lakes and what better place to visit, than beautiful Borrowdale valley. Walking from Grange towards Rosthwaite is pure joy especially with the last of the Autumn colours and a touch of morning frost. This little part of the Lakes is such a wonderful walk, along the riverside, with fells sparkling in the morning sunshine. The river which is called 'the Upper Derwent'  the most beautiful river, the colour of the clear water ranges from emerald to bright Greens to Ochres.

I see watercolours and pastels all  brought to life. But we were wandering up the river in search of Salmon, scrambling along quietly gazing into the crystal waters.No fishing rods or paints just enjoying the sheer beauty of this special place and nature.

I am going to paint this wonderful scene in watercolours, with just a limited colour palette I'll keep you updated on how it goes.
If you would like to learn to paint in watercolours but unsure where to begin or what brushes and colours to use, the Online course is a perfect start  With lots of feedback and easy step by step I will show you all the techniques and secrets I have learnt over the years.

Can you see the Salmon? Not in this photo but the colours in the water are so pretty. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Canvas or Board

What to paint??  A fleeting moment of light catching the fallen leaves. Quick Oils at the ready.
Do you use the large canvas you have saved for something special or the small board? Why save the canvas, this could be special!! Music on 'James Blunt' will share my afternoon of pure joyful painting. Only a couple of hours before dusk, so we must get cracking. Transparent colours diluted with turps, birds are playful, the Jay flies around.

Stand back and take a look, Gosh where are we going. Good job no one is around,  just me and James singing away. An old cloth comes out and softens the way, branches are scrutinised, colours and form. A little white opaque is added to the mixes. The palette knife plasters it on. A shake of the head.
A remembered technique from a fellow artists blog ' the colour shaper starts to prance around lifting and gliding to the music it's feels like the conductors baton.

Stand back and take a look, it might just be the start of something, a shame dusk has come. Not finished yet, but looking forward to pulling it together.