Thursday, 30 January 2014

Red Pepper and Clementines painted in watercolours

Red Pepper and Clementines watercolour sketch

I love painting snow, but this morning I looked out and it was a little grey and flat.
After a visit to the supermarche, I had something to paint and tea was organised.

The shops are full of these juicy Clementines from Spain, and it's a bit like the tomatoes, they have five or six varieties to choose from here in France.

Having an hour to play with some paint is perfect to get the sketch pad out. 
There is no pressure on the painting been a masterpiece, just experiment and have fun.

I quickly sketched the shapes in pencil, took a note of the direction of light.
Straight in with the number 8 rigger brush Cad Yellow and Red mixed perfectly together for the Clementine's. 
The Onions were next Raw Sienna with a touch of Permanent Rose. The joy of a still life is having the subject right there to figure out colours and tones.

I then decided on some shadows while the washes were still just wet.
The Giant Pepper was next Cad Red and Burnt Sienna,
 a touch of mixed green for the complementary stalk.

And eh presto.

Now it's time for tea, and chopping up the pepper, it seems a bit cruel!

Monday, 27 January 2014

How to paint snow

'After the snow'
An easy painting?

Using a limited palette of four colours or five if you would like to include white. 
But there is no white paint used, for those who don't paint, what you try and do is not paint the white paper.
Sounds easy! But artists do have this terrible urge to cover every scrap of paper with paint.

 I was replying to an online student today who was having problems painting clouds and suggested 'painting a sky in just four minutes with no dabbling!
'After the snow' sky should take only this, having the colours ready mixed and confidence in the water ratio will make all the difference.

It gives me a real thrill to get comments and wonderful paintings back from online students and I'm always amazed at how  students who have barely any watercolour experience create stunning paintings. It inspires me to get the paints out

This Winter scene is one of the projects in my Online Watercolour course
There are six projects in each course with personal feedback on each painting

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

High on the Chariande Express

High on the Chariande Express

Painted in watercolours
For Sale

It's not just about skiing the slopes, I love to sit on the chairlifts with the peace of the mountains slowly passing by. Gaze at views that are perfect for an artists palette.
The view from the Samoens Chariande Express caught my attention, the snow heavy trees parted and a glimpse of Mountain spendour passed by.

I captured in watercolours using a very limited palette of colours.
Masking fluid and tape was used to protect the white paper and then the fun began.
I hope you like it.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Painting on the slopes

Ponies in the mist below Criou

I thought I'd just share a few favourite photo's from this week in Samoens. The snow has fallen at last and even more is due. We've hit the slopes, I'm practising the Bull fighter approach. You may wonder what the devil this is, well I have a problem facing my shoulders down the slopes, and need to imagine something positive, so this week it's been the Bullfighter!! Number one art critic has his work cut out trying to teach me to ski with some Panache! The problem is I'm often gazing at the scenery whizzing by thinking 'ah that would make a great painting', or 'what colour is that!

Swirling mist after a snowfall.

Taking the cable car through the snow laden trees.

Instructors in Red

An afternoon storm whipping up 

A little en plein sketching, obviously you need an helmet on to protect you from pens and paper!

I'm half way through a watercolour of a wintery scene, 
I'll share it with you over the next couple of days.

Fancy an online watercolour course with personal feedback

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

'Admiring the view' Flaine to Mont Blanc

'Admiring the view'
Flaine to Mont Blanc
Painted in Oils 14.5 x 7.5 inches

Well what can I say, I think the fresh fallen snow has got to me. I saw this scene and thought 'Umm maybe this could be an interesting painting' It was definitely more challenging than I anticipated but kept me quiet for a few hours. I am still getting to grips with the Oils and figuring out what they can do on the Arches Oil paper.

Sunshine Meadow painted in watercolour from Chalet 365 Samoens

If you fancy painting in the French Alps this Summer, I have a week organised staying at Chalet 365 in Samoens. This fabulous chalet has views that any artist will find inspiring,  five star comfortable and with food to entice all taste buds.We will be painting at different locations each day, with views of  Mont Blanc,  Emerald Lakes and pretty Alpine towns and villages. 
With just eight artists the course is suitable for beginners and Intermediates and also room for non painting partners that enjoy walking, cycling or just relaxing in a beautiful setting. 

Saturday 30th August to 6th September 2014 Price £995.00

For more details  or just email me at 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Afternoon Sunshine Mont Buet, Samoens painted in Oils

How wonderful to paint outside in the sunshine in January!! I thought I would try my oils on Arches Oil paper this winter. I have ideas about taking it up onto the slopes, but unsure as yet how it will travel and also what 'Number One art critic' will have to say about this! So today I ventured just out onto the balcony for the 1st Oil of the year. It's marvellous to get back into the painting and start a New year with lots of ideas.

You may notice the lack of snow here in Samoens, it is like Spring I am told, but with cold weather forecast for later in the week, I'm sure I will be bringing you some wintery scene's

Afternoon Sunshine Mont Buet, Samoens
Painted in Oils
Size 14.5 x 7.5 inches
For Sale

If you fancy learning a few new techniques or colour mixing tips with personal feedback 
I have an Online watercolour course with six projects in each course 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Osmotherley from Rueberry Lane

Osmotherley from Rueberry Lane
Painted in watercolours
For sale

I painted this Yorkshire scene, while visiting  the pretty Village of Osmotherley.
We stayed at Peelers cottage a wonderful old quaint property full of character with a gorgeous wood burning stove, a bookcase full of books and a roll top bath and a brightly lit Christmas tree, what more do you need.
A favourite walk takes you up onto the edge of the Moors with extensive views towards Roseberry topping and we even saw a glimpse of the North Sea. Passing old farm buildings made of sandstone, looking down onto Cod Beck Reservoir and then down Rueberry Lane back into the village. The afternoon light brought out the shapes of the many different shaped rooftops and chimney pots.

I used a limited palette of Cobalt Blue, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna and Lemon Yellow, and my new Daniel James masking fluid.