Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ten tips to paint a Bluebell Wood in Watercolours

How to paint a Bluebell Wood in Watercolours

Top ten tips
1. Use Not or Rough watercolour paper, ideal with a little more texture.
2.Test colour mixing before on a scrap piece of paper.
3.  Create many different Tonal values with different amounts of water.
4. Cobalt Blue and Ultramarine Blue mixed with Permanent Rose give a great Bluebell color.
5. Have a few good photographs and even a sketch to work from.
6. Try gently rubbing a little candle wax over the paper to create sparkle.
7.Paint some complementary colours in the scene, this will make the scene sing!
8. Take a walk through a wood and note the colours and shapes of trees.
9. Add a little Gouache for lighter Bluebells. 
And Number ten let the scene evolve naturally with the watercolours. for more details

Online watercolour course with six projects

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tarn Hows watercolour

Tarn Hows

Painted in Watercolours
Size 13.5 x 15 inches

A favourite haunt in the Lakes. Near to Hawkshead. Perfect to visit in any season. 
A pleasant circular walk of about three miles.This is the view  half way looking back up the Tarn.
Its a place that will bring a smile to any artist, photographer or those who love natural beauty.
Just never visit midday in the School Holiday in Autumn, otherwise you may like me come away without finding a car park.

To purchase this original watercolour send me an email for more details

Monday, 25 August 2014

Magic in watercolours

Tarn Hows

Nearly finished and still on the easel. Just having a few thoughts about the foreground. 
I want to keep it simple, and give it a lovely tranquil feel. All with a paint brush, and watercolours.
Not an easy task.

I love working with watercolours , why? Because you are never quite sure how it will dry and just occasionally a little magic will happen!

I'll keep you posted on the finished result

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Grand saint Bernard

Grand Saint Bernard an iconic pass joining Switzerland and Italy. At a towering 2,469 metres 8,100 feet this would be a tough ride. But not today we had read about the frightening tunnels of 5 kms and a busy road with fast traffic. The decision was made we would drive to the old col road, park up and then make our way to the top from there. A mere 8kms ride with 695 metres to climb.

 We would cycle through was aptly know 'Valley of the Dead' whether it was the dull day or the silence shattered by falling rocks it certain had an eery feel. Saying this I loved ride through the valley, it reminded me of the bleak Scottish highlands.

 Napolean had marched through the pass with an Army ready for battle, supposedly a procession of drums to warn the opposition they were on their way. On reaching the top of the Col they were each given glasses of wine and cheese from the waiting Monks. No wine and Cheese today but the promise of Italian Hot Chocolate.

 The quiet Swiss pass below, a tough eight kilometres.

A lake, Hospice, Grand Bernard cuddly toys and promised Chocolate that needed drinking with a spoon.
And a very cold free wheel back to the van.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ullswater watercolour

Painted in Watercolours 
Size12.5 X 15 inch

Maybe it was the heavy rain, or low mist surrounding the valley, or is it just maybe that I've been missing painting Lakes. It's good to have a break and paint different subjects and it helps bring new ideas to familiar scenes.I hope you like my Lakeland scene, I really enjoyed  splashing and spraying water about and getting the big brush out.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Painting rainbows in watercolour

We've had some pretty impressive storms over here in the Alps and it's not been just rain but beautiful Rainbows. Some full smiling faces and some half arcs. It got me thinking that I've never painted a Rainbow. I've spent a few days thinking about it, planning how to tackle the battle. I felt that watercolor would be the most responsive, and would give a real Turner feel.

Stage One Painting Rainbows in Watercolour

Arches 'Not' paper stretched. The entire paper was dampened and Gamboge and Cadmium Red was washed in along with Winsor Blue and a little Permanent Rose,While this was damp I took out an arc shape with a damp hake flat brush. This was left to dry and then the mountain shapes painted in. Winsor Blue and Permanent Rose helped shape the dark shades in the mountains while Gamboge and Cadmium Red gave a rich hue for light in the mountains. These were all dampened underneath with clean water to soften.

Stage Two
Painting Rainbows in Waterercolour

Juicy dark hues of Winsor Blue, Cadmium Red and a hint of Permanent rose was used for the foreground tree shapes. The tricky stage came now, the Rainbow' I decided to dampen the dry rainbow with a hake brush and quickly added a weak wash of Cadmium Red, followed by Lemon Yellow and a very weak Winsor Blue. To stop any hard lines forming I softened the edges of the arc with a damp hake brush.Hey Presto ' A rainbow'
This is my first Rainbow study, I'm sure there will be more especially with this stormy weather.

If you would like to learn more on softening watercolours my first Online course shows you in easy step by step stages for more information

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mont Faron

 Mont Faron from pretty Sanary Sur Mer a fairly easy cycle ride!! Map reading through the busy streets of Toulon. Age has caught up with me we now need cycling and reading glasses to find our way. This famous 508 metre high mountain overlooking the port of Toulon promised a view that was on a par with Hong Kong and Rio. The view was pretty awesome especially on this sunny hot day. I preferred the view of the pretty port of Sanary with it's buildings of pastel shades below the turquoise waters

Can you feel the heat of the day, I wish you could smell the perfume of Provence. If I could bottle it I think it would make a fortune. Warm herbs, perfumed pine and sunshine flowers. It made cycling up this narrow road a pure joy, that will never be forgotton.

Looking back down to the port and out to sea.

Round hairpin bends, In a landscape of shades that Cezanne and Van Gogh loved. 
A soft top car whizzes by, a lady at the wheel wearing a big floppy hat blowing in the wind and dressed in a polka dot dress. It could only be Provence.

'Florence and Sophie' painted in Watercolours

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Painting boats

Just had a few sunny days in Sanary Sur Mer. It made me realise I have a boat fettish! This pretty little port full of colourful boats bobbing gently in the Mediterranean is a perfect place for the artist who likes a boat or two on their paper or canvas. And they all have wonderful names, like Irene, Jeremy, Sophie and La Romance just to name a few.

I sat and sketched and started a watercolour that just needs a few finishing touches. I'll share it over the next few days. It made me think, how much I do enjoy painting water and boats they do make interesting subjects. 
My Online watercolor course features two easy step by step projects including boats 'Red boat Windermere' shows how a splash of colour in a tonal moody landscape can give real impact and 'Turquoise Waters Annecy' uses lots of different masking techniques and wonderful bright complementary colours.

 A quick watercolour study capturing the sunshine in the hull (I'm sure this is the technical term for inside the boat)

Complementary colours of Blues and Orange in this Oil study.

 A splash of Cadminum Red in a Windermere lake scene.

Floating on Lac Annecy  watercolour

A trio soaking in the Med sunshine.

The Online watercolour course Price £75.00 includes six step by step projects, colour tags and sketches for each painting, material list and feedback on each project with handy tips. 
The perfect present for the budding artist with a personal voucher