Friday, 27 February 2015

How to paint a Lakeland stream with watercolour and pastel

Stage One Watercolours
I set myself and the Wednesday art group a real challenge
with this demonstration painting.
 A Lakeland stream with flowing water.
Starting with shades of Naples yellow with hints of Permanent Rose added, these were painted swiftly into the background and sky area. Ultramarine was added for shadows. Working with warmer and brighter shades into the middle ground. The wall was loosely painted in with Naples yellow and shadows of Ultramarine and Permanent Rose helped to give it structure. The white of the paper was left in many areas and touches of masking fluid helped to define the running water.
Many rocks were painted, maybe a few too many!
Along the way colours were added into the stream, Phlalo Green with touches of Ultramarine and Winsor Violet all helped to create a flash flood in the Borrowdale Valley!

Stage Two
I strengthened with stronger tones of colour tying to capture light and dark areas, but at the same time creating a running river. At this stage I started to add pastels. Mainly inscribe and a few Unison. Thinking along the lines of creating flecks of light in darker areas.

Stage Three
I worked into the background first, dragging the pastel on the side helped to achieve rough ground and scree areas in the Fells. A couple of trees helped with the direction of light and shadows. The old wall was bought to life with a few cream pastels for lighter areas that would catch the sun and a dark purple was used for shadows in the wall. Emeralds, aqua and soft blue greens all helped to show the direction of the water flow. Finishing with white pastel laid heavy in places to show the white foam catching the light.

Bubbling Stream, Seathwaite
Painted in Watercolour and Pastel
If you fancy a watercolour painting course in the Lake District
I have one organised from Monday 22nd to 25th June staying at the Glenthone, Grasmere
Each day we will be painting outdoors discovering beautiful areas of the Lake District just waiting to be painted. The price £395.00 per person staying in en suite accommodation with full board.
To book a place please get in touch or
 for further information

Thursday, 19 February 2015

How to simply paint beautiful landscapes in watercolor

Blea Tarn painted in Watecolours
This painting features in the First Online Watercolour course. It's a lovely landscape scene with a limited warm Palette of colours. The mountains are painted simply but with atmosphere. Creating atmosphere is not always easy especially in watercolours, but I have a good fool poof way that enables you to start painting atmosphere.
 It's not something you can buy in a bottle from the Art Store!
The Trees are painted easily with a sponge, but this needs a few techniques to get it just right and of course we need the gaps in foliage for birds to fly through! and nest of course at this beautiful setting.
I'm an email away when you get stuck with colours or brushes or any positive feedback.

I've designed the course for anyone, who loves to paint. I've had students from America, Italy, Canada, Australia and even Ambleside!
 With ages from a keen thirteen to a fun and inspiring eighty five.
Some people take a few weeks and some a few years

We use not just brushes to paint a scene, palette knifes, credit cards and wax all help to create a colourful journey

Reflections are simply brushed in, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
If you would like to sign up for the course or know someone that has a creative ambition that needs a helping hand, send me an email to get started or for more information
Online Watercolor Course
Six projects, sketches, colour tags, material list and Personal feedback
Price £55

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Painting Spring Flowers in Watercolor

Spring is on it's way, which means lots of beautiful flowers to paint, time to
get the primary colours out. I love painting flowers, especially when you have a vase
of pretty blooms  next to you, they can be extremely  challenging!! But great fun
The problem I find is not getting enough tonal values and the colour Yellow is a prime example!
I do think it makes a good couple of hours watercolour practise. I applied washes with lots of water onto the Arches not paper. Clean water at all times, thought about colour complimentary and light next to dark.

First Tulips Watercolour
My online watercolour course is ideal for anyone wanting to learn techniques on
how to paint with watercolor, it covers many different scenes, colour mixing, tonal values and creating atmosphere to name just a few.
It can be completed anywhere and in your own time with lots of personal
 feedback to help you along the way.
Each course costs £55.00 and contains Six projects which include sketches, colour tags and a helpful material list.
For more information send me an email

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Painting sunsets

I've had the watercolours and Oils out the last few days. All very different, with both watercolours
 I used a primary three colour palette and no pre drawing. I painted both of these small watercolours in one stage. It's very exciting working this way but you do need to be focused and not answer the phone!

The colourful sunsets we had last week certainly helped with inspiration.

Autumn Memories
This Oil certainly took a little longer to paint, I started it in France and finished it here in Cumbria!
If you would like to see more of my art work for sale, here is a link.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Sharp Edge, Blencathra.

Sharp Edge, Blencathra (3)
 painted in Watercolours
For sale
Inspired to paint this famous frightening ridge in the Lakes after a wild, wild walk up to the mountain top. We didn't go by the Ridge, far to risky with a  gale force wind blowing from the North. We parked at Scales Pub, put the crampons on and made our way up the fell. We passed an avalanche and not just a few walkers and one skier.

I think the frozen Tarn suggests how bitterly cold it was.

It was so windy on the summit, that we stayed for only a minute, the photograph below would make you think the cloud was thickening, but it is snow blowing off the mountain top. Number One Art Critic had to hold on to me while I took this quick snap.

Heading back down to find a sheltered spot in the sun for lunch.
It fantastic seeing everywhere covered in snow. The busy A66 is just below.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Winter Ewe

Winter Ewe (2)
Painted in Watercolours and Pastel
A small study on Saunders Waterford paper.
 Pale washes of Cobalt Blue with a hint of Permanent Rose were quickly painted into the background. Naples Yellow with hints of Permanent Rose was used to shape the fleece of the Sheep.
 Cobalt Blue helped to add shadows on the fleece.
 Strong tonal values of Ultramarine, Permanent Rose and Burnt Sienna shaped the head and legs. Diluted washes of this colour was used on the fleece. I used a palette knife to shape the washes and also used flecks of pastel to help define the texture in the Sheep's fleece.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Thought I would share some stunning Winter weather with you. The Lake District is looking wonderful, the mountains appear bigger and more dramatic with Snow and it's very inspiring. Derwentwater is starting to freeze again like it did in 2010.I will keep you posted on how it's going this week. All main roads are fine but the smaller roads to some of the villages are a bit slippery!

Looking towards the Coledale Horseshoe

The back of Blencathra, the colours are amazing

Causey Pike fom Derwentwater

 A lone dog walker with the back drop of Skiddaw

Winter sky (1)
I'm hoping to do a painting a day in February.
This is Number One looking towards the Howgills and the Eden valley, painted from my window.
These paintings are going to be small studies and a time limit of an hour (hopefully) The idea is to loosen up, understand how the paints behave and simplify and paint what captures the imagination.
Lets see how it goes!!