Monday, 31 March 2008


Just got back from 4 lovely days with Anita sketching and painting together. One subject I dont feel confident about is portraiture so dont do it much but decided this year I was going to find time to practice. What was more appropriaite than doing so at Anitas, the mistress of this genre.
I sketched her in pencil from a print Anita took from the Wet Canvas Image Library. Hand looks a bit small. I asked for tips on Anita's unusual approach of putting in the shading first and finishing with a glow of a warm glaze. Anita also advised on colour mixing for the skin. Above is the result. She's a great tutor dont you think??! I do. Cant wait to start another but have two works to start well alone complete first.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Had a very busy week followed by the family staying over the Easter Weekend. Woke up on Sunday to the garden covered by 4 inches and the corner by the pond looking so pretty I photoed it as above. My youngest grand daughter so excited when she woke, she ran out into the snow in her pyjamas and bare feet!!!.

Somehow I finally managed to finish the Grimston Church font in oil as above. Little problem with the colour of the font cover red wood against the red plush curtains behind but have to be realistic because it will be hanging in this scene !!! Thats a challenge for criticism if ever I gave myself one. Now await it drying before getting all three paintings framed in time for the show at Grimston church.

Now have a large mill painting to do in oils for the local gallery. So I am as busy as ever when I get back from few days with lovely Anita (link on right).

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Been snatching time here and there to complete this in time for the oil to dry and get it framed before the Grimston Art Celebration date. ... but this is as far as I have got : Developed the background panelling, arches and curtains, extra layer to the lilies and toned down the cool colour of the marble font and base while warming up the floor in contrast. In other words another coat all round including softening and smoothing the walls and pillar. Began last night to add the detail to the font cover, but needed a break and daylight. Wish the length of the canvas didnt have that perspective narrowing to the top when I photo it.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Three early stages of the last oil I am preparing for the Grimston Celebration of Art in April/May. I photoed them on the easel as the painting is only 8 x 20 inches and an awkward shape to photo without distortion. Its the font at Grimston church and I loved the wall colour against the dark wood of the panelling at the back, the red curtain in the corner and the font cover which is pulled by chains from the roof when the font is in use. Ive got the chains to add yet and of course all the complex detail of the carving of the cover. So there is a lot to do yet and having to use photo I took last year which unfortunately does not give me a great deal of close detail, so it will have to be dabs of paint done in my inimitable impressionist style!! Comes in handy??!! This is the photo I took and am using to guide me.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


You may remember I posted some images of the process of this piece of work some weeks back and at long last have finished it using my Michael Harding oil paints. Bit concerned at seeing it on the screen that the line on the shadow side of the tower should go down towards the horizon line, but I think its because its a ruin and all lopsided. .. but it does distract my perspective eye. Do you think I ought to alter it before delivering it for the show or doesnt it bother you???

Decided to call it VISITING THE CHURCH TOWER - RUIN OUTSIDE HAINFORD NORFOLK because i added those shadows in the front to create a story and to give interest to the foreground.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Seems my days are getting more busy as we come into the Spring. Need to work into the small hours (like someone I know Anita!!) to find time to add regularly to my art blog. These were drawn on Tuesday and didnt have time when I got back home. Then yesterday went with an art friend who lives in the City (Norwich) to see the PRE RAPHAELITE DRAWING EXHIBITION at the Norwich Castle Museum. In the next gallery were drawings from the Norwich Collection selected to show how artists have used drawing techniques from the 17th Century. Interesting informative day with great company and lots of chat.

These are out of order from how they were drawn at the session, but this first one posted was a pose requested by one of the session members who is a sculpture and he wanted our model to curl up as small as possible. I started at the knees as I loved the lines but didnt have time for the head!!!!

This actually was the second pose of the day and she was very relaxed. 'Fraid I made your legs even longer than they are in life, sorry miss model. As for your left foot - well I've made you size 12 I think!!

This was very interesting with the model leaning on a double base stand. She always thinks of something interesting and brings in a prop or two to tax our brain power!.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


We had a bright sunny day - if very windy - and the venue at the Salvation Army Hall in the village was cosy and warm, bright and roomy. My intro was a lot of chat and samples about
drawing techniques on how to observe and transfer what one sees to the paper and the need to create form on a flat surface. The artists participating were either fairly new or needing reminders from courses or studies a long time ago. I set up a mixed geometric subject in the middle of a large 12 ft square table (made up from a number of smaller tables) so everyone had a different viewpoint and plenty of space. To start they chose the more appropriate portrait or landscape format and marked the page with an arrow to show where the main light source was coming from. I reminded them of the thumb and pencil measurement technique to help place each object in relation to each other as well as get the proportions correct. I suggested they double the measurements to create a larger drawing to cover the page. Negative space and shape were discussed and the need to choose one object and work out from that. As they worked I could see the need to interrupt the class to point out specific teachings.

They all amazed me as I moved round and gave assistance as by lunch time they had sketched three different sets of geometric shapes and the last one we had moved into cross hatching with graphite pencil to create tone.

Then after a well deserved lunch break (I popped across the road to Londis for a heated chicken and veg bake - delicious) I set up a subject of a pair of pinky/lavender coloured shoes (I wore to my son's wedding - shoes are my downfall - I have wardrobe floors full of boxes) and placed them on a dark box to create strong tonal contrasts and then they had to find subtle changes in the folds of the fabric and inside the foot of the shoes. This time we used watercolour washes of blue varying the tone by the amount of water and adding brown to create the darkest wash.

I hope this long description of our day might help one or two of you fairly new to drawing skills and I will post what happens at our next planned workshop in April, as I am only running them once a month on the first Saturday. I think this one must have gone well as all who attended have booked in for the next!