Monday, 21 March 2011


I have now finished my second floral watercolour on Lana Vanguard surface of two hibiscus blooms. I photographed these in a garden in Port Elizabeth when I was visiting friends who have a second home there and they took me on a wonderful sketching tour of South Africa back in 2007. I had bluebird hibiscus in my garden at Cherry trees with many a photograph of the glorious blooms in my archives, but I wanted a contrast with the blue of the iris I have already painted in this trio.

Here is photo of early stages of the painting:

Thought you'd like to see an early closeup as well, so you can see the wonderful effect this slippery surface has on the many watercolour washes:

Finally, here is the completed work 12" x 16" to go in a 16" x 20" frame with nice wide ivory mount:

Now to number three - possibly the South African trip is inspiring me because I'm thinking of creating a very large strelizia from a watercolour I painted in my Saunders Waterford HP pad
in the garden in Port Elizabeth:

Here I am working on some kafferboom we picked from a tree just outside the bungalow where I was staying. When I painting the strelizia I picked one bloom but kept dashing back to the front garden to see how the leaves grew:

Ah! memories!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I made a decision this year that I would spend much more time with my floral work and I am really enjoying myself. This is the first of a series of three watercolour studies on Lana Vanguard surface 12" x 16". If only I could decide whether they could be classified as 'contemporary', I would submit them for the Fakenham Contemporary summer Exhibition. Maybe the effect this slippery plastic surface has on the watercolour washes helps bring the work away from botanical traditional work. What are your opinions.??

Here's the finished piece:

... and here are some close ups so you can see the wonderful reaction that occurs when you add different washes on top of each other whilst they are still wet and then paint the detail once it is all dry. The other good thing about this surface is how you can remove colour right back to the white surface :

My next one is going to be Hibiscus.

Friday, 11 March 2011


This is a bit complicated to explain - I needed to create a local riverside summer scene to replace where a pair was hung in a corner on one stone wall at the Rising Sun, as the replacement hurriedly hung after a sale just doesn't look right as the subject, size and frames don't match. Get it? So I decided as it was winter to create a different version of an acrylic painting I did and sold last year. What's been happening is the local river scenes are selling quicker than the floral or Norfolk landscapes pieces that are hung ... so I need really to do and hang more of them but this is not the time of year to create new scenes of boats as there aren't any until the summer season! You may remember, my recent efforts were of the sign post in the snow!!

... so anyway here is a resulting watercolour using a portion of the acrylic boat painting as my reference. They certainly look very different paintings mainly because of the media but also because I went in closer to the boats, added more people over in the pub restaurant garden and did not paint any geese on a much smaller area of grass in the foreground. Oh! by the way Sally has had the pub building painted this lovely lemon for the new season, so I decided to update it.

...and here is the original acrylic work I sold last year that was posted some time ago, so you can see where I got the reference from.
David (my local framer) is framing it now with the same moulding as the one thats still there in the corner and I made sure it was the same size.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


My Coltishall ladies came on Thursday for our afternoon painting together and Philippa was inspired by the bunches of daffodils I had around. I actually finished a watercolour and pen riverside work for the pub but once they had left could not resist starting in my garden sketchbook before preparing dinner. Although I do have some daffodils blooming in the garden, it was too cold and damp to work outside and I did not want to pick them (these had come from a local store).

Just placed a selection of flowers into a separate pot ensuring I had numerous views of the blooms to create a study and develop them across a double spread.

Heres the right hand page:

here's left hand page:

.. and this is what they look like across a double spread (unfortunately my sketchbook for the garden opens out to 14" wide - too wide for my scanner so I've placed the two pages side by side to get the effect:

Hurrah, its March and spring is well on its way.!!