Saturday, 29 January 2011


I have been spending time recently planning a trio of small paintings just 7" x 9.5" to replace some recent sales at The Rising Sun Public House.

This first painting of the trio is based on winter visits to the river side by lots of Pink Footed Geese. ... and on Thursday ladies group got as far as creating the early stages of the water, the bank and the grass. I started putting in the detail of the first bird yesterday afternoon. I decided not to continue the posts along the back riverbank and, in fact, reduced the number along the main line to make the geese less cluttered. I might add a few small geese off in the distance by the time I finish it, but not sure yet. Still long way to go.

Number two and three will be based on photos I took earlier this winter when it snowed hard. One is of the pub sign with a couple sitting on the bridge behind looking out over the water. The other down by the boat houses depicting the flag, some people playing in the snow and probably a few more birds by the water - no boathouses though - I've done them to death!!!! I'll keep posting as they progress.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Last Thursday we restarted our Coltishall Ladies weekly group and two of us worked with pastels. I had another cyclamen plant in full bloom and it seemed a good subject to play with lots of colour.

Drawn in briefly with a cream coloured pastel pencil on an almost gold coloured 360 g/ms sheet from my Clairefontaine Pastelmat 30 x 40 cms pad with interspersed wax paper to protect each work from smudging, I then used my box of 72 soft Ashby pastels. At the end I used a natural sponge to wet over the background to see if it helped the main image come forward. Not sure it made much difference!!

Of course, I think you could say its not really finished as a piece of artwork but what I achieved in the afternoon involving tea, cakes and lots and lots of chat catching up on each others' news.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Stuck indoors due to wintry weather, decided to check out some work I had started many moons ago to finish for a prospective client interested in roses.
This canvas is 24" x 30" and I freshened it up with new raindrops and highlighted edges of some petals created with my silk gutta outliner tubes. I glazed areas with smokey blue (mixture of white and king blue) thinned down to create feeling of moisture in the air and over the bud and distant blooms.
This is one of a series of 16" x 16" macro flowers, which I have freshened with more highlights and stronger shadows, then added a cobalt acrylic wash to the background leaves and stalks to send it back further.
Finally, I was comfortable with the original working of this third rose, so simply gave it a light semi permanent protective matt varnish.

Sunday, 9 January 2011


As it seems such a long time since posting the sketch of the London Fireworks on the first day of the year, I looked round to find something to post. I've been working on some more MAGIC GARDEN pieces for a Spring show and dug out this VIEW OF THE TREES from my store cupboard to bring back to life.
I don't think you have ever seen this particular one I was not too pleased with, so I added lots of my gutta shiny glissening paint usually used on silk to give it some oomph and played with the treeline. I also took my own advice about 'more darks' and think the outcome is much improved.
please enlarge to see the effect of the shine.

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Before Christmas I tracked down a company making hand made watercolour sketchbooks named 'handbookjournal co' on the internet and ordered two square 5.5 inch vermillion red covered hard books. I've been using one to find out how well they take water washes and whether you can paint both sides of a sheet without it going soggy or buckled. Hurrah! they are great, so I decided to keep one for my Italy trip and play with the other.

I took one on my visit to our daughters for Christmas and sketched a few scenes in the local pub we stopped at on our way over. Since being back have sketched a few buildings but this afternoon I decided to use some of the photos I took last night of the London Fireworks New Year Celebration we were all up late to see together on TV- as our grand children are staying with us. It was the best ever with music and fireworks working in unison. Here is a watercolour painting of a scene when the skies were all pinks against a silhouetted London skyline.

Wishing you all a very happy and successful NEW YEAR.