Monday, 27 June 2022

Venturing further afield

There's inspiration around us here in Devon, but it is nice to visit other places.  Seeing what goes on elsewhere and even a couple of counties away, there are new painting ideas and scenes to capture.

No doubt one or two of you may have seen via my Instagram and other social medias, we were in Hampshire and Dorset (the counties border one another and on any one outing, it is easy to slip into the next county when travelling about). 

This blogpost covers several outings on different days, but to start with, our accommodation was a wonderful caravan, all fully equipped and soooo very nice, balcony as well.  It worked perfectly for us, lucky to have booked's a little look at our 'home' for the week  (click the image)

_ note:  can I say at this point that, the LINKS from my youtube, Do seem to add RANDOM follow ups.....nothing to do with please keep this in mind -

Our base for the week was Poole in Dorset - and once settled in,  I got to do some early morning en plein air painting 

click the image below for a short Time-lapse ⤵︎

Staying at Rockley Park in Poole (we've been there before some years ago) and it didn't disappoint. 

The south coast (particularly the English channel) have a lot of boats of all shapes and sizes.  We don't tend to see so much shipping activity in North Devon.  However, saying that, with the obvious tide out (see below pic) there was little going on....until a jet ski came along.  Of course, I had to video it  : click the pic ⤵︎

Another trip out was to Hengistbury Head.  Down at the Head beach, are loads of little beach huts,  affording spectacular prices too - I can't quite comprehend the reasoning to spending vast amounts of money for a wooden shed on sand, that can be blown away in a storm or even end up with the sand getting washed away!,  but heyho everyone to their own.  

Makes for a good visit, we had my bike in the car so I rode down 

google map

My trusty sketchbook was employed, of course!

Another day - another walk....

 down from our accommodation to the waterside and the view overlooking  Poole Harbour -

The chance to get the above photos for future painting reference.  I had an assistant photographer to help out where I couldn't clamber down in my sandals....(you'll spot hubby getting some pics near the pond which was on our way down to the following views)

click the image ⤵︎

So pleased with photos hubby got ...

 ~ More than a few paintings within these photos I'm sure ~

 ~ When we reached the sea, there were even more photos and possible paintings ~


On our travels I like keeping my sketchbook with me.  Even when you come across a random shepherd's hut - makes for a few minutes quick sketching

Finally, a quiet saunter around Poole Park - proved to be surprisingly nice - 
 - even the wildlife were relaxed -
click the image below

PLUS, I was even able to walk on water!
Yes you heard correctly

 ~ proof of this, click the image below ⤵︎

Then it was holiday over and heading back to Devon.

Holidays are always nice to take, 
but there is nothing like getting home.


Saturday, 11 June 2022

Part 2 - Oil painting

Back at Arlington Court again this week, and I managed to, mostly, complete the painting.   

The space I get to use in the Visitor reception area is very good, I can set up my easel with room to add my folding table (for paints/brushes etc), plus the tripod for my iPhone to video.  

Light, natural light, is a major factor for me, and if I turned my easel to face the window, then visitors wouldn't see what I'm painting!   I compromised and semi-turned the easel.  Even so, this week there wasn't really enough light, but I kept going.  People did say how they liked the painting and had spotted it from across the room, so I guess everything worked out in the end.  The only thing I will say, is the video didn't pick up as well as the previous session (Part 1 video), so please allow for this when you watch this video....

As ever, click the image below, and I hope you enjoy what essentially had been around 4 hours painting, speeded up into about 13 minutes.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Part 1 - Oil painting


Part 1 of an interior scene from the House at Arlington Court - National Trust - from photo image (no paints in the House itself) - makes sense to use space in the newly rebuilt Visitor reception. Lovely to meet the visitors, some who took the time to stop by later to check on my progress.

Here's the reference image:

I just needed to outline the main features onto canvas. That done, together with a pink background (and why not) and I was ready to start painting.

~ click the image below ~

That's it for Part 1 - hopefully I will get to complete this painting on my next visit.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Pink May

I'm often on the lookout for painting inspiration, sometimes it randomly appears, which is great.  Our walk in the park had loads of painting opportunities, but one thing that really took my eye was this lovely pink flowering plant, it was literally dancing in the breeze.  The month of May always seems to be the Pink Month.

Capturing a photo and video will now be filed into my "To do list" for painting.  I might even do a little tester piece 2"x3" to see how a larger version will work.

 ~  click the image below ↴  ~

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Mixing Black

Artists say, don’t use ready made black, and to an extent I agree.  It can make a painting look very flat and dull.  On occasion though, I do use the manufactured blacks, be it in watercolours, acrylics or oils.  These days I’m mostly using oils, and when black is needed quickly, I do use the shop bought one, however, I add other colours to it.  This lifts the flatness of the ready made variety, so I can manipulate it according to what is needed.  

This is in no way as good as mixing the colour from scratch.  Go to colours for me are :

Version 1:

Ultramarine Blue+Burnt Sienna (or Burnt Umber),

and also

Version 2:

Veridian Green+Alizarin Crimson

Here’s a short clip of mixing these.  You’ll see there is White on the palette, this is to check the tones, too much Alizarin or Viridian and it shows up on the white, then I can adjust the mix for a good tone black. Take a look, click the pic below......

Friday, 6 May 2022


 I waved goodbye to two paintings today as they are about to make their way across the pond.

It’s such a lovely feeling that they will be enjoyed by others,  having put my heart and sole into creating them.  Although strangely it does feel like waving goodbye to a friend, (Or have I lost the plot there 🤣)

both Oil paintings on panel

Monday, 2 May 2022


SUPPLIES - as if I haven't enough!   I'm a soft touch for pens and also pencils, so thought I would do a blogpost, starting with pencils and sharpeners.  Only some, I would be here all day otherwise. 

Perhaps it is best I say that some pencils are Everyday ones, there here right now on my desk, ready to pick up and make notes, sketch out ideas for paintings.

The only thing is they require Sharpening.  That's another issue of it's own....What sharpener to use. I guess we all have the plastic versions, they work for a few turns, but in the end don't seem to get to the point (literally, the pencils don't have that nice pointy end).  

Easily resolved, you buy a new pencil sharpener, or use a stanley knife and go old school.   Incidentally, that can be useful, you can get a pointy end on one side of the graphite, and a flatter side on the other.

Of course, there's the battery operated one... although this has been a bit disappointing.  Even with new batteries, it doesn't seem to sharpen as I had hoped.  Not to be wasted though, I've had this one for several years and as you see, it is used (I'm not wasting £8).

However, and some years ago, I bought this one...

It's a brass one, made in Germany (vorsprung durch technik and all that) -
Very successful, although I did loose it in a handbag for a year, eventually found it again, it was like Christmas.

However, during the time I misplaced it, I bought another - I felt justified and I did choose a different shaped one!

At least now I have another handbag to loose this one in.

So, with all this pencil sharpener business, there is always another solution and that's have a mechanical pencil instead, they are always ready to go.

some of these are Lead Holders, a couple are mechanical.  

I keep these in a separate pencil case, which means I can grab that and take it out for some sketching plein air.

(Hope this post has been useful, to anyone out there...if anyone is actually reading my blogposts that is)

Bye for now


Saturday, 16 April 2022

Bridge changes colour…

Well, not really, but for a few minutes the other evening, this Barnstaple bridge glowed in the evening sunset.

It was Stunning.  The photo hasn’t been altered, this is purely an iphone photo taken quickly by my son.  It looked like the bridge was orange!

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

An Exmoor view

 So fortunate that a friend who lives on Exmoor has given me permission to use her photos as reference for my paintings.  This is one such view, but have to admit I used artistic license with it a little.

Click on the image….I hope the tiktok post I put on will work