Friday 30 December 2011

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Moorland River

Still using Atelier Interactive Acrylics, but this time taking the painting into a different style.  This view comes from various photographs I have of Exmoor, plus from our drives across the moor....for me it sums up Exmoor.

measuring 12" x 9"

I must say that the more I use these Interactive paints the more I like them.  

Thursday 15 December 2011

Work in progress

Just thought I would add this post, of my latest Work in Progress.  It shows Bideford Bridge in North Devon.

There are buildings but because of the distance I won't detail them - after all you wouldn't see window frames or curtains at that distance! basically, the buildings are little spots of easy is that!

Using Atelier Interactive Acrylics it measures 16" x 11"

As I say, it is a work in progress, think I'll leave this to dry so far
and take another look at it in a couple of days time with 'fresh eyes'

Friday 9 December 2011

Guest on Dion Dior & More....

Wow!....An Interview

I have today been the Guest Artist on Dion Dior & More's Blog

THANK YOU SO MUCH DION  -  I'm what you might call Chuffed To Bits (that's very pleased in case you were wondering)!.....says I dancing a jig.


At last the Sketchbook is complete

Hooray...I've finally finished my Sketchbook Project 2012 !   It has taken some time, but they do say perseverance pays off in the end, so here are my final pages

Croyde Bay

Putsborough Beach

and finally

All I need to do now is check it through, tidy up any bits and pieces I feel need it and
at last SEND IT OFF!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Radically different

I wasn't sure whether to put this painting on my blog, but I guess sometimes it is good to show something completely different....and this IS completely different.  I painted it yesterday ready for an Exhibition with North Devon Arts at the Broomhill Art Hotel early next year (we can submit 2 pieces - I'm still contemplating what the second one will be).   I did a smaller version of this back in the Summer for the Square Picture Show and as it was enjoyable to do, I thought I would give it a go but bigger!   (Sorry about the shine from the camera flash)

Titled:  On the Edge

Measuring approx. 27" x 18"     -  OIL

here's a close up of the impasto effect

I wonder, do any of you paint something totally different from your usual work just for a particular Exhibition?

Friday 2 December 2011

Painting with Oils

We have just returned from a trip to Bristol and Bath and it included a One day Workshop PAINTING...yay.  Plus we got to stay in a lovely Hotel (which incidentally had a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding there at the same time)...they, of course, liked William the lurcher and who wouldn't, but they probably were very polite in not commenting that we had William in our room with us (I don't think gypsy dogs are allowed indoors - but I could be wrong there).  Anyway, back to our trip.....and as always I sketched part of our room to start me off (somehow I don't feel I have arrived unless I get my sketchbook out)

I started by drawing the chair and then measured everything from that

and this one is of the building opposite

We drove over to Bath one day for a sightseeing tour - obviously having lived near Bristol some years ago we knew our way around, but it was nice on this occasion to go over to Bath and do the tourist I took some photos (some of which appear on William's blog).

with a Christmas Market going on

The following day I got to do an Oil Painting Workshop.  This was with 

in the Bob Ross, Bill Alexander technique.  I have taken a days workshop with Sharon before, and painted the classic mountain scene....a very clever method of showing you the techniques you can use for your own paintings.  On this occasion I put in a particular request to be shown how to paint a rose (turns out I had chosen the A level me!) and also an underwater scene of a dolphin.  Sharon very kindly accommodated my here's the rose

okay, I could have done with longer on this one, but I did learn the theory and with a very clever grid system which Sharon uses, I got the principles involved - I'll be working on a new version soon.  I was glad to get the opportunity to do the underwater scene too

 I can't wait to get started on a bigger version with more dolphins

Workshops are a great way to learn and test your own abilities, and find they stop me getting too 'comfy' and 'set in my ways' - something that can happen all too I really do say

Many thanks Sharon for all your help
I really enjoyed my day

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Barnstaple and the Sketchbook Project

As you will see I have travelled from South Molton up to Barnstaple in my little Sketchbook.

Barnstaple is the largest town in North Devon and used to be spelt
Barnstable  - you'll note it is spelt with a p instead of a b these days -
although it is still pronounced with a b. 

I still have a few pages to go and hope to get this little Sketchbook completed soon.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

A seaside shell in watercolour

Inspiration comes so simply sometimes.  This one was of a lovely shell we found on Saunton Sands beach a few days ago. ..   (also mentioned on Williams blog here).

I started out with a very fine pencil outline, just a guide really.  Then a simple wash of colour using

Yellow Ochre - which I also spread around for eventual background

and whilst wet dropped in a little Burnt Umber on the parts I knew would eventually need more shading

when this had dried I then added more Burnt Umber with a little Raw Umber here and there -
this is where more detail is also brought in to show the patterns on the shell -
I also lifted a little colour on the top of the shell with just clear water and a tissue for the highlights

and a mix of Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna mixed together for the base shadow - using clear water to fade it out slightly.  I then used a spattering technique for texture.....

and there you have it
A loose impressionist style Shell

Happy Painting everyone!


Wednesday 16 November 2011

Dartmoor view

Sometimes painting out of your comfort zone is good for you -  I have been working on an acrylic landscape which, although not quite finished, I thought I would add to this blog.  It has taken me away from my usual paintings - a change is as good as a rest as they say.

On this occasion I have used Atelier Interactive paints and a moody view of Dartmoor

Well, I did warn you it was out of my comfort zone.  I'll add a little bit more to it, possibly put some people walking.  Overall, I am quite pleased with it and I do intend to use these Interactive paints day!

Thursday 10 November 2011


On our recent trip up to Warwickshire we stayed in the gorgeous Bosworth Hall Hotel

 Set in 11 acres of parkland we got to see the glory of Autumn at its best

and discovered what looks like an Oak leaf (it has acorns afterall) but the leaves aren't your usual oak leaves...or at least not the ones I have ever seen before - so if anyone out there can assist with the identification I would love to know what it is called and where it originates....

as I said, the Hotel has extensive grounds which included a Swimming Pool and Spa area

and yes, those people are playing croquet on the lawn!

here's my rendition in my sketchbook

I also got to have a day out at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.  They were holding an Art Materials Live Show over 4 days.  Wow....loads of art stuff and demos all under one roof, it was utter bliss....

but I still couldn't just watch, I had to sketch as well

The whole trip was well worth the effort of travelling that far.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Playtime with paint

I have set some time aside just to 'play with paint' and for that I used a simple picture of berries, roughly based on this photo.

I started by doing a pencil outline and moved on to some other versions just to see how they developed.

Top left is obviously pencil and bottom left was Rotring Artpen with brown ink.  Bottom right was an Edding55.

Parts of this I added extra paint to whilst the first layer was still wet, but I also waited for some to completely dry. Then went in with fresh colour - it certainly showed you can build up the layers easily that way.

I love wetting the paper and dropping paint in and watching to see what happens, so I've added a very short video

first I just put clear water on the paper

Hopefully you can see the wetted area - and I left a gap near the middle for the highlight

(please note this is the first time you will have actually seen me doing painting on video - don't get too excited now, it's really short)

When it dried this was the result

as I said, this was 'playtime with paint' and since it looked like an expression, I added some extras to it then submitted it to this month's  

Challenge title : Imaginary Animals 

  'Don't get smart with me son!'

There you have it : Playtime with paint!


Sunday 6 November 2011

Bonfire night

Last night was bonfire night here....I took a photo of the preparations this year and for some reason the bonfire itself was in the style of a idea why but I'm sure the organisers had a good reason for it

the bonfire is lit first and burns quite a way down before the fireworks are lit
(Health and Safety look away now)

and a couple of photos of fireworks...

Friday 4 November 2011

This week's Challenges...

Using Gouche - my new pan set of Caran D'Ache
which activates quicker than watercolours and so far I
am quite pleased with them


 Not wishing to waste paper, I used the back of an old envelope for this
painting.  It worked for the tone of the painting so really I was half
way there before I even began!


Faringdon Countryside View

This View is from my Travel Sketchbook and done 'en plein air' - Faringdon near Oxford which, apart from being a lovely city to visit, also has wonderful countryside surrounding it.


Field Sketch - View

A local scene, captured before the lone tree loses its leaves this Autumn.

Reflection in the Sand - View

Taken from a photograph of William on the beach. The sand was still very wet and his reflection showed up like a mirror. As I like doing, I loaded my brush and did the whole picture with one load of paint but limited myself to doing it in one minute....


Sir Crow
Watercolour 8" x 7"

Sunday 30 October 2011

Berries and a Virginia Creeper

Following on from yesterday's post about our trip to the Isle of Wight a few weeks ago, I thought I would just drop in a couple of photographs I took on one of our walks there.  At a distance, and how the light was shining, this tree looked like it had millions of tiny red lights on it

and I expect you have guessed 
on closer inspection it was a Yew tree with berries

these berries are actually called  'aril's'  and are wax like - almost looking artificial because they are so perfect.....but then nature can be perfect sometimes don't you think....

another plant I couldn't help but photograph was this Virginia Creeper, doing what its name implies and 'creeping' over a wall making a perfect design

It looks almost 'staged', which is why I had to take a photo!