Hampshire open studio, my one day as guest artist

Tuesday saw my first day ever of exhibiting my work, it was a very hot day, and we were hosting in a pub gardens, so lots of people poped in to re fuel after cycling in the heat of the new forest, unknowing of the event, and being on bicycles, they were not prepared for buying, but I sold some greeting cards, and many took contact detail cards. I also sold one print and one original, so not bad as many people that visited knowing of the event are out to just view others talent…as I will be doing this weekend ( it’s great to meet other locals with similar interests). While sat in the heat the pub kindly gave me a four pint jug of water, which I very quickly drank through, whilst painting a donkey in watercolour and pastel…I thought this was appropriate as ponies, donkey and cattle graze right upto the front gate of the pub.

Sadly on the drive home one of my canvases, an oil painting of a hare slipped onto the folded easel, and now has a tiny hole in it, gutted!

Here are some photos of my display, it became apparent to me that if I do this again, I need more kit, to display my work in a more classy fashion.imageimageimageimage


‘Dangling carrots’ watercolour and pastel donkey, 30×40 cm 140 lb

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‘Moon Ray’ watercolour horse, using masking fluid

I don’t usually use masking fluid, in fact I don’t like the stuff, maybe I don’t use it well, and I am not usually keen on the hard edges it creates, when I do use it on the odd occasion I like the pebeo masking fluid, it does not wreck your brush ( although I still dedicate one or two brushes for the job) it can be washed clean from the brush with just water 😀 And it peels off very easily. It goes on blue, so really easy to see where you have placed the liquid, it then dries clear. Today was one of those days I just felt like grabbing the bottle, even if just to remind myself why I dislike it, but this time I enjoyed working with the stuff, it still left harsh edges, but I don’t mind today.


‘Moon Ray’ watercolour horse using masking fluid A3 Langton 140lb

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Luna ‘dressing up’ Sktchy app inspiration

After feeling inspired by the app sktchy, I started trailing back through the thousands of photo reference opportunities, and found a gorgeous photo of ‘luna’. Lauren her mum had kindly shared the photo, and I took up the challenge, another bright and colourful loose painting, I think it works well with people. Luna’ dressing up’is on its way to the real Luna in the USA.


‘Dressing up’ watercolour arches 140lb 9×12″ photo inspiration from sktchy app

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Playing with plants

After having a tidy up in the garden, I decided that the leaves I was about to bin could be put to some good use. The fern painting was created by pressing it through my die cutter onto watercolour paper, I then added watercolour paint in a variety of colours. It was very cheap watercolour paper, and I had forgotten how much difference decent paper makes, the colour was nearly ready  for mud, but it was so much fun…I may try something similar with some decent paper soon. The second was leaves from a black current bush ( smelt lovely) this time I coated the vein side of the leaf with watercolour paint, then pressed onto the paper, like a stamp, I then added some colours to the leaves, this was a better quality paper, so took the paint more efficiently. A huge amount of fun with paint and gardening today.


‘ summer fern’ plant press and watercolour A4


Blackcurrent dreams’ watercolour and plant press 30x40cm Saunders 200 lb

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Going bright and bold,in a loose watercolour technique


‘Bright and bold’ watercolour horse portrait on arches 9×12 ” 140 lb coldpress


‘Striking and bright’ watercolour on 30x40cm 200 lb coldpress

Today was about getting away from my usual colours, the natural tones I love so much.I wanted to try painting bright, where any colour will work anywhere, just picking darker shades in certain areas, a very enjoyable technique. I did two horses, the first I didn’t use enough water, the second I think I may have used too much, as I was getting too much colour bleeding, which resulted in a loss of definition, and a near mass mixing of paint on the paper to create mud!


‘ girl one’ Loose watercolour arches 9×12″ 140lb coldpress photo reference from Sktchy app


‘Girl two’ Loose watercolour on arches 9×12″ 140 lb coldpress. Photo reference from Sktchy app

I then went onto the Sktchy app, where people post photographs you can use to paint, mainly people portraits, so I picked a couple I quite like and had a go at people, I found these easier, maybe I got better at the amount of water needed, and the amount of detail to leave out? Oh and the flicking and splashing of paint, just love that bit. Do check out the Sktchy app if you need inspirational reference photos, there are thousands to choose from with new ones posted daily, you can also check out the art others have created with the same photographs, which is great to see, as everyone views a photo differently, resulting in such variety in the art works produced.

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‘Tenor’ Andalusian watercolour

After a chance email from my friend ( and Tenor’ human) I felt inspired to paint him in watercolour, I have painted this one in oil before, but as I am quite into watercolour at the moment I thought I would give it a go and re visit the same picture.

Initially I wasn’t planning to paint this evening, as my head was blank of anything I might feel a pull toward painting, instead I was sat watching the olympics gymnastics….they are so good. Anyhow after receiving Melissa’s email a painting urge came over me, being suddenly inspired, by her Andalusian steed.

200 lb 30×40 cm coldpress ‘Tenor watercolour’


‘Tenor’ watercolour 200lb 30×40 coldpress

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‘That’s my girl’ watercolour and a little pastel

Today I painted something I have avoided for a long time, for many reasons, firstly although my star model is furry ( big plus for me) she is black, now I do find black animals quite a problem, mainly because it is difficult to see the contours and variations in tone in most photos I have of her. Secondly, although she is beautiful to me, she is not the most photogenic of doggy dudes, fairing better at action photography photo shoots. But after chatting with Jodi from life Inbetween who has been set the challenge to paint a friends dog ( who happens to also be a beautiful black dog) I thought, I should tackle this challenge head on…..well at least Cassie’s ‘head on’ paper….I called cassie into the kitchen and took a few quick photos on the iPad. Well I have to say a big thank you to Jodi, for inspiring me to get on and paint my long awaited portrait of Cassie ‘That’s my girl’

I used Terry Harrison Tarmac, DS bloodstone, DS shadow violet, dr ph Martin bleed proof white, WN burnt umber, and a little paynes grey, a little WN gold brown and WN brown madder, the background is a wash of DS lunar blue, a little flicking, and then when dry I added a little pastel to the background and to the base of Cassie’s body….just because ! Then sprayed with a fixer to seal the little pastel I used. This is a loose sheet of  200lb Saunders coldpress ripped to 28×38 cm. I am so pleased I did this 😀

You can see from the photos just how pleased cassie was, and why she is not the most photogenic, he he.


‘That’s my girl’ Cassie kelpiexlab 28x38cm coldpress Saunders watercolour and a little pastel

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