Tuesday, 8 November 2016

'Trawlers at Brixham'

Yesterday afternoon I visited Seaton Art Society to do a demonstration. The theme was 'Creating Atmosphere' and my subject was a couple of boats in Brixham Harbour. The photograph I used as a reference was a bit bland and contained a lot of unnecessary detail. I simplified the scene considerably and, hopefully, created a more atmospheric feel with a little mystery.
Painted on Saunders Waterford 200lb NOT paper, stretched onto the board.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Today's the day...

'Complete Watercolour', my new book, is out today. Available from Amazon (and other online retail outlets), and all good bookshops.
Published by Quarto.

Thursday, 3 November 2016


This is 'Dexta'. I painted this as an evening demonstration at Art Holidays in Dorset recently. Old machines, such as this tractor, make great subjects for painting. It's really a study of light and shade.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Not long now...

Some more spreads from my new book 'Complete Watercolour' (ISBN 978-0-85762-147-4).
'A guide for to painting in watercolour, from beginners to experienced painters looking to improve their skills'.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Some more pages...

Here are a few more pages from my forthcoming new book 'Complete Watercolour' (published by Quarto). The book features contributions by artists, who work in watercolour, from across the globe. Some lovely, and varied, styles are included here. The book will be available from 7th November.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

New book out soon... 'Complete Watercolour'

I recently received an advance copy of my forthcoming book: Complete Watercolour. The book will be on sale in November, but I've taken some photos of some of the spreads here. I'll be putting a few more up over the next few days.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

'Iford Bridge and the Stour'

I paid a visit to the Epsom & Ewell Art Group on Wednesday evening and did this demonstration painting. The Iford Bridge, near Christchurch, Dorset, spans the River Stour and has four arches but, from this angle, I could only see two. I've painted the bridge several times but usually from the other side.
This is known as the 'old bridge'. Built from Purbeck stone, it is now pedestrianised. The new bridge (1932) is about 200 metres upstream, and now takes the traffic.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A few demonstration paintings...

My most recent painting holiday was at Art Holidays in Dorset. We were fortunate enough to have some good weather, which meant my group of ten experienced some outdoor painting at several locations.
In the evening though, I did some watercolour demonstrations in the studio. The painting above is a view by the lake at St Fagan's, near Cardiff.

Above: Ruins at Margam Park, S.Wales

Above: Bigbury Bay, Devon
In this painting I used a very rough watercolour paper (Jackson's Eco). The paper is handmade and has a very different feel and look to the Bockingford paper I used for the other two. Colours appear to be more intense, even though I used the same limited palette of 5 colours* for all three. I like to try different papers from time to time, and some papers suit different subjects. I think I'll probably use this one again.

*Cobalt blue, Alizarin crimson, Raw sienna, Aureolin yellow & Burnt sienna

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Painting at Slapton Ley, Devon

Above: Painting at Dartington Hall

Just returned from a weeks painting at Slapton Ley FSC. We painted at various locations in and around Slapton and experienced a whole week without rain... a first, I think. 
Below are some images from the week...

Above: Dartington Hall

Above: Painting at Torcross

Above: Haytor, Dartmoor

Above: My sketch of Haytor

Above: Classroom demo

Monday, 8 August 2016

Sketches from S. Wales

Some sketches from a recent course at Margam FSC in S. Wales. Weather was pretty varied, but we managed to get out to a few great locations including Caswell Bay, Aberdulais Falls and Dunraven Bay.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Ripples and Reflections

Another little demo, in monotone, from my recent course at Boscombe. The ripples have the effect of elongating the reflection. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

'Controlled Wash' demo

Here's a demonstration painting from the last day of my most recent course at Art Holidays in Dorset. When I can, I like to use the ,controlled wash, watercolour technique, as described by Jack Merriott in his book 'Discovering Watercolour'. The first wash is applied to wet paper, the colours being allowed to blend wet-in-wet on the surface. While the wash is wet, the paint can be moved around and allowed to create a soft, foundation wash. Once it has dried, a further wash or two can then be applied to dry paper.
This method of painting creates an atmospheric feel to the whole painting, and that first wash influences whatever transparent washes you place afterwards. It's a really good technique for depicting sunny scenes, as here.
I usually stretch the paper beforehand but here I simply used masking tape around the edges of a quarter sheet of 200lb Bockingford.

'Step Outside'

The August issue of Leisure Painter is now in the shops, which includes part two of my article: 'Step Outside'.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Painting on Exmoor

Just returned from a few days on Exmoor, tutoring at Shorland Old Farm. The weather was, well, very British summer time, but we did get to paint outside a couple of times. Everyone had a go at painting the farmhouse and I managed to paint this demonstration during the morning.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

New Article in Leisure Painter

The summer issue of Leisure Painter is on sale, containing part one of my article on painting outdoors. Part two will be in the next issue.

'Highcliffe Castle'

Just returned from my 'Dorset Sketchbook' course at Art Holidays in Dorset, in Boscombe. Had some decent weather this time round. This is Highcliffe Castle, which I painted in my pocket sketchbook. This was once home to 'Mr Selfridge'.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Sketchbook page...

Here's a sketch from last week's trip to Dorset. Normally, I wouldn't get the time to paint something like this on the spot. Once my class arrive at a painting location, they invariably want to paint different views, which means that I spend most of my time doing a circuit of the students, to help them with any problems. 
However, on this day the weather wasn't great, which meant that the whole class was forced to take shelter in the same spot (underneath the awning of the lifeboat station). Time then, for me to get my paints out and do this little sketch of the cottages at Mudeford Quay.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

'Marine Scenes in Watercolour'

Got back from Boscombe yesterday, from my 'Marine Scenes in Watercolour' course at Art Holidays in Dorset. Here are a couple of the demo' paintings I did. The monotone one was an example of how to build up the painting in three washes, from light to dark.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

My New Book...

I've just about finished work on the new book I'm doing for Quarto. It will be published in November, with the title 'The Watercolour Artist's Handbook', in the UK. In the USA it will be called 'Painting in Watercolor'. Yesterday I received the colour proofs, all 250 pages of them. Here are a just couple of the proofs from the book.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Harbour Scene

I was at Derriford Art Society yesterday, for a demonstration followed by a workshop. The theme for the day was Seascapes/Harbour Scenes so I began the day with this demo' of a morning scene at Paignton Harbour.