Woke up to Snow!

I have just tweeted for the first time…I am no longer a twitter virgin! Some nonsense about snow making people go out and walk. Still don’t really get it, facebook is much more entertaining. But if it’s good enough for the likes of Jamie Oliver, Matt Baker and Lord Sugar, it’s good enough for me.

The snow was a big surprise this morning and it’s still lying there looking beautiful. I would post my latest snow painting but I am without my computer as our router has failed and I need to connect the new one. Writing this on Andrew’s computer.
I have finished my workshops for the time being. Not booking any new ones is a deliberate policy on my part. I want to see what I can do with my painting with no particular direction to follow, no subject to research, no workshop to prepare for. The readers of this blog are witnesses to my fate. Will I flounder and lose the will to live (paint)? Or will I lose myself in a surge of unparalleled and unimagined creativity? Hmmmm!
Watch this space….

Blackberries 2 – the workshop version.

We had a nice time at the last studio workshop of the year, Margaret, Barbara, Kathy, Jean, Ian, Megan, Greta, Lynne and I. The hedgerow blackberries and hawthorn gave us a complicated subject but with lots of interest, including as it did, flowers, fruits, leaves, background, texture and so on. There were some brilliant paintings at the end and I was so excited, I forgot to take any photos!

My second version of the blackberries has more light in it with some “skyholes” and more of the white blackberry flowers lifting the composition.

It was quite sad to say goodbye to everyone. I want to thank everyone who has come to any of my studio workshops. We have run 40 workshops since 2006 when I first got my lovely premises built thanks to the belief and generosity of my husband Andrew. He has also provided the delicious lunches that have sustained us through many hours of concentration and hard creative work. So thanks, partner!

Blackberries Painting demo in five stages

It’s my final studio workshop of the year this Saturday and we are going to look at blackberries and hawthorn growing in a hedgerow.

This isn’t the exact composition that I’ll be demoing at the weekend…I’m leaving that for the course members to see first! This is one I prepared earlier in the best Blue Peter tradition.
But people on Redbubble have shown an interest in my method of working and have asked about the different stages of the paintings, how I start the first wash, what I mask out initially and so on.
So here are the main stages photographed as I went along.
I lay a first wash, having masked out the areas that I want to preserve from the wash or keep as white paper until later. In this first wash, I set the scene and some of this first wash will not be covered with any more pigment but will stay as it is. I lay the paint down using my brush in a weaving action in such a way as to leave areas of light which hopefully will shine through later washes.
In the subsequent stages I work into this first wash, painting the negative spaces mostly, as if delving my way into the scene to find more and more depth.
Hope this helps anyone who wants to have a go at this type of watercolour painting. It’s fun, I love it!
(Scroll down to see the different stages and click on “Older Posts” if you get to the bottom of the page and want to see more.)

New Forest Stream

A four stage demonstration of this scene in the New Forest.

I’ve been preparing for a workshop with the Orston art group. Was undecided what to do with these very keen painters with whom I used to work regularly. Finally picked an Autumn Woodland scene that I saw a few years ago in the New Forest, which confusingly is one of the most ancient managed forests in Britain. It is still kept as a managed tract of beautiful natural mixed woodland with wild ponies and other wildlife wandering through it.

I remember this year there had been flooding and there is evidence in the photo of the river having been a torrent with broken trees and debris lying about.

Quite a complex subject, especially for a watercolour flower specialist like me (!), but with lots of interest. I tried to get a sense of distance and depth and a feeling of the light shining through the canopy of leaves from above. The water is tricky and it’s easy to overwork, as I think I may have done in this version. Beware!

I have uploaded the different stages of the painting plus the reference photo, mainly for the group to be able to look at and print off if they want to.

(If anybody else wants to have a go at painting this, that’s fine with me. But to avoid confusion, it would be good to credit me, Ann Mortimer in the final painting. Thanks! That goes for any step by step in this blog.)

Scroll down to see the demo.