Cromford Watercolour Painting Courses…look what you’ll be missing!

I thought I’d put a little taster of the sort of things we will be looking at on the courses in August and October. Two residential painting courses running from Monday to Thursday in Cromford, Derbyshire, where I will be sharing my watercolour techniques with you and where you could have a relaxing painting break with all your accommodation and meals provided in a beautiful setting. Your only worry would be to change your painting water occasionally!

(Scroll down to read more).

Here’s a little vignette produced from a scene close by the hotel where we’ll be staying. Keeping our eyes peeled for likely painting possibilities is all part of the creative process and on a visit to Cromford last year I noticed this corner and couldn’t resist painting it.
It could equally well have been done in pen and wash or left as a pencil drawing.
There are all sorts of similar subjects in Cromford and around the hotel. We will be spoilt for choice!
To find out more…
email me at
or telephone 0115 9743658

Tulips and a stained glass window…with paint daubs effect

I’m fascinated by stained glass window designs a la Louis Comfort Tiffany. Was trying out a different approach with these tulips. I’d taken a photo a long while ago of the tulips in front of some stained glass windows we have on our staircase at home. It took until now to get around to painting them.

I can’t resist too putting the paint daubs effect on in photoshop….it seems to give the work a more integrated look. I’ve put both versions here for you to see. The smaller pic is my original watercolour.

Painting Courses in Derbyshire Book now to avoid disappointment!

I thought I’d put a little reminder on the blog about the courses I’m running this year. I still have some places left both in August and October.

Please tell your painting friends if you think they might be interested!

Watercolour Painting with Ann Mortimer

I want to tell you about two residential watercolour painting courses I am going to run in 2011.

They will be at Alison House Hotel and Conference Centre in Cromford, Derbyshire.

Many of us have attended courses there in the past and enjoyed this relaxed, quiet spot which is in its own grounds in the village of Cromford. It is under new management and I have been to meet the new couple who now run the hotel and it is still as welcoming and relaxed as ever. But now it is licensed and is AA Four star.

Each course will be for four days. We will start with settling in and dinner on the Monday evening, followed by an introductory demo in the studio. We will have full days painting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday packing up after lunch about 3-4pm.

The package includes tuition in a designated, comfortable studio and three nights’ accommodation in en suite rooms with coffee/tea making facilities, television, wi-fi broadband, etc. Then lunch every day and dinner with a glass of wine on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Price £395 everything included. ( Non painting partner £200)

Dates for the courses

Mon 22 – Thurs 26 August 2011


Mon 3 – Thurs 6 October 2011

I chose this venue for the courses as the hotel has all the facilities we would expect and it is a short walk into Cromford where there are shops and some interesting historical sights. So you can get out and have a little stroll around if you wish in an interesting place.

I’m really looking forward to this! I know we can have a really nice painting break away from it all and with no worries apart from having to change your painting water every now and again! Bliss!

I envisage doing a mixture of flowers and landscape/gardens/features as well as perhaps some painting and sketching in the grounds. But I will send you more details later on.

Drop me an email if you’re interested or give me a ring and we can have a chat about it.

Tel no. 0115 9743658

Best Wishes from Ann

You’ve got mail!

Using a photo taken a few years ago in France of a letterbox outside a house, I made up this little scene with a possible card design in mind. I love painting foliage with dark crevices among it. The wash starts flat and then gradually becomes more and more 3D in nature as the negative spaces are filled in with darks.

Love in a Mist … the Nigella challenge!

I have been having fun painting along with Barbara Glatzeder on Redbubble and we are looking at different approaches with watercolour.

I wouldn’t normally have tried painting this flower…in fact I’ve stared longingly at it in the garden and at photos I’ve taken of it in the past and thought “Nah! Much too hard” and moved on to something more attainable. But Barbara was doing Nigella and she challenged me to have a go.
If you click on the above link you will see Barbara’s Nigella paintings.
I enjoyed it although the cloud of ferny foliage is a bit of a challenge to summarise and it’s always difficult to get the blue right in blue flowers as they have a lot of pink in them and you can soon lose the light with trying too hard.
Below is a photo of them growing in the garden.

The irises at last!…Bird bath and Irises

Here’s the irises painting I started a week or so ago. I gave up on it, I was getting all precious and careful and so I did what I sometimes do and threw caution to the wind and quickly threw a dark background wash on it to see what happened, thinking it didn’t matter anyway as it was destined for the bin. But then I went on to something else….and the painting was lurking in a corner. So I had another go at it and here it is for better or worse.

Treestory …a film in the making

Treestory is a film that is in preparation by director Ward Serrill (Heart of the Game – Miramax). Watch the film preview on the website to get a taste of the sort of documentary it will be. My daughter Sophie happens to be married to Ward. They are trying to fund this film from donations as perhaps they feel that we all have an interest in, and sense of ownership about, trees. Anyway I hope you’ll have a look.

The painting is inspired by the new Forest, one I made a while ago in quite a loose way while having a bit of an art session with Sophie.

Who wants a Valentines card when you could plant a tree for your beloved instead?

Winter Jasmine…yellow stars in the February gloom

I’ve been toying with the idea of documenting a year in this suburban garden of ours with some paintings for every month. At the moment the Winter jasmine is coming into flower and is the only bright colour in the February gloom.

I like the way it grows in a very untidy heap so that the tangle of stems and leaves adorned with the bright sparks of flowers provide a great opportunity for negative painting fun.
I masked out some of the flowers I’d roughly drawn straight on to the paper before laying a wash of yellows and pinks to begin with and then streaking darker colours into the wash wet in wet to represent the twigs and stems. Because the wash was wet the twigs ended up soft and out of focus. But I made sure that a lot of the yellow stayed uncovered. Then I worked into the first wash after it was dry and found leaf and twig shapes.
Finally I removed the masking off the flowers and painted them.