Some colour to cheer us up

I’ve been working on these jewel coloured flowers. The colours of these anemones remind me of summer warmth. Their leaves are just starting to come up in the garden despite the continuing cold. I was working from photos I took last year. Their strong colours require a nice dark background.

Snowy stream. Another snow event inspired painting

Here is photo which a very nice student let me have to paint from.

I like the stream snaking through and the wonderful contrast between the snow and the dark browny grey water.
There is a sense of distance with a wooded area in the background. I try to emphasise this sense of depth in my painting and I also simplify the foreground trees. (Sometimes when you attempt to simplify a photo, you can’t see the woods for the trees, literally!)
If you want to know more about how I achieved the effects in the painting, get in touch!

Let it Snow…

Here is the photo I used for the painting you can see below. I love the light in it and the cast shadows but I needed to add more foreground interest and so put in the hedge and tree on the right. I shall be using this project in my first workshop of the year in February. See the painting below.

Happy New Year to all! It’s been wonderful to have so many opportunities to stare at snow covered landscapes and trees frosted with freshly fallen snow as if sprinkled with icing sugar. The contrasts are amazing in a snow covered scene. Shapes become simpler and easy to read…the monochrome effect helping you to understand the relationships between dark and light. I’ve not been brave enough to go out there and paint in it but the snow has inspired some painting indoors.

I painted from photos but I had the brilliant scene outside the window to inspire me and to help me check out tones and shadow patterns. Here is one of the paintings and I’ve included the photo I used for reference so you can see how I changed and edited it to make a better composition.

NEC and all that

It was really good to see so many friends at the NEC Art Materials live show in early November.

For us it was a mad week with lots of travelling, but it was well worth it. So nice to realise how many people are passionate about their art. People were very enthusiastic about the new book (Flowers in the Landscape) and I actually enjoyed the opportunity to paint every day as I was demonstrating flower painting techniques.
I met many people who are fascinated by the loose wash technique which involves putting in the background at the beginning of a painting and setting the scene. I will look into doing a video clip of laying the first wash and putting it on the website and/or youtube. Laying that first wash gives you confidence and helps you to find your way into the rest of the painting, a lot of which is achieved by painting into the negative spaces so that you are delving your way into the depths and creating a 3D effect. I love it!

The book is here!

For those of you who are eagerly awaiting delivery of my book Flowers in the Landscape that you ordered from me…they are here at last! I shall send your signed copy out to you on Monday when we are clear of any strike action at Royal mail.

Thanks for being patient and I hope you enjoy the book and will have a go at some of the six step by step projects.