Hi everyone! It’s been some time since I last posted but here’s some news about my new book.
There’s an excerpt from the book in the November issue of Leisure Painter. It’s one of my favourite projects in the book with a lovely Autumn twist to get us in the mood for painting as the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” arrives.
Chinese Lanterns are so showy and colourful…I have planted a shrub in the garden now and the orange lanterns are there, glowing away merrily.
And look at the Liquidambar tree in the back garden. Incredible colour!
I hope you will come and see me on Thursday 13 July at 2pm in the Search Press marquee at Patchings Festival.
I’ll be at Patchings this year, but I won’t have a stand.
Blink and you might miss me!
I’ll be in the Search Press marquee on Thursday afternoon, July 13th at 2pm.
I’ll be painting one or two of the projects in my new book, Flowers in Watercolour. I’ll be talking about the book, about how to use it and get the most out of it and I will have some of the example “inspirational” paintings on show.
Looking through the book, I am impressed by how much we’ve managed to fit into it! There are 35 projects to have a go at. All with illustrated step by step instructions, a tracing if desired, a photo of the subject and with plenty of tips about techniques, colour mixing, texture making, etc.
I’ve included here some of the illustrations which didn’t get into the book, but which give you a flavour of what there is inside.
So I hope you’ll come and say hello. I’m really looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones too!
I received a forward copy of my new book this month. Very exciting!
It’s been the best part of a year’s work for me and I was really pleased to see that the book has a lot to offer. It’s packed with ideas, projects, tracings, illustrations and it looks like good value for money to me…but then I’m biased!
The projects are quick and easy, well as easy as watercolour ever is! Based on small flower portraits using a variety of techniques which are fully explained.
Makes me remember that when I first started out with watercolour, I used to do small flower portraits…and then would sell them at craft fairs. Either framed or as greetings cards.
I’ll tell you more soon, but in the meantime here are some of the sort of projects you will find in the book, with full step by step instructions.
Towards the end of last year I began a sketchbook to document the garden and anything else that took my fancy. I love the concept of journaling but have always been a bit hit and miss with my sketchbook work.
I bought a Strathmore watercolour journal and I was off. My first sketch was done…
And here are some sketches I’ve done recently, ending up with the Plum blossom sketch of which more in the next blog.
I painted this iris ages ago and took photos of the stages. Thought you might like to see the progress of the painting. It’s quite small…about A4 size.
I love depicting these flowers with their delicious folds and frills!
The challenge was to bring out the iris against a dark background. The white edges at the top were important in making the flower stand out and not be lost in the background. I like putting in a background as I don’t want to produce a botanical study but to try and catch the spirit of the flower growing in its natural environment. I like the stroked in leaves at the bottom giving a bit of depth and context.
I’m still working on the new book. It’s going to be a practical manual of techniques for painting flowers in watercolour. There will be tracings!
The other day I was asked to produce some tracings. I had learned about a simple method of transferring sketches early on in my study of watercolour. It helped me greatly in my teaching, as I was able to produce a finished drawing from a rough sketch and then reproduce and share this drawing with students using the computer and photoshop.
I also used it in my own painting. It’s great when you get those first ideas that you have when you produce your initial sketch. But how do you then transfer them on to the piece of watercolour paper as a finished, tidy drawing? I’ve developed a way of doing this.
Above is an example of the first stage of producing a sketch from some inspirational material. I’ve sketched a design from my photos with the help of some real leaves from the garden for reference. I then tidy it up and produce a pen drawing. Here’s an example.
Then this is how I transfer it. I make my own carbon paper. Using a graphite stick I put some dense scribble on to some good quality tracing paper. Then I “set” this by scumbling over some methylated spirit on a piece of cotton wool and let it dry which only takes a minute or two. This makes the carbon less likely to shed the graphite and dirty your work.
I can then place this carbon underneath my sketch/finished drawing and copy it on to my watercolour paper. I use a biro to do this as it gives a clearer copy.
This is also how I produced the tracings for the book.
Here’s the finished painting of the sketch at the top of this post. Clematis Montana on a trellis.