Sunday, 23 February 2014

Latest Commission

Before I start on this I just want you all to check out Artist Kim. The link is to her facebook photos page, I think you will be blown away by her work which is simply exquisite!! She is a sculptress, is in the process of mastering watercolour and has some of the most wonderful drawings I have seen anywhere!! I know I go on about art being a skill and not a talent but Kim may be the exception!!

You can therefore imagine my surprise when she actually asked me to do a painting of her lovely little Lhasa Apso.... Kim has been a very generous supporter of my work over the last couple of years and seems to like the way I paint and we have had one or two discussions about her own journey in watercolour and although I know she is very rarely satisfied in anything she does her work looks prtty damn good to me!!

I think Kim had seen the portrait I did of Holly and thought as her dog was similar I might be able to do something for her.... I like to do commissions but am always anxious until the customer has seen the finished piece and this was my second go at BooBoo. I usually do a very sketchy version where I am working on the colours trying to get a feel for what looks right and as he is a boy decided on this "cool" palette with touches of pinks and browns thrown in. I usually just find my way around a painting like this....not always knowing quite where to go and almost trial and error seeing what works....... I do like to paint rough haired dogs, I think they suit my style. So here is the finished piece which will be on it's way to America next week and I would like to thank Kim for her faith in me!!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


I have a few of these images to paint all from Alex Lee Johnson. Again only a resemblance not a full portrait study but I do rather like this one.. I was painting it alongside the eagle last night so have just finished it... can't tell you for sure all the colours I've used as I have stepped outside my usual limit or 4 or 5.. think it is something like this

Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Sienna
Quin Gold
Raw Sienna
Translucent Orange
Cobalt Blue

I didn't do a planet exercise for this.. it was one of those where I didn't always know what my brush was doing!! I might tweak this when I look at it again in the morning or I may feel it is finished....decisions, decisions!!

Hope you like!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Sharon's Art February Challenge

Sharon Whitley runs a facebook challenge each month and this month her choice was a fabulous photo from Gary Jones which I fancied having a go at.. as always I can see areas I might have done differently but I was going for drama and almost scary with this one as the image is extremely imposing!! Limited palette again

Winsor Purple
Winsor Red
Quin gold
Translucent Orange

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Amazing Effects

There is a photographer on Paint my Photo called Alex Lee Johnson whose work is just fantastic and  I have one or two images of his on my to do list.

This started out as a play to see if I could get some of the soft focus effects he has in his photos as I love them both in photos and paintings. As usual I didn't spend much time on the drawing so the likeness to the original image is ok though not spot on but that wasn't the aim of this piece and I am still pleased with the effect overall.

Alex has some wonderful creative ideas and anyone who has any doubt as to whether photography is art need look no further... his photos are moody, unusual and so attractive they have really inspired me! I enjoy painting portraits and his photos are a treat to use!! In this one I really liked the intense contrast of light and dark, something I am always drawn to.....interestingly I do usually alter images quite a lot, cropping, using alternative palettes but quite honestly Alex's images lend themselves to a loose watercolour treatment and I couldn't resist it as it is!!

I have used a limited palette for this

Burnt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Touch of white gouache raw sienna and Winsor red (eyes and lips)

I may have another go at this and take a bit more care with the drawing as the girl in the original is so beautiful.... but as I mentioned I am really quite pleased with the end result as a painting and not bothered about that aspect of it.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

New Brusho Workshop with Joanne Boon Thomas

I arrived bright and early at Sunshine House (where I will be running a series of 4 "Loosening up" workshops in March... details to follow) for a one off workshop with Joanne. As ever Joanne brought new ideas and techniques to the session which was great for me as I have already attended quite a few Brusho workshops. All creative ideas go to Joanne on these paintings.

What I did want to talk about in this blog is how workshops don't always bring out the best in us, at least not at the time... how we often put pressure on ourselves not only maybe to please and impress the tutor but to actually produce that oh so elusive masterpiece and although I have produced a couple of very pleasing pieces at workshops, in general it is rare and really not to be expected.

A good tutor should fill you with ideas and enthusiasm, as both Jean and Joanne have done with me so that I may not produce "the one" at the workshop but I will come home and be inspired to put their techniques, energy and passion into my own work in my own way..... what you actually do on the day is slightly irrelevant... what you learn on the day to take away is paramount!! So excuses made for my efforts at the Brusho workshop.... here is what I did!!

This first one was from one of my own photos of poppies in the garden from last year and isn't finished yet but can already see there are a few muddy bits but I can use some bleach to lift in parts so not a lost cause with this .

 I think this was the best piece I managed on the day using some slightly different ideas... less is more with Brusho and again, possibly  bit heavy handed in parts but again a touch of bleach might just do the trick.
 This piece was altogether trickier, we created a variegated wash which wasn't an easy technique and I have used bleach in parts but again heavy handed to the bottom where you can see the muddier mixes.. a creative crop may be the way to go with this one!!
So I think this illustrates exactly what I'm talking about where I "could have done better!!" But I am certainly not despondent, rather inspired and excited to continue on my Brusho journey as the potential of this medium is phenomenal!!

Anyone who might be interested in buying the DVD and E-book which will answer all your questions can purchase it here