Month: July 2016

Latest Family Member!

Below is my painting of Molly our latest family member. A bubbly Cockerpoo… looking for another game of tug.

watercolour dog



Trying different methods

I’ve been thinking of trying acrylics or oils for a while and wanted to see if I had learnt from working with my watercolours.

I found an image of Limone, Lake Garda, from last year and liked the light on the water and buildings. I made a pencil drawing first to get accustomed to the tonal range and details in the picture.

Limone 3

Limone, Lake Garda, Italy, Pencil

With the simple sketch worked up I found some acrylics passed on to me by a friend who did not want them anymore. I bought some cheap acrylic brushes so that I didn’t ruin my watercolour ones. Working with acrylics is the opposite to watercolours, so I started with the darks and worked towards the lights.

Limone 1


I was pleased with aspects of the painting and could achieve far deeper colours than with watercolours, where they tend to go muddy if worked too much. I like the way highlights can be added to good effect with acrylics. But blending was much trickier and getting the sky to work was so much harder compared to watercolour. Having finished the acrylic painting I then worked on a watercolour version.

Limone 2


The sky and mountain areas were painted in minutes, with translucent light and blended colours easily achieved. The treeline presented more of a challenge as I can change and adapt with Acrylics but watercolours are much less forgiving. I had to get it right first time. The depth of the water and buildings are less with the watercolour but I feel I can get more accuracy with them. (notice for some strange reason I’ve added another building to the watercolour version)

Verdict. I think the simple pencil sketch has charm.The acrylic is fine for a first attempt but needs more thought and the watercolour is fresh. Feedback welcome.

Goring Sketching Trip

I joined a sketching trip to Goring on Sea last week and produced this on the beach, under a very hot sun. I’m pleased with the outcome as painting people is very tricky. See if you can see the baby paddling in the sea with here mother.

line and wash

Goring on Sea


Sold! Pintar Rapido 3rd year running

For the third year running I sold my entry at Pintar Rapido. This annual competition based in Chelsea attracts many professionals and amateurs (including me, 3 years running) with the main remit of painting a London scene in a day. The following day they are exhibited at Chelsea town hall.

Numbers were down again this year and the number of sales was even lighter. I decided to return to the river and take on Albert bridge again. Its a lovely setting and close to the town hall.

It turned out to be a beautiful day but painting outdoors, with the aim of producing my best work, is a real challenge. I normally only sketch outdoors. Changing light and tides, drying winds, hot sun and traffic pollution all added to the task. It was just as well that I had practiced the scene at home…as this helped me overcome many issues as I painted.

photo (5)

I was pleased with the outcome in the end and chuffed that someone bought it!

Here it is framed.


Albert bridge from Chelsea Embankment

Even more Venice

Venice carries on inspiring me and I’m continuing to work on new studies. I’m trying different compositions and techniques to see what is successful.

The top image is of a rather grand but weathered entrance, leading off a narrow canal. The windows have been bricked up and then grills attached. I wonder why.

Below is a picture of a canal leading into the Grand canal. I could navigate through the city by recognizing the brighter light coming from the Grand Canal and lagoon. I wanted to capture this effect with lights and darks.



Finally, I’ve produced another long, thin painting to go with the others, from a previous post. I felt the painting with the tree was in a different style and I needed another image to make up the triptych. I’ve framed the three paintings now and they look great together.


Pintar Rapido tomorrow… I’m preparing for the day’s painting and hope it goes to plan.