Constant learning

Every time I start a painting there is always a stage where I question my process, the colours I use, the composition and a host of other thoughts. So I’m always looking to improve or just freshen up my paintings.

Richard Torn (a wonderful watercolour artist) has been a big influence for me but I’ve always struggled to work out his methods. So when a course demonstrating his process work came up I jumped at the chance to learn more.

I painted this scene, following closely his style and ideas. The artist said I’d done well. So I’m using this painting to inspire and inform my future work.

I used conte crayon to map out the shapes and shadows.

Blocks of colour and masking fluid provide structure. Giving depth and texture

The stream has now colours and the trees are taking shape. Keeping the colours sharp is key

The final painting. Masking fluid has been removed and darks have more colour in them

I’m now waiting for Spring to continue my journey, so that I can get out painting, find the spring colours, highlights and shadows.


Sketchbook Summer/Autumn 2022

I’ve not posted on this site for a while but I’ve still been painting in my sketchbook. This year I’ve been to the Lakes and North Wales but the rest of the paintings are of my various sessions outdoors in Surrey with the Surrey Hills Plein Air Group and Leatherhead Art Club.

Lake District sketches with the London Plein Air Group

Lake Windermere
Hill Top: Beatrix Potters House
Coniston Water
Esthwaite Water
Windermere: Ambleside

North Wales: Anglesey

Anglesey near Llanddona

Surrey Paint Outs

Shepperton Lock
Roaring House Farm, Norbury Park
Polesden Lacey
Dry Pond in Bookham Common
Headley Heath
Fetcham / Hatchlands
Wey Navigation at Ripley
Box Hill
Newlands Corner
Denbies Estate and Box Hill


Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

March & April

A mixture of plein air and studio work , created over March and April 2022

Wild about coffee in Norbury Park
Dorking Roofline
Compton Allotments
West End, near Esher
Newlands Corner, Surrey
Buckingham Palace, sketched with the London Plein Air Group
Buckingham Palace
Outwood Windmill, near Redhill
Buckingham Palace, Studio Painting
Church Park, Leatherhead, from my sketchbook
Notan sketch for a commission
Hampton Court Bridge, with the Surrey Hills Plein AirGroup
Mixed media, using crayons and ink pens of Steers Field panorama
Notan sketch for a commission of the Plough, Leatherhead
Commission of the Plough, Leatherhead
Head Gardeners Cottage, Polesden Lacey
Steers Field
Itchenor panorama in my sketchbook
Boatyard, Itchenor, with the Surrey Hills Plein Air Group
George Abbot pub, Guildford, painted with the Surrey Hills Plein Air Group
Polesden Lacey, painted on Surrey Day with a group of friends
Three of my paintings in the Black Dog Gallery, Leatherhead
Ockley, Surrey
Very wet morning at Newlands Corner with the Surrey Hills Plein Air Group, sketchbook
Challenge by Leatherhead Art Club of changing an existing painting to a night scene
Leatherhead Art Club Challenge, ‘Club Session’

January & February 2022

A new year and I’m looking at developing new ideas in my art. I don’t want to lose my watercolour techniques but try to introduce new colours, tools and compositions. Here are my paintings for the first two months of 2022, a mixture of plein air and studio work. Plus I’ve returned to Virtual Ribble with some paintings from Google Street View.

River Mole at Leatherhead
Thames at Weybridge (Plein Air)
Postman at Ripley (Plein Air)
Leatherhead Bridge (Plein Air)
Denbies (Plein Air)
Shere (Plein Air)
Battersea Power station (Plein Air)
Three Pigeons, Guildford (Plein Air)
Guildford Skyline
Common Meadow, Leatherhead. Oils
Katoomba, Australia (Google Street View)
Ambleside, Lakes , (Google Street View)
Burnley (Google Street View)
Slaidburn, Lancashire (Google Street View)
Slaidburn (Google Street View)
Mount Vernon, Virginia (Google street View)
Still Life

November and December

Here are my paintings for November and December 2021. A mixture of plein air and studio work.

Bolder Mere, Surrey a quick study of the p
Hatchlands, Surrey from a plein air session in December
Polsden Lacey, Surrey from a plein air session
Newlands Corner, Surrey : Plein Air
Dolphin Inn, Betchworth, Surrey from a plein air session and our Xmas meal
Reigate Old Town Hall, Surrey, sketch on grey card, plein air
Squash on glass with arrow, re the transcience of still life
Leith Hill Tower, Surrey
Leith Hill Tower, Surrey, commission
Family House, commission
St Mary’s and St Nicholas, Leatherehad, Surrey
Tower Bridge, London from the South bank
Tower of London, from the river thames
Tower Bridge, from the River Thames
St Pauls, London from Ludgate Hill (sold)
Blue Bird cafe, Ferring Beach, ink on Natural card

October Plein Air and Studio Work

As busy month with the LAC Autumn Exhibition in progress and some commissions to work on. I did manage to get out and paint thoguh and enjoyed the sessions as we move deeper into Autumn. I’m trying some ink based work and will keep these going as they may help with my watercolours in the future.

The Fish Market, Venice
Norfolk Broads, painted with the Art Group
Commission of Coffee truck
River Thames at Kingston, Plein Air
Haslemere, Plein Air
Still Life with the Art group
Drawing Robin at the Art Group
Denbies, Plein Air
Claremont, Esher, Plein Air
Elstead Common

September Plein Air and Studio Work

Leatherhead was the theme of the month as we had a small exhibition at the Institute. I painted the High Street from three angles , which were well recieved by the local community.

Leatherhead High Street from the Theatre
Plein Air painting from the Institute
Leatherhead High Street

This is from our holiday to Derbyshire. I liked the tree on the far hill and the row of cottages.

‘Jogging with the dog’, Tideswell, Church Street

I was asked to demonstrate a watercolour at Leatherhead Art Club at the last minute. I had painted this view of Venice before and felt I could reproduce the painting in the meeting. Plus it was an interesting view that people might find intimidating to start.

Grand Canal

I was commissioned to paint this view for Grace and Flavour

Grace and Flavour (commission)

These paintings are from my Plein Air sessions with the Surrey Hills Plein Air group. All organised by Rick Holmes (thanks!)

Coffee Truck (sold)
Emsworth Yacht Harbour Entrance
Experimenting with materials at Emsworth
Sopworth Camel at Brooklands
Prize Giving at Brooklands
Derbyshire (we stayed in this very old toll house

August Plein Air and Studio Work

We had a dull August weather-wise and this effects the colours and shadows of my work for this month.

I moved away from my sketchbook and painted with the remaining stock of watercolour paper I bought last year. Already Brexit and Covid are effecting paper shortages and I’ve had to resort to different paper manufacturers. We will see what effect this has on my work when it arrives.

Most of this month has come from trips with Leatherhead Art Club and Surrey Hills Plein Air but there was a trip to Singleton on my birthday.

Old Hunstanton Beach
Ashtead Common Cottages
Polesden Lacey
Horses in front of Newark Abbey
The Flour Mill, Singleton
Chiddingfold Shops with Postwoman
Grace & Flavour Gardens (sold)
Rose Garden, Polesden Lacey (sold)
Rural Life Center, Tilford
Church Road, Leatherhead
West End, Church
Castle Mill, Dorking (sketchbook)
Painting at Rye Meadows

July 2021

I’ve been painting outdoors a lot recently but the weather has been so changeable. Most of this months work has been in my sketchbook as this allows a certain amount of freedom and its easy to set up. I’ve been painting with the Surrey Hills group and Leatherhead Art Club, plus on my own during July.

Our weeks holiday to Norfolk has been a big influence and I hope to paint more pictures from there in the future.

Old Hunstanton (pleinair painting)
Old Hunstanton, sketchbook
Old Hunstanton, ‘Bird on a wire, after the shower’, Studio painting
Holkham Beach, quick sketch, sketchbook
Tower Mill, Burnham Overy, Norfolk (NT), sketchbook
Old Hunstanton Beach, sketchbook
Church Park, Leatherhead, sketchbook
Church Street, Leatherhead
Ockley, sketchbook
Dorking Golf Club
Newark Abbey, sketchbook
Compton Allotments, plein air
Little Frensham Pond, sketchbook
Rye Meadows, Ashtead, sketchbook
Mobile Cafe, Headley Heath, small sketchbook

April, May & June

It’s been a strange few months artwise for different reasons. The weather has been changeable and I have only felt like painting outdoors, so very little studio work. Also my focus has been on my Open Studios and the Leatherhead Art Club Exhibition, both went well but visitor numbers were well down from two years ago. I sold more paintings than 2 years ago and income was a little higher. Just about covering my costs for the last two years.

I chose to show my paintings from the virtual sketching lockdown , plus the local paintings I’ve been working on over the last 18 months. Over 150 on display and a wide range of subjects.

I recieved fantastic response to my work and I would like to thank everyone who turned up and supported me. My sketching style was popular, roughly half were in this style , with the rest being local scenes.

Local Plein Air paintings over the last three months

Platts Eyot, Hurst Park (sketchbook)
Shere (sketchbook)
Guilkdford (sketchbook)
The Mole at Leatherhead (sketchbook)
Haslemere (sketchbook)
Gimcrack Hill (sketchbook)
Leatherehad Bridge (sketchbook)
Mickleham Church (sketchbook)
Denbies (sketchbook)
Burrows Lea (sketchbook)
Bocketts Pig
View towards Mickleham from Bocketts
Gastons Farm, quick sketch
Lyme Regis using watercolour pencils
13/15 St Johns Road