Art · Watercolour

A Portrait Of Ewe

A Portrait Of Ewe - NB
A Portrait Of Ewe

My Portrait Of Ewe is based upon an exercise in Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. I have to admit that I’ve skipped a few exercises in the book just to get to the sheep a bit quicker… ! I will go back and do the ones I left out….

Jean’s rendition of a sheep is so colourful and vibrant. I loved painting this. This was my third attempt, each one getting slightly better. This was fun to paint and it’s very good practice for me. It was painted on Arches Cold Pressed paper and measures 9″ x 6″.

Since buying and reading this book (I’ve actually read the book 3 times!) my watercolour painting has improved in leaps and bounds. It’s been a real eye opener for me. It’s taught me that I have to let go of all the things that were restraining me, holding me back. Let go of the fears too…

I can honestly say that I’m in a much better place with my watercolour painting now than before I studied this book. It has changed the way I think about and paint with watercolour forever. I can never go back…

I still consider myself to be, not a beginner anymore, but still in the early stages of my watercolour journey. I’ve only been seriously painting with watercolour for about one year.  I have a long way to go yet. And I need to practice, practice, practice and practice some more!

So if, like me, you’re learning to paint with watercolours too, keep going and never give up on your dream. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy – it’s going to take a lot of determination and hard work. But we CAN do it…. !

Art · Photography · Seasons

Spring Time…. ?

Spring Beach - NB

The photo above I took on Friday (16th March). My mum and I had a lovely stroll along the seafront. The sun was shining, we had temperatures of 13 Celsius and beautiful blue skies. It was the most lovely spring day. Hardly anybody on the beach, it was so quiet and serene. The sand was completely untouched – not a foot print anywhere, it was a beautiful view. Finally spring is coming…..

Then this happened….

March 2018 - NB

Today we woke up to temperatures of -2 Celsius and a blanket of snow! The temperatures plummeted yesterday morning and snow showers started but didn’t last long. Today however it has been snowing since 7 am this morning and very hard for the last two hours and not showing any signs of stopping…. ! I took the above photo in my garden  about an hour ago.  I purposely made sure the fence was in the photo for contrast so you could see the snow coming down. As I type this, it is a proper blizzard outside.

I haven’t ventured further than the back garden so far today but I will be visiting my lovely mum later. Then I may be able to get some photos of the snow across the fields. So it would seem “the beast from the east” (as our last snow storm was called 2 weeks ago) has made a comeback and spring is on back on hold. Crazy British weather…. !!

Now is a good time to stay warm inside and do some painting!

Art · Watercolour

Wash Day….

No, I’m not talking about the laundry…. ! When watercolour painting, the expression “wash day” takes on a whole new meaning. Practicing initial washes is an exercise in Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. And I have to say it’s a lovely, relaxing and therapeutic exercise to do.

Here’s my first wash, loosely based on the exercise in Jean’s book in the link above:

Initial Wash 1 - NB

A loose, light and colourful wash. This will be the base on which I will eventually build on and create a lovely painting.

My next wash is based specifically upon one of my own photos. A floral photo:

Initial Wash 2 - NB

Again, in time, I will build upon this initial wash to create a watercolour painting based upon my photo.

When I have built upon these washes and turned them into finished paintings I will post the results. Not sure when that will be yet but, hey, there’s no rush…. ! They will sit patiently in my studio till I’m ready to work on them. I will know when the time is right….

Art · Watercolour


Jellyfish - a - NB

I had a little watercolour fun this afternoon painting some jellyfish. I was inspired by Maria Raczynska’s tutorial on her YouTube channel. Her watercolour work is stunning and inspiring.

This was a fairly simple exercise to do. I varied the composition of my painting a little and also used different paper and different paint. I used Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper ~ 140 lb NOT, 100% cotton. The paint I used was Daniel Smith’s Ultramarine Turquoise. That was the only colour I used. It’s a gorgeous colour and I love how it granulates and separates. A good choice for my jellyfish. I also didn’t do any pencil sketches first either.

The photograph doesn’t really do the painting justice – the reality is much better – however, I have tried to capture the colours as accurately as possible. You can click on the image to view it larger if you wish. I had so much fun doing this and it only took me about 15 minutes to paint. Happy days…. !


Art · Collage

Spring Collages

It’s collage time! Welcome to weeks 10 and 11 of the collage project I’m doing with my sister, Carolyn, following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman.

The week 10 prompt is Decollage. We had to glue down lots of layers of paper and then when the glue is nearly dry rip the top layers of papers away to reveal what’s underneath. Here’s what I did:

Spring Style Decollage - NB

I used soft pastel coloured papers and also added some dried pressed flowers – a little hint of spring….

The week 11 prompt is numbers – create a collage with numbers as the focus. Here’s my offering:

Numbers - NB

A vintage blue collage with a spring twist with the added dried pressed flowers. And of course the numbers were included and I used vintage ephemera for that. Some erosion bundle papers went into this collage as well….

I had fun creating these collages. Next weeks theme is typography – something a little different for me. Looking forward to it…. !


Art · Watercolour


Ocean - NB

The beauty and power of the ocean captured in watercolour….

Loose, abstract swooshes of blue and green paint across the paper….

Prussian Blue, Phthalo Blue, Sap Green, White Gouache & touches of Cobalt Teal Blue on  Fabriano Artistico paper (100% cotton)….

I love the sea and painting it with beautiful watercolours on lovely paper makes me happy….

Art · Photography · Seasons

What Happened To Spring?

What happened to spring? What went wrong? I took all these photos this morning, Friday 2nd March! Our snow storm came from the East, from Siberia….

Winter 1 - NB

Some weeks ago I remember admiring blog friend Jodi’s snowy winter photos and wishing I could have some snow too. Well you know what they say “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it…. ” and we got it !!

Winter 2 - NB

We’ve got a whole 8 inches of it and where the snow has drifted in the wind it is 12 – 15 inches deep. That’s a lot of snow for my corner of the South West of England. The snow was forecast several days ago and has affected most of the UK over the last few days. Yesterday it was our turn….

Winter 3 - NB

The Met Office had an Amber weather warning issued for us several days ago and yesterday morning it was raised to Red. Yesterday, Thursday 1st March , at 3 pm it started snowing. And it snowed, and snowed and snowed some more. Plus it was windy and very quickly drifted.

Winter 5 - NB

Our normally busy town is quiet as the grave today as many people can’t get to work, businesses and shops are closed and road conditions are treacherous. Walking through town this morning I noticed the canal had frozen over. Temperatures are about -1 C.

Winter 4 - NB

In the above picture, this is snow and ice on the outside of my mum’s kitchen window! At some point in the early hours of this morning it stopped snowing and started raining. But was so cold that the rain froze instantly leaving ice on windows and a sheet of ice covering the snow.

Well I got what I wanted! I do love the snow, it’s so beautiful but it does need to treated with a whole lot of respect – so here’s hoping everyone affected in Britain stays warm, safe and doesn’t take any unnecessary risks…..

Art · Collage

Squaring Up

Welcome to weeks 8 and 9 of the collage project I’m doing with Carolyn, following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. The prompt for week 8 was reassemble – cut an image into approximately equal squares and rearrange them to create a new image. Here’s what I did:

Books Reassembled - NB
Books Reassembled

This is a print of one of my own photos cut up into squares and reassembled. This is the original image:

A Little Light Reading - NB
A Little Light Reading

This was quick and easy and fun to do. Next is week 9 and the prompt was squares and rectangles. We had to choose 2 or more images and cut them into squares and rectangles and  then create a collage using the pieces. Here’s what I did:

A Winter Seascape - NB
A Winter Seascape

This collage measures 8″ x 8″ and is created entirely from my own art work and photography except for one small square which happens to be a piece of scrapbook paper. Each square of this collage is a work of art in it’s own right! Please click on the image to view it larger to see more of the details. At the bottom section of the collage you have the yellow ochre sand with rocks, seaweed and rock pools. In the middle section you have the sea ~ a mixture of turquoise, greens, rich inky indigo and prussian blue tones. Towards the top of the collage I see a distant shoreline topped with moody grey and blue sky.

There will be more collage fun next week – thank you for visiting!


Art · Watercolour

Apples And Rain….

I don’t seem to have had much time for my art work lately so this week I made time for it. For just an hour or so I decided that everything else can wait….

I started with a fairly simple watercolour sketch of an apple:

An Apple A Day - NB
An Apple A Day

I used Prussian Blue and Lemon Yellow plus a tiny bit of Burnt Umber for the stalk The paper is Saunders Waterford and this sketch measures  approximately 8″ x 7″.

Next is my first ever attempt at painting a person, albeit a fairly abstract one….

Walking In The Rain - NB
Walking In The Rain

I like my abstract lady in the rain. I have never been very keen to include people in my photography work, although there are a very few exceptions. However, I am very keen to have a go at painting people with watercolour. The colours used here were Paynes Grey, Yellow Ochre, Rose Madder and Burnt Umber. The paper was a left over scrap of Khadi paper and measures approximately 6″ x 6″.

Inspiration for these sketches came from a mixture of Hazel Soan and Jean Haines, both brilliant inspirational watercolour painters. I painted straight onto the paper, no pencil sketches or lines – more drawing with a paint brush.

I enjoyed painting these watercolour sketches. They’re fairly simple and didn’t take long. So it just goes to show even with a busy schedule I can find time to paint if I really want to – even if it’s just 20 minutes or half an hour. Plus watercolour painting is so relaxing, de-stressing and therapeutic….


Art · Collage

Image Pairings & Strips

Today I am posting 2 weeks of collages together as I wasn’t able to get any done last week! So first this is week 6 – image pairings. For this we had to cut an image in half and create two different collages from each half of the image. Here’s what I did:

Bring Me Sunshine - NB
Bring Me Sunshine
A Sprinkle Of Snow - NB
A Sprinkle Of Snow

For these collages I cut in half an image from a vintage French fashion magazine and created 2 collages from each half. The first one has a spring feel to it and the second one has a touch of winter added to it.

Next we have week 7 collages – strips. We had to cut 2 or 3 images into strips and then rearrange the strips to create a totally new image. Here’s what I did:

Shipwreck - NB

For this collage I used ocean themed images in ocean colours.

Indigo Dreams - NB
Indigo Dreams

For this collage I used images with different shades of indigo blue.

These collages are part of a collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn, we’re following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. All of my collages this week measure approx. 8″ x 8″ and will be stuck into a sketchbook I’ve set aside especially for this project.