Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Lino print project

Another project in the melting pot - I have agreed to make an edition of 100 items for the "Bookmarks XV Infiltrating the Library System".  Fortunately, I have until June 2017 to finish these.  I plan to use 140 lb hot pressed watercolour paper, with an abstract painted background, over-printed in acrylic with a simple lino cut design.

This is actually Softcut rather than lino, I find it is easier to work with and clean up afterwards.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn colour

On a reasonably fine day last week, we paid another visit to Westonbirt Arboretum to catch the autumn colour.  Just in time, I think,  before too much rain and wind wreaks havoc.

Old English "leaf peepers"

Arboretum cottage

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


The challenge at our monthly art workshop yesterday was to make an abstract composition.  Quite a few of us were unfamiliar with this concept, but we were given a brief explanation and shown some examples of other artists' work to get us started.  It certainly made a change from our usual subject matter and, judging from the quiet concentration for a couple of hours, we all entered into the spirit of exploration.

My effort was on black paper, using Caran d'Ache Neo-pastels, gouache and some coloured pencil.  I quite liked the effect of the gouache over the waxy pastels - another technique which could come in useful in mixed media paintings.

11" x 16"

Monday, 17 October 2016

Japanese Anemones

My second attempt....  When I painted my watercolour "In the Pink", I started off with two separate drawings on Arches cold pressed paper, but I abandoned the looser version as I felt the background was too strong.  However, given more time, I thought it could be reworked and this is how it has turned out.  I'm much happier with it now, but will mull over it for a couple of days to see whether I should add anything more.

Japanese Anemones - watercolour - approx. 8" x 8"

Monday, 10 October 2016


This is the collage which I was working on earlier last month.  The bulk of this is acrylic printed tissue paper.

"Jester" - collage approx 6" x 8"

Friday, 7 October 2016

Derwent Drawing pencils

Another little foray into drawing materials.

I recently came across some videos about drawing materials by Judith Logan and liked the effects she achieves in her work. A trip to the art shop this week had me picking up a handful of Derwent Drawing pencils to see how they would work for me.

I tried them out in my watercolour Moleskine, on a whiter, smooth drawing paper and on black paper (a Frisk Black Pad).  I also tested them over light washes of watercolour and gouache.  I believe there are only about 24 colours available and they all seem to be fairly muted.  Overall, I preferred them on the black paper, but on my little flower sketch I attempted to brighten it up a bit with a couple of Stabilo Softcolour pencils and hatched in the background with a silver metallic pencil.

Some further experiments needed, I think.  Has anyone else used these successfully?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Roses complete

This is the finalised rose painting.  I opted to leave the background untouched - I didn't want to risk messing it up in the final stages.

Summer Fragrance - watercolour - approx 8" square

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sketch outing

On Saturday I joined the newly formed Swindon urban sketching group at Coate Water Country Park.  Despite really heavy rain to begin with, nine brave souls turned up and we managed to squeeze ourselves into a sheltered seating area overlooking the lake and it's iconic 1930's diving board.  True to our fickle British weather, we ended our session with sun and blue skies.

I managed a couple of very rough sketches whilst trying to keep my hands warm.

The Diving Board - pen and wash

Canoes in the distance - pen and wash