First plein-air watercolour of 2018

So rare is the opportunity for me to paint plein-air, that even though the day was cold, overcast and with heavy rain forecast, I had to seize the initiative! It was also a great chance to test out my new plein-air setup, customised from an old Winsor and Newton artist’s case. I had hoped to get some… Read More

Watercolour painting without fear

Watercolour painting without fear. Well, that was the theory! The other week I spent quite a while painting a view that I’ve tried a few times before, but have yet to feel that I’ve  cracked it. Sadly, this remains to be the case. I reached a point where theoretically, it was about 90% complete, but… Read More

Constructive watercolour criticism

I felt increasingly disappointed about my most recent efforts after posting last week’s blog post. I did, however, receive some well-considered, constructive and encouraging comments that really stuck with me. Initially, all I wanted to do was to move on and forget this subject. The more I mulled over the comments I’d received though, the more… Read More

Another work in progress watercolour sequence

This feels like a bit of a postscript to last week’s post where I felt I was ticking along nicely right up until the end when I added in one wash too many and somewhat ‘killed’ it! With this second attempt, I was mindful of working as quickly as possible, and to being a little bolder… Read More

At last – a WIP watercolour post!

After so many good but ultimately futile intentions to track a painting’s development – I finally remembered to take some work in progress (WIP) photos as I went along! My subject also marks a departure from my recent plethora of Barcelona images, and a change of format too. I don’t know why but most of… Read More

Third time (not so) lucky watercolour…

Sometimes a subject can really get under your skin. This may be because it’s special to you in some way, or because you just love the view or colours or composition. Sometimes however it may be because you know what it is you’re trying to achieve with a view but, try as you might, you… Read More

Unfinished watercolour business…

This past week was one of those where my hopes and expectations for painting were dashed upon the rocks of everyday life. In a nutshell – I barely managed to squeeze any painting in this week. I had it mind to revisit last week’s subject matter, with the aim of putting a warmer wash of… Read More

Plein-air sketching in Wales

I was away in Wales over the recent bank holiday weekend – ‘surely not another holiday!’ I hear you exclaim! This time we were camping with twenty or so friends and families and I took my sketching kit along more in hope than expectation. We were based in the Brecon Beacons on the river Usk… Read More

Sketching – the perfect tonic!

Carrying on from where I left off last week, I've been really enjoying working in my sketchbooks. Here're a few pages and close-ups of some of my efforts. We only made it back from back from France earlier today, after spending a wonderful few days in Dieppe, so apologies that this post is so brief.… Read More

Holiday reading: Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour by Joseph Zbukvic

In an effort to shake off my current watercolour malaise, I’ve brought some inspiration on holiday with me in the form of Joseph Zbukvic’s brilliant book ‘Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour’. I find it a wonderfully insightful book, rich with practical advice and examples from one of the best watercolour artists working today. He… Read More