Wednesday, 26 September 2012


I will be exhibiting in Aldeborough from sat 6th Oct for 2 weeks, and I'm on roster duty on sat morning to lunchtime, on the 6th Oct, J and I will be staying over on friday the 5th so if anyone wants to join up with me-us, let me know : )

Saturday, 8 September 2012


Do any of your paintings look like this! If they do, you definitely need me!

This section of my workshop will be about correcting mistakes, which will range from correcting a small detail in a painting which has largely worked out well, to those paintings which cannot be amended but are very valuable to us in comparison with our later attempts.
I will be posting the corrections after I have come back from liverpool, but the following items are on my list.

How to correct streaks, and how to avoid them happening

How to avoid back-runs resulting in blooms and blotches.

How to get you pigment darker and more intense.

How to make the painting lighter.

How to stop your colours from getting muddy.

How to get your pigment to flow further and faster.

What equipment helps with minor mistakes.

When a painting can't be amended but it can be learned from.


Part 3 of my mini course is skies.
I have 3 skies planned ranging from easy to middle difficulty.
In the first sky, below, which is the simplest, we have already practised flat and gradated washes in the hills, but this time we are going to be using masking fluid for the seagulls and crumpled kitchen roll for the clouds

I also want to demonstrate what can go wrong, ( below ) where I used too little water for the sky which made it streaky, and on the sea, my surface water was inconsistent causing a back-run.
Workshop 4 in this series covers how to correct with mistakes.

The sunset is more difficult, and should only be tackled when all the other techniques are mastered, but it is in place for when the learner is ready to move on, and again a % mixing test strip should be practised first to get you warmed up to have a go.

The cloudburst is good fun as it involves mixing neutrals on the paper and allowing it to run down the page by tipping your paper into a near vertical position.
This painting exercise is the culmination of all the techniques learn ed in the mini course, it is where the pigments are running at their fastest, and the learner has to let go of the outcome to some extent, and it is at this point that the learner sees watercolour panting at it's best, which involves allowing to do what it does on it's own with a little help from us.

The trees at the bottom are partly painted wet in wet at the same time as the clouds, and then again after the painting has dried, I added a little dry brushstroke, which involves skimming the paper with a fairly damp brush as horizontal to the paper as possible. If you want to know more about that technique, and others, you'll have to sign up to the  PAINTBOX MINI COURSE part 3, or join one of my classes.

The painting below is not for beginners, but I thought I'd include it to show how a learner can progress from beginner to improver.


This excercise was designed to build on an understanding of wet in wet pigment flow practiced on the hills, but this time the flow will be faster and further, with a higher degree of intensity, and will require more control in the higher definition areas, and again we will practice at a colour mixing strip designed to explore how much to mix colours up on the paper for different effects, and in this case how to avoid the colours from turning muddy.
We will also have a strip exploring high definition within a wet wash.

I always try to teach how to do it wrong so my learners can recognise mistakes before they start to happen. see below

This exercise is designed to prepare a learner how to paint around different and increasingly complicated shapes, without masking fluid.

This is my part completed pansy to take to papintbox to demonstrate high and low definition


Some of you will know, that I have recently been filmed by a film company in Liverpool making art tutorial video's for the web, and I currently have 2 days filming up there on monday and tuesday, and I'm presenting a mini course for beginners which I'm going to summarise on my blog for you.

Most of my learners will recognise the beginner exercises I invented as they have already done them.

The image below is of the front page of PAINTBOX ART MEDIA, it is not interactive, but if you want to explore the site here's the link 
but if you want to see my video tutorials I'm afraid you'll have to sign up for them, although I am hoping I'll be able to get a short clip of one of them to put on here and on my website.

The exercises are for beginners and are designed to have a progression of easy to medium difficulty, with all the techniques repeated with each subject in both the preparation exercises and the finished painting.

Each new subject will expand, and add new techniques to build for the next stage.

The hills exercise below is designed for repetition of laying flat and gradated washes, culminating in laying a variegated wash for the foreground trees

All my beginners classes start with a pigment to water ratio exercises to demonstrate an understanding of how much water is required for various degrees of intensity.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks with all my learners is brush application so I'm going to be paying particular attention to this.

The first gradated wash on the hills

As a basis for creating a variegated wash, this neutral light and dark exercise is essential before tackling the next few washes on the hills.
Technique practise sheets are more successful, because the beginner is not so fearful of the outcome as when they are trying to produce a finished piece, and therefore can relax and focus getting it right.

The 2nd wash on the hills