Two Posts in One Day …

A sure sign it’s the school holidays!

This first painting is a much larger version of tree & owl combinations. I did initially try a different colour scheme but really didn’t like it, so I reverted to one similar to one I’ve used before, only this time I graduated the colour from the base of the painting to the top:

This next painting had bobbing boats at Bristol docks as its inspiration, my oldest son had a sailing lesson recently on the orange one :



Inspiring Photos …

We cycled down to the docks today where we enjoyed the Flatbed BMX World Championship, lunch in a dockside pub and watching the rowing races. In amongst all of this activity I took some photos, some of which may well be used in future paintings:

Salt of the Earth …

There seems to be snobbery where salt is concerned. Some say that only the more expensive salt gives a good flavour, others say that it all comes from the same place and so doesn’t really matter.

However, when it comes to soaking up watercolour paint, the bigger the crystals and the more expensive the salt, the better the effect! I discovered this when I used some very cheap salt, found at the back of a cupboard, to try and create a watery effect on a painting. It didn’t really work, but I quite like the painting anyway!

I have been inspired (yet again) by the colourful houses that overlook the River Avon and Bristol Docks. As for the balloon, well, apart from the annual balloon fiesta here in august, there are often balloons to be seen flying over the Bristol skies, we even have them fly over our garden, sometimes so low that we can talk to the people in the basket!!

I may well try another painting similar to this one but on a larger sheet of paper, then I can hopefully include plenty of water (with salt) as well as some different tones for the grass and the sky.

Home is where the ART is …

I’ve been reliably informed (by my children) that there are now 29 of my pictures on the walls of our house. I was really shocked and a bit embarrassed to tell the truth. My children though are amazing and both agreed that they wanted to see more!

To begin to fulfil their wish, I mounted my latest and current favourite painting on to some lovely paper and then simply framed it:


A Favourite Place …

Bristol Docks have featured many times in my ‘learning to paint with watercolour’ journey. They look different each time we visit as the boats moored there are constantly changing.

My latest painting was inspired by the view we had when, having cycled from home, we decided to stop awhile, have a lovely coffee and enjoy the view:

I really like how the colours have turned out and I’m glad that I chose to not be too precise with the edges!

These are a couple of the photos that I took from the coffee shop that we sat outside:


Lessons learned …

Today’s painting has taken me quite some time. I’m not totally happy with the end result either – however I have learned some valuable lessons:

1. Don’t rush – there’s no time limit and so there’s no need to self impose one.

2. Linked to number 1, know that it’s ok for a painting to take more than 1 day.

3. Don’t add some patterned paper just for the sake of it, if it doesn’t add anything to the painting then it’s not needed.

4. Using a small number of colours is fine too – paintings don’t have to include all the colours of the rainbow!!

5. Don’t try to cram everything in to 1 painting, simple is ok!

I think that’s enough lessons for 1 day. Here’s my painting from today – I think I managed to break all 5 of my own rules here:

Festival of Chocolate …

The Festival of Chocolate is here in Bristol this weekend and being the community minded citizens that we are, we decided to take a look! It is being held at the docks and there are loads of chocolate themed stalls. Unfortunately for us, within the first few minutes we found that most of these stalls were selling nut infused, nut roasted and all manner of nut themed chocolate. One of my boys has a nut allergy so we had to steer clear. On the upside though, we were able to indulge in some freshly made doughnuts (made while you wait – worth missing out on chocolate for 😄 ) and we took lots (more) photos of the docks.

On returning home, I’ve combined various aspects of different photos to create the plan for a painting I hope to do tomorrow morning:

This is a view of the ‘horny’ bridge (as it is known to the locals!) that reaches across from the dockside to the floating harbour. The picture isn’t exactly how I want it but it’s a reasonable starting point. I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about what I want to include and how best to include them, from the images below: