Sketching Simply or Simply Sketching …

I took the picture that I did this morning and tried to simplify the colour palette. I used a sketching pencil for the ‘trees’ and then added purple with limited shots of yellow. I decided to not ‘paint’ the colours with water and this is the result:

I was so pleased with the simplicity of this that I did a green/red version and a blue/orange version. I’ve photographed each one on complementary paper which hopefully brings out the simple colours used:


A Fort on a Misty Day …

Yesterday I didn’t know what, if anything I was going to add to this painting, style and colour scheme. Today however I decided to paint it bigger and add in the ruin of a fort :

I used a wetter mix than yesterday and I like the effect this has had on the tones in the painting. I also dried the painting at an angle, hence the water marks at the base. I’m really pleased with this, it’s much less ‘try hard’ than I’ve been painting recently. I look forward to painting another in a similar style either later today or tomorrow.


Keeping it simple …

Following my attempt at a fairly detailed painting earlier (that I’m not especially happy with), I went to the other extreme this evening:


I planned a very simple image with a very straightforward range of colours : sap green, cerulean blue, alizarin crimson and payne’s grey. My first attempt involved way too much water and not enough colour, the above is my second attempt. I had to consciously stop myself from altering the path of the paint runs – I’m quite pleased with how they turned out. Tomorrow, I’ll try a similar style with a different palette. This is the kind of stress free painting that I really enjoy!

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:

A Trio of Tulips …

My painting today involved a very simple flower, the tulip. Tulips, I think, look at their best in a vase on a windowsill or as a table centrepiece. They are a flower which look lovely when new and ‘standing to attention’ but I think they show more character and natural beauty once some of them start to droop a little. They don’t collapse completely, they simply wilt elegantly:

A Lesson in Painting …

I decided, somewhat belatedly, to follow a ‘lesson’ in one of my watercolour painting books. I chose to use ‘How to Paint Colour and Light‘ by Jean Haines. Her lesson about celebrating colour really inspired me to try some new, never before used by me, colours. Painting a random building though, doesn’t inspire me too much, so rather than copy her painting of a castle, I chose to use the tower at Leez Priory in Essex as my inspiration. It’s a beautiful building and just so happens to be where myself and my husband were married.

This painting is not meant to be a like for like replica, as will be clear when you see it. However, knowing what a stunning place it is enthused me and made me determined to  do it justice.

I’m not sure that I have achieved the latter point, but I’m really pleased with my painting nonetheless: