Massive watercolour finally finished!

It’s been an amazing summer playing with the kids and we’ve hardly been at home! Just starting to get back into the school routine now and there are some really exciting projects on the horizon, as well as starting Uni to study Fine Art at the end of the month, can’t believe it!

So the latest big piece was a watercolour based on some photos I took in the Langkawi rainforest, it was great to work on a huge piece of paper (roughly 90cm x 60cm) and I loved using watercolours with pastel pencils and soft pastels to get some really strong colours going.

A couple of other bits I’ve been working on are 2 illustrated scrap books (I’ll post separately about those), some graphic design work and a fantastic collage/paste paper week with Mark Hearld and Victoria Hall which totally blew my mind…

Here are some pics of the watercolour, waiting for some more fixative to arrive before I can frame it up, another one of these in progress right now.


Seascape oils

Here are a couple of oil paintings I’ve been working on recently, I’ve included some of the prep work so you can see the idea taking shape. It was a late night thought that began as a very rough sketch on my iPhone before bed…

Then ended up being worked into watercolours, sketched in pastel and pencil and finally went into oils… Here you can see the oil painting taking shape, the third pic is the final piece.

This is the second piece I made, I really wanted to work with a darker colour palette and get a really brooding image. I used several source images as well as working from my pastel sketches which had a real depth of colour in the blacks and blues. I really liked the piece at stage 2 with the lighter blues, but decided to tighten it up a bit and go for the moody pinks, as well as lowering the level of the sea to emphasise the weight of that stormy sky.


print course leicester print workshop

Leicester print workshop run a brilliant little course on a Thursday evening called Introduction to Print – just a little bit of everything over 6 weeks and I thought I’d have a go. So I’ve just finished it and tried out monoprinting, etching, drypoint, collagraph and proper linoprinting. Just loved it, and being able to experiment whilst having great technical support was fantastic.

I’ve been able to transfer some of the techniques I learnt to my home studio. I’ve been printing with linocut for a couple of years, but never before had access to a proper press, so now I think I’ll go down there to use the presses rather than faff around with a teaspoon, certainly for the bigger pieces. I’d never considered mono printing at home before, and the inks I’ve got for lino work really well for mono printing too, so I added some pieces to a group I’ve been working on about domestic abuse, which came out great (although of course it took me about 5 goes to get it right as it’s MONO printing and every mistake is a disaster).

Here’s a few examples of what I’ve been upto…


abstract oils – oilseed rape

I’ve been really inspired by how much the fields have been changing around us recently – the oil seed rape has popped up everywhere and it’s giving the landscape so much definition, there are patterns all over the place!

I’ve been sketching out some compositions with my awesome faber-castell pens and working these up into drafts in oil, I’ve finally bought the small panels now to turn these into finished pieces, here’s a little taster of how the drafts are looking, hopefully the finished series will be quite exciting – I am planning to do at least 4, and am really hoping they’ll go up on the wall… sorry about the quality of colour – they are really a bit brighter than this and also quite tiny – about A5 size…

Portrait of Fred

I’ve been working on a looser watercolour style and decided to try out a portrait of Fred from an image I took of him a couple of weeks ago. It began as a pencil study and ended up as a big watercolour, I’m pleased with it (apart from the hair), and it feels like cheeky Fred, but I want to try again and see if I can keep the lightness as well as the strong colours – it’s a bit muddy.



Image credit: Lucian Freud ‘Woman in a White Shirt’ 1957 

I want to use the broken colours and shapes that Freud combines to give an earthy fleshiness to his paintings of skin. It’s exciting to try…

Norfolk cliffs

I’ve been working up some of my sketches into more finished pieces, also loving catching up on the SkyArts Portrait Artist of the Year series and learning loads from watching their techniques – especially loving the drip paintings as you can see…

The first sketch was done in situ using pen and coloured chalk pencils, then I worked the cliffs up in watercolour and finally added a dark black/blue layer using a thick watercolour mix and drawing with a stick. I’m really pleased with the vitality of the finished piece.

I got the idea from watching Nick Lord use drips to add texture to his large scale pieces


Image credit: Nick Lord “Queenie”

I tried out the stick technique on a couple of old watercolours I did after a trip to Salamanca last year, that have been waiting for stage 2


hare in graphite

I’ve been working on some pencil sketches recently, and we’ve had so many hares around it was the obvious choice for the first piece…

Listed on my etsy shop this original A3 drawing is £55.

malaysia sketches

recent watercolours

I had a go at a house portrait and a portrait of my little lad looking smart in his new gear, there are a few work in progress sketches here too – I was really pleased with the house portrait, so I want to do more of those too..!

1 house portrait 1 into the woods 1 sheep 1 view 1 froo

Holiday sketches

We’ve just come back from a couple of weeks in France where I spent carefree Summers back in the day painting with my Dad. This time we had 2 busy children with us, so it was quick sketches in the evenings after busy days out. Here are a few pages from my holiday sketchbook…

france holiday sketch1 france holiday sketch2 france holiday sketch3 france holiday sketch 4 france holiday sketch 5 france holiday sketch 6 france holiday sketch 7