Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Stop and sketch

I had a little time to spare in town the other day, so decided to stop for  coffee.  That gave me a chance to OBSERVE people...and get some quick sketches done.  Certainly focuses the hand eye co-ordination when people constantly move AND move quickly.  You just have to go for it.  If you don't achieve the sketch, then be happy with what you have on paper, but try to REMEMBER  the person, then very often you can complete the sketch.

My sketch below was just the initial outline, enough information on shape and angle.  As the two people I had decided to capture, were still at their table, it gave me time to put in more detail.

However, if they had moved away, my initial sketch was enough for me to go from that and get at least something reasonable.

So with the extra detail - then watercolour added when I got home - here's my completed drawing 

Where I originally put the first figures, is where they remained, I built up the rest of the sketch from them.

🎨 🎨 🎨

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Blocking in Shapes

Wow!!!   I took a break from adding Tips and Techniques  - Hadn't realised it was so long...


It can get rather confusing when you are faced with drawing something busy ~
like this scene

Don't get caught up in DETAIL,


When you have the Block shapes in place,
you can THEN go in with the Detail.

Friday, 29 December 2017

It's a strange but true fact.......

..... the MORE you try to get something RIGHT in a painting



if you paint something WRONG

the more it looks


~ go figure ~

Monday, 16 October 2017

It has been a while since I posted a TIP AND TECHNIQUE

Here's a question somebody asked recently about skin tone

Question: "What colours do you use in watercolour for skin tones?"

For me, it is always BURNT SIENNA

(Winsor & Newton in my opinion have the best tone of this colour and 
I use it regularly.

In the above example I have tried to show the varying tones that can be achieved with clear water added.

(please note that some artists find other manufacturers just as good,
but in my humble honest opinion the W & N one wins hands down)


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Another technique for painting trees

Everyone has their own method for painting trees,
but getting started for some can be difficult.

Here's one of my techniques,
which in fact is used a great deal by watercolour artists, in the past Wesson and Seago used this style
and current days,  J. Bowden and John Hoar.

The technique is to add JUST SUFFICIENT PAINT to you brush, so as not to swamp it.
If you feel there is TOO MUCH pigment on the brush, then just wipe it
gently over a piece of tissue paper...WITHOUT REMOVING too much.
This all comes down to practise and getting
that 'Feel' for your paint brush.


 paint with the SIDE OF THE BRUSH, not the tip.

You are after a DRY BRUSH EFFECT without it being too dry.

Here's a quick demo showing you,
but in the end it all comes down to



Thursday, 22 June 2017

The packaging & Demo using Derwent Inktense Blocks

I've already mentioned Inktense blocks, and in this blog post I thought I would add a video using some.

In fact I have now got a set of 72, so lots of colours to play with.  Before I get to the video, let me show you the packaging of these blocks...

They are packaged in plastic trays,  one layer above the other...

 A good way to keep them, but lifting the top set of colours can be a little difficult.

They come with a cardboard separator, I have glued the cardboard to the bottom of the top set, 
that keeps the plastic tray firm -

Then I glued a piece of ribbon to the cardboard
which then makes a helpful handle to lift them out with.

Here's my quick demo using some of these colours.

When the ink dried, I then added some extra details...

Fun and easy to use.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Warm and Cool tones in paintings

The balance of a painting....

This is part of a blog post I added a couple of years ago to my main blog (, but I thought it would be helpful here too.

Warm and Cool tones in paintings. 

My example is this sketch of Barnstaple bridge.

Pen + watercolour 
plus I added a small amount of detail with
my Sailor Calligraphy pen

Note:   The majority of this painting is in cool tones:

So to balance that out I added the warm red stripe on the boat.

Equally, if a painting is mainly warm tones,
then offset it with some COOL colours

It all helps the BALANCE of a painting.