Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Plums, Hellebores and Muscari

Plums, Hellebores and Muscari 8" x 8" oil

This is about the last of the Hellebores and Muscari so I thought I'd better get another one in quickly. I must remember to start painting them earlier next year. They are so delightful to paint in fact I think I will plan ahead and plant more.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Workshop at Morston

Morston Quay

As part of Norfolk Open Studios this year I am running a one day Plein Air workshop at Morston Quay.

Friday 9 June, 10am - 4pm
Cost £45

10am: Start in the hall, with coffee and oil demonstration,
11am - 3pm: Paint on the Quay,
3pm: back to the hall for a critique of the day's work.

This workshop is suitable for Watercolour, Acrylics and Oil

Individual tuition given throughout the day


 Venue: Morston Village Hall & Quay

The hall is available throughout the day for tea, coffee and conveniences. Also in case of bad weather.

Booking required
Contact: Email

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Helebores & Lime

Helebores and Lime 8" x 8" oil on canvas card

Helebores are amongst my favorite flowers and I have been meaning to paint these beauties for ages.
I missed the white ones again this year, must make more of an effort in future.
I also love painting (and eating) figs so snuck one in for fun.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Blue Bowl & Fruit

Blue Bowl & Fruit 8" x 8" oil on canvas card

 Another painting that I started at the Norfolk Creative Arts. I didn't get as far as putting a pattern on the bowl so found a bowl a similar size in the studio, set up to create the same light effect and finished it off. I have to say that the pattern has made all the difference as you can see from the original below.

Unfinished - Fruit and bowl

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Workshop at Norfolk Creative Arts, Grimston

 Fruit in Blue bowl - 8" x 8" oil on canvas board

Last Friday my lovely painting pal Penny German came to stay over en route to her painting workshop in Norfolk. The plan was to get a bit of painting in but I just happened to mention that we have a very good retail outlet nearby - need I say more??? We did talk a lot of arty stuff later over a few glasses of wine, which was great.
I asked if she minded me joining in on the workshop which was on still life painting - no problem , so I packed my gear and we set off in convoy the next morning.
The Norfolk Creative Art centre is very well appointed. Hans had provided easels, lights, paints and brushes . the building is an old school so the room is spacious and very light. We were welcomed with a delicious fresh coffee while Penny set up the still lifes.
Once the group had arrived Penny demonstrated the technique of grisaille - a method of painting in grey monochrome. very useful for sorting out your tones in a still life. I enjoyed working this way and couldn't wait to start putting the colour on. 
Lunch was a delicious home prepared meal provided by Hans followed by pudding and all dished up in the spacious dining room/gallery.
The whole group really enjoyed the day and everyone including a complete beginner produced some great work under the guidance of Penny.

Penny German
Norfolk Creative Arts 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Demo of Using The Zorn Pallet

River at Dedham Painted using the Zorn pallet

Zorn Pallet Demo painting
The Zorn palette is named after internationally successful artist Anders Zorn  (1860 – 1920). He is well known for using a palette of only four colours
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red

There has been a lot of debate as to which Black Zorn used but it is believed to be Ivory Black, which is the colour I used for the painting ‘Zorn Palette demo’. Ivory Black works well as a blue but possibly even better is Winsor & Newton’s Blue Black. Blue Black is a colour I recently discovered and use a lot in my sky paintings now.
It is possible that the red may have been Vermillion; you could try this as an alternative. The white I used was Titanium white but back in Anders Zorn’s time it is more than likely to have been Lead White.
It might at first strike you as an odd selection but the main three colours are just the earthy equivalents of the three primary colours Black being the blue.

cropped sketch

 I was working from a photograph that I took in Dedham last year. Having drawn the sketch I decided that it would be a better composition if it were cropped to a square.

stage 1

First sketch in the main lines with black and red diluted with turps.

stage 3

 Mix the dark cloud colour starting with white and adding black until you have the tone you want. Make sure you mix plenty and then split it, add a little red to one part and then a touch of yellow to another and some with both. This will give a variety of hues within the cloud.
For the blue-sky area, start with white and add a little black. It may not look blue on your pallet but on the canvas next to the other colours it will, you may even want to add some yellow to take the colour down a bit.


Make sure your brush is clean when you mix the light colour near the horizon with white, yellow and a touch of red. The colour here needs to be fresh.
The distant trees are a mix of white, black and yellow; they need to be dark enough to register against the sky but not too dark that they jump forward. In front of these the distant fields are white with a small amount of yellow.
It is very important to make sure there is no trace of white in your brush when you mix the colour for the dark trees. Even a trace left in the brush will make your colour ‘milky’. Painting in the reflections at the same time. The water should reflect the sky colours; paint this around your reflections. The meadow area is yellow with varying amounts of black and, in some places, red added.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Oil Demo at Castor

Sunset Over Moulton 14" x 18" oil painting on board

Last night I headed over Peterborough way to Castor art group. I have been a couple of times in the past so there were a lot of familiar faces to greet me. They are a great group to demonstrate to as there is lots of feedback, questions and  - the obligatory banter.
I decided to replicate a painting I did during my 30 days of painting in January. The original of this was 10" x 10" so 14 x 18 was a bit of a challenge, for a start the proportions had changed completely.
Even for an experienced painter it can be a bit nerve racking painting such a big picture in front of a crowd - you just never know if it will work. Of course there are probably demonstrators that paint the same thing all the time but to be honest - I couldn't do that. In my mind all freshness would be lost and it would be boring.
As luck would happen - this one worked, I was quite pleased with the reaction when I popped the painting in the frame at the end.