Friday, November 13, 2020



With Christmas just around the corner to cheer us all up, thoughts are turning to snowmen and mistletoe and... well, holly.

Why not have a go at painting this 'Holly, Ilex aquifolium' watercolour and gouache painting yourself. It is a step-by-step demonstration from my book, 'Watercolour Secrets: Raindrops'.

And don't forget to add the raindrops.

Book available here, on amazon 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Don't Give up on a painting

I painted this picture of Helenium and was not happy with it. I felt it had no impact, but was not sure what was wrong. I was going to throw the painting away, but decided to put it out of sight until I could decide why it didn't work.

I got it out a couple of months later and realised that I needed more contrast between light and dark. I added neutral tint to the background and darker shadows on the leaves using midnight green. I also added more shadows to the flowers using Vandyke brown. Looks better. 

If you are not happy with something you produce, put it out of sight. When you look at it again with fresh eyes, things jump out at you, and you will be able to tell what is wrong with it.


Monday, July 20, 2020

Watercolour Secrets: Raindrops

This week I launched a new book called 
Watercolour Secrets: Raindrops
It's the first in a series of books that I am planning on the techniques I use for my particular brand of botanical art.

How do you paint a raindrop? I will show you how.

I guide you through a step-by-step demonstration of a simple individual raindrop, followed by more detailed raindrop paintings.

Soon you will be adding raindrops to grasses, leaves and flowers, through thirteen step-by-step demonstrations, accompanied by tips and secrets.

Take a look at the book trailer.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Painting has a life of it's own

Green background
Black Background
When I planned this composition I originally decided to have a green background.

In the first photo you can see the green background is in place. I was unhappy with it, I felt it would not highlight the plant the way I wanted it to.

Sometimes a painting has a life of it's own.

In the second photo you can see I have changed it. Lots of neutral tint. Much better.

I finished the painting and hated it. I could not decide what was wrong, so I put it away out of sight.

Reaching it out again, months later, I knew what was wrong. Too much neutral tint! I added more Sea Holly to the background.
More Sea Holly
Sometimes a painting definitely has a life of it's own.

Some paintings give you no trouble to paint, but then you always get one that is wilful, awkward, and puts up a fight.

Writers often talk about how their characters follow their own paths. Well who says plants can't do the same.

This painting is in the North Wales Society of Fine Art Exhibition which is being held at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Slatey Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH43 4UE.
The exhibition is open until 15th March 2020. Wednesday-Sunday 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

North Wales Society of Fine Art

Rain, Rain and More Rain, is a watercolour and gouache painting, that is one of five of mine that have been selected to be shown at the North Wales Society of Fine Art exhibition. 
The exhibition is being held at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Slatey Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH43 4UE.
Open 8 February to 15th March 2020. Wednesday 10.00pm - 5.00pm.
It is an excellent exhibition with a wide range of media, styles and subjects, and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Grosvenor Open Art

The walls are crammed full of interesting art work at the Grosvenor 13th Open Exhibition in Chester. The show is open until 18th September 2019. In the last photo can you spot some raindrops? #Chester #watercolour #watercolourart #watercolourpainting

Thursday, May 9, 2019

SBA Mall Galleries

Cornus sanguinea, Dogwood

The Society of Botanical Artists are holding their exhibition at the Mall Galleries London this year. The gallery is spacious and well lit and is a perfect place for an exhibition. There will be 400 artworks by members and artists selected from open submission.

From botanical illustration to botanical art, jewellery to printmaking. I am so delighted to be part of this event. I have had five paintings selected, one shown above.

The exhibition is open Wednesday 5 to Sunday 9 June 2019, 10am - 5pm (closes 1pm on final day). Admission £4.