31 December 2011

2011 top ten

It's that time of the year again! Here are ten of my favourite paintings from my blog this year, in no particular order.

James's Jungle

Making a difference

Dunnock study

Year of Painting 1

March daffodils

Humboldt penguin
Promise of Spring

Nice weather for ducks

I've had great fun with my painting and drawing over the past 12 months, and have a couple of arty goals for the year to come. Thank you all for reading and leaving comments: it's lovely to be part of the cyber art community!

Happy New Year dear blog readers - here's to a peaceful, healthy and productive 2012!

27 December 2011



Here's a special painting, a Christmas gift for a great pal of mine who is always there encouraging me with my art. This is her daughter, Isabel - what a great subject! I've painted Isabel before, when she was much younger, and it's lovely to paint her again and have a record of her growing up.

Painting pictures (especially portraits) for other people can be rather a fraught process - you want it to be as good as you can possibly manage. Most of the stuff I paint is destined for storage in a box under the bed or on a shelf, or will hang in my own home because it's painted for me; having the added impetus of painting for someone else (or for an exhibition) certainly focuses the mind (no bad thing!).

Watercolour, 8 by 10" on 140lb Arches NOT.

22 December 2011

Hello baby

Here's yet another quick painting from my current obsession with watercolour sketches...

This a very cute baby orangutan, based on a photo I took at Twycross Zoo in the UK earlier on this year. Such a beautiful animal, and endangered in the wild mainly due to loss of habitat.

4" by 6", Watercolour

20 December 2011


This one was painted for the YOP challenge over on the Painting Friends forum, where the reference for this month was a beautiful white rose (madmum on wetcanvas, thank you!)

Serendipity means a 'happy accident' or 'pleasant surprise'; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it. That's what happened here...

I wanted to have a go at doing something delicate, but that kind of went out of the window rather quickly, as I managed to paint a big beige mess. Then I decided to add in some shadows, which made things much, much worse. It was awful. It was heading for the bin, then I decided to see just how bad it could get if I got the pens out, and... well, I actually really like the end result! It is not subtle or delicate, which was my original goal, but I love the structural feel, and the ink coss-hatching reminds me a bit of copperplate etchings. 

So, unexpectedly, I'm actually quite pleased with it, and as a bonus I've discovered an approach to floral paintings that I would never have otherwise thought of.

4" by 6", watercolour and ink.

17 December 2011

Nice weather for ducks

Hello again!

Here's another little 'un, painted for a birthday card (happy birthday Dad!).

Watercolour, around 4" by 6" (ish), based on a photo I snapped a while back of a friendly mallard. I'm having such fun painting these little watercolour sketches - and I have a huge amount of photos to go through and discover potential subjects :-)

14 December 2011

Humboldt penguin

Hello all :-)

Here's another small watercolour study, again from one of the photos I took at Twycross Zoo - a Humboldt penguin.

Watercolour, 4" by 6" (ish). He's looking pretty pleased with himself!

09 December 2011

Christmassy robin

Hello again!

I've been painting another card for a Christmas card exchange on the Painting Friends forum - this little European Robin has found his way to much warmer climes, to a painting friend in Florida.

4" by 6", watercolour, mounted on cardstock.

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas....

07 December 2011

A happy birthday elephant

Hello again!

Here's a little 4" by 6" painting I did for a friend's birthday card - happy birthday Sarah!

It's based on a photo I took when we visited Twycross Zoo back in the summer.

Watercolour, 4" by 6"
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