Monday, 2 July 2018

The Chicken's Bridge

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Well, this was a fun and interesting piece to paint! I took the photo during a trip to Yorkshire a couple of years back - as we were driving past a little farm half-hidden by trees, I noticed a chicken crossing the bridge over the river. It struck me as a great image, and I promised myself I'd try to paint it one day. But it scared me for a long time because it's quite a complex composition, and I wasn't sure how to handle the building in the background. All those windows! Scary... Then I had a brainwave.

I said in a previous painting I'd found a new trick for windows; here it is in action! I've found it's easier to paint the window-area with a dark colour, and then scrape out the lighter lines with a colour shaper. It took a few tries to get right, as I learned to handle the new tools, but I had a lot of fun with them! They were also useful for adding texture to the brick walls, and the highlights on the chicken.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Cloud Shadows

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Will I ever get tired of painting these skies? I think not! In this one, I particularly tried to focus on the shadows - both those on the undersides of the clouds, and the shadows the clouds cast on the landscape below them.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Off Into The Waves

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

So, this unquestionably turned out a bit cheesy, which isn't really my thing. I prefer landscapes that you can project your own mood onto. But I guess flipping through all those old photos made me a little nostalgic! I questioned myself the whole way through about whether to paint out or leave the figure. I left it, deciding I was happy with how it was painted. Even without it, the painting has a similar mood - that 'memory of a happy summer holiday'  feeling. I think the colour palette is what does it! I might try another version sometime that's a bit more toned-down.

I'm happy with this painting - but I definitely surprised myself with how it turned out, because as I say, it's not the kind of image I'd usually seek to create. Still, I hope it strikes a chord with people!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Sunset Over The Waves

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

While flipping through old family photos, I came across a fantastic one of light hitting the waves as the sun set. I've always wanted to try capturing that 'sparkle' of light on water, and this was the perfect opportunity. I upped the contrast slightly from the original photo, to create a more dramatic and atmospheric composition, and enhanced the purple, which I hoped would complement the golden sunlight.

The wave in the foreground was probably the hardest part, getting all those little strokes to pull together convincingly. But I'm really happy with the result, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Thursday, 28 June 2018

St Michael's Mount From Long Rock

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here 

As the weather gets warmer, I always feel more like painting seascapes. However, living in a landlocked county, there's no conveniently-close beach for plein air work. So I dig in my archive of photos for ones I haven't used yet...

This was painted from a photo I took quite a few years ago during a family holiday to Cornwall. I really like how the seaweed on the beach came out!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Fruit & Veg Stall, Whitechapel Market

6x8" acrylic on canvas, $45. Available here

Another I forgot to upload; this is painted from a photo I took at Whitechapel Market on an unusually hot April day. The market was bustling, full of colourful stalls; most seemed to be selling fruit and veg, or scarves. I've said before I love painting markets, and this was no exception. I was happy to catch this pair mid-transaction, a bit of human interaction makes for an interesting challenge. Though I must have re-painted that white shirt a dozen times!

It was a very challenging scene to paint generally, because of the sheer amount of stuff that's everywhere; stacks of boxes, the striped canopy folding and catching the light, the hanging blue bags... And the fact you can see through the back of the stall to the other side of the street! I hope I managed to create a cohesive painting out of it all.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Outside the Church, Kimpton

8x10" acrylic on canvas board, $65. Available here

I thought I'd uploaded this already but apparently not, so here it is! For the past two years, I've exhibited work at the Kimpton Art Show. Kimpton itself is a very nice town, with lots of lovely architecture and greenery, and little back lanes which twist and turn behind the houses. This is the lane which leads up to the church - the bunting seen here is the typical store-bought stuff, but further up there is hand-knitted bunting, which I've not seen before! I thought it was quite a nice touch. I wish I'd taken more photos of the town; maybe next year!

Monday, 25 June 2018

Crossing the Meadow

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Another May plein air, this one in a different meadow near home! I was determined to try and capture the warmth of the day. But that warmth meant I had to work quite quickly, because I was becoming exhausted from sitting in the sun!

The windows were easily the hardest detail to get right; I think I had to wipe them and re-paint a few times. I've found a better technique for doing windows now, which you'll see in a newer painting I'll upload soon. In the mean time, though, I'm satisfied with how they came out here.

I also challenged myself to add a figure, one of those things I rarely do - but whenever I do, people tell me I should do it more! So it must work out all right. I hope it did this time.(Also, again with the bright buttercups - I love when they're in bloom and I'm so glad I caught them in some paintings this year!)

Sunday, 24 June 2018

A Return to the Meadow

6x8" oil on canvas board, $45. Available here

Here's a plein air sketch I completed in late May. It was a lovely warm day, so I went to one of my favourite painting spots. I like returning to the same view each year, to see how differently I approach it this time around. I seem to be going a month earlier each time, though! The original was August 2016, and then I returned in June 2017.

I was very lucky when I arrived; there was a pleasantly shady spot on the path, and the grass was full of colour! There were big swathes of beautiful yellow buttercups catching the sun, and the little shed at the end of the meadow was cast mostly in shadow. The painting came together quite quickly, and I had a lot of fun working on it! It's interesting how it seems to combine the bolder and more confident brushwork of the August piece with the brighter colours of the June one. And how I've shifted the shed to the left this time around.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Coloured Glass Challenge

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

For this week's challenge. I love coloured glass, the way the light shines through it and you get a combination of reflections and highlights. I realised as I was painting that you can see the lightbulb's shadow through the lightbulb itself!

This is still drying; I'm uploading it now (11 April) so I can submit it to the challenge but please bear in mind it will need additional drying time before it can be shipped.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Gospel Oak

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

I'm finally starting to feel up to painting city scenes again! I went through a bit of a block for a while, and they just weren't working out - but I'm hoping that's clearing up now. The other night I was feeling brave and decided to do a painting from a photo taken in London last summer. The composition made me a little nervous - the railings, the placement of bridges - I was worried they'd confuse the focus. But I stuck with my instincts and painted the scene anyway, and I'm actually really pleased with how it came out!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Hello Avocado

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

...I haven't tried painting you before! In fact, I'm managing quite a few painting 'firsts' lately, which is fun. I went for a much cooler colour palette here, to contrast all the reds and warm purples I've been doing lately, but I tried to keep things bright and cheerful; I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Beetroot and Blood Orange

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

It's not often I get to do it, but I love using all three secondary colours in a painting! But on this occasion, I had just the subject matter; the blood orange, which I was eager to paint again, and beetroot. The leaves were an interesting challenge; I found myself treating them in an almost abstract way while blocking in the lighter and darker areas.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Red: The Sequel

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40 Available here

I had so much fun with my first 'Red' painting I did another! This one might be even more vivid- the pops of green help. I was excited to paint all of these elements; the blood orange, which I'd never tried before, was great fun. The deep, mottled colour is so striking! The kiwi is a rematch - I'd tried painting one before and it came out terribly, but I think I've conquered it this time! Chilli peppers are always fun to paint, though I tend to handle them very gingerly. I am not a fan of spicy things personally! I just love the shape and colour. And cherry tomatoes, my old friends, I'll never desert you...

As with the previous works, this artwork is still a little wet at time of posting (11th April) and may need additional time to dry before being shipped.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Limited Colour: Red

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

How about this for a splash of colour! Red is one of my favourites, but I don't actually use it lots in painting - mostly in little accents here and there. So I was a bit uncertain about how a big swathe of it would work out... But I love it! It's so powerful and bold; the small size of the canvas board stops it from being too completely overwhelming, I think. I was planning to add small touch of a contrasting colour, but once I'd settled on the arrangement, I actually felt it would look better without.Please note that at the time of posting (6th April) this painting is still wet; I would not be comfortable shipping it for a week or two, until I'm happy it's completely dry. However I'm putting it up early so I can submit it to the Weekly Challenge page.

Limited Colour: Turquoise

6x6" oil on canvas board, $40. Available here

A more on-theme submission for the weekly challenge- this time using one of my favourite colours to paint with! I didn't have too many items this colour- I used a sketchbook and a shirt for backdrop, a translucent plastic plate to sit the jug on (the jug was bought in a charity shop purely for painting, and I love the shape of it!) and a spool of embroidery thread.I threw in the orange scissors as my one small thing that's a different colour, and I am really pleased I did; they balance the cool colours out. Please note that at the time of posting (6th April) this painting is still wet; I would not be comfortable shipping it for a week or two, until I'm happy it's completely dry. However I'm putting it up early so I can submit it to the Weekly Challenge page.

Red Onions Aren't Actually Red

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

I loved this week's challenge, all about using limited colours in a composition. I really wanted to do a painting based around the colour of a red onion, which is not red at all, but a dark purple-brown. I decided to introduce the little green Haworthia plant as my 'one small thing' that isn't. The colours got a little bit more varied than I intended as I worked on it, and then I added a green marble, so it got away from the theme a bit - but I'm still happy with it. Please note that at the time of posting (6th April) this painting is still wet; I would not be comfortable shipping it for a week or two, until I'm happy it's completely dry. However I'm putting it up early so I can submit it to the Weekly Challenge page.

Saturday, 7 April 2018


5x7" watercolour on paper. $40, Available here

This was painted from photos of a trip to Hitch Wood last year. In spring, the woods all around us brighten with a carpet of bluebells. The resulting views are stunning, and I wanted to create a little tribute to the atmosphere you get when walking through them - almost mystical!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Back To My Roots

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here 

I like painting root vegetables! For my first college painting assignment, my composition was a still life including two onions - one brown, one red. They're always fun, trying to capture their shine and the way their skin peels off in layers. This was my first time painting a parsnip, though!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Lemon and Cherries

5x7" oil on canvas board. $40, Available here

I was in the mood to do something kind of traditional to get myself back into using oils - I'd been having a bit of a block. I decided to try doing a simple still life against a dark background, and found that I loved how luminous it made the lemon look! I had fun trying to suggest the texture of the lemon's skin with careful brushmarks.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Old St Lawrence Church, Ayot

6x6" acrylic on canvas board. $40. Available here

Here's a painting of an old church on the Ayot Estate. We were taking a walk past, and luckily I got a chance to stop and do some sketches. It was a very atmospheric location! I also took some photos, knowing I'd want to paint it, and I did! It was very interesting to try and convey the texture of the stone.

Among the Greenery

6x6" watercolour on paper. $40. Available here 

This is a little local scene. There are lots of houses tucked in among the trees and shrubs at the edges of country lanes; the white and green make for a really nice contrast. I love painting architecture like this in watercolour- and I had fun with all of the leafiness too!

Edge of the Lake

4x10" watercolour on paper. $45 Available here 

I really like this type of 'panoramic' landscape format. I had a lot of fun painting the pine trees in this! They have such great silhouettes, I always enjoy when they pop up in a composition.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Killary 2

5x7" watercolour on paper. $40. Available here

The second of my little Irish scenes. I really love playing with all of the different shades of green, blue and brown found in these landscapes- and trying to capture the texture of the grass and trees, and the light reflecting in the water!

The Killary 1

6x6" watercolour on paper. $40. Available here

I've been having trouble with oils and acrylics lately so I've started painting watercolours again- it's been a long while since I've used them. I'm having a lot of fun, remembering all of the techniques and tricks I like using! Here's the first of two little Irish landscapes I painted a few days ago.

Sunday, 4 February 2018


6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

Just up the road from our house is a farm. A while back, I went along to do some sketches of the animals for a college project. I took some photos as well, and this is painted from my favourite one; the piglets were absolutely adorable! Noisy, but cute. This was a really enjoyable painting to do, quite a change of subject matter for me, I learned a lot. Maybe I'll go along again this spring and take some more photos to paint from in future!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Before Dinner

6x8" oil on canvas board. $45. Available here

I went downstairs one day and found these lovely leafy cabbages sitting on the counter. I can never resist painting them, but I had to paint quickly, before mum came downstairs to cook dinner and needed them back! I'm really happy with how this turned out, the veins on the leaves were great fun to capture.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Late Autumn Leaves 3

6x6" oil on canvas board. $40. Available here

Finally back and uploading again! Here's the third of the 'Autumn' series I started last year. This tree caught my attention- it has such a great shape, and the colours were really bold and vibrant, I loved them!