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One persons attempt to become a good artist painting in watercolour, experiences along the way and discussion of all things connected with it.

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  • 08/12/15--02:36: Watercolour Paintings (7)
  • Here are more paintings to study and for enjoyment, even though all may not appeal - different styles for different tastes! I know some of these artists but not all. If there are any errors regarding spelling or anything else please feel free to correct me.

    Gerard Hendriks - I'm a big fan of Gerard as you know. Loose and full of life!

    Alain Bisoire

    Christian Couteau

    Bev Jozwiak

    Burhan Ozer


    Burhan Ozer

    Catherine Rey

    Cesc Farre

    Chen Chung Wei

    Another from Christian Couteau

    Another from Catherine Rey - wow! Good enough to eat.

    David Taylor

    Girish Gujar

    Jem Bowden

    John W Connors

    Joseph Zbukvic

    Kaye Parmenter

    Regularly updated INDEX see JULY 2014

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  • 08/24/15--02:53: Latest Paintings
  • Due to half term and hence grandparenting duties, plus the fact we are currently having  a new kitchen fitted, time for painting has been reduced. I have managed to paint the following at two  AVA sessions. Apart from the AVA sessions - weekly - I've done little else recently. I don't put these forward as good just what I've turned out recently, sometimes rather rushed, although I'm not renowned for my patience at the best of times!

    Amerindian Warrior. 16" x 12"

    The original guide photo was very dark with areas lacking any detail. so I had to improvise a little. I did think it was heading for a complete disaster at one stage but in the end decided to post it, Make of it what you will. 

    Mother and Son (or daughter) 16" x 12"

    I was moderately pleased with this one although it was suggested by one painting friend it would have been better without the cub. I can't quite see that though.

    Tropical Wren. 16" x 12 "

    This is a wren of some sort but I don't know the actual species. I finished the Indian painting and did this one quite quickly in the remainder of the session.

    All the above were painted with my usual array of Escoda, Isabey and Rosemary travel brushes. The Isabey Size 6 is a favorite as is the Rosemary 6, much larger than the Isabey. I also try not to get into the habit of using small brushes too much so the Escoda size 8 and 10 also featured. Actually I used some Isabey Kolinsky sables as well, sizes 4, 6 and 8, slim brushes but lovely to handle. . 

    Paints were my usual range with combinations of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna or Umber for the darks, although sometimes I use the Schminke Translucent Brown instead of Burnt Umber.. I prefer this to Burnt Sienna. I also use Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Rust. They are the main ones with Sap Green a favourite for greens, often altered a little with blue or Green-Gold. Two of my favourite colours are Schminke Translucent Orange - I rarely use Cadmium Orange these days - and  Lukas Turquoise. Unfortunately I have difficulty in finding a role for these two colours. perhaps I'm lacking in imagination. When I look at paintings by artists like Bev Jozwiak and Agnes-Cecille I admire their use of colour. Charles Reid and these artists use what he calls `arbitrary colours - that is colours that aren't actually there but it isn't an easy thing to do.

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  • 09/02/15--06:25: Watercolour Paintings (8)
  • To start off September here is another batch of paintings by (mostly) well-known artists, including some of the giants of watercolour, but also including some younger up and coming artists..

    Bev Jozwiak

    Ewa Ludwiczak

    Another from Bev Jozwiak

    Burhan Ozer

    Gerard Hendriks - I love this guy! As well as a terrific artist he's a lovely bloke.

    Famous People by Charles Reid

    David Taylor

    Eugen Chisnicean

    Trevor Waugh - I attended three workshops with Trevor in my early years. One of the paintings I did on the last one hangs on my dining room wall and I often think it one of my best. I suspect I've since  regressed, especially recently when painting hasn't been a priority. 

    Jem Bowden very Seago/Wesson like.

    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey- an excellent young African artist - he got married recently.

    Karen Sinson

    Lui Yungshen

    Milind Mulik - a bit different to most of Milind's usual work, rather more detailed.

    Trevor Chamberlain- the doyen (along with John Yardley) amongst British watercolour artists.

    Vickie Nelson

    Winslow Homer - an American legend.

    I hope this selection is of interest. Certainly it shows several different approaches to watercolour and includes paintings, as already stated, by some of the `giants' of watercolour.

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  • 09/14/15--02:31: Another Shot at Nora
  • Realising my previous painting of `Nora' is pretty poor I had another shot. This is a difficult one as her face is framed by long tresses which I have chosen not to accentuate, due to my difficulty in doing them justice. 

    `Nora' 16" x 12" Centenaire (Great Art) 140lb not.

    I think it better than the previous attempt but don't feel particularly pleased with it.

    Brushes were my usual Isabey and Escoda, and similar colours to previously.. 

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  • 09/15/15--03:17: Latest Paintings
  • This was painted at the AVA session last Thursday - my first attendance for three weeks - with a subject of `Flowers'. I combined the purple of the flowers with a green background so it is rooted firmly in complimentary colour. Using compliments is a good safety-first approach because, as far as colour goes, you can't really go wrong. 

    Hollyhocks 16" x 12" Centenaire (Great Art) 140lb not

    The main theme was purple and green - compliments. I used Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Purple (PV55), which I think is still exclusive to them. The green is Sap Green from Graham, the yellow Gold Ochre (PY43) from Winsor & Newton. There is some red, either Coral Red or Quinacridone Rose (PV19). That's about it. The purple was used in various strengths to give variation and when the initial washes were dry I added some darker colour. I think I added some Ultramarine to the purple for the very darks..

    Brushes were my usual array of Isabey 6228 plus 6201 retractables in sizes from 4 to 8.

    Just to finish here is a `work in progress of `Giraffes'. 

    Giraffes 16" x 12" Centenaire

    I will give more detail (assuming you are interested) if and when finished

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    The AVA is now back with our Autumn/Winter schedule, meeting as usual in St Mary's Church Hall in Saltford Village.

    `Down the Lane' -16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb not

    The official opening of the new session was actually two weeks ago but this was the first occasion I was able to go. Overall  the results were not very exciting as we are yet to get into our stride but that's only my personal opinion. My own effort fits the `unexciting' comment and I did approach it with little enthusiasm. Nothing more to say really. This week the subject is wildlife but I'm not sure if I'll be able to go as I have an appointment at the health centre - nothing serious I might add.  If possible I shall go even if a little late.

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  • 09/22/15--03:28: Giraffes
  • I managed to finish the `Giraffes' painting with a minimum of fuss, which is how I like it. Others may consider it unfinished but I'm not keen on `finished' paintings, preferring to leave something to the imagination. Interesting animals to paint, the main problem I encounter is being able to do a looser painting when the intricate markings lend themselves to a more realistic approach. There is also a tendency on my part to use small brushes, which is something I try and resist.  

    "16 x 12" Arches Hot Press 140lb

    Colours were  Schminke Translucent Brown (Pbr41), Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Violet (PV15), Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith), Quinacridone Rust (Graham), Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna.

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  • 09/24/15--11:02: Watercolour Paintings (9)
  • Here are the latest paintings I've selected. Artists well, known, indeed World famous, and not so well-known. Hope you like the selection.

    Fealing Lin the fabulous American/Chinese artist

    Milind Mulick - brilliant colourist -enough said!

    Catherine Rey. I've recently become aware of this artist and I like her work very much.

    Andrew Borg

    Burhan Ozer - another great artist of the current era.

    Another from Catherine Rey

    David Poxon

    David Taylor - one of the top Australians

    Diann C Benoit - always interesting

    Dusan Djukaric

    Edo Hannema

    Gerard Hendriks - one of my favourites

    Jon Whorf

    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey - an Internationally acclaimed young African artist

    Kaye Parmenter - I met Kaye some years ago when she had an exhibition at a gallery in Wells, Somerset

    My aim is to have a mixture of styles just to show the huge variety achievable with watercolour. I admire many of these paintings but in general my personal taste runs to paintings of a realistic nature with a loose approach. I also am addicted to colour.

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    Just announced a new book, her third, by Judi Whitton. I had intended to go straight into a review but this has been delayed so here are brief details. A review will appear soon.

    Softback. Approx. 91/2 by 10 1/2 inches 96 pages £24 plus £3.20p postage- Watercolour Publishing 

    Briefly this is about painting in Venice packed with advice on where to paint and how to paint. More information can be obtained from or e-mail Judi at

    This book is self published and is a limited edition. I will have a lot more to say about it soon.

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  • 10/02/15--09:55: Seed Heads
  • This was the subject at the AVA session yesterday. Numbers were light with only eleven members present but some interesting paintings ensued. In our halcyon days we had as many as twenty four but alas with ageing members this is no more. Painting groups that meet during the day tend to have much older members with younger ones, who are working, opting for evening groups.

    Yvonne Harry

    Jan Weeks

    Pat Walker


    Peter Ward

    That's it folks. Next weeks subject is water.

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    This is an unusual book as it as about painting purely in Venice. Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the World, partly due to the absence of  motor vehicles. It has many other qualities and surely is the most painted city in the World. I've been three times, briefly on two occasions, the last on a small  ship which cruised the Venice lagoons including a trip to Chioggia, another favourite artists location. At night and on a couple of days we moored up just along from the main square so were able to explore the city. All is not well however as depopulation has been steadily taking place, and if you venture much beyond the central area signs of dereliction are evident. They are trying to reverse this process and bring people back to the city.

    Approx. 91/2" x 101/2" 96 pages Softback Price. £24 + £3.20postage. Available only  from Judi at or see

    I should explain I'm not entirely impartial when it comes to Judi. I've known Judi and Pete for some years having done several workshops with her both in the Cotswolds and at Crantock bay in Cornwall. We were also fellow students on a 10 day Charles Reid EPC workshop in Catalonia. Both my wife and Pete were there as non- painting partners and it worked both as an enjoyable and informative workshop as well as a holiday This also applied to Crantock Bay which my wife loved, again as a non-painting partner, and Pete was the course organizer. Sadly Crantock is no more. Many happy memories. My two biggest influences have been Judi, Charles Reid with Gerard Hendriks more recently. One comment she made at Crantock has remained in my memory `if you take one thing from this course then it will have been worthwhile'. Very true.

    How do I describe this book? It is a very personal one that reflects Judi's love affair with Venice.There is a foreword by Charles Reid followed by 10 chapters plus a unique map of  viewpoints,that are identified and described throughout the book. Included are 96 original paintings and much information on what to do, where to paint and other information simply not available elsewhere. Quite apart from the Venice aspect her experiences as an artist over many years, and what she has learned, are in this book  If you are intending to paint in Venice, whatever your medium, I would think this book is unique and possibly essential. Whenever I've been there there are always artists at work and large numbers make annual trips. 

    Apart from the subject there is lots more other information, mostly reflecting Judi's unique style and way of working and many. many tips regarding paints, developing your own individual style and so on. What more can I say?

    This book is self produced by Judi and printed by Short Run Press Limited. It will have a limited print run so could easily become a collectors item. I know of no other book like it. Yes the price is high for a softback of 96 pages but this is explained by my previous comments. 

    I've received a request for some illustrations from the book. Allowing for my amateur photography  here are some. I might add having seen a large number of Judi's original paintings, both at exhibitions amd workshops,  I've always felt that reproductions in magazines and books don't do them full justice.

    Judi & Peter Whitton in Venice yesterday - photographed by Mick Carney who just happens to be there. 

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  • 10/15/15--02:26: Watercolour Paintings (10)
  • Another varied batch of watercolour paintings, again from a mix of artists well-known and not so well-known. Hope you like them.

    Trevor Lingard - superb British artist

    Charles Reid  - the maestro

    Milind Mulick - what more can one say?

    Catherine Rey - a recent find, love her work

    Stan Miller - wow!  

    Gerard Hendriks - wonderful use of colour

    Alvaro Castagnet  

    Bev Jozwiak - one of my favourites

    Burhan Ozer - enough said

    Diann C Benoit - a terrific artist with a wide range

    Gerda Mertens - the Belgian artist who has a way with trees

    Guy Legendre

    Janine Galizia - a wonderful artist associated with `The Art of Watercolour' magazine

    Julie Gillard Pollard

    Kees Van Aalst - the master of abstraction


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  • 11/03/15--04:06: Latest paintings
  • I've not been very active recently - I keep saying that don't I - but this is mainly due to a virus that has affected me during the last five weeks, leaving my with a debilitating cough plus, to cap it all, I strained my back when clearing autumn leaves at the weekend. I was starting to paint more regularly but this has come to a halt. Apart from that I've run out of inspiration for blog posts although I'll probably do a feature on Turner watercolours, another brand to appear on the scene recently.

    Another Amerindian - 16" x 12" Centenaire. 300gsm (140lb) not

    This is from my extensive collection of black and white/sepia photographs, mainly by Edward Curtis. I should qualify that by saying most have been downloaded from the web, although I also have a book of Curtis's photographs.

    Most of these photos are very dark and strongly contrasted and I'm trying to break away from this, using slightly more imaginative colours. This particular individual appears to have a damaged eye, the one on the left of the painting. The colours were mainly combinations of Ultrarine Blue and Burnt Umber for the darks  with added Turquoise (Lukas PB16). Cadmium Red various combinations and afterwards I used Vallejo Acrylic white for highlights. I'm not claiming it's good but I've done worse.

    Fox in Autumn 16" x 12" Waterford High White 300gsm (140lb) not

    This was painted at an AVA session two weeks ago. The fox is the main feature with the rest just window dressing. The bright colours are to indicate it is autumn with various reds, yellows and golds predominant. Just an exercise.

    Experimental - 16" x 12" Waterford High White 300gsm (140lb) not

    I wasn't sure about showing this one as viewers may think I've lost it! It came about as the subject at last week's AVA session `Experimental'. 

    We had to pick a few scraps of paper torn from magazines, stick them to the paper using glue (provided) and us your imagination to compose a painting. Not having too much imagination this proved difficult.I stuck three random bits of paper on and then splashed various complimentary colours on letting them run and intermix. What to do next? One of the pieces of paper had a small photo of a young woman so I focussed on her eyes and added my own version of eyes, experimenting with various colours and ways of painting them. Did this work? Pretty weird but it was fun (in the end).

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  • 11/04/15--01:57: Watercolour Paintings (11)
  • Here for the start of November is another selection of paintings picked at random to represent what I like, in part, but also to depict the huge range of styles and differences in approach. As usual some of the artists are known but others not so well know, at least on the wider stage.With many from across the World it illustrates the wonderful array of talent out there. I hope you like them. Actually if you wish to see more look at the index in July 2014, constantly updated, as there are now many  hundreds of excellent and wide-ranging styles of watercolour paintings on this blog.

    Gerard Hendriks - brilliant exponent of movement and colour, one of my favourite artists

    Milind Mulick - master of complimentary colours, and much else

    Another from Gerard

    Morten E Solberg Snr - fabulous artist look up his website and also see his video(s) on Youtube

    Another from Morten

    Ann Blockley - this is her new style

    Aud Rye - new to me

    The terrific Catherine Rey

    Another from Catherine

    Cemal Sellinigil - also new to me

    Chen Chung Wei - amazing painting

    Gabriel Koenigs - my granddaughter loves ducks!

    Girish Gujar

    Igor Sava

    Joseph Zbukvic - a top Australian

    Michael Jasiewicz

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  • 11/16/15--07:15: Turner Watercolours
  • Recently the latest 2015/2016 Jacksons catalogues became available. I say 'catalogues', as there are now two. The standard product catalogue and a new watercolour only. The reason is that with the growth and importance of websites the basic printed catalogue cannot contain the huge number of products they now stock without becoming oversize. The standard catalogue has a lot of watercolour stuff, especially paints, missing.

    In this new catalogue yet another brand of watercolour paint. This is called Turner and emanates from Japan. The claim is made that they are `artist quality' and a number of customer reviews, all anonymous, are given which extol the virtues of these new paints.

    There are full details of lightfastness ratings, pigments and transparency, which I will come to. The range comprises 86 colours of which 59 are single pigment paints. That raises the eyebrows until one examines the details.  Of these single pigment paints over 20 say PR (N/A) which I take to mean pigment details not available. Many of them have unusual names, Pearl Black, Copper, Pearl Indigo, Antique Gold and so on. I counted around 20 in this category. Why no pigment details?

    There are a number of fugitive paints, Alazarin Crimson PR83, Natural Rose Madder NR9, Opera Red which includes BV11 a dye, and one or two peculiar ones like Clove P(02), Purple Cromwell P(01). What does this mean? Looking at the actual paints I also note a lot of three and a few four pigment mixes that I would normally avoid.

    Overall there a quite a few paints that contain good single pigments, blues, some greens, oranges, yellows and reds. You could pick out 20 or 30 in this category. After all who has 89 paints in their palette!.Many of the paints are given `excellent ' lightfastness ratings, the majority in fact although there are four categories from fugitive to excellent. Some of the pigments quoted are not used by the leading manufacturers, some were but have been replaced.

    There are four price bands ranging from £3.30p for series 1 to £6.10 for series 4. This is barely a third of what the top priced brands like Daniel Smith and Winsor and Newton are. Can this be true that they are comparable in quality? The American mail order outfit Jerrys Artarama are effusive in their praise of these paints but cynical old me takes all such claims with a large pinch of salt. They are quite a bit cheaper than the Korean brands like Shin Han.

    I've not tried Turner so cannot comment on how they perform. The composition of each paint depends on pigment load what additives they have and how the whole thing is formulated. Once we had the estimable Handprint that conducted forensic examinations of paints and the claims made for them. Alas no longer. If this brand interests you try some and report.

    Jacksons catalogues, the watercolour only one is on the left.

    The new watercolour catalogue doesn't just list products. It has a number of articles and other useful information. Although there is a small charge for this new catalogue you can get one free by quoting CATW with your next order. I like Jacksons. They are easy to deal with and eager to please. The occasional cockup is soon rectified. I am now using a new system of delivery where you pick up from a local point, in my case a McColls shop. This means you don't have to worry about being out when the delivery arrives. I would remind readers that if you live outside the EU you don't pay VAT - 20%. This will largely compensate for any extra delivery charges incurred which tend to be at actual cost, not inflated..

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    This week the subject was 'Autumn berries, nuts and leaves'. We were given, as usual, licence to interpret this as we wished. There were 13 members present, fairly typical these days with several former members no longer active, mainly due to advancing age, some sadly deceased.

    Mine is the poor one in the bottom left hand corner! I rushed it for reasons I won't bother you with. Being out of practice didn't help as I've painted very little in the past two months. I'm afraid I soon get rusty!

    Yvonne Harry

    Jo McKenna

    Pat Walker

    Jan Weeks

    A little thin on the ground!

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  • 12/01/15--03:56: Watercolour Paintings (12)
  • To start off December here is another selection of watercolour paintings from a variety of artists, some well-known, others less so. I hope you like them. They certainly illustrate the wide range of techniques, subject matter, use of colour and different styles out there. Food for thought to all us aspiring artists, although at my age it's more a case of preventing the rot setting in - just joking well maybe....To be able to paint like many of these artists!!!

    Robert Wade - the Australian Master!

    Cao Bei-an. An Asian master!,

    Frederic Lurquin

    Marie-christine Tintane

    Calle Posse

    Frederic Lurquin

    Ann Blockley

    Alex Egan

    Ektarina Ziuzina

    Fabio Cembranelli

    Gerard Hendriks -the Dutch Master.

    David Drummond

    Nilsamai Watercolour

    Gerda Mertens


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  • 12/13/15--03:55: My Latest Paintings.
  • The following paintings were done at Avon Valley Artist sessions. We meet weekly on a Thursday at Saltford Church Hall. I don't post them as good examples of watercolour paintings - just my work. Please don't compare them with the regular gallery of paintings I post on here!

    This was done as a "Xmas " subject. 16" x 12" Centenaire (Great Art) 140lb (300gsm) not.

    I was taken by the original guide photo - cute.

    16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb (300gsm) not

    The subject was `clothes and drapes! As you can see I stretched the imagination to cover that but we are allowed considerable licence. Just as well as I was scratching my head for days wondering what to do. I normally `google' the subject, then go to `images' and see what results.

    Actually I am quite pleased with the results. Each painting took no more than an hour including a loose drawing. The dogs were fairly straightforward but the main problem I had with the lady was getting the colour of her clothes right as they were a shade of lavender. The resulting colour, while nowhere near 100% accurate, is close enough using Ultramarine Violet (PV15) in various dilutions. Attempts at mixing reds and blues were less successful. You can buy a premixed colour called Lavender from one or two makers, but that would be a luxury which wouldn't see much use.

    My usual brushes, Escoda travel types up 6 to 8 and Isabey travel brush 6.  

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    May I wish all my followers and all others who visit this blog a most Happy Xmas and Prosperous New Year. Given the parlous state of the world with conflict and devastation affecting large parts of mainly poor countries this appears a vain hope but we have to remain optimistic. 

    Avon Valley Artists last meeting of 2015 with mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls - plus a few other goodies. Not everyone is in the photo, there were 14 of us altogether.

    16" x 12" Centenaire 140lb (300gsm)

    We altered things slightly this year in that members painted first thing - choosing the subject, apart from our trio of Robert, Yvonne and Jan who organized the refreshments.  This is what I produced in about an hour. I had actually drawn the subject previously so was able to start painting immediately. This took about an hour. Yes, I know I rush things but that`s just me. I have a fear of being too deliberate and losing the spontaneity of watercolour, which to me is the charm. I will take longer but never more than two hours at the most.

    Colours used were few. The darks were various dilutions of Ultramarine and Transparent Brown (Schminke -Pbr41)). Diluted Transparent Brown along with Raw Sienna also featured on the face and neck which was the first thing I painted, followed by the hair. When I paint the face I do stray into the hair area rather than have a very abrupt line


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