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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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  • 03/24/17--07:44: This Week's Paintings
  • Actually yes, they are mine not the fabulous ones I post monthly. The next instalment of those will be in a few days time - April. The Amerindian painting was done at home. I have reappraised the way I do these portraits becoming dissatisfied with recent efforts. and have attempted a slightly different approach. Following Charles Reid's mantra "be a little crude...mistakes are part of it" I first made the drawing using a size 7 2B Pentel mechanical pencil. The following day I commenced the painting but did not complete it,  going so far then leaving time to reflect on what I'd done. One tends (at least I do) to see things differently after reflection and a little time - a day or two - rather than first impressions. Maybe that's just me. I still aspire to do better and never ever feel that I've produced a 100% result.

    Whirling Horse Sioux 1900

    I'm quite pleased with this and feel I achieved something approaching where I want to be.

    Flowers - 16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White not.

    Flowers /foliage was the subject at this weeks AVA session. I obtained the photo by 'googling', which is how  I normally get most of my references. The colours appealed to me.

    I again made the drawing the day previous so could concentrate solely on the painting at the AVA session. Only two brushes were used, mostly a No 10 travel brush from Rosemary which is  a nice full-bodied sable, and a NO 6 Isabey travel brush. Flower colours were also limited. The reds were all various dilutions of Quinacridone Coral from Daniel Smith. The yellows were Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith PY97) and Indian Yellow (Rowney PY153). I still have stocks of the Rowney although PY 153 is said to be no longer available.. The marks on the petals were made by a Staedtler pigment liner. I bought a set of six a while ago from Cass Art in Bristol.

    The greens are slightly more complex. Apatite Green from Daniel Smith, Sap Green from Lukas and one or two mixes of Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Yellow Medium. There is also some Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith). Possibly I've missed some out.

    I was reasonably happy with this painting. The flowers are Alstroemerias ( I think that's the spelling).

    I don't put these forward as good paintings just my current work.  I'm beginning to paint a little more often again and hopefully emerging from the trough I've been stuck in. Not painters block exactly but something similar. This also applies to my health, which although generally good, has been less than 100% the last few months and may have been a contributory factor.

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  • 04/01/17--02:30: Watercolour Paintings (29)
  • Here are Aprils batch of watercolour paintings. Another selection showing the huge variety possible with this underrated , at least in the UK,  medium. My aim is to show the vast range of paintings possible with watercolour. Obviously, like everyone else, I have my particular favourites and also tend towards paintings that are loose with the mantra 'less is more'. However that doesn't mean I don't admire and marvel at paintings done in styles and techniques different to those I aspire to. Many of these artists are unknown to me but you can look up most of them on Facebook, which is where the paintings originally appeared.

    Milind Mulick

    Milind doesn't usually do flowers but the colours tend to mirror those in his other paintings.

    Gerard Hendriks 56 x 76cm

    A slightly unusual subject for Gerard but I notice some of his recent paintings are moving into different subjects. 

    Daniel Guilbert 120 x 80cm

    This reminds me of the Trevor Chamberlain painting of a large tanker. I think this not quite up to that standard but not a million miles away. 

    N B Gurung

    A fine Nepalese artist.

    Judith Farnworth

    Aleksandrs Neberekutins 20 x 30cm

    An example of a very loose but effective painting. 

    Miguel Torres Garcia

    Amazing painting this with stunning detail. I don't know the size but obviously quite large.

    Orhan Gurel

    This is a sketch - wonderful!

    Zhou Tianya

    Nora McPhail

    I like her loose colourful paintings. No overworking.

    The wonderful Bev Jozwiak, I like her jackdaw paintings as well as many others.

    Jean-Luc Decron

    The only details here are the eyes, nose and lips but look how they set off the rest of the painting. Great colour choices too.

    The great Gerard Hendriks

    This may well be the cockerel painted on his DVD. Contrast this with the previous painting by him I've shown..

    Michael Reardon

    Obviously another large one (?) but very atmospheric. Look how the river contrasts with the many greys of the rest.

    Ali Abbas Syed

    Celal Gunaydin


    Sun Yu

    Wow again!

    I love this but seem to have mislaid the artists name - nevertheless I decided to include it. I love the approach.

    Lars Eje Larsson

    I only recently became aware of this artist and love his work.

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    I have now looked at the remainder of the new paints from Schmincke.  I stress I have not bought any as yet so this is purely my analysis of the pigments from a purely non technical viewpoint. My source is the The Art of Color database.

    Quinacridone Purple. Pigment Violet 55 (PV55). Organic.."bluish violet to violet blue". Claimed to be superior to Quinacridone Violet PV19...."Hue closer to PV23 than PV19 or PV29".  PV55 was first introduced by Daniel Smith, and I bought a tube very soon after it was introduced. Not an essential colour and it lay for a while in my paint drawer without being used. When I came to squeeze some out found it had solidified. I know there are various ways of resuscitating such paint but to
     my mind this is a negative.

     Ultramarine Blue  PB29 "The colour of Ultramarine Blue can be varied all the way from a pale greenish blue through to violet". We know this from the chart of the various shades that Zvonimir von Tosic supplied. Schmincke already have an Ultramarine "Finest' with this pigment so presumably it is one of the other shades.

    Phalo Sapphire Blue. PB15:6.  Epsilon Copper Phthalocyanine. "Intense deep blue in mass tone, reddish to greenish bright blue in shades....staining". Phalo blue comes in several versions including- it is said - a 'yellowish' one. PB15:6, amongst other PB15's, is listed by Lukas who call it simply Phalo Blue. PB15 appears in most makers ranges, often in more than one version. PB15:3, a greenish shade, seems most popular.

    Cobalt Azure Blue. PB35. Cerulean Blue. "light red to greenish blue with a grayish cast".  A very common pigment with several versions, mostly called Cerulean Blue.

    Viridian. PG18. Inorganic. "Dull or deep mid green to bluish green". This is common in other ranges and tends to be on the weak side. The artist Trevor Chamberlain said he had tried many and eventually found one by Talens (Rembrandt) that he liked.

    Transparent Ochre . PY42, Yellow Iron Oxide. This is a very common synthetic pigment, an earth colour substitute "Dull reddish yellow to yellowish brown orange...Colour, transparency can vary widely depending on manufacturer variables .... PY42 and PY43 exist in almost any shade of yellow, orange, red and violet brown to green brown". The choice is yours!

    Transparent Sienna. PR101. "Synthetic iron oxide red, inorganic.....various brownish yellow to orange to red shades with violet undertones....transparency depends on particle size and other factors, grinding, additives, binder etc". You will find PR101 in most ranges but  there can be considerable variation between different makers versions.

    Transparent Umber. PR101. See above comments.

    Transparent Green Gold. PY154/PBr7. Green Gold is usually made with PY129. This is a convenience paint made with PY154 Benzimidazolone Yellow and PBr7. PY154 is described as `'bright, light greenish through to yellow...claimed by some as good primary yellow". PBr7 is brown iron oxide "yellowish brown to brown to dull red....transparency varies widely depending on mineral content and other impurities....exists in almost any shade of yellow" , This Schmincke is an  unknown quantity until tried.

    Spinal Brown. PY119 Zinc Iron Yellow. Inorganic "Dull yellow to brownish".

    Maroon Brown. PBr7. See Transparent Green Gold for description of PBr7.

    Mahogany Brown. PBr33. Mixed metal oxide.. Zinc Iron chromite brown. "Dark brown to reddish brown".

    Mars Brown. PBr6. Iron oxide hydroxide brown... 'inorganic...natural and/or synthetic Ferris oxide...brown to dull red. See comments under PBr7.

    Green Umber. PBr7. See comments earlier on PBr.7.

    Graphite  Grey. PBk10. Graphite. Inorganic...crystalized carbon...dark grey with metallic sheen"

    Hematite Black. PG17. Here we have a mystery. According to my information PG17 is Chrome Oxide Green. ...dull yellowish green to mid green". How therefore can it be called Hematite Black? I checked on the pigment number and indeed PG17 was confirmed. Convinced this couldn't be correct I contacted Schmincke and received a very prompt reply from a lady called Claudia Moller.. " 14 789 hematite black contains the pigment"hematite", a black chromium oxide pigment which is named PG17." Make of this what you will. Perhaps Zvonimir will comment.

    Mars Black PBk11. Mars Black..." Bluish gray to black". Inorganic. Synthetic or natural black iron oxide.

    Cobalt Violet Hue. ?. I have so far no details of the pigments involved in this ;paint.As it is described as a 'hue' I assume more than one pigment is involved.

    Perylene Violet PV29. Perylene Violet. ..."Organic Dark dull red purple"

    Perylene Green PBk31.Paliogen Black. ..."Inorganic Intense Very dark bluish green - almost black in masstone". First introduced by Holbein and I don't know if anyone else offers this pigment.

    Overall I'm not sure what all this proves as we now know that variation in pigments of the same number is considerable and the way the manufacturers formulate the paints also has a large influence on the final result. Nevertheless I hope this will enable some of us to determine whether or not we wish to explore these paints further and indeed try some that seem interesting. I think the Schmincke range is very good and with these additions even more competitive.

    A word or two about PBr7. This designation or whatever you call it covers a wide range of earth pigments, in other words coloured rocks that  were and are mined, crushed and turned eventually into paints. According to Handprint - now seriously out of date (sadly) - manufacturers have been replacing true earth colours with the synthetics PR101. PY42 and PY43. What many are not doing was changing the information and still saying  "PBr7". Trading standards? It also seems more and more might be changing pigments and /or adding them without letting us - the buyers of these paints - know what is going on.  I don't know the extent of it but it is definitely happening in certain instances.  We have been told that the earth colours are running out and they had to seek alternatives ie synthetics. I don't believe this for one minute. Just in my own experience there is a mine in the Forest of Dean  that still mines earth pigments and when I was in Provence, France not that long ago you could buy tons of the stuff with shops selling nothing else. We also have Daniel Smith with the Primateks. I'm told pigments are now being mainly sourced from China and the Alibaba conglomerate will supply an much as you want in metric tons. Who is kidding who?

    If you want more information see  and put Schmincke in the search box. Fantastic.

    A comprehensive INDEX for the blog is in June 2014. Type June 2014 in the top left hand search box and this takes you to it.

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  • 04/18/17--05:02: Latest Efforts
  • The following are recent efforts. Mostly done at AVA sessions, although I've missed the last two due to family commitments. Struggling to concentrate a bit at the moment.

    St Kilda - 16" x 12" Lanaquarelle 140lb not

    This was a 30minute sketch including drawing and painting. It was based on an old black and white photograph - very hazy and gloomy.  St Kilda is the remotest island off the Orkney isles from North West Scotland. It was inhabited for centuries and the last dwindling inhabitants were removed at their own request in 1930. Life was very harsh and sea birds formed an important part of their diet.  The subject  was buildings which I don't do these days - not a favourite of mine. Colours as you can see are basically puddle colours mainly mixed from Ultramarine Blue and Translucent Brown from Schmincke. This latter has been re-named Transparent Brown in the recent updating of the range. I don't like this paper much.

    Tropical Bird - Fabriano Artistico rough 12" x 9".

    I'd drawn this one a while ago and as I finished early and quickly painted this. (I always seem to finish early and usually wash the cups up).  

    The next subject this Thursday is farm/domestic animals so I drew this composite from three photographs. I quite like it  and intend to view the painting of a cockerel on Gerard Hendriks DVD before I paint it.

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  • 05/01/17--00:16: Watercolour Paintings (30)
  • Here are the latest batch to start off May. A bumper crop. Once again a very diverse group showing the wide range of this underrated medium. As I've often said my personal preference is impressionistic and loose watercolours - even minimalist ones. That doesn't mean I don't admire the more detailed works shown here. It is simply that I have neither the skill,  inclination or patience to do such detailed works. My guru Charles Reid- actually I have three - said in a workshop I attended that some people said he couldn't draw a straight line!  As this just about sums me up  - except with a ruler - I rest my case.

    Diann C Benoit

    A favourite artist of mine

    Catherine Rey

    Another favourite artist - I have so many!

    Nigar Deniz Damir

    Mahmood Samandarian

    Joan Coch Rey

    Amazing detail. How do they do this in watercolour?

    Zhon Tianya

    Not certain I have the correct artist here

    Yuko Nagayama

    The fabulous Japanese artist - so delicate

    N B Gurung. The Master Nepalese artist

    Gerard Hendriks

    I love this! The contrast between the colours of the bird and the grey- greens of the surrounding area - wow!

    Laurin McCracken

    This is an amazing watercolour. Not my taste but wonderful skill and look how the red of the cherries sets off the greys.

    Edward Seago

    The British Master . This is a typical Seago landscape and he did many similar ones. This type of painting isn't as popular these days but again not much detail and very powerful.

    Catherine Rey - again!

    Not sure who this artist is - my kind of painting though

    Judith Farnworth

    I like Judiths work a lot

    Rukiye Garip

    Amazing detail

    Andrew Geeson

    A new artist to me - love the looseness of this. Has some videos on Youtube.

    Michael Jasiewicz

    Andrew Geeson

    Another very loose one - some think this type of painting is easy but I can assure you it isn't. I know from bitter experience. I've been trying to master it for 18 years.

    Shyam Dongarwar

    Gn Madhu

    Aud Rye

    The birds are the only real detail here but don't they hold it together.

    Judith Farnworth

    A more abstract painting from Judith. I love the colours and had to include it!

    Stan Miller

    The Master of portraits and much else. See his demos on Youtube.

    Thats it folks. Hope you like them.

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  • 05/09/17--04:20: Khadi Watercolour Paper
  •  I was in Foyles bookshop in Cabot Circus Bristol, a while ago and noticed they were selling Khadi watercolour paper in a variety of sizes. As the prices were very good for a handmade paper I couldn't resist buying an A3 pack of 20 sheets. Weight is 320gsm, slightly over 140lbs. The surface is moderately rough. 

    Khadi is an Indian handmade paper from 100% long fibered cotton rag. I read somewhere else that it was recycled cotton and they have a mill in Southern India. They do a range of papers and have expanded considerably since the original launch in the 1980s, so they obviously have their adherents. Google 'Khadi' to get to the website.

    Apart from Moldau the only other handmade paper I've tried is one under the Jacksons name and I wasn't very impressed. It soaked up paint like blotting paper and was very uneven. Khadi is  a little like this but then so is Moldau. I've not stretched so whether others do this I  don't know. The initial attraction about Khadi is the price which is cheaper than the quality mould-made cotton papers. I have looked up some reviews and they are mixed. This thing about the paper soaking up paint rears it's head again. Obviously the lighter weights would not be so prone to do this. Nevertheless many artists would appear to use it and availability is widespread.

    Amerindian Cowboy circa 1900 - A3 Khadi 320gsm

    The above is only one painting but I thought the result promising. Until I've done a few more with this paper I can't make a definitive statement  - at least from my own experience - so I'll reserve final judgement until then but will report in a future post.

    To quote one example Jacksons ( do a huge range in sizes and weights , from 1000gsm to 210gsm! The A3 size - slightly larger than 16" x 12" - pack of 20 sheets  costs £14.40p. When you consider a block of  20 sheets Waterford (my preferred choice 100% cotton mould-made) 16" x 12" costs £28.60,  this is very reasonable.

    I'd be interested in readers experiences if they have tried this paper.

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  • 05/14/17--07:19: Medicine Crow
  • This is my latest Amerindian portrait of a warrior called Medicine Crow. I don't know what tribe.

    Medicine Crow - 16" x 12" Lanaquerelle 140lb (300gsm) not

    This is based on another of the old black and white/sepia photographs and is an interpretation of it rather than a straight copy. I'm not great at copying and avoid doing so as much as possible. This is one of the hardest things when painting from photographs as the tendency to try and copy has to be resisted.

    Some of my indians are too light in respect of the skin colour but here the result is closer to this dark-skinned individual. Colours used were limited with various mixes involving Ultramarine Blue, Translucent Brown (Schminke PBr41), Burnt Umber plus some Cadmium Red Light. There are touches of one or two other colours like Raw Sienna and Gold Ochre. 

    This was painted at home, first a pencil drawing using a Pentel mechanical pencil, Size 7 2B. I then painted it in two stages, first of all the features beginning with the eyes, then the nose and mouth followed by the remainder of the face then the hair. I completed the painting the following day.

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  • 05/16/17--02:16: Latest Paintings
  • The following were done over the last two to three weeks, mostly at AVA Thursday sessions.

    16" x 12" Lanaquarelle 140lb (300gsm) not Subject : Trees.  This is an apple tree. We are allowed considerable leeway in our interpretation of the subject. Various greens, reds and orange/yellows with some blue.

    16" x 12" Lanaquarelle 140lb (300gsm) not. Subject: Single Flower. This was the second of two. I had about 40 minutes left so did this one which I'd already drawn. Mainly mixtures of red and blue to get this mauvish colour. I used some masking fluid around the white area in the centre. A mix of green again.

    16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico 16" x 12" Extra White not. Subject: Single Flower. The original Fabriano block is 18" x 12" but I don't like that size so reduce the painting area to 16" x 12". Mainly reds, yellows and orange colours.

    16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White not. Same as above reduced the painting area. Subject: Farm/Domestic Animals.

    16" x 12" Lanaquarelle 140lb not. Same subject as above. This was a thirty minute painting. I had done the drawing the previous day.

    I'm not too displeased with most of these although my favourites are the animals. I even like the little pig - a minimalist painting! You may note I've photographed them with a surrounding mount. This is an experiment to see if I can make them look better! I need all the help I can get.

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    Up until recently my recommendation for Artists Quality paints has been Daler Rowney and Lukas. This is based on a combination of quality allied to price. I have been buying Daler Rowney from an art shop in Bath at better than mail order prices, which even so were very competitive. I realise personal preference plays a part in choosing and others may have different ideas. In addition prices vary country to country so this recommendation only applies to Europe.

    Last week I went into the Bath shop and to my horror saw the prices were now £12.75p for series 1 and 2 and over £17 for Series 3 all 15ml. There was a notice saying 'would you buy at these new prices'? I politely told the lady in the shop that I wouldn't. She was obviously concerned and said there had been a price increase and presumably - although she didn't say so - the extra discounts that enabled them to sell so competitively had been withdrawn. I then checked Jacksons prices and found they had increased to just over £10 Series 1/2 and £14 for series 3. As a result I did a round robin of the various makes to see how they stacked up.

    My new recommendations are 1st choice Lukas (24ml) closely followed by Sennelier (21ml) Maimeri  (15ml) is also in the mix. I believe Lukas are now owned by the Daler Rowney group so this may not last we shall have to see. Sennelier, with the largest range, has to be a serious contender.  Scmincke, although more expensive with the new improved and enlarged range are also on my radar and I've just ordered Perylene Violet and Perylene Green (both £9 for 15ml) to try out. The cheapest Daniel Smith is now in excess of £10 and Graham and Da Vinci are not considered because they are only available via Lawrence of Hove who have a fixed carriage charge. Although I've gone off Graham due to various problems with the paints I am intrigued by Da Vinci and if I was close enough to visit the shop would probably buy some. In the USA I know prices on Daniel Smith, Da Vinci and Graham are much more competitive but as usual in the UK we get ripped off. I haven't mentioned Winsor and Newton who are (or used to be!) regularly offered at extra discounts. You can mix makes don't let that old chimera that you shouldn't put you off doing so.

    My comments only refer to Artists Quality. There are alternatives. The Korean Shin Han and Mijello are very competitively priced but I have reservations about them.  Many other artists seem to find them satisfactory but be selective in which ones you buy with a preference for single pigment paints. There is  also  the Japanese Turner from Jacksons at very keen prices. Lots use St Petersburg quite happily. We now have some house brands which are worth a try. There are also Cotman, Venezia and Van Gogh in the budget makes. Take your pick.

    Before closing I note papers have also increased in price. Prices are now £32.60 for Waterford and £35 for Fabriano - blocks I should add. My favourite block size is "16 x 12" Fabriano Artistico and Saunders - although Fabriano have this strange size of "12 x 18". We watercolourists are being taken to the cleaners!

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  • 05/31/17--23:37: Watercolour Paintings (31)
  • Here for June are the latest batch of paintings. I have collected so many I may do another lot in the middle of the month. Once again a very varied collection. In my opinion highlighting the very best of watercolour painting. I just keep on  discovering new artists! I do exhibit a slight bias towards the type of paintings I prefer, as well as artists I particularly relate to, such as Gerard Hendriks and Charles Reid. I hope this is not too irritating!

    Edward Seago - The British master. This appeared in one of the two large format books Ron Ranson wrote on him.

    Ingrid Buchthal - A German artist I recently became aware of. Terrific.

    Bev Jozwiak - The brilliant Bev.

    Corinne Poplimont. This artist is new to me.

    Lada Galkina - Another artist I know little about although the name seems familiar.

    Miling Mulick - Enough said although this is a little different to much of his other work.

    Charles Reid - a very good example of Charles at his best.

    Gerard Hendriks - Gerard has done several like this. I just love them!

    Edward Wesson - Wesson died in 1983 but his influence lives on not least in the artist Steve Hall who advertises his style and teaching as 'following the Wesson way".

    Robert Zangarelli - This was described as a sketch demo .  I'm really taken by it. Great use of colour.

    Ilya Ibryaev - This is stunning - another artist I know little about.

    Celal Gunaydin  - another new one to me.

    Oscar Cuadros - a fine Peruvian artist

    Another from Gerard Hendriks.

    Hoshno Keiko - another new artist.

    Jem Bowden - This is slightly different to much of his work that often shows the influence of Wesson

    Yuko Nagayama - The great Japanese artist

    Thierry  De Marichalar - Another new one. I'm getting tired of writing that.

     That's it folks until the next batch!

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  • 06/14/17--11:33: Avon Valley Artists
  • Avon Valley Artists is an offshoot of the former Saltford Art Group, now defunct. About ten years ago, I'm unsure of the actual date, it was decided by a group of us to continue painting together meeting on a Thursday. Initially we painted at Saltford Hall but then moved to the Church Hall in the old village. Saltford holds a Festival every two years and as part of it we put on an exhibition and sale of paintings. This is what happened this year.

    With Jeanne our oldest member who is 90.

    Originally we had 25 members, this being limited by the size of the room we painted in. We meet during the day in the morning so don't attract younger members, those at work during the day or looking after families.  Some groups meet in the evening and so attract those who cannot paint during the day. Advancing age, we are all retired some for a considerable period, has taken several from us and others have dropped out for the same reason. We retain the fondest memories of them.  Currently we have 17 members who put on the exhibition illustrated above. We are in gentle decline but have a good group of artists of a high standard for amateurs. 

    This group is different to most amateur ones in that we paint to a programme of subjects  (mostly but not only in watercolour) put together by Jan and Yvonne, who together with Robert, manage the group. I've belonged to other groups but none do this, basically doing their own thing, and consequently tend to be less close. Everything and everybody has a shelf life and exactly how much longer we'll continue is an open question. Hopefully for a while yet. The exhibition was very successful with good sales.

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  • 06/30/17--22:34: Watercolour Paintings (32)
  • Here are July's batch. Many of these artists I know nothing about. They are mostly somewhere on Facebook so it should be possible to find them if you are interested in further study ogf a particular artist. I'm continually amazed at the wealth of watercolour talent out there. There is no doubt in my mind that watercolour is given much more prominence in several of these artists countries than it is in the UK.

    Meeta Dani

    Amazing painting, Quite staggering detail.

    Nathan Fowkes

    Celal Gunaydin

    Lam Leon

    Bev Jozwiak.

    One of my favourite artists. I love her jackdaws. She does a whole series featuring them.

    Nora McPhail

    Nice loose work and colourful typical of this artists work.

    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey

    This young African artist is making quite a name for himself. This large scale panorama is fairly typical.

    Thomas Schaller

    Well - known artist with many followers and admirers.

    Amal Pawar

    Gerard Hendriks

    Enough said one of my favourites as readers will know!

    Charles Reid

    Another  favourite of mine.

    Milind Mulick.

    The prolific Milind - a very fine artist  with a wide range of colourful subjects.

    Stephie Butler

    Stephies work is always colourful and worth studying.

    Ewa Ludwiczak

    The Charles Reid influence is clear to see in much of Ewas work but she does seem to be developing her own take on it.

    Abe Toshiyuki

    Lost the name of this artist but  decided to leave it in.

    Same comments as above. I'll try harder in future!

    Gerard Hendriks

    Gerard did a small series similar to this and I love them.

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    The recent upgrade from Schmincke introduced 35 new colours. I have briefly covered them elsewhere but decided to try a couple.They are  currently £9.00 for 15ml tubes from Jacksons, In addition I recently bought Warm Sepia from Daler Rowney. Why this one? Both  John Blockley and John Yardley have mentioned Warm Sepia so I have assumed this is the Daler Rowney paint as nobody else, as far as I know, use this name. 

    The swatches on the left are Perylene Green, those on the right Violet with the Warm Sepia bottom right. None of these colours painted out that well but I think the paper is at fault, just an old piece of unknown provenance, so don't damn them on the basis of the above.

    Perylene Green (PBk31) was first introduced by Holbein as 'Shadow Green' Subsequently both Winsor &Newton and Daniel Smith introduced  'Perylene Green' - the pure pigment. Apparently the Holbein contains a black so isn't a single pigment paint.

    For a brief description from the Art of Pigment database see the post on Schminckes new paints in April.

    Perylene Green is a very dark blackish green - almost black in masstone so could be good for backgrounds. Rather dull  so I'm not sure where this might fit in.

    Perylene Violet (PV29) is a new pigment and when I gave Yvonne from my painting group both to try, she initially though it very like some Burnt Siennas.When diluted it does show a violet shade and in this form might be good for portraits. These are only initial thoughts others may differ. Yvonne thought the Green more interesting.

    Are they worth adding to ones palette? That, as always, is a personal decision but I have my doubts in the case of the Violet. The green perhaps needs playing around with.

    As for 'Warm Sepia', another dull colour, I'm not so sure. A three pigment mix?

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  • 07/16/17--08:28: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts, although since I've done several more, some of which I'll post soon. Actually I've had them hanging around for a little while so thought, for want of something better, to post them. The first subject is "Blue Thunder' subtitled 'Custers Scout',. I'd never heard of this guy until recently when I came across the photo from which the painting was produced. This was taken around 1900  when he was fairly elderly. According to what I could find he was a Santee Sioux and was a scout initially in the 1860s at the time of the so- called Fetterman massacre at Fort Phil Kearney. He wasn't with Custer at the Little Big Horn which was lucky for him.

    Early Stages - pencil drawing followed by painting the eyes, nose and mouth.

    Blue Thunder - 16" x 12" Waterford High White.

    A simple Landscape _ an AVA subject at a Thursday session.

    Crow Warrior - 16" x 12" Waterford.

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  • 07/19/17--01:47: Latest Amerindian Studies
  • Here are my latest Amerindian studies. Mostly on Waterford High White, all 16" x 12". Two other failures I've not posted but I'm reasonably happy with the ones below, although I prefer the female ones.

    16" x 12" Waterford. Young Amerindian Woman

    American Indians are not one homogenous type. They vary enormously both in physical characteristics - from quite tall to short - and skin colour, some very dark, others much lighter. This is a particularly attractive young lady, at least in white terms. I've no idea what tribe she belongs to. The painting above has been modified from the original posted on Facebook. The left facing eye wasn't right and I also softened a few hard lines. This is a definite improvement.

    16" x 12" Amerindian Woman - Waterford High White

    I quite like this one. Posted on my Portrait Facebook page it hasn't attracted much in the way of likes but this happens to me all the time, while others sometimes get hundreds. My fate to be unrecognised - just a joke!

    16" x 12" Amerindian Woman - Waterford High White

    This one and that immediately above was about  not spending much time on the hair, which both subjects had in abundance, in an attempt to vary the way I tackle the subject. I used the guide photos as just that - guides - and tried to capture certain characteristics, mainly the eyes but in a less formal way. You can get bogged down with  hair and Charles Reid always says don't!

    Crow Chief White Bear - Waterford High White

    Santee Sioux - Moldau 130lb - unfinished

    This one and that above are notable for the topknots. The Santee Sioux example is unfinished and I don'y know whether I'll do any more with it The Santee Sioux lived in Minnesota. The pressure of white settlement caused them to rise up in 1863 and attempt to exterminate the white population. Many hundreds of mainly settler men,  women and children were killed in the most brutal way, but eventually they were defeated and the perceived ringleaders hanged, although some sentences were commuted. As usual there are different views on the rights and wrongs of what happened. The main chief Little Crow was later killed with his son when gathering berries in a forest where they were hiding.  The remnants were driven from Minnesota. One notorious minor chief
    called Inkpaduta, notorious for the so-called Spirit Lake massacre, travelled hundreds of miles with his small following and gained refuge with the plains Sioux. Reputedly he was at the Little Big Horn in 1876 when Custer and his command were wiped out.

    Painting these subjects I mainly used my small Craig Young painting box with Cadmium Red, Raw Sienna, Cerulean and Ultramarine Blue, in different combinations, the principal colours. Brushes are my Isabey No 6 Travel Brush and Isabey Sables 4,6 and 8. Also started introducing the Escoda Kolinsky sable Size 14 principally for the hair. My Guru Charles Reid always says don't spend too much time on the hair. As for paper  my choice is the Waterford High White blocks. As a block they hold together much better than say Fabriano. You may notice I used Moldau on the Santee Sioux. I purchased 40 sheets at great expense and effort a while back and thought I needed to use them. They are only 130lb and supposedly A3 but are slightly smaller especially in width. They do buckle noticeably. I have stretched in the past but am reluctant to do it again. I have quite a lot of paper accumulated over the years in sheets. Various types with Waterford original in the majority but quite a few other makes. I now much prefer the Waterford blocks but will have to use this other stuff as well.

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  • 07/31/17--23:59: Watercolour Paintings (33)
  • Here is the latest batch for August. They are mainly of well-known artists, many internationally known,  and considered amongst the best watercolour artists past or present. There are many others so this is only a snapshot of the best and reflects  my opinion only. Others may disagree and say why is this one or that one not included? There are so many! I think the selection of artists, in the many hundreds of paintings I've featured on the blog, is my answer with many more to come.

    Trevor Chamberlain

    One of the top two British watercolour artists in my opinion, although originally an oil painter.

    Edward Seago
    One of the most famous British artists although he produced more oils than watercolours. A friend of the Royal family who was shunned by the art establishment, riven by snobbery and the class system.

    Morten Solberg Senior

    A fabulous American artist. You can see him demonstrating on Youtube.

    Trevor Chamberlain

    Another from Trevor. One of his best in my opinion. This appeared in his book 'Trevor Chamberlain - A Personal View' not an instruction type book but very good.

    Skip Lawrence

    This American artist featured in the book by the late Ron Ranson about the famous (and controversial) American teacher Edgar Whitney. 

    Charles Reid

    Another Famous American - my guru or one of them. I actually was present when he did the above demo at Urchfont House a few years ago. He was on top form that week and this painting caught the subject perfectly.

    John Yardley

    Another top British artist in the same category as Trevor Chamberlain. This is a typical example of his work. There have been several books about him "John Yardley - A Personal View', in the same series as the one by Trevor Chamberlain. Ron Ranson did one and Steve Hall has produced books on both of them.

    David Taylor

    An Australian artist who I consider one of the natural successors to the doyen of Australian watercolour artists Robert Wade

    Robert Wade

    Robert, a charming man, lost his wife recently and is now quite elderly. This is a painting he did some time back.

    Jean Haines

    A very popular artist with a large following. Not one of my favourites though. In my opinion many of her paintings are too minimalistic.

    Shirley Trevena

    A fabulous British artist who has written at least two books and produced a DVD(s). A big favourite of some of the lady artists in my Avon Valley group.

    Hercules Brabazon

    A famous artist from the older era. When I mentioned him to Charles Reid he claimed not to have heard of him. Perhaps he was having me on as Charles regularly mentions artists from Brabazons era. It is said he produced some of his best paintings in thirty minutes.

    Winslow Homer

    A legendary American in the same category as John Singer Sergeant 

    The famous J.W.Turner

    Turner is venerated by many but Charles Reid isn't a particular fan and neither am I. An I a charlatan? I saw one of his paintings, a small one, at a travelling exhibition some years ago at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. Each painting in the exhibition, of many well-known artists, had a foolscap sheet next to it telling about the painting. In Turners case a man described watching him paint. "Attacking the paper, scratching and bewildering the onlooker and then said 'out of this fury a lovely painting finally emerged.'

    Ann Blockley

    Daughter of the famous late John Blockley and a leading British watercolour artist. She has books and videos out so if you are interested.

    Gerard Hendriks

    A very prolific artist and utterly charming man. I love his work especialy his birds and animals. I really like this one though. Great video. Keeps nothing back.

    Aine Devine

    I think she's Scottish and  a terrific artist. Features on Youtube.

    Gerard Hendriks.

    This is great as well. Look how he uses colour.

    Jean Haines

    I prefer this to the previous one featured but it is still lacking (in my opinion) a bit more substance. Shirley Trevena and Ann Blockley are much better (in my opinion).

    Edward Wesson

    A famous and very popular British artist. Not as good as Seago in my opinion but his colouful personality went down very well with his students, and many others it seems. . The Alexander Gallery published a book about him called 'Edward Wesson - Honesty in Art'. Quite what that meant I'm not sure, The artist Steve Hall keeps the Wesson legend alive with his books and art workshops 'Painting in the style of Edward Wesson'.

    That's it folks . Hope you like them.

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  • 09/01/17--00:13: Waytercolour Paintings 34
  • Here are the latest batch to start September. Another mix of different styles from a variety of artists, some well-known others less so.

    Gerard Hendriks

    Another of Gerards flower studies full of colour.

    N B Gurung

    Ewa Ludwiczak

    Dianne Benoit
    Slightly unusual subject for Dianne.

    Olga Kharchenko

    Aparah Towinh Cyrille (?)

    I love this one - simple but colourful.

    Alvaro Castagnet
    The workshop King. Contrast this with the one below.

    Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey
    This young African artist has made a name for himself in the last few years

    Richard Stevens

    Lovely use of colour by this talented American.

    Nicole Zeimet

    Marco Boer

    Too detailed for me but an amazing painting.

    Not sure who this artists is. Anyone know?

    Genevieve Buchanan

    Charles Reid

    Milind Mulick

    Kitipong Ti via Maria Christina

    Ewa Ludwiczak again - Robert Diniro in the film 'Taxi Driver'

    Anders Andersson

    Thats it folks hope you like them.

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  • 09/03/17--04:10: My Latest Paintings
  • I make the usual proviso. These are my paintings which I don't claim are good - just mine. I've painted them over the last two or three weeks, mainly at AVA sessions, usually doing the drawings the day previous in my 'studio'at home.

    George Armstrong Custer - from a photograph taken around 1863
     16" x 12" Waterford High White not

    I was quite pleased with it and still am - but realised afterwards I'd made his epaulettes too large, I look at these paintings in the following days and see things - usually faults - I didn't notice at the time it was painted! The actual painting looks better then the reproduction, which seems to happen often.

    This is my original Custer drawing

    Indian Woman in captivity c 1870s - 16" x 12" Waterford High White

    The guide photo shows a very dejected woman and it is really dark and gloomy. I wanted to capture her dejection.

    Original drawing for the above.

    Black Prairie Chicken c1900 (?)

    !6' x 12" Waterford High White

    His name appealed to me but in reality he's quite colourful.

    A Young Navaho Man - c1900 
    16" x 12" Waterford High White

    This one looks like a 'dandy' in the original photo. One of my painting friends thought it was a female!

    A young Inuit child 16" x 12" Waterford High White C1900 (?)

    Probably better known as of 'Eskimo' origin. She actually looks older in my painting than in the original. She was wearing this amazing fur hat which I pondered awhile how to depict. In the end I wasn't too unhappy with the result.

    Pink Phlox -16" x 12" Waterford High White

    A loose painting of flowers for a change. I haven't done many of these and hope to do more ' in a loose manner.

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    I recently bought a tube of the new Schmincke  Mahogany Brown which is PBr33 - Pigment Brown 33. This is Zinc Iron Oxide and is described by the Pigment Database as "Dark; brown to reddish Brown". Handprint say it is a very lightfast, very opaque, staining, very dark valued dull brown but then says ..."a handsome blackish brown' interesting pigment" The only source of this pigment was previouy 'Schmincke' who called it Walnut Brown. This new colour replaces Walnut Brown and I have no idea what the differences are although, presumably, there are some. I have also included the 'new' Transparent Brown previously called 'Translucent Brown' which is PBr41. Again I've no idea what the differences are if any.

    Mahogany Brown is top left with Transparent Brown 3rd from the left. I now use this instead of Burnt Sienna, although as I have stocks of the latter .....! Handprint says it works well with Ultramarine Blue so I've done some swatches with the colours side by side and others where I've mixed them together. The one of the bottom right granulates nicely and looks interesting. These samples are rough and ready so don't take them as gospel.

    I gave a small blob of the Mahogany Brown to Yvonne Harry, the co-leader of Avon Valley Artists -  a superb artist particularly of flowers, her speciality,  and showed her the following work in progress of a young indian girl. Her immediate reaction was it looked like a useful shadow colour.

    The brown areas are Mahogany Brown heavily diluted except for above the eyes, with Ultramarine added to create the darks.

    Current price for both these colours from Jacksons is £9.50p for 15ml. I would like to do more reviews but as I get no free samples - I tell a lie I did get copies of Judy Whittons Venice book and Gerard Hendriks DVD due to their generosity- but thats all!

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  • 10/01/17--00:54: Watercolour Paintings 35
  • Here is the latest batch to start October. Many of these artists are unknown to me. They just keep coming. They are a very mixed bunch with contrasting styles. I like some more than others but won't elaborate.

    The brilliant Bev Jozwiak

    Marion Bolognesi

    ZeZe Lai

    Milind Mulick
    - This was attributed to Milind but is very different to his usual work. Wrongly attributed?

    Vicky Nelson
    I love this one so simple yet very striking.

    Z An Asian Artist (Cannot translate name)

    Venu KV Art

    Jose Cuervo Vina

    Michael Jasiewicz

    Jose Luis Lopez

    Javier Antonio Luque Rodriguez

    Alvaro Castagnet (?)
    The workshop king.

    Gerard Hendriks
    This is a favourite of mine from Gerard.

    S. Porsford

    Interesting but the colour perhaps overdone?

    Slawa Prischedko

    A marvellous artist.

    Anna Sidorvina

    Viktoria Prischedko

    The other half of the super talented Prischedkos. Marvellous.

    Many of the above artists are new to me and I know nothing about them. Just shows how much hidden talent in watercolour is out there. 

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