See my Small Watercolour Abstracts

Doodle 3

Good morning everyone. This is a quick catchup post, just to show you more of my small watercolour abstracts. Well, I’m still producing quite a few of these. And I’ve noticed that they definitely reflect my painting interests and colour choices at the time. But I don’t notice this till afterwards! For example, in this one above I’m exploring more restrained and sparse patterns, as a contrast to the busier designs of the previous little abstracts seen here.

Doodle 4

On the other hand, I noticed after I had completed this one above that it was connected to my current large acrylic. And also, the softer colours and bold black calligraphic marks are in the style on my online course. Who knew? Actually, my subconscious painting brain surprises me more every day, especially in my small watercolour abstracts!

Doodle 4 – a closeup

A Day by the Sea

North Landing, Flamborough

Good morning everyone. We’ve just spent a lovely few days by the sea. And I painted this quick watercolour sketch looking down at North Landing Bay at Flamborough on the Yorkshire coast. Although it looks deserted in my sketch, there were actually some families playing on the beach. And the snack bar was open and doing a roaring trade. Also, a small boat came back to the shore, with a few crates of fish. Then they pulled the boat up the ramp to the boat house. After I had finished my sketch, (about 30 minutes) we walked a short way along the cliff path on the headland. Actually, we were looking out for puffins, but they were all hiding! What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

In fact, I had paddled in the sea on the beach at Scarborough that morning, in freezing cold water. And when I got back to the flat I decided to do an intuitive abstract. So I painted an impression of the movement of the water, as the tide receded around my feet. If you look at this post here from last year, you’ll see another sketch of this coast.

The Tide

See my Spare Time Abstracts

Doodle 1

Good morning everyone. I think the title says it all, really, because I’m very busy at the moment. And, this is all the art I can manage to fit in at present – spare time abstracts! Actually, I saw a few things online about doodling, which seems to be very popular just now. But, to be honest, I’ve been scribbling little designs and patterns all my life. So, it seems to be quite natural to me. However, I noticed lots of ideas suggesting doing these small drawings over a background of watercolour marks. So, nothing could be easier, I use my little travel set of colours and it dries fast. Then, a little bundle of markers to choose from, and off I go!

Although, I must say the notion of using lots of surface pattern over paint is still new to me. But, that’s the fun part. And, as most of my marker pens are waterproof, it seems natural to add a bit more emphasis on top with thicker paint. Next, I have a look at the design for any ugly bits and correct them. And now I’ve done another spare time abstract! Right, back to the allotment gardening! There is some more fun doodling in this post here, using a slightly different technique.

Doodle 2

Bad Planning and Good Planning

Peace

Good morning everyone. Today I wanted to show you this abstract design, which required quite a lot of planning. Obviously, it’s just a modest little watercolour abstract painting, but, first I had to think hard about the background. You see, I kept the colours soft so there is not too much eye catching contrast. At the same time, I introduced a subtle sense of movement with the white paint. Honestly, I really had to restrain myself from adding loads of busyness all over the place! Anyway, I achieved it and now I could choose a motif to put over the top. But, what to choose? Not wanting to experiment on the page, I used my I pad trick and scribbled a few ideas over the image on the screen. After a few tries, I settled on a mandala.

The I pad trick

So then I felt confident enough to paint my mandala in black paint (don’t laugh, it’s an abstract one!) Actually, I haven’t got the skill or the patience to paint a good one. However, I think it’s quite effective. And the main point of the exercise for me is to take some time and thought when planning an abstract.

Peace

Bad Planning

Sunny Morning

Next, here is a glorious example of bad planning, more like my usual style! Here’s the story, l wandered into my ‘studio’ after showering one morning. And there was the usual view over the roofs, all bathed in gentle sunshine. Well, I couldn’t resist grabbing a pad and a black marker for a quick sketch. Then I used my new oil pastel pencils for the colour which didn’t of course cover the lines. So, not the best laid plan, but a real delight to record my response then and there! To sum up, I suppose I think that there is a time for careful planning and also for spontaneous response. Maybe you missed another quick response I made to this view, in a spectacular winter sunrise last year here.

Look at my Framed Abstracts

Up

Good morning everyone. I finished this small watercolour painting yesterday and, with a bit of magic, it’s now one of my new framed abstracts. Isn’t science wonderful? Only a few minutes work, and there it is , in a frame and on the wall of a virtual room!

Up in the Dining Room

Not only does it boost my confidence to see my work displayed on the wall. But also I can then easily assess the work and make mental notes how to progress in the next one.

Perhaps you might not be aware, but I can see quite a lot of influence here from the Painting with Yvette course I am following. For example, the general movement of the colour red across the paper. Also, I have used both thin, washy paint and more thickly applied coats in this composition. In addition, I have applied patches of fine surface pattern on the top layer. Obviously, this might not be all that easy to see in these images of one of my framed abstracts. But, close up it is more effective and I learned all this from this excellent course.

In the Shadows

Finally, I couldn’t resist ‘hanging’ this little abstract on the wall. And I like the way the dark, moody colour of the background complements the mysterious feeling of the painting. In fact, when I look at it now, I think of a passage back into the light from a dark place, perhaps a cave? However, it was an intuitive composition, with no planning beforehand. If you would like to see more of my abstract work, see here.

Discover Shapes in Paint Doodles

Flight

Good morning everyone. This is a fun exercise I did in the tutorial by Charlie O’Shields in the Sketchbook Revival course by Karen Abend. And I tried to discover shapes in simple paint doodles, following the method described by Charlie. To be honest, it was easy to follow. First, scribble some marks with clean water on your brush, on watercolour paper. Most importantly, leave some blank spaces and don’t cover all the sheet. Next, quickly drop in some very wet paint and allow it to mingle. As you can probably tell, my paint blotches did start to dry a little. So I added more and ‘grew’ a few cauliflowers! But, it didn’t matter and just added to the design. When it’s thoroughly dry, take a bit of time to study it. Then pick out the outlines of anything you see in pen or fine marker. Just let your imagination go wild!

Actually, I did enjoy this playing with paint and ideas, and I felt it was a good antidote to worrying about all the sad things I hear on the news. So, if you want a little chuckle, have a look at the other daft doodles I produced.

In the Depths of the Sea
Night Time
Puppy

Finally, here’s an example of a ten minute doodle (done last night). And this shows my usual method of doodling abstracts and how to discover shapes. In fact, I draw or paint colours and shapes at random and then develop it from there. In this case, first, chop courgettes for the dinner, then sit down with marker pens, oil pastels, a biro and tiny notebook!

Courgettes for Dinner

Paintings Inspired by Online Tuition

Dominant

Good morning everyone. When I have ten minutes or so spare, I will always do a quick sketch.( In between finishing off online tuition projects!). On this occasion I quickly sketched a doodle in watercolour, limiting myself to three colours. When it was dry, I doodled some more, adding some black calligraphic marks on top. Later on, I strengthened these marks with one of my new soft oil pastels. Of course, you may have realised that this was influenced by the Painting with Yvette course that I am following. Otherwise I never would have tried putting this kind of a motif on top of a background.

Butterfly Wings

Now this idea is something else that I picked up from online tuition. But unfortunately I can’t remember the details, I look at so much lovely stuff online. Anyway, I did in fact take the idea and do my own version. And the method is to take images of motifs you have chosen to use as inspiration for an abstract composition. Then incorporate them into a design, without doing a realistic painting of them. For example, for this piece I sourced good photos of butterflies and flowers. Then I isolated the shapes and colours that pleased me and tried to make a harmonious pattern. Actually, it does fry your brain a bit in the process! But, I’m still keen to do more. See more intuitive abstracts in this post here

Butterfly Wings – a detail

New Pale Abstracts to See

Something Blue

Good morning everyone. As you may know if you read my blog, I am at present working my way through an excellent online course by Yvette. And I am learning how to create pale abstracts, which are completely different in style to my usual paintings. In fact, in this module we are taking the approach of first creating a background of patterns in dark paint, then applying layer after layer of colours and shapes. Have a look at this image below first to see the process half way through. Then see how it ends up in the next image.

Misty Landscape, half way through
Misty Landscape, finished

In fact, this was my first attempt and I relied quite heavily on the tutor’s version. But this next one I really consider to be my own. And I think it looks well presented in this virtual room. However, my paintings are small and the blown up images really demonstrate how effective large scale abstract paintings can be. See what you think.

Something Blue

Well, I’ve been very busy with these new pale abstracts – they do take some time to do for smallish paintings. Actually, I’m half way through the third one just now, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see that one! Meanwhile, here’s a link to a post showing some of my ‘old style’ abstract compositions.

My Abstracts in Virtual Rooms

Blue and Gold 2

Good morning everyone. I thought I would show you the progress I have been making in my abstracts. Actually, these examples are from a lesson I was following last week . And, Yvette’s course is excellent, so I am plodding my way steadily through all the modules.

Blue and Gold 1, inspired by Yvette St Amant

To be honest, this is a copy of the tutor’s work. Because that was the only way I could really understand the techniques used. Consequently, I don’t consider the painting as one of my own. However, it was a good learning experience – I experimented with using a palette knife properly. In addition, this was the first time I applied gold paint with some confidence. But I then needed to produce my own compositions, using the style and colours suggested. As a result, first I painted the one in the virtual room you see above. And this is more close up so that you can hopefully see the textures.

Blue and Gold 2

After that, I just had to try out the method in another painting, this time introducing some soft green. And downplaying the gold. What do you think?

Blue and Gold 3

By the way, it’s quite tricky to photo the gold paint and make it shine. Often it appears to be brown. Maybe I’m using the wrong acrylic paint! Anyway, that’s my little catch up on my abstracts and there will be more to follow. If you missed this post here, an earlier report of my new learning, you may wish to have a look.

New Watercolour Techniques in Flowers

Bright Tulips

Good morning everyone. As you may know if you read my blog, I do like to follow online art courses. And I love to work in all sorts of media, and try out new watercolour techniques. So I thought I’d show you some more updates from the Watercolours Made Simple lessons.

Well, the idea is to paint flowers in a more general way than carefully including each detail of a particular flower. Actually, this is more difficult than it sounds. Because my visual memory is not too good, I had a photograph in front of me here. However I tried to view the general shapes of the blooms of the whole bunch and sort of invent newer versions of them. Obviously, such intense scrutiny of the flowers should feed into my memory. Which will help me next time I try this exercise in painting generic flowers. But why do I need to do this, you may wonder? Because then I can concentrate on placing the individual elements in a pleasing design. Afterwards it could be used for a greetings card, for example. Or just simply for a different kind of floral painting.

Alstromerias

Now, in this attempt above, I did in fact have the flowers in front of me, which made the exercise easier. Of course, I shall need a lot more practice, but it is quite enjoyable And a pleasant way of spending time on the new watercolour techniques I’m studying. Have a look at this post here for a realistic portrait of a bunch of flowers. Finally, I’ll leave you with an example of another way of painting flowers – semi abstracting from reality.

Pansies

Virtual Travelling to Queensland, Australia

A Hot Day in Queensland, Australia

Good morning everyone. Today I thought I would feature some of the paintings at present on show in the Buzz Gallery at Rotherham Roar. And I think this must be my favourite, the tin roofed little house in the Outback. Actually, I did feel the heat as I was painting it, in my imagination at least. This was just one of my adventures in virtual travelling in Australia.

The Morning Sun on the Crags

Another one of the paintings I enjoyed painting was this beautiful view over the rocky, exposed crags . To be honest, I learned a useful tip from our tutor Rod Moore here. In order to achieve that effect, I painted the red rock colours with horizontal strokes and then dragged a dry brush downwards, carefully over the paint.

The Australia Section

Incidentally, I painted the Mary River picture on Rod’s course too. But this time in gouache, not acrylic. However, it didn’t make the final cut into the show. So, here it is for you to see.

The Mary River, Queensland, Australia

Well, I hope you enjoyed my virtual travelling along with me. It certainly lifted my spirits during the past two years, as you can see in this post here.

All my work is for sale at reasonable prices. For example, the Mary River painting is £40 plus shipping, unframed. Just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for more details.

Old and New Style Abstracts

The Path of Life

Good morning everyone. Today I’d like to show you the way my abstract painting is changing. The image above is one of my new abstracts, experiments I am creating as I follow a great online course. It’s called Painting with Yvette. And, I’m really enjoying it. Because the colours and compositions are quite different from my own intuitive abstracts.

The Abstract Section of my Exhibition

The picture above is one of the sections in my current solo exhibition at Rotherham Roar. Actually, I am pleased with the way they came together. And each one has a particular meaning to me which evolved as I painted it. In contrast to that way of creating, my new abstracts are of course suggested by the tutor. Nonetheless, the brush marks are full of significance to me the artist. Perhaps in a more subtle way than in my earlier paintings. For example, the painting at the top of this post, The Path of Life, developed out of the suggestions by Yvette on colours to choose and techniques to use. I’m very often out of my comfort zone but I do feel that I am moving on.

The Path of Life

Another of my New Abstracts

Dominant

Anyway, I’m learning new approaches and techniques on this course so that I can apply them in my own work. So, it’s all part of a learning curve and I love it!

Pink and Blue 2

What do you think, is this old or new? Find out more in this post here.

Experiments at Beginner Printing Workshop

Which Way Up?

Good morning everyone. This is just a quick catchup post, I’m quite busy with two exhibitions at the moment, so, more of that later! Anyway, we did an in house beginner printing workshop at Art Society last week. And we carved out designs on cheap polystyrene tiles. Honestly we really did have a great time. Firstly I concentrated on a simple star shaped design.

Stars 1
Stars 2

Then I went a bit more fancy, added two colours, reversed the block for the second print and used cardboard to print on ( breakfast cereal packet, actually!

Which Way Up?

Finally, I went mad and printed white, black and orange on black paper. And I tore up the two blocks into pieces and over printed with them till the paper was saturated with ink! Perhaps you can see how the protective sheet of paper I placed on top ripped out chunks of the print. All because it wasn’t dry as I took it home. In fact, it didn’t dry for a week!

Black on Black

Anyway, it was great fun and we went home full of ideas to try out on our next printing workshop. You could have a look at more mixed media experiments in this post here.

New Solo Exhibition Now Open

The Poster

Good morning everyone. My new solo exhibition is now open, until the end of March at the Buzz Gallery, Rotherham Roar. What a pleasure it was to put it together and then to see it actually on the wall. Actually, I haven’t displayed works on paper unframed before. And I was surprised at the immediacy of the paintings without glass or frames. In my opinion they made much more of an impact. And I could see this in the strong emotional reactions of the visitors. Admittedly, we did it this way because the walls weren’t suitable for hanging. However, it was a bright, lively display which demanded attention. Exactly what I wanted!

The Three Sections of my New Solo Exhibition

As I was choosing acrylic paintings on paper , I realised that they fell roughly into three categories: British landscapes, Australian scenes and abstracts. So, that was how I displayed them. For example, in the general landscape section I placed this painting, a scene inspired by enjoyable holidays in the Lake District, UK.

Next, here I can show you the Australian group of paintings. And these are some of the results of an online course tutored by Rod Moore from Queensland. When two of my artbuddies said how much it reminded them of trips to Australia, I was delighted!

The Red Path

Finally, my favourite section – the abstracted and semi abstracted landscape. In fact, I kept changing my mind what to include here. But, I had to make room for this one, which certainly commanded a lot of attention!

Jagged

Well, there certainly was a great deal of work in mounting my new solo exhibition, but I had a blast! And, to top it off, the minute the show was live, a very delighted customer took my ‘Bluebell Wood ‘ painting to a new home! If you want to have a look at the last solo exhibition I did before the pandemic, see this post here.

Bluebell Wood

Quick Sketch in Oil Pastel

Movement

Good morning everyone. Today this is a short post because I’m insanely busy this week! Incidentally, have you ever noticed how everything happens at once?. Not only is my show opening this week, but I’m helping to put up our group exhibition at the weekend. And, I did squeeze in an oil pastel workshop at the weekend, which was brilliant. What a difference good quality materials make. In fact, it was quite a revelation to use artists quality pastels and paper on Saturday. Not to mention learning from our excellent tutor how to blend colours and create textures. So, I promptly ordered some pastel and oil pencils online and can’t wait until they arrive. Actually, the work we produced at the class will be on display for a short while, so more of that later. And there’s a cute little bird in oil pastel here , from a while ago.

Anyway, this is an enthusiastic little oil pastel sketch I did when I got home, to practise some of the techniques. Finally, here’s a taster of the work in my new exhibition, more of that in my next post.

Jagged

Another Muted Abstract in Gouache

Waves

Good morning everyone. Just a short post today, I’m very busy sorting out my new solo exhibition due to open next week. Actually, there always seems to be a lot more work to do than you plan for! Anyway I did manage to finish this muted abstract, the fourth in my series in the online course I’m following. To tell the truth, I did struggle with getting it right. But, at the same time I did seem to know a bit better where I was going!

Waves- a draft

Well, this is one of the earlier stages of the painting. Perhaps it’s not as easy for you to see these details on the screen, but I studied it long and hard. Then I toned down the little dots and dashes and brightened the white areas. Finally, I was satisfied and called it finished. Now I must learn how to use the wax medium I bought, in order to give it a protective coat. Because it’s painted in gouache and I learned the hard way that this is really necessary (don’t ask!). If you want to see the other paintings in the muted abstract series, look here and here.

Here’s a sneaky peek at my exhibition poster – more of this later!

More Abstract Experiments in Gouache

Moving On

Good morning everyone. As I promised, here is the next one of my abstract experiments in gouache. And, you wouldn’t believe how many different versions I painted until I arrived at this final one!

To begin at the beginning, our tutor asked us to sketch potential compositions using shapes. I chose rectangles and a spiral and I painted in some of the soft colours suggested. And this is how it went.

Moving On – version 1

Well, this was ok but it didn’t look all that different from my usual type of abstract. Also, I thought it looked too busy. And so I decided to make more of the painting a restful creamy white.

Moving On – version 2

Now, I thought this looked better, but it still wasn’t right. So I added some gold – this is the part I love!

Moving On – version 3

Actually, I was quite pleased with this result of my abstract experiments. However, meanwhile, I had read the next lesson in the course. And I had begun to think about areas of colour forming the composition, as well as shapes. Honestly, I put down so many layers of gouache paint that I thought it might crack. Nonetheless, I struggled on and gradually eliminated the spiral, bit by bit. Until I arrived at the final version.

The Final Version of my Abstract Experiments

Moving On – the end result

Now I’m happy! Perhaps you’ve noticed that I also rotated it to find the best view. Immediately after that, I started painting two more! Of course I will show you these later. But I must point out that the moral of this story is: don’t change direction midway into a painting! Because it costs an awful lot of paint and also, it makes your brain hurt! Ah, let’s go back to the carefree days of quick, intuitive abstract painting like this here ! Only joking, I love it really.

Two New Style Abstract Paintings

Waves

Good morning everyone. Well, as I promised, I’d like to show you the first abstract composition I painted from Painting with Yvette. And it’s a new style abstract painting, for me, that is! Actually I found out about this course by chance, just at the very time I was feeling that I needed a change of direction. To be honest, as you might have noticed, the shapes and composition are not all that different from the ones I often use in my paintings. But, first of all, the colours are very different, or, in different combinations – see this post here. Secondly, there is a lot more empty space between the elements. As you might say, a bit more breathing space. Lastly, there are more definite calligraphic marks. In fact, our tutor Yvette St Amant is very generous with her advice and guidance. So I try not to reproduce her work, but to use the ideas and develop them into my own style.

However, I find it quite difficult to achieve and, I spend a few hours on each painting, but I do feel that I am learning. Indeed, I think this is the only way to achieve progress, to spend time practising.

Another New Style Abstract

Pink and Gold

Actually, have a look at the image this way round, I’ve just this minute noticedthat in this view, a totally different idea springs to mind. To me it suggests new things on the horizon.

A New Horizon

I think I like it better this way! And, putting gold paint on a painting and having it make sense in an abstract way is a first for me! So, I’m working on a couple more of these new direction abstract compositions at the moment. But quite slowly. And I will show you when they are ready. (By the way, these are gouache not acrylic)

Mixed Media Art Therapy Sketch

Bright Life

Good morning everyone. This is just a catch up of the quick art therapy watercolour sketches that I do in my sketchbooks. Actually, this particular one took a little bit longer, as I wanted to add more after the initial twenty minutes or so. Well, I made some shapes and colours with my travel watercolour set, which I keep very handy in my living room. And, I usually do this when I have gone a whole day without arty activities! In fact, it never fails to lighten my mood, however I’m feeling. So, I consider it a very useful way to look after my mental wellbeing. Also, it is almost entirely stress free because I make no demands on myself as regards the quality of the work. And, it’s purely experimenting and, of course, you need not show it to anyone, unless you choose to. Perhaps you could try this easy art therapy sometime! And let me know how you get on.

Anyway, after the first pass, I put the little sketchbook on the table till next day. And looked at it a lot. Then I strengthened the yellow,green and brownish red with oil pastel. Next I doodled a bit with marker pen and white gel pen to bring it together. And, it definitely cheered me up!

Bright Life – a closeup

More Art Therapy

Finally, this is another another quick piece done to calm my nerves and I did this in one pass and left it as it was. If you want to see more, have a look at this post here.

Green Veg and Purple Flowers?

New Painting in Colour Exhibition

I Dreamt of a House by the Sea

Good morning everyone. Last week I found out that Fronteer Gallery had accepted my painting ‘ I Dreamt of a House by the Sea’ into their Colour Exhibition. And I was so delighted – firstly because it’s always a pleasure to take part in their events. Secondly, because of the theme ‘Colour’. As you might have noticed, I call this website A World of Colour. So, most of my work does suit this theme. However, I chose this particular painting because it seems absolutely bursting with colour.

I Dreamt of a House by the Sea – a closeup

Virtual Travelling for the Colour Exhibition

Actually, I painted this without a plan and it was quite late on in the process before I saw what it was. Perhaps a path leading up to the house with a view of the sea. Then, later on I suggested landscape and some vegetation on the cliff. But, for me, the most striking thing about this is when I made it. Right in the middle of being isolated at home, when I was desperate to spend time by the sea! In fact, the colours, the sunshine and the sparkling air are much more reminiscent of the coast of northern France in August. Ah, those charming, unspoilt little resorts where we spent weeks camping. Happy Days! So it seemed ideal for the colour exhibition.

There are lots of seascapes for you to dream about in my gallery here. And a post all about another of my paintings in the fabulous Fronteer Gallery here.

All my paintings are for sale at reasonable prices. Just go to my Contact Me page and send me an email.

A Beach Day

This is somewhere on the coast of Queensland, Australia. And you can find out more in my post here. Well, virtual travelling is the only way for me to go, at the moment!

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