Magpie. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Something sleek with dramatic darks and whites. I’m finding it less satisfying to paint small these days. I’m feeling the need for larger areas with broader brushstrokes and interesting color variations. But this small one is pretty good nonetheless.

Marlborough Farmhouse


This is a lovely house literally a stone’s throw away from us and always looks so lovely nestled in the trees.   After my wrestling match with the Zbukvic scenes I thought I’d try something in a small 5.5″ x 7″ format to see if anything had rubbed off.    Frankly I don’t think so but it came out well nonetheless.

#watercolor #painting

Portrait – Day 13 of 30 in 30

It was the end of the work day and I put down the keyboard and quickly dashed this one off.    I had some decent paper but only a waterbrush and my small portable watercolor pans.   Even so it had to be done.

The first washes.  I was very glad of the good Arches paper I had as this made it much easier.

The final thing.   Not too bad given the circumstances.

Day 8 – Bulldog

This is a bit of a departure for me but I needed some preparation work for another project.   Someone has requested a large picture of ‘dogs playing pool’.  Yes.  Quite.   But it is a bit of a challenge and I haven’t had a lot of success with dogs before so some exploration is required.

Turns out that bulldogs are quite fun to paint and a bit like painting people.  I think he came out quite well.  A bit tentative but not bad for a first attempt.

Day 7 – Irish Castle

Something a little different today.    Enjoyed this one very much.  Tried to keep things simple, loose and colorful.   Nothing overworked and very little detail.

In other news the new painting room is now fully equipped.  I have my new painting cart and leaning desk and we found a light in the basement that works really well for direct lighting.   I even have a mat to catch paint splatters to keep them off the carpet.  Much easier than balancing everything on my knees.  At some point I’ll have to change the wall color but for now there’s no excuse for paintings not to come out thick and fast.

Day 4 Boat – The Bad and the Ugly


Well it had to happen sometime but not usually this early in the month.   Nothing went right and everything was a struggle.   The drawing is askew, the washes are muddy and the reflections just wouldn’t behave.  I couldn’t rescue it even throwing caution to the wind and slapping some broad color washes on at the end.   I’m definitely out of practice – too many birds.

Does a cropped version help?   No, not really.

Postscript:   I came back into the room after washing my pots out and found the poor thing felt so bad it had thrown itself off the easel onto the floor.  

Back to the birds!

It’s been a while and now there’s a new house,  new painting room and lots of other stuff.   Most is now under control and I’ve been neglecting the birds for too long.
As it’s the holiday season – a robin!
Edit:  Reusing this as a quick fill in for Leslie Sears’s 30 in 30.  December paintings are ok for use in January yes?

St Remigius, Hethersett

(Edit Jan 11th – Slipping this one in for the 30 in 30 as I’m getting behind)

We’re in Norfolk in the UK and just down the street from the hotel is this church – St Remigius.  It dates from the 14th century with updates and repairs in the centuries following.    This is a pretty conventional view which was mostly due to there being a bench to sit on.     Suffering for my art was limited to wet feet and general Norfolk dampness.

After doing a quick sketch of just the church and the trees I realized that I was mostly interested in the pattern of gravestones in the foreground.  I expanded the view but with some reservations of making the whole scene too complicated.

Anyway – on with the task.

The first wash.  Not really necessary and it’s so light not much will be visible in the final thing but, as with the drawing, it’s useful to get to know the subject and any troublesome spots.   The gravestones were worrying me at this point but there’s no going back now.

The final thing.   The light touch with the gravestones worked out and just a little color for the flowers.   A final softening of the right tree trunk and a little more sky and I was done.

Pretty happy.