Friday, 4 December 2015


This certainly isn't a self portrait saying 'Look how beautiful I am!' I did it by looking in the mirror, and you can see the dogged concentration in my face! I'm pleased with it though. Oil on board 8 x 6 inches

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Weekly Painting

I have to confess I'm no longer completing a painting every day. I find that if I give myself the whole week I can work in more depth, learn more, and get a more pleasing result. Also I'm not rushing any more. Slow and steady wins the race. Another confession is that I'm very behind on this blog and these were done a few months ago. I will try to catch up with myself over the next few days. I mixed some bought flowers with wild flowers/weeds that I picked from the marina where I live to do these two paintings. 8 x 6 inches oil on board.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Cup and Lemon

I've finished my 'dark period for now, but I may go back to it! I'm not particularly pleased with this painting. It's on a blue ground for a change, and I did a preparatory drawing. I've experimented with a new signature on this one too! It's oil on board 6 x 6 inches.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Low-key Lemons

Oil on board 8 inches by 6 inches.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Pretty Apple

This apple was quite beautifully coloured... I decided to adopt a low tonal key for this painting. 6 x 6 oil on board.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

My Cautious Process

Just thought I'd share the process I go through at the moment to paint a still life. If I don't make a careful drawing to start with I often find things go awry, so I first look at my set up through the small framed acetate sheet shown below (measuring 4 x 3 inches), to work out the composition. Then I draw a grid in my sketchbook to the same size as my board (8 x 6 inches) and draw in a grid to the same proportions as my acetate frame (2 inch squares). Then I look at the set up through the acetate grid, holding it as still as possible, observing important edges and measurements through the grid and marking them down on the sketchbook grid. Then I continue with the sketchbook drawing until I feel the drawing is correct. (The drawing for this painting is shown below.) Then I draw the grid on my board (bear with, bear with...!!) and use the sketchbook drawing to make an accurate drawing on the board in chalk pastel. Such is my cautious process at this time, hopefully one day I'll be able to throw caution to the wind!!!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The importance of drawing

I decided to do a proper drawing of this set up before painting it as previous attempts at painting this bowl without planning first have resulted in failure! I use a small grid drawn on acetate in the same proportions as my painting and look through it at the set up marking edges on a grid drawn on paper to the same size as the painting, then spend time observing and making a proper drawing on the paper, subsequently transferring it to my painting board. If this sounds confusing I'm sorry, I will try to clarify in future posts with photographs of how I go about it! Oil on canvas board 8 x 6 inches.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Lemon on Pink

I'm not keen on this painting - I think the lemon is painted quite lazily, ha ha! But I quite like the pink scarf which I used as the backdrop.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Cup, Twig and Shell

I thought I'd do something with an even more limited palette this time. I used ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and white (although I did cheat and use a bit of cadmium yellow as well so that defeated the object really!) Also I wanted to paint 3 objects with different 'home values' ie, a light object, a mid-tone object and a dark object. I got this idea from reading a book by an artist called Charles Sovek.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Limited Palette

Taking advice from the book I mentioned previously, Daily Painting by Carol Marine, I've started using a limited palette. I use cadmium red, cadmium yellow, ultramarine blue and white, and colder versions of these three primaries, alizarin crimson, pthalo blue and cadmium yellow pale or lemon yellow. This seems to work very well for me, it's possible to mix virtually any colour from these and it's also very useful mixing practice. Also, colour harmony in a painting is easier to achieve and muddy colours less likely. I'm quite pleased with this painting because the plate came out quite well and I'm not the best at drawing ellipses! Oil on board 8 x 6 inches.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Why did I start painting daily?

Well, mainly because I love painting! But I was painting a lot before - I was doing portraits of animals from photos but getting increasingly frustrated with my lack of technique. Also, it's very easy to paint from photos on a computer screen - if you're unsure of a colour you can sample it and isolate it in Photoshop - it's too easy really and also it encourages the dreadful 'detailitis' (well for me it does anyway). I felt as if I wanted to be more bold and brave with my painting. For several years I've been aware of the 'daily painting movement' on the internet and have taken an interest in some of the work posted. One such daily painter is Carol Marine who has written a book called (funnily enough) Daily Painting which I bought and found very encouraging and helpful. Looking at some of the artists on the internet I could see that the habit of making small daily works was helping their painting immensely. Michael Naples is a very good example. I hope that even if it takes several years of practice, I can improve my painting to that extent. Today's painting is of some items I found on the beach in Cornwall when I was there recently. Oil on board 6 x 6 inches

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


I'm finding it hugely helpful doing these little still lives. I find I'm learning so much more than working from photos. I don't think I have a particular style yet and I'm working towards that. It may take months, it may take years, but I'm enjoying the process. This painting is on gessoed board 6 x 6 inches.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Cox's Apple

Oil on board 6 x 6 inches.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Lemon on Grey

A lemon with the cleaning rag again! I like the idea of the bright lemon on the dull grey background. This is oil on gessoed board 6 x 6 inches.

Monday, 27 July 2015

More Green Apples

This one was done on gessoed board - 6 x 6 inches.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Lemon and Rag

I'm quite fond of this one. The backdrop is my other half's window cleaning rag!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Green apples

I like the idea of combining different greens in a painting. This is oil on canvas 6x6 inches. The backdrop is an old blouse of mine!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Lemon and Jug

There's something about lemons that's very aesthetically pleasing! This is an oil painting on 6x6 inch canvas. I used a dress of mine as the backdrop!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Coming Home!!!

I was never really happy with my new blog, and a lot of people used to visit this one, so I've decided to come home!! I'm now going to use this blog to document my daily progress in painting. I'm trying to paint at least one small 'alla prima' oil painting from life every weekday - some days I might not be able to do this but I'll try my best. This is an oil painting on gessoed board - a surface I'm not used to but I'm getting to like it. The reflection of the satsuma in the blue shiny cup was fun to do.