Friday, 20 December 2013

Oil sketch of Simon

This oil sketch was done in approx 2 hours during our last session before Christmas at the scout hut. I experimented once again with the 'Zorn palette' limiting my colours to Cadmium red, yellow ochre with Ivory Black and Titanium white. To read more about the process, read my earlier post 'Oil sketch of Gabriel 2'. Here is the work in progress:
The colour in the final photo is subdued as I had to photograph it away from the light to stop getting too much glare on the wet oil paint. Once our session was finished we all set off to a local hostelry, to enjoy our annual Christmas 'bash, (I'm front left) a good time was had by all!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Glass Jar with Citrus

I am beginning to get a little embarassed by how I favour this glass jar with cork stopper. The glass throws up so many beautiful colours and I love the chunky shape and jaunty angle of the stopper. So. I am not going to apologise for using it yet again; I just need to hunt down more recycled glass to elicit the same response in me.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Oil Sketch of Gabriel 2

This is my second study of Gabriel, painted in a session of approx two hours. I decided to try out the 'zorn palette' so that I could enter into the challenge. I thought I may not get as much colour using such a limited palette; surprisingly, I found that far from being restricted it all became more colourful than usual. This is my palette: Ivory black, Cadmium red, Yellow ochre and Titanium white. I set up the palette, (from the left) with a grey scale using the black and white. Green from the yellow ochre and black. Purple from the dark grey and cad red. Flesh tones from cad red and yellow ochre in differing proportions. I took all these mixes into white to give a value string for each. Working between these I could neutralise the flesh tones with the grey scale, purple scale or green scale. The brown hair is a mix of green/red and black/redwith a little yellow ochre. It came as a surprise that I was able to get so much colour into the sketch; possibly I concentrated on making sure the colours were available to me by my palette preparation. It made me realise that a more restricted palette is no bad thing, and I will continue working with this for a while so that I can really work through the possibilities.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Presents with Pot

I used pastelmat as a support for this pastel still-life. It is the first time I have tried it and I really enjoyed the way it took the pastel. I like the fact it is not to abrasive on my fingers, and feel it lends itself to detailed passages very well. Consider me a convert:-)

Friday, 6 December 2013

Oil sketch of Gabriel

There is a fair bit of glare on this photograph; I may try to take a better image tomorrow when the light is better. I painted Gabriel from life in a session of approx two hours, yesterday at the scout hut.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Copper jug with fruit

This painting was done a little while ago and I realise I have never posted it. Sometimes it happens like that, I work on a panel and I'm not sure what I think about it. It gets put it to one side until I know how best to proceed and then gets buried somewhere deep in the studio. A tidy up can sometimes prove fruitful :-)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Oil sketch of Will

I painted this oil sketch of Will at the scout hut this morning, in a session of approx two hours. It was fairly overcast at the start of the day and we were painting somewhat 'blind' with our colour decisions. It is always interesting to see what they look like when we get into reasonable daylight; hopefully not too shocking :-)

Sunday, 24 November 2013


I am pleased to say this painting found a very appreciative home when it sold this afternoon at the Westcliffe Gallery private view for the Guild of Norwich Painters, a group to whom I was recently elected a member.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Rainbow peppers

These peppers were a 'best buy' in the local supermarket, they were aptly named 'rainbow peppers'. As many of you know, I like to make my still-life work hard for me, so they have to pose for hours before being chopped up, stir-fried, roasted,skinned, pickled and preserved before being devoured. As these peppers promised far more than they delivered, I blistered their skin, which I have found from past experience tends to sweeten them up:-)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Oil sketch of Hannah

I completed this study this morning at our regular session in the scout hut. I took a little more time with this one and worked over two sessions rather than just the one. She is a lovely young woman and I hope I managed to get something of her.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Preserved plums with pomegranates

As we are beginning to hit the colder weather it felt good to be cosy in my sudio with a still-life that felt sort of seasonal; warming colours to lift the spirits on a grey november day here in blighty.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Oil sketch of Victoria

This oil sketch was painted in a session of about two and a half hours yesterday morning. I tried to measure the model's proportions quite carefully. There is something about a sitting, kneeling or squatting pose that always tends to make the legs look on the short side. It is always a temptation to elongate them to avoid this....

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Damsons in a Dish 2

I am very happy that this painting has just been accepted in the Royal Oil Painters Institute annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The exhibition opens on the 12th December and runs until 21st December.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Citrus and water glass

This is my entry Daily paint works challenge, 'H20'. I seem to be the entry so far to have painted a still-life; you could say the others have water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink... I thought I would address that :-)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Pastel sketch of Claire

This was the second sitting with Claire, a young Canadian woman. I decided to get out the pastels for our two and a half hour session. Claire really liked it but I still feel that there are parts of it that I would like to have resolved a bit better. Isn't that always the way....

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Demo withn lemons at URC

This is the demo I did to kick off the two day pastel workshop at URC. The uncertainty at the beginning of Monday with the storm passing over the Uk made it a very pecarious start... all went well; some excellent work was produced and we left in the sunshine:)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

William pears

William pears are a beautiful shape, a great colour and taste wonderful if you catch them just right. Leave them a day too long and they will have 'gone over', which meant I had to get my skates on to capture this if I wanted to eat them afterwards :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Oil sketch of Claire

Claire, a young canadian woman sat for our group at the scout hut on Thursday. This is my effort over the two and a half hour session. I didn't notice the shortcomings until I photographed it, then all the anomalies became apparent. I hope to do better next week when she will be sitting for us again.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Blue pot with lemon slices

I spotted this little blue pot when we were visiting my mother-in-law and having commented on the fact it would be good to paint, she insisted I do just that... As I have been working on some larger pieces recently, I cannot tell you how enjoyable it was to do a 6 x 6 again. It feels like taking a brisk walk and it sort of helps to clear the cobwebs.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Demo at the Castle Museum

This was the demo I did yesterday at a workshop at the Castle Museum here in Norwich.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Port and Stilton

Autumn has arrived with a vengence. The wood burner is lit and the stores are beginning to stock up with christmas goods. That was my husband's excuse for getting out the port and stilton, I just get to paint it....

Thursday, 10 October 2013

OIl sketch of Ellen

Ellen is a very natural, beautiful young woman. She agreed to sit for our regular Thursday group at the scout hut this morning. Her very curly hair was quite a challenge, I hope it comes across ok. Lovely young women are always the most difficult to paint....

Friday, 4 October 2013


I have just finished this painting , so I am not really sure how I feel about it yet. A little distance will give me a better idea of how it has turned out.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pot with Garlics

I have painted this little pot on numerous occasions, the size and shape and colour appeal to me and the whicker handle made it a 'must have' when I spied it on ebay. It has found an appreciative home:)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Oil sketch of Joey

This was my effort at the scout hut this week, it was painted in one session of just over two hours. I would like to do more with Joey, she is one of those models who has that certain something the more you look... I am hoping she will sit for me in my studio where I can set the pose and be in control of the lighting and not have to use a monocular to see her features:)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Life sketch of Radka

This life sketch of Radka was painted in one sitting of approx two and a half hours. It helps to have a time constaint to loosen everything up:)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Citrus with glass jar

This pastel was a demo piece that I did for Wymondham art group. The jar is like an old friend and I love painting it. As I had some very accomplished pastellists in the audience and a projector recording every mark I thought I had better choose something that would not let me down:)

Friday, 20 September 2013


I'm not sure if I will add to this or not. I have just got to live with it for a bit while I decide how best to proceed.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Oil sketch of Rachel

This oil sketch of Rachel was painted from life in approx two hours. It was the first time Rachel had ever sat for a group and she sat incredibly still; it could not have been easy having a large group crowd around and scrutinize you (some of us through our bonoculars or monoculars). It was enjoyable to have such a lovely young model to work from, but a beautiful young face is so much harder to paint than a lived in, slightly craggy one:)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Oil sketch of George

This oil sketch of George was painted yesterday at my pal Penny's birthday bash. She decided to have us all over to her house to have our regular portrait session followed by a great lunch and some fabulous music provided by the other model, Jack who is a singer/song writer. It was one of those almost the perfect days. How lucky we are to do what we love doing:)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Demo for Wymondham art group

Earlier this week I did a still- life pastel demonstration for the Wymondham art group. Luckily this art group use a camera to project the work onto a screen so that everybody can see what is happening. I did a quick watercolour underpainting on the Erste Paper, I used as a support, and then drew a little into it before applying the pastels over the top. It was a fun evening and I hope everyone learnt something and felt encouraged to give it a go themselves.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Friday, 6 September 2013

Painting her toes

Here is Isabel, (a model I have used a lot recently) painting her toes. I may decide to glaze some more colour into the 'greys' on the top left of the painting, but as yet I am not sure what to do for the best. I made a neutral from all the dominant colours in this piece but as they neutralise each other it comes out quite grey. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Life sketch of Adam

I should have called this little study 'the thinker' or 'a penny for them', because Adam's face as he sat for the life painting session was a model of concentration. He looked as though he was mulling over some fairly weighty issues. Strange what we read into expression, he was probably just thinking is it model break yet?

Friday, 30 August 2013

A dish of Damsons

We have had an amazing crop of Damsons this year, wich we have bottled, frozen, pickled and made into chutney. I have made sure that they have also been painted.........