Monday, February 27, 2017


With spring around the corner I'm getting organised to do more painting outdoors. Trevor Chamberlain immediately comes to mind because he is an enthusiastic 'plein air' painter. It's interesting that his 'plein air' watercolours are mostly small; 7in x 10in or 14in x 10in. I've taken these dimensions from the illustrations in his book 'Light and Atmosphere in Watercolour'.

Largely self taught Trevor Chamberlain describes Jack Merriot as one of his heroes. Merriot wrote 'Discovering Watercolour' a manual on watercolour painting. Long out of print but worth buying second hand if you can find a copy.

I've discovered a very informative website:- Watercolour New Zealand Inc. which has articles about several watercolour painters including both Trevor Chamberlain and Jack Merriot. The website is worth a long look. The link should take you to a list of articles about Chamberlain and Merriot.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DAVID PRENTICE 1936 - 2014

David Prentice, after retiring as Artist in Residence at Nottingham University settled in Malvern to draw and paint on the Malvern Hills. He was a painter who deserves the attention of a wider audience.

 The relevance of this post arises from a discussion I had with a friend on another Forum.  He commented, "Pretty much all of what I do now is landscape work.  But for me it’s all about being in the landscape and the starting point has to be a sketch or trial study rather than a photograph if the work is really to be convincing." He also expressed an aspiration to develop his work towards abstraction.
I suggested looking at David Prentice' paintings - he was a painter who followed a similar course. David Prentice' Gallery made a short video about him sketching on the Malvern Hills and his comments about his studio work.

There is video on You Tube  showing David at work on the hills.


It all came about because my daughter started painting in watercolours. She asked an artist friend Josephine Chisholm to give her 2-one off lessons to get her started and in passing revealed the web address of my Blog. Josephine apparently made some favourable comments so I feel duty bound to post a link to her website in return The link to her website is:-

My daughter has enrolled for a week-end course at West Dean College in Sussex. I think her interest leans towards Art Textiles rather than confining her creativity to painting. Bobby Britnell is a talented textile artist working in South Shropshire her website is:

She runs an impressive website which, in addition to details of her course and textiles, shows her drawings and paintings of the Shropshire hills. Some of these she transfers onto cotton fabric and develops with machine stitching.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I've decided to introduce the New Year with some of my sketchbook studies. For quick sketching outdoors I keep things as simple as possible. I carry a Rotring Art Pen, Pentel Colour and wash brushes and A4/A5 cartridge paper sketchbooks. Recently I've started to use ZIG Art and Graphic Twin This drawing tool has well-pointed brush in one end and a fibre tip nib at the other. This makes the Rotring pen obsolete.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Digital Explorations

I'm posting digital explorations of two different subjects. They each started as pen drawings in and A5 sketchbook colour was added to both with painter 13 from scans. The first sketch was drawn in Le Cateau, the birthplace of Henri Matisse. The second is a view of the Beginhof in Bruges.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Decided to have a clean up in preparation for the New Year. This consists of transferring old image files to an external hard drive. Inevitably this leads to renewing acquaintance with old favourites. Here are two Watercolours of locations in Venice that I hadn't seen for a long time. I think they are worth sharing.
Guidecca waterfront: Venice
San Vidal: Venice

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Last year on the seafront at Ostend I encountered a small flock of 1st winter Lesser Blackback Gulls. It was bitterly cold and windy - not the weather for hanging about. I took several useful photographs.

I had enough material showing the birds in different poses the problem with photographic references is how to make use of them. Charles Tunnicliffe I know would compose an unruly flock into a carefully arranged design. That level of skill is beyond my reach at the moment. Lars Jonnsson however has made some delightfully simple paintings showing just two or three birds set against the sea. Lars Jonnson wins on this occasion!

I’ve chosen two of them to compose this picture. The gulls were scavenging on the promenade near the ferry terminal so a more natural environment was needed. The rocky motifs were taken from some pictures I took on a visit to the Farne Islands. I decided to place the background for this picture in first. The gulls winter plumage was quite subtle and delicate and I felt that a strongly stated background would be out of character.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


This is another reacquaintance with an Acrylic painting made a few years ago. The hills lie on the south side of the Arno valley near Pisa.



This is another version of a painting I posted back in November 2011 then it had a flight of oystercatchers over the Sound. I was never really happy with it so I have reworked it again. I repainted the Sound to hide the Oystercatchers. Ive reworked the sky because the overcast evening sky didnt work. Some tonal adjustments were made to the cliffs on Ramsey Island.

To create a new wildlife interest to replace the Oystercatchers I’ve attracted some Arctic Terns to fly in from the Farne Islands to complete the picture! All this is helped by the quick dryinf properties of Liquitex Acrylics.

I’m reminded of how Alwyn Crawshaw always ended his TV demonstrations with. "I’m happy with that." That sums up this post for me too.