Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Painting in the Algarve

In October I was thrilled to be invited to paint in the Algarve by my Dutch artist friend Willamine
She had invited a lot of the crowd that painted annually at Holt Hall together for 15 years. Her villa I have to say is amazing and was able to accommodate 10 of us. I picked up a car at Faro airport and and with Felicity navigating, off we went. It brought back fond memories of driving round France, painting with Felicity. Thelma and Louise came to mind.
Ted & Corry Kooy had already arrived and welcomed us. Our hostess had gone to the airport to meet Tom & Mary Coates. Paul, Rick & James were making their own way in a hire car.

The first day was glorious and we all decided to paint around the villa. I was drawn to this little corner

Sunny Corner 12" x 10" oil on board

Agapanthus 12" x 10" oil on board

In the afternoon I moved round to paint the tree from the other side. It was the shadows that were the big draw on this one but I couldn't resist putting Felicity in the picture.

The Red Costume 12" x 10" oil on board

The next day after a trip to a fish market to shop for supper we headed for the fishing village of Formosa, near Tavira. So much to paint. I settled for this boat which was having an overhaul.

A Lick of Paint 12" x 10"

                          The boat behind also made a good subject so I moved on to that next

High & Dry 12" x 10" oil on board

We spent a couple of days painting in Tavira, well, we did get slightly sidetracked by the wonderful shops but managed quite a few paintings as well, here are a couple.

Tavira 10"x 8" oil on board

Tavira 12" x 10" oil on board

I think one of my favourite places to paint was Fuseta. It had everything including a beach. Unfortunately the day I went back to paint the beach, it was drizzling and very windy.

Fishing Boats 10" x 12"

Low Tide Fuseta 12" x 10"

Boat Yard, Fuseta 10" x 12"

It was a wonderful trip and I came home with a stash of 20+ oil paintings. We rounded off our trip on the last night with a meal out in Formosa, unfortunately it was raining but it didn't dampen our fun. Paul Banning gave a great performance of 'Singing in the Rain' much to the amusement of all.
Here we are - the Jolly Painters. Paul Banning Willemine Kellermann. Mo, Mary Jackson, Ted Cooy, Rick Holmes, Felicity House, Corry Kooy, Tom Coates, Maya and James Burton

Friday, 30 September 2016

Painting lilies in Oil

Following my article on painting tulips in the SAA Paint magazine I was asked by Chandy the editior if I would be prepared to do a live stream, painting flowers. I was tempted to say no as flowers are not really my thing but then I thought, 'what the heck', lets give it a go.
I arrived at HQ with plenty of time to spare so that Gary could set up the cameras.
I have to say I was a little nervous at first but soon got into the swing of it. I even managed to talk to the camera.
The whole demo was to take 1/2 hour but once I start I lose track of time and Gary let me carry on with a break after 30 mins, I was amazed how quick the time had gone.

Would I do it again??? Well - maybe.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tulip Demo in oils


Spring must be my favourite time of the year, not just because of the promise of warmer weather but it is the time for our spring bulbs to put on their display of wonderful fresh blooms. Tulips and daffodils in profusion must be one of the best sights in the spring garden. Now I might be slightly biased here because our family business is, selling flower bulbs, anything from the smallest to tallest flowers from a bulb.
Although I don’t consider myself a flower painter, I cannot resist the temptation to put a few blooms in a vase and get the paints out. This was the case with these beautiful tulips, they were just asking to be painted.

I used a cardboard box lined with a dark fabric and a daylight lamp to illuminate the subject. This gave me some strong directional light, which created strong shadows and contrasts
I had put the flowers into one of my favourite vases but decided to after looking at the subject as a whole through a viewfinder, to focus of the blooms themselves. After all, this is what I wanted to paint in the first place not a still life painting.
I often come across paintings where the artist has wanted to paint flowers but painted the whole scene in front of them ending up with blooms so small they could not put any detail in. Try to really fill the canvas

I prepared my board by bonding some cotton sheeting to a 12” x 10” piece of MDF with Gesso. Another coat of gesso was applied on top and when this was dry, gave me a fine surface to work on.
Canvas would have worked equally as well. I then gave it a wash of cobalt to give it a mid tone
Using Ultramarine and Burnt Umber diluted with white spirit I draw out my design using a rigger brush. It is easy to correct any mistakes at this point by wiping out with a turpsy rag.

Using a no. 6 flat brush, with Burnt Umber, Ultramarine and Magenta I block in the background. I wanted it dark to give the white tulips the strong contrast. The mix was diluted with white spirit and dried quickly so I was able to progress quickly to the next stage

With a thin wash of a mid tone indicate the shadows on the tulips and the leaves. Here, it really helps if you squint at the subject.

Having now finished my tonal sketch I start adding thicker paint. Starting with the leaves use white, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow and a tiny bit of Quinacridone Magenta.
Try to put dark against light to give the form of the leaves. Again, really squint at the subject and try to match the strength of tones that you see. The touches of dark in-between the leaves help to give depth to the painting so don’t be afraid to ‘go for it’ with the darks

Moving on to the flowers. Paint the darks first. For the shadowed side I used Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red and a touch of Lemon Yellow with White. Look carefully for subtle colours and changes as you move towards the lite side of the bloom.
Avoid using pure white as it can look too cold so add a touch of Cadmium Yellow

Pick out highlights on the edges of the petals and finally put in the stamens. Here I used Yellow Ochre for the darker part further inside the flower and picked out the light with Cadmium Yellow

At this point I had to consider whether I the picture was finished. I had only roughed in the background with a thin dark wash. It was tempting to paint the background in with a thicker layer of paint but what colour? My cloth I used to show off the blooms was a striped dark red. The stripes would have been too fussy. A dark blue would have worked. After a lot of consideration I made the decision to leave well alone. I would be interested to know what you would have done.

September through to November is the ideal time to plant your bulbs for a fine display next spring
Mo’s family business is Gee Tee Bulb Co 
You can see the full range of bulbs at Have a browse and be inspired to get planting and painting.
Turn to page 0 to see a special offer for SAA members.

W & N Titanium White
W & N Lemon Yellow
W & N Cadmium Yellow
W & N Cobalt Blue
W & N French Ultramarine
W & N Yellow Ochre
W & M Quinacridone Magenta
SAA     Cadmium Red

SAA Silver rigger
SAA flat oil brushes 2, 6 & 10

Friday, 8 July 2016

Acrylic demo at King's Lynn

Old Hunstanton From Holme 10" x 14" acrylic

 An enjoyable day at King's Lynn where 20+ plus enthusiastic artists attended my acrylic workshop.

I started the day with a demonstration taken from a watercolour I'd done earlier of Old Hunstanton.
I handed out photocopies of the painting for the group to paint their own version based on my demo.
I don't like to do a 'paint along' as everyone works at their own speed and also I find it discourages people from doing their own thing with the painting.

In the afternoon I gave another demonstration of how I tackle a sky

Blakeney Marshes 18" x 14" acrylic demo

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

An Experiment

I had two very similar subjects that I wanted to try. I decided to try out two different colour schemes.

I put the two resulting pictures on my yesterday and asked people that follow me which one they preferred, Blue or Grey. The result was really interesting. I would have thought that a more colourful picture would have got the vote but it is definitely the Grey.
It also goes to show the power of FB and how useful it can be to artists. It is not always about getting the 'likes'. I do find it very difficult to judge my own work.

I have since 'played' with the 'Blue' picture and knocked back the Blue - I prefer it now too.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Demo at Wokingham

Cley Mill 14" x 18" acrylic

Had a great trip down to Wokingham Art Society a few weeks ago. There was a massive turn out and the group were very friendly. I did an acrylic demo of Cley Mill which I managed to knock off the easel and spill water on just as I'd finished it!! Here is the 'repaired' painting. Member Sam Dauncey gave me a lovely write up on their web site and a step by step account of my process. Follow the link to read it…/Teeuw.htm…

Friday, 10 June 2016


Patchings Art Festival at Calverton near Nottingham just gets better. It was a hot day and the art clubs were out in force. Coaches seemed to have come from far and wide. I didn’t arrive until early afternoon so was directed to a third car park which was also pretty full.
The atmosphere was wonderful with a brass band playing. There are several tents with artists giving demonstrations and workshops. Malcolm Cudmore, our April demonstrator, had just finished running his workshop so we had a quick chat.
I wandered into the marquee where artists have their own stands. It is very well laid out and leads you though in a zig zag so you don’t miss anyone. Most of the stands have the artist demonstrating and all are happy to chat and give advice.
Linda Matthews was there promoting a Brush With the Broads. This will be the third year she has run it. Just round the corner was a Cornish artist that I know, she was flanked by our May demonstrator Tim Fisher and on the other side was Mr Wooley demonstrating and selling his ‘wonder brush’. There were quite a few other artists that I knew having travelled and painted with them at various Plein Air Competitions and festivals so it was slow progress getting round the marquee. I had a long chat with Haidee-Jo Summers, our demonstrator last Christmas. She is selling her new DVD which is also available on her  website -
All in all, there were over 60 artists demonstrating their skills, most of them with their paintings and greetings cards on show to buy.
The next marquee is dedicated to materials and art shops. One of my first calls was to Rosemary Brushes where, needless to say, I spent a fortune, only because I bought so many, they are such good value. I was also pleased to find Vicki Norman there promoting Michael Harding paints, that was a credit card job!
I managed to resist all the other promotions and discounts as I went round the rest of the exhibitors.
The next Marquee was mostly crafts. Anything from glassware, knitting, woodwork to sculpture. I did a little bit of retail therapy with a nice man selling amazing homemade soaps and candles.
I suddenly realised that it had gone a bit quiet – it was almost closing time and I hadn’t been to see the exhibition so it was a quick dash down to the main building where The Artist exhibition was being held. I was pleased I did, as I was delighted to see that I had won The Arist Exhibition Award and the Royal Talens Award.
What a wonderful day, I drove home with a big smile on my face.