Brown gummed paper tape: the most important ingredient.

How to stretch watercolour paper… properly.

I’m a professional artist, and I often get asked how I do stuff. This post is one of a series I intend to put up, in which I thought I would share some working techniques. I do not claim to be an expert in most things I do, and I am generally self-taught, but I have been doing what I do for some years and I’m happy to share my experience with any who are interested. In this post I will to show you how to stretch paper… properly. And how you can sometimes rescue it if it goes wrong….

The Mad September Moon Dance

The Mad September Moon Dance!

The September picture is finished… again! This one is much better 🙂 though it seems I do have a slight difficulty with silhouettes. I am still uneasy about this one, but I like quite a lot of it: I think the gold leaf moon is both a good thing and a bad thing! I like the shininess of it, but does it conflict with the purity of the monochrome silhouette? It is going to give me trouble in any case, because on the scanner it will probably appear a little flat and brown, so I’m going to see if I…

Some of our Somerset Arts Weeks artists

Fine Words Butter No Parsnips (and artists have to eat, too…)

‘So, where do you get your inspiration from?’ …you’d be amazed how many times I have been asked that question this week:  it’s that perennial undertaking which we round here call Somerset Arts Weeks. Now, I’m not usually one to complain, but I would like it known that it is hard work, it is time-consuming, it does cost money, and it does involve talking to the general public for about a fortnight in the eager hope that they may be inspired to make a purchase. And in the past, it has been worth all the effort. Let me describe this…

Mad September Moon Dance

It’s September… again!

I have not gone away, but apologies for abandoning this blog for a while. I have been busy with Somerset Arts Weeks, and I haven’t forgotten that I am still down one or two pictures for the calendar for 2013. I say one or two because if you recall I was really not overly pleased with the September picture for the calender (though trying to put a cheerful face on it!). I do like the calendar pictures as a group and it would be a shame to included one I didn’t like so I am doing it again…. as if…

pictures from the 2013 fairy calendar by Nancy Farmer

The Fairy Calendar 2013 – taking orders now!

This is a post for those of you who have been asking, to let you know that I am now taking orders for the 2013 calendar. No it is not finished yet, but it will be finished in time, I promise! However, since Somerset Arts Weeks is almost upon us I now need to be actually compiling a list of orders… plus work will be even more interrupted than usual for the next 3 weeks, so now seemed to be the time to sort out the order page. The calendars will be large, A3 sized ones on very nice sating-finished…

'Escher's Crackers' - finished

Finished Painting: Escher’s Crackers

The painting hasn’t changed much I know, but I have done another almost two days work on it so for the sake of completeness I thought I’d show it to you again: Most of the difference between this one and the last photo is the ‘un-painting’ I have been doing. What you saw in the last photo was how the painting looked having been hosed down with the shower thingy, but brushed only with a very soft brush to wash the loose paint off. After that I dried the painting and worked up some of the details by wetting and…

December Painting for the Calendar: close-up section

Escher’s Crackers: part 4 – from Pollock back to Escher

(…continued from the previous posts, so go back 4 posts if you want to see the start of this!) In the end I didn’t make you wait very long because I am nice :-)… I am back again with new photos within hours.  So, here was the painting when I finally stopped splashing it with paint: It had got a bit boring at that point – not the actual paint-splashing but the waiting for it to dry between each layer of colour, besides, I thought that would look busy enough in the finished painting. So, the last coat was put…

December Fairy Painting - step-by-step6

Escher’s Crackers: part 3, Escher vs Pollock

So… now I have all the blue under-painting done it’s time to fill in with some actual colour. But what colour? This is not really a scene in involving fairies, more of a geometric arrangement. Hypothetical, Escher-like fairies. With crackers. So I feel that going too far towards painting them in natural colours will be counter-productive. I am thinking more of painting them basically pale like the ‘Nacreous Fairies‘ two paintings ago. The white, however, was a bit overpowering of the blue under-painting, so I’m painting them with ‘Naples Yellow’ a kind of pale yellowy-browny-buff colour that I use a…

Eschers Crackers: blue stage of the painting

Escher’s Crackers: part two

About time I gave you a progress update on this one, though there have been no startling changes to the painting yet, it has just got bluer and bluer: I’m about ready to add the colour on top now, having done just a little more work to it than this. These will be pale fairies, I think, with bright party hats and crackers, and just possibly an over-the-top multicoloured background, but we’ll see how that goes. It is just as well I did not reach this stage yesterday, it was so dark and drizzly outside it would have been hard…