Sunday, March 26, 2017

Making a New Paint Box

I have used and loved my watercolour box for 40 years, unfortunately it is now full of rust and not big enough for all the paints that I like to own.  I will keep the box as it has travelled all over the world with me but the time has come for it to go into retirement.  I was going to buy a cigar box and make a new one but that felt a little bit too easy, so this is how I made a new one.
Now my woodworking skills are a little rudimentary, plus I don’t own any jig saws or fancy machines so I thought that I would buy strip wood and design it from the paint pans outwards.
I got pine strip wood 90 cm long that measured 9.2 cm wide, one that measured 2.5 cm wide and one that measured 1.8 cm wide, they were all 6mm thick.  I got a lovely length of wood that was 5mm square, I got a long hinge of 30 cm and some smallish screws, various glues and some cocktail sticks. And set to work.
I played about with the paint pans and made a basic plan.  I did some measuring and cut the strip wood up into the right lengths.
With a bit of glue and then pegs made from cocktail sticks I ended up with a box.  The small square strip wood made the dividing places to hold all the paint pans in place. 
I had to add some extra strips of wood to take up the screws for the hinge and I added a strip of wood so that I could put folded up paper towels inside the box.  
The inside had four coats of gesso and one of white emulsion, I thought that would make a good surface for a palette.  The rest had a good staining then got waxed with black bison wax, mainly because I like the smell.  

 After it was all dry I put all the paint pans in with a little silicone glue to hold them in place.

So now it will gather a lovely patina of paint as it is used and I have a lovely new paint box for the next 40 years.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My Next Book is OUT NOW!

I spent a long time last winter working on this book.  It arrived today and I am impressed ...even though I wrote and drew/painted it. The publishers have done a fantastic job editing and putting it all together.
It has something for everyone, If you are a beginner or you are more experienced, It contains a wide variety of tips, techniques and I use many different mediums to capture people, there is even a section on digital sketching...and what a lovely present it would make!!
You can get a signed copy from my new web site here  or my old web site here 
you can get it from Amazon UK here
so rush out and go shopping! are a few more pictures:

Friday, March 03, 2017

How to make your own “scale” images for artwork

I think that it is important to come up with as many ways to help your prospective clients visualise owning your work, my theory is that this will help them to buy it!  One way is to show them the size because not everyone can visualise size from a set of measurements, in fact hardly anyone can.
 It is relatively simple to add images of your artworks to your web site which will show your viewers what size your paintings are.
There are several gallery web sites that do this, not enough in my opinion, and some of them get the scale wrong…which is a waste of time.
Here is how I do it:
First, I find or make an image, a person or a chair are good starting points. Most people understand what average sizes those objects are!  My average person is me: 5 foot 6 inches or roughly 170 centimetres.  The average chair is 3-foot-high or 90 cm and the seat part is 1 foot 6 inches, or 45 centimetres. From now on I am working in centimetres.
I make a blank page on my computer in a drawing programme, 20 x 15 cm making sure that it is 200 dpi.
Then I make a scale guide 17 x 5 cm (all I do is move the decimal point) at 200 dpi and cut and paste this onto my first page.  This is my person height, I can then scale up or down my person image to fit.  If everything is the same dpi it will work.
Once I have made my scale image I begin resizing my painting images, so , for example, a painting measuring 80 wide by 60 high I will resize (move the decimal point)  to 8 x 6 cm at 200 dpi, then cut and paste into my scale image. Another measuring 13 cm wide by 18 cm high I will resize to 1.3 cm by 1.8 cm at 200 dpi, then cut and paste.
The resulting image can be saved as, “painting name with frame” and saved as a jpg in a folder on your desktop.  You can then happily add images to your website.  
I use Artlook to make my website and it is super easy to add to my  "Artlook items" as additional images which then appear on my web site and help everyone understand what size my paintings are.
The basic rules are: stick with the same dpi throughout, move the decimal point, or divide by 10 on everything.
Please feel free to use these sample images of people that I have shown here, just click and save the image.

Have fun showing images of your lovely work…to scale.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Book By Sarah Wimperis...

Amazon UK    Amazon USA
You can also order a signed copy from me my website here

I spent a long time last summer and autumn working on this book.  It has something for everyone, If you are a beginner or you are more experienced, It contains a wide variety of tips, techniques and I use many different mediums to capture the urban landscape, there is even a section on digital sketching...and what a lovely present it would make!!

"Written and illustrated by celebrated figurative artist Sarah Wimperis, this guide provides a great introduction to the techniques needed to develop your drawing skills. The step-by-step instructions and illustrations by Wimperis will show you how to capture the mood, texture and character of a wide variety of urban landscapes from across the globe"
Paperback  Pages: 128 Size: 280mm x 215mm

Friday, April 08, 2016

What is it with Roads?

Under and Over Moleskine sketchbook
I love roads, motorways are even better. I have been trying to work out what it is about them that I like and I think it is this: They are such brutal things, so completely man made, they are peopled yet lonely and they are ugly and therefore there is a sad beauty in them.  Anyway I am drawn to paint them, have been for years.  This is one from a sketchbook about London that I am making, doing these sketchbooks is making me fall deeply in love with watercolour again, just cant get enough of it.
 Here I am sketching on Primrose Hill, working on the London sketchbook while spending five days up in London.  I also had a great time at the private view of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries.  Here I am looking proud beside my painting!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Watercolour Plein Air Painting Board

Traveling and painting,city or rural, how do you set up your watercolour equipment?
It is not always possible to sit down so I made a thing, I am quite proud of it.
Measuring 50 x 42 cm and with a strap that clips on it is a watercolourists plein air painting table.
Here is a picture of the finished glorious item, it is a bit like a cinema ice-cream tray but better because its for painting with.
You wear it and then you can stand, almost unnoticed, in a doorway or by a tree trunk, or in a muddy puddle, with your painting table resting on your tummy.  Because it has a strap over your shoulder your hands are free to create.  The water jar is held on with blue tack.  I like using glass jars, that's just me though, I suppose you could use a plastic container. Everything else is held on with bull dog clips.  It is made from MDF and painted black for two reasons, to help when painting in bright light and to protect the MDF from sucking up water.
Its mine and I made it myself from start to finish.  I will stick a QR code on the underside so that when it is slung over my shoulder I will still be advertising my web site.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour

I have my painting “French Kitchen” in The Royal Institute for Painters inWatercolour annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries from April 6th to the 16th.  
It is always a bit special for me as my great great grandfather E M Wimperis was Vice President back in 1895 - 1900. I secretly wear his RI medal under my coat when I go to see one of my paintings there.  I think soon I must make an application to try and become a member, then I might get my own medal!  He was also a member of the ROI and the RBA. 
Back to the RI:  On Tuesday 5 April, from 12 noon to 8pm, there is the Private View. At 3pm guest opener Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) will officially open the exhibition and present the awards & prizes. This is a very busy and enjoyable day when invited guests and regular buyers are present, together with many of the RI members. 
I will have two special invitations to the Private View to give away, if you would like to meet up outside the Mall Galleries at 2:30 please let me know.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Little Red, an update on Bear Creation.

Little Red is a new bear just finished.
He is a little beauty, measuring 33 cm tall and with "Lara's Theme"playing on a wind up musical box inside him.  Very traditionally built, stuffed with wood wool, with shiny English Glass eyes, black waxed nose,  articulated with wood and metal cotter pins and made from "Port Wine" mohair. He joins the other bears, all completely hand built with the makers label on their bear bottoms!
Of course I have a cunning plan for my bears, I always have cunning plans, which will be revealed very soon, but for now you can see some of them here.
Le La Lu
Teddy Bears Picnic

Fur Elise

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Me and my Mobile Studio

I am really excited, my van is taking shape, all kitted out with what we need for a "grand tour"  This year we plan to travel through France and then down one side of Italy and up the other. Painting and plein airing all the way. As usual this is a working trip and I will be taking commissions. Filling sketchbooks and making larger paintings.  I plan to take "bear making supplies" just in case I need to fill the Italian evenings!
The trip is still in the planning stages but the van is getting better and better as the days go by.  Today it got sign written, so now I wont forget what my job is or which van is mine!  There is plenty of storage inside to take all my kit, easels, paints, oil and watercolour, canvas and boards, dry media and lots of sketchbooks.  The van has an eight foot awning so painting in the shade will be possible wherever we stop. It will have bikes on the back for forays into tiny hidden villages and trips to markets.
The trip should take about three months.  Details to follow but if you know of anywhere that you think would be great for an artist to visit please let me know.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Paint it Black

I am setting myself a bit of a challenge, all about colour.
I have been planning some still life works and I firmly believe that we all need to learn and train and study all of the time and as I like to stretch myself out of my comfort zone I came up with a cunning plan.  I am collecting together things of one colour group, just things that I have in my home, putting them all together then painting them.
starting with a drawing
Starting with a drawing, just to loosen up, then I shall paint, I think I shall attempt watercolour as well as oils.  I have a feeling that they will make a very interesting collection.  I might even devote a whole sketchbook to each colour.  Now that would be interesting.
Anyway, for now this is the start of  ebony, inky, jet, jetty, onyx, pitch, pitchy, sable, sooty, kuro, lelia, Black.
spot the Aubergine!
Other colour collections to follow, as well as a series of beautiful colour paintings!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

"Black and Blue", keeping out of the Storm

Black and Blue, charcoal on paper 5 x 7 inches or 12.7 x 17.7 cm
Bid Here
Staying safely tucked away in my studio, away from the horrible storms outside its the perfect time for some still-life work.
These are blueberries on my very hefty oiled wooden chopping board, so oiled and so old that it looks black.
I had them out for breakfast and sitting in the bamboo bowl on top of the old board they just begged to be drawn!  So I did, then I ate them.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Putting in the Hours

"Early Morning", watercolour 5 x 7 inches or 12.7 x 17.7 cm.
Bid Here

I am feeling the need to put in the hours, to practice my craft.  I know that I love the fluency that plein air painting brings, No pressure of painting to order, for a collection or for any other reason other than to hone my skills, practice, practice, practice and to speak in the language that I know best. Never underestimate the benefits of practice.
I like the hour or two of complete solitude, the meditation of painting, or drawing.  With all that in mind I am getting down to work.  I have a big trip planed later in the year, a bit of a grand tour and I want to paint all the way, so I am getting into training.

You can sign up to my email list if you would like to be first to know about these paintings and my traveling/painting plans.

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Collection at Beside The Wave

" Night and Day" is the working title for a new collection of my work that has gone up on the walls of Beside The Wave gallery in Falmouth.  It is always one of the rewards of months of hard work to see everything perfectly framed and beautifully hung.
 It is like seeing it all through new eyes and every time it reminds me of how important a good gallery is.  Having people who really understand how to display everything to show it at its best is worth its weight in gold.
 If you are near Falmouth please do go and have a look and tell me what you think!
 For details of all the paintings you can visit the gallery web site Beside the Wave or have a look through my web site Sarah Wimperis

A Cornish Winter sketchbook, 29 double page paintings in one opening frame.

French Roads sketchbook, 29 double page paintings in one opening frame.