Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumn on The River

Autumn on The River
43 cm x 28 cm or 17 inches x 28 inches

The river, on a beautiful afternoon in autumn.  The water is still in places, carrying deep smooth reflections.  Ripples break the glassy surface where fish feed on low flying insects, or where the river flows over a hidden channel.  The tide turns, changing the patterns like someone tuning an old radio.  The changing leaves halo the trees and smoke from an autumn bonfire softens colours.

Detail from the painting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lamp Light

Lamp Light
Watercolour and Body Colour
15 cm x 9 cm or 6 inches x 3.5 inches
Another tiny watercolour, the sky has deepened a notch, lamps are being lit across the water, the temperature is dropping and a hush descends, velvet and dark.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Bonfire  SOLD
Watercolour and body colour
27.5 cm x 9 cm or 11 inches x 3.5 inches
This isn't a large watercolour but it is very layered, evening again, the day drifting away like the smoke of the bonfire.  Deep colours on the land hinting at fields, woodland and settlements contrasting with the layers of diamond light reflecting off the water and the seamless sky.
I show you a couple of details so that you can see the colours and brushstrokes that make up this little painting.  It will be varnished and then framed, glassless as I am already in love with the brush marks!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Oil on Board.
30 cm x26 cm or 12 inches x 10 inches
Late afternoon in October, on the distant shore someone has an autumn bonfire going.  The sun is low, a last sail before laying up for the winter.  There is a wonderful melancholia in the air and the faintest scent of colder air coming from some faraway winter mountains. 
This is looking from Pendennis Point in Falmouth, across the bay towards the Lizard, where I live.  I felt as if I was on holiday, visiting a foreign shore, everything looked new and exciting and this view got my heart pumping.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How To Varnish Watercolours

I have just been experimenting with something that I have never considered doing before, varnishing watercolours.
It occurred to me that when visiting a gallery I find myself immediately "drawn" to certain paintings, also I like to look very close up at things like brush marks, paint effects and paint "blooms"  In a mixed show oils seemed to win over watercolours and I think it is mainly because of the reflections.
So... how to get rid of the glass?
This is what I do...
First of all take your watercolour painting and paste the back with PVA (Elmer's in the US I think) do this quite carefully working out from the center of the painting, so that none seeps underneath.
Then place the painting on a piece of mount board that is a bit larger than the picture.  After that carefully cover the painting with some tissue paper or kitchen paper towel.
This protects your still vulnerable painting from the heavy book you are going to put on top of it.  I did a few at the same time so ended up with a stack like this...

Once the front side was dry, after a day The whole process was repeated with another piece of watercolour paper on the back, this is to stop any warping happening.  Another day of drying and then they were cut to the size of the painting
Then I lined them all up in a shoe box (because they were small) and sprayed them with a thin coat of LASCAUX ACRYLIC RESIN FIXATIV When that was dry I did another just for luck!
After that I sprayed a few thin coats both front and back with  LASCAUX UV PROTECT  I guess by this stage you could use any varnish that you would use for oil paintings.  The most important thing I think is the UV protection.
I tested it by pouring hot coffee on it and cleaning with a cloth...it was fine!
After that, when all is dry I framed it like I would an oil painting, Mine usually go on a white backing board with a white frame.  I gave the painting , the found objects that were to go underneath the painting, and the backing board a few coats of matt picture varnish and that was it.

This is one of the framed, glassless, varnished watercolours.

Friday, October 08, 2010

New Blog

Beside the Wave Gallery is launching a new blog tonight.  Hopefully it will become a very interesting insight to all of their artists with studio visits, working practices as well as the running of the gallery, it should be one to watch, so if you are interested in art, pay it a visit and bookmark it to watch its progress. Beside The Wave gallery blog.