Swanning around

Some days I get completely stuck when deciding what to paint. At times like these, I find that my best option is to take a look around and find inspiration close to home. It’s not often that inspiration comes swimming by but that’s what happened today. Continue reading “Swanning around”

Feeling sheepish

In order to expand my menagerie of animal paintings my latest artwork is of a Scottish Blackface. Apparently they are the most common breed of sheep in the UK and as their name suggests they usually have a black face. I’m not sure if this particular sheep is a ewe or a ram as all blackfaces sport a pair of magnificent horns.

detail of sheep painting


I began this piece by lightly painting the undertones in watercolour. After allowing it to dry I began working in 0.05 Pigma Micron fineliner pen detailing the fur and using a stippling technique to add shade and texture to it.

Blackface Sheep Painting
Blackface Sheep – Ink & Watercolour




I would just like to say how grateful I have been for everyone’s supportive comments on my last post. It really means so much to me that there are people out there who understand the trials and tribulations associated with discovering creativity and I want to thank each and everyone of you.

Unfortunately in my day to day life I am surrounded by a family of number crunchers and science geeks! They completely support what I do but I so often feel a little isolated in my creative corner of the world. This is one of the reasons why I am so happy to have found this community of like minded artistic folk.

Anyway, in order to re-address the balance after the doggy disaster I felt a need to paint something just for me, an enjoyable subject without any expectations of the outcome. This watercolour is of my lovely and rather elderly cat, Purdy.

watercolour painting of a black cat
Watercolour of black cat



Dealing with rejection

I was unsure about posting this, admitting to failure is not an easy thing to do, especially on a public platform! However as this blog is a journal of my creative journey it feels disingenuous not to include the lows alongside the highs.

Some of you may be aware that I was recently approached by a friend of a friend who asked if I would paint a portrait of his two dogs as he had seen some of my work on Facebook and liked my style of work.


Watching & Waiting HQ
Watching & Waiting – Watercolour, 11 x 16 inch

This is what I produced from the photograph that I was sent. Unfortunately the clients wife wasn’t happy with the painting and so unfortunately these little dogs remain unsold.

I won’t pretend that I’m not disappointed and have admittedly taken a knock to my confidence, but I have learnt some valuable lessons from the experience. I feel that my painting skill has developed through painting this portrait and I found it enjoyable to be working on a project over a series of days rather than rushing to finish something in one sitting.

Art is subjective, not everyone will like what we create. For example, the client thought that the left hand chocolate Cocker Spainiel was the better of the two dogs, personally I think that the right hand dog is executed better. The key for me is not to allow this rejection to become an internal criticism, to not dwell on one persons opinion but to use it to focus on how I can improve.  So today I shall dust myself down, get out my paints and start painting again.

Have a wonderful, happy and a creative weekend, friends

What does the fox say?

Firstly before I begin I apologise for the title of this post if like me you now have an annoying earworm constantly running through your head!

I seem to have been on a bit of a roll painting/drawing animals and so last week I continued in the same theme. My initial subject was to be one of my chickens, however whenever my thoughts turn to my chickens  thoughts of foxes are never far away….

Painting of a fox

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing and painting this chap. I used the same technique as I did with my previous cat artwork – layers of watercolour, coloured pencil and ink and the autumnal colours seemed appropriate to be painting now that the leaves here are tinged with russet. I’ve decided to call this piece “Friend or Foe” for as much as I love their beauty, as a rural chicken keeper foxes really are the enemy lurking in my garden.