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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Leaving the outlining until the end, I put in the main areas of wash, always doing the flesh tones early on, as they are easy to get wrong and you can't get them back if you fail! Masking fluid and wax give the sea and sand a textural lift. I should be able to complete this next stage.

wet into wet

Showing the use of 'wet into wet' paint, which means that the colours blend well with soft edges. Note that I am not a lover of miniscule detail and enjoy using a very large (size 16) Kolinsky squirrel hair brush. These brushes hold a fantastic amount of liquid. This is important for me as I often work on large format paper. Though huge, this brush has a very fine tapering point as you can see, so I can also use it for smaller stuff. If I wasn't adding the occasional small detail on this painting, such as the eyes, I would happily enjoy the simplicity of using just the one brush. Not for me a mountain of differing-sized brushes, I like a bold painting!

This pic shows the masking fluid retaining a white area to highlight the legs, adding a bit of sunshine.

Transferring the drawing onto paper.

'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...' work in progress

This is the final pen sketch that I place under my watercolour paper for tracng through on a lightbox. The 300gsm paper is very thick, so the 'pencil' needs beefing up in ink in order to see properly. Appropriately the seagulls were crying out as I painted this one last night (I live by the sea), adding an authentic atmosphere!

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside sketches II

Having ditched the idea of a Skegness-style figure, I thought a couple of people would be more fun (and have wider appeal). Loving the pose of the John Hassall design, i.e figure so happy they're virtually dancing, I wanted to have a similar, celebratory pose. Thus the couple linked arm in arm skipping over a pair of sandcastles fitted the bill nicely. Okay, they are rotund figures. It's not politically correct. So sue me. The publicity will do my sales good, no doubt, so bring it on ;)

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside sketches

I had a change of mind on the figure for the painting en route home last night on the train. Thought I'd at least see how a pastiche of the John Hassall figure might look, so I did this quick sketch. However, I wasn't happy that it was original in thought, so I moved on...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Seagull 2 for Forge2 show

As a warm-up to the next painting 'I do like to be beside the seaside’, I painted this seagull for the same Forge2 show (see below), last night. The original ‘Whitstable Harbour Seagull’ sold at The Corner Gallery, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey, a couple of weeks ago and the curator of the upcoming show at Forge2, asked me to paint another. Hope you like it Clare! Watercolour and wax (vapour trail, feathers) on Langton 300gm rough watercolour paper. Never one to produce a facsimile of the original (that would be far too dull), I introduced a pair of gulls in the background of this one too. See it on show at SOLD (Horsebridge, 6 Nov 09).

Oh I do like to be... scamp 2

Still not right, but the outstretched arms are far more fun. This is good enough to work from tonight, where I’ll do a tighter pencil ready for tracing over and painting. Naturally, the lettering will be hand-drawn as is my style. I will be ordering limited edition giclée prints on heavyweight paper of this painting which will be sold via a browser in the gallery. Look out for tonight’s progress tomorrow morning.

‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’

Sketched on my train journey this morning, this sketched design owes its inspiration to John Hassall, who illustrated the famous ‘Skegness is so bracing’ British Rail poster of 1908. These scamps were drawn for an exhibition starting at the weekend at Forge2 (The Green, Culworth, Oxfordshire OX17 2AZ UK. Tel: 01295 712136 or 07736 707316), curated by Clare Eguchi. The theme of the new show is ‘The British Seaside’ and is a light-hearted look at holidaymaking in the UK.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A young couple contemplate a new day’s sun rise. I used the 'draw down' method of watercolour in the figures' bodies, alternating between differing colours held on the brush while the paint is still wet. Nice and atmospheric this one.

Beachcombing girls

Two young women study their finds at low tide. Watercolour on 300gsm Langton Grain Fin (NOT) paper.

Man & dogs on beach

Sketchy painting of a rather large-nosed guy walking barefoot on the beach with his canine friends. Wax was used on the waves for a bubbly effect. Watercolour on 300gsm Langton Grain Fin (NOT) paper.

Time Ball Tower Museum, Deal, Kent UK

One of the more prominent buildings along Deal’s promenade. A huge anchor rests in front of this folly-like building. Watercolour on 300gsm Langton rough.

Deal Pier, Kent UK

Deal pier, built around the 1950s, is not the prettiest pier (though I love it from a fishing point of view) but it liooks good in silhouette! Watercolour on 300gsm Langton rough.

Bygone boat, Deal, Kent UK

Strolling along Deal beach I came across this rather weathered boat looking the worse for wear. Using wax resist and a dry brush, I echoed the worn, textural elements of the boat and wooden track and kept the painting nice and loose. On 300gsm Langton rough.


Postcard-sized watercolour on Langton 300gsm rough.