Monday, 13 August 2018

New Products

I have recently been on holiday at Sidmouth on the Devon coast.  Sidmouth is a mecca for artists  and group called East Devon Art Centre or similar have been running workshops this year, of varying lengths, including such fine artists as Stephie Butler AND the amazing Viktoria Prischedko. originally from Moldavia but now living I believe in Germany.  There is a nice art shop there called South West Art. As a serial impulse buyer I can't pass them by so went in (twice) for a peruse. I finished spending just over £17, not much considering what art products cost, especially for watercolour so here  we go.

The Maskaway, Twist Grip Large Fan and the Pebeo dtawing gum "High Precision Masking Marker". 

Actually I bought the Pebeo in Minerva in Bath but have included it here. The Maskaway from Frisk is a square piece of hardfoam-like material for removing masking fluid. I've tried it once and it works fine so far. The blurb says it is easily cleaned and can be cut to shape for more detailed erasing.  `it can also be used to remove a wide range of sticky marks including adhesive tape, and cleans dirty paper or after using Tracedown". This cost £5,25p.

The brush is called a 'Twist -Grip' and this one is a large fan. There was quite a large range mostly rounds, and prices were pretty cheap this being less than £5. I've used it a couple of times and quite like it. Well-made. 

The Pebeo marker is similar to the one recently introduced by Molotow. I bought both the Molotow markers and one is already unusable. When I saw the similar Pebeo one I decided to try it also. There are two sizes 04 and 07. Larger then the Molotow which is 02 and 04. It's early days but already I prefer the Pebeo. I believe you can buy new heads. They are of a soft/hard material and you press down on them to release the fluid.but eventually, as happened with the Molotow, clog up. Maybe my technique is faulty so if you use masking fluid give them a try.

Catalyst By Princeton.

Princeton are an American brush maker and these 'things' are made in China.

When I was in the shop I saw this collection of strange looking brush-like tools and was intrigued by them. That shown, 12 inches in length, was the smallest and cheapest, most were much bigger with heads up to two inches across.!  Exactly what you are supposed to do with them I'm not sure but they are obviously designed for special effects. Whether that included watercolour I'm unsure and foolishly I didn't ask the young lady in the shop about them. Special effects seem to be all the rage at the moment and all sorts of special brushes and other things are being promoted in this field. I've played around with it a little using thick paint and it may be useful - we shall see.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Watercolour Magazines

I currently subscribe to the Watercolour Artist magazine and recently bought the latest quarterly edition of The Art of Watercolour. I'll explain why later

I had a short spell subscribing to this monthly magazine in 2014.  and have recently renewed. My main gripe is we have to pay such a premium in the UK to get it.  I get it from an online company. However each issue usually has a pre-paid card  to subscribe direct. I won't go into details but it is much cheaper in the USA - I paid £4.25p plus postage - about half.  Compared to The Art of Watercolour it is a smaller magazine of 72 pages with usually 6 articles and a number of columns. Artists like Ted Nugent and Fealing Lin have been featured in the past. Worth buying yes apart from the UK premium.

This is a glossy high quality production of 98 pages and is larger than the one above. When it was originally introduced I wrote a less than complimentary review of it. This provoked an anonymous post from some brave person who called me a moron. I had my suspicions it was a fairly high profile artist with whom I'd had a run in when he said Charles Reid recommended Escoda brushes. I pointed out I'd done several courses with CR and he always recommended DaVinci brushes. This didn't go down very well. Enough of that the reason I bought this copy, the 31st issue, was that Genevieve Buchanan a lovely lady I met on at least two Charles Reid workshops was featured. Genevieve has done lots more CR workshops than my five and also many others with artists like Alvaro Castagnet and John Yardley. It's obviously paid off.

I saw an advert for this issue, which a local newsagent stocks,  they usually only have two or three at most. I think it cost me £6.25p which not much dearer than Watercolour Artist given there is no postage involved. To be honest it  is a cut above but I had one other reason for my previous criticism and that was the elitist bent of the magazine. It seems mainly aimed at the higher levels of watercolour artists and if anyone disputes this then why run articles, at least one, with the theme of 'how to join the inner circle of watercolour artists'.  As one might judge from that I'm very much against elitism.

Genevieve's piece is based on her flower painting, although she does other subjects. I cannot really recall how she painted when we did the CR workshops together. Her style now is exceedingly loose and I have mixed feelings. I try to follow Charles Reid's mantra, with mixed success, of 'small areas of detail , large areas of generality'. To my eyes what is missing here are the small areas of detail. However who  I am, a struggling hobbyist, to say when she gets in this elite magazine and I get ......... Just kidding I know my limitations!

When I first started painting I bought Leisure Painter and The Artist magazines. Leisure Painter is very good for beginners. I recently discontinued The Artist as it seems to me to be in a rut and has very little on watercolour, certainly next to nothing on the amazing artists out there from other countries and continents. Perhaps I've just become more cynical as I'm now well into old age and realise it's a case of not falling off the perch rather than improving much. I asked a painter friend of mine, sadly now deceased, at what stage one stopped  improving. His reply was it wasn't a case of improving but trying to stop the rot.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Watercolour Paintings 45

Here are Augusts batch. I have again tried to mix them up with a wide variety showing the versatility of watercolour. I hope you all agree. I have included a couple of abstracts.  Some of the artists are unknown to me but they just keep coming

Liam Cheng Wu

A terrific Chinese artist who paints a wide range of subjects.

Yvonne Harry

Yvonne is the leader of my group Avon Valley Artists. She is not a professional artist, although she holds a major  annual exhibition at Wells Cathedral. In my (and others ) view she is  equally as good, if not better, than many professionals in her major mode as a flower painter.  Compare this with the one above.

Hiew Yin-Yui

Gerard Hendriks

Gerard has turned his talents to other subjects recently and his boat studies have the usual dynamic colours and sense of movement that is displayed in other subjects such as birds and animals..

Mika Toronen

Adrian Homersham

Stan Miller -enough said!

Ewa Ludwiczak

Morten Solberg Snr.

Great American artist of outdoor scenes usually the small areas of detail nvolving animals, although they aren't usually a major party of the painting.

Yuko Nagayama
The brilliant Japanese artist

Gang Liang
I love the simplicity of this,

Charles Reid

This is a typical CR painting where he combines flowers with other objects.

Gerard Hendrik

Another boat painting from Gerard - contrast this with the previous one. Slightly more subdued.

Frank Eber
Terrific artist, American I think.

Fealing Lin
Wonderful Chinese -American artist.

Gerard Hendriks

I may be slightly overindulgent here but there is a lot to be learned from Gerards work if you buy into it - and many do.

Robert Wade

The great Australian artist. This is one of his older works. I haven't seen anything recently from him and he is tending to display his back catalogue He's 88 today.

Eric Mishima
I don't know anything about this artist but this is an amazing watercolour.

Winslow Homer
The great American artist.

Robert Ferguson
A typical English landscape in the style of Seago/Wesson.

Dusan Djukaric
Another superb artist from Eastern Europe.

Pavel Pugachev

Pol Ledent

Mary Whyte
Fabulous American artist

Bev Jozwiak
Anothrr fabulous American artist.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Latest Works

Here are my latest paintings, mostly done at AVA Thursday sessions, although in some instances the drawings were completed the previous day in my home 'studio'. All are around 16" x 12" or A3 with some slightly smaller.

General George Crook - The Famous Indian Fighter

This is a modification of the painting posted on Facebook. I decided it was too plain so added the blue to his uniform.


This one of a Thrush was changed slightly as I felt I'd made the body too fat so added the dark colour Turquoise on the left over the original so reducing the body width. Possibly the blackish green Perylene Green (Schmincke) would have been better.

A Young Amerindian Woman

In this instance the guide photo, as they tend to be, was black and white. and the only discernible detail was that I've shown. The rest was dark so after looking at how a variety of artists treat portraits adopted a minimalist approach. I like it but many may not.

Bird & Blossoms.

This is actually smaller- about 12" x 9"


I liked the contrast between the dark of the birds and the white flowers.

'In a Rush'

This male Grebe was travelling at speed across the water and I tried to recreate this in the painting.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Watercolour Paintings 44

Here are the latest batch of paintings for July. I have tried to mix them up a little more so hopefully there will br something for everyone. They are a mix of the famous and less well-known. I have included two from some artists.

Slawa Prischedko - What a wonderful artist as is his wife Viktoria. 

Tapan Roy

Sarah Yeomans

Heidi Lots

Bijay Biswaal

Michele Clamp

Another from Slawa Prischedko

Stephie Butler

Janet Rogers (?)

Gerard Hendriks

Alvaro Castagnet

Yuko Nagayama

Anne Blockley.

Ann, the daughter of the late John Blockley, has written several books and also produced videos so if you are attracted to her paintings  you can follow this up.

Stephie Butler  - What a delicate touch!


Aine Devine

This Scottish artist produces amazing work.
Shirley Trevena

Another from Shirley Trevena

Shirley, like Anne Blockley, a top British artist has written at least two books and also has videos so you can follow this up if you are interested. Fabulous work although very difficult to emulate.

Bev Jozwiak - An unusual subject for Bev but love this.

Dusan Djukaric

Carlos Leon Salazar

Robert Zangarelli


Another from Dusan Djukaric

Mohammad Reza

That's it folks hope you enjoy!