Monday, 14 September 2020

Jacksons Raven Series 528 Short Handled Mop Brushes

 I was recently asked by Jacksons if I was interested in testing certain products. After some thought I agreed but only for those used for watercolour painting. I am not getting any remuneration for doing this - which I wouldn't accept - but admit I hold Jacksons in high regard having dealt with them for some years.

The Raven brush Size 0

Comparison with a Size 8 SAA Kolinsky round. This is just to give an idea of the size of the brush head and length

The Raven is a short handled mop brush under Jacksons own label. They brush head is made from synthetic squirrel - a new one to me - and compared to other mop brushes is fairly firm. There are 6 sizes which range from 10/0 to  4. I think thats right in order of size. They are at special introductory prices at the moment , which range from £7.06p to the largest size 6 at £17.90p. I have some Isabey mops, considered the `Rolls Royce of mop brushes, and while sizes and numbering vary considerably among makes the Isabey nearest in size is roughly three times the price. Full details are on Jacksons website.

I have played around with the brush but have to confess I don't normally use mop brushes as my style of painting is more in line with the Charles Reid and Judy Whitton way, which don't normally entail large washes. It is an interesting brush though as it is quite stiff, points well and is far more versatile than a pure mop.  

In view of this I asked my fellow artist and friend Les Benson - a very experienced artist- if he would like to try it. Les was eager to do so and these are his comments. 

" I liked it. I was impressed with its use in a variety of applications"..."The brush is easy to manipulate between fingers with good control".. It holds a good quantity of paint ansd rinses well. I found it ideal for mixing and applying washes. It also has reasonable stiffness for detail and also good for lifting out". Les's painting below.

This was painted just with the Raven

Overall a very interesting brush which seems quite versatile at very reasonable prices.


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Watercolour Paintings 70

Here are Septembers batch - again some lovely paintings. Several artists new to me. Any corrections regarding names welcome. I think all are watercolour but it is sometimes difficult to be certain. Equally if I have any names that are incorrect please advise me.

Galina Shargina

Boon Kwang

David Taylor

Shirin Nemat Zadeh

Slaveika Aladjova

Jeff Suntala

Corneliu Dragan-Targoviste

Jeanette Clarke

Annelein Beukenkamp

Jeff Suntala

Joseph Zbukvic

Judy Greenberg

Cheng-Khee Chee

Olga Kharchenko

Olga Sternyk

Nadees Prabon

Navin Tan

Ben Gassenbauer

Janet Rogers

Hailey E Herrera - described as 'water media' so may not be a watercolour?

Shirley Trevena

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Latest Lockdown Works

Here are my latest lockdown paintings. All 16" x 12" except where noted.

The activist ~ Alfre Woodard

The old man of the jungle

'That's lunch sorted"

Indian scoop owl.

Mother love 12" x 12"

Golden Tamarin

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Roland Hilder

Zoe. If you haven't already picked this up John Softly is happy to speak to you about Roland Hilder. His e mail is

Hope this helps.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Shirley Trevena

Shirley Trevenna is a British artist,  internationally renowned for her watercolours of still lifes, flowers and landscape imagery. She has a strong abstract approach and seems to me to fit the description, popularised by Kees van  Aalst,  of ' Realistic Abstracts". She has been in the top rank of watercolour artists for many years, although she might well be also considered a mixed media artist.

Some years ago , when I was flitting from artist to artist - I never intended to copy other artists, rather be influenced by them - I soon realised how difficult her style and approach was to emulate. Very feminine also.  I have seen a few paintings - not many - by one or two other female artists which resonate with her style. I bought 'Taking Risks with Watercolour (Collins 2004)', both the book and DVD The book was listed as being with 'Albert Jackson' and may have been her first (although she is now 79).

Other books are ''Vibrant Watercolours (2006), 'Breaking the Rules
of Watercolour' (2012) and 'Shirley Trevenna Watercolours' (2015) All still available. There are also more DVDs from Townhouse and Pulsar Productions

No Craig Young palettes here but this image is not that recent.

In the first book she lists her basic kit as Artists Quality watercolours - Daler Rowney are shown in the photographs - but emphasises she is flexible , is no restricted palette supporter and particularly likes the then new synthetic watercolours being introduced for their intensity and brightness. I imagine she may well be into Daniel Smith these days. She used water soluble inks as well. Her brush choices are rounds , nothing larger than a number 10 but also cheaper brushes including Chinese. I have noticed that Rosemary is offering a Shirley Trevenna Kolinsky Sable set. Four short handled Series 22 (Rosemarys top range) sizes 2,4, 6 and 8 for £75. This is actually slighter cheaper than the prices of the four individual brushes. She also uses pencils, oil pastels, pens and drawing sticks and texture medium.You get the picture - breaking the rules! Many of her paintings are obviously mixed media but watercolour predominates. In a later video she is using Winsor & Newton watercolours and has made up a large series of swatches,

What more can I say? She likes good quality paper for the 'majority' of her paintings 140 to 300lb.  I should think a not surface, but likes smoother paper for drawing. 

I think I will leave it there as there is a mass of material about her on the web, youtube etc, including a huge number of her paintings so you are spoilt for choice if you wish to explore further. Like many good artists I am sure she has continued  to evolve so some of the information above may have been superseded. Enough to wet your appetite?

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Latest Paintings

Here are my latest works. All 16" x 12" unless otherwise stated.


Nitram Liquid Charcoal and Daniel Smith Lunar Red Rock , Lunar Black. Love the Nitram.


"Mother and Child"

Blakistons Fish Owl

"The Pose"

Nitram Liquid Charcoal and Cadmium Red Light

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Watercolour Paintings 69

Here are Augusts batch. Once again a vary varied collection comprising artists old and new, the new those that I have come across in recent weeks. A huge variety of styles, subjects and approaches. I hope you find much to enjoy and intrigue.  You will notice I sometimes - in fact  I often  - include more than one painting from the same artist. These are amongst my favourites as you probably guess and I hope you don't mind my personal indulgence.,

Shirin Nemat Zadeh

Dean Crouser. I love his work

Thankachen Kumaran

Charles Reid

Gerard Hendriks

Yuda Azuma

Patricia Osborne

Louise Hammett

Igor Sava

Christian Couteau

Wu Sih Shian

Rae Andrews

Ilya Ibryaev

Debbie Bakker

Lang Du Ca

Corneliu Dragan - Tarnoviste

Akbar Akbari

Bev Jozwiak The ever reliable and interesting Bev

Praful Savant

Prafin Puthra

Nguyen Lam

Chainuwat ChuƤykhongthong

Charles Reid

Bev Jozwiak Another from Bev

BLOG INDEX JULY 2014. Go to the section on the right of the opening page. Scroll down to 2014. Then click on it and go to July. You will find the Index there.