Tag Archives: Art Books

Some Flowers in a Field


I have been working through the book Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour Paperback, by Jean Haines.  I am trying to find a loose way of painting in watercolor that doesn’t stress me out.  I have noticed that I make more of a mess and my hands get pretty dirty!  Most of all, I am actually enjoying myself.  Here are a couple of pieces I finally finished off this afternoon.

img_3127These are Dandelions – WC on Bockingford – 3×6 inches (approx.)

I made the grasses first and added the flowers afterwards.  This is from a lesson.  As this is quite small, I might use it for a card.

img_3125Tulips in a field – WC on Bockingford – A4

This is one I did on my own.  They could have easily been made into poppies.  Only 4 colors used here:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, and the rest W&N viridian, alizarin crimson and hookers green.  Also used a bit of cling film.

I have also painted a few more (for another post) and am waiting for paint to dry.  I think waiting for paint to dry is the hardest part!  I might go and make a cake now!  Hope you enjoy these.

Painting Myself Calm


After getting discouraged recently with watercolors,  I decided I was going to put them away and focus on acrylics.  Then I bought a book!   Yes, another one!  Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour, by Jean Haines. I already have a few books of hers as I like the way she paints.  However, I haven’t been able to get to grips with how she does it so I resisted buying her new book – until now.  It came in the post a few days ago and as I was reading it, I started to feel better already.  This book isn’t so much about as teaching you how to paint, but more like trying to help inspire you to paint. So I read the book through one evening and on Sunday I decided to try a few things out.

I had some paintings I started last week that didn’t work for me and I found some old ones that were not great, but they were clean on the back.  I thought that this was just going to be an exercise, with no goal, just fun.  So it didn’t matter that I was working on the back of something.  No sense in wasting paper.  So this is what I did.


Painting with yellow.  I have since chopped this up and am working on a couple of things.


Painting with blue.  This was not intended to be a seascape, but that is how it turned out.  I created a horizon line by using a damp brush to take out some pigment.  This is a small piece – 3×5 inches.  I think it will make a lovely card for someone special.


Painting with blues.  This is just paint and water.  This was done on a scrap 3×7 inches.


And here is some more blues.  Just paint, water and some sea salt.  It looks like a stormy sea.  I might add a horizon to this later.  This is A4 size.

I had fun painting with just a few colors.  I didn’t know what was going to happen when I started painting.  It didn’t look like anything in the book, but that is ok as there was no object in mind.

After I painted these, I started on some of the other exercises in the book.  This time they are of ‘things’.  They are not my things, but will be my take on what I will be asked to do as an exercise.  I think the exercises I did earlier with the yellow and blues helped me to loosen up and relax me.


Here is another little thing that helps me relax when I’m painting.  It’s nice to have a little bit of company!

Some Booty and Other Things


I haven’t been painting much lately, but I have been getting a lot of inspiration and have ordered some more supplies, books, DVDs and art magazines.  The three watercolor artists that I have been most inspired by lately are Ann Blockley Jane Betteridge, and Shirley Trevena.  These artists use techniques that I barely touched on in the art class I took last year.  If you can’t get to any classes, then reading book by people who’s work you like or watching DVD’s can be immensely helpful.  However, there is nothing like practice and trying out these methods and seeing how they work for you.  I have started a couple of landscapes, but I am at the stage of wondering where to go next with them. They are sitting on the sidelines at the moment.

I also want to get back to painting still life.  I haven’t tried painting one in watercolor before.  Shirley Trevena’s books show how to take painting a still life in watercolor to another level.  I really love her style, but don’t want to copy her.  What I did need was props.  So, I trawled the charity shops where I work and where I live.  Here is some of my booty.


The most I spent was £10 for the pretty bowl with matching plate.  There are faux grapes, a pretty little jug I bought for the shape, a Delft vase which was a bargain for £6 (and because I don’t have anything blue and white in my house), a small gravy boat, an old iron, a miniature dress model and a stamp with an interesting pattern.


Here is something I started today.  I work in my dining room. My table extends at either end. 🙂 I bought some tulips yesterday.  I missed painting them last year as I was out of the country when they were in season.  I am hoping to paint them along with some of my booty. I am now waiting for paint to dry and am wondering what to do next.  I am also working on A3 size.  The largest size paper I have worked on so far.  I haven’t done a thumbnail sketch. I just decided to go for it and  paint some tulips as a preclude to painting a still life.  We will see how it turns out.