Tag Archives: Art Books

Trying Something New, Again!


Windows of the Soul – Mixed Media on Canvas Board – 10×12 inches

I finished this painting today and was inspired by the tutorial from a new book I purchased called – Acrylic Solutions, exploring mixed media layer by layer, by Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard.  I love this book.  It takes you through the steps to create multi-layered and textured images.  I had completed a few of the exercises in the beginning of the book and decided to give this one a try.

Firstly, I didn’t have any of the paint colors used in this tutorial, except Titanium white.  I had to kind of wing it. I tried to blend colors as close as I could tell in the book, but I was also conscious of not wanting to make an exact copy.  I focused on working out the placement of the lights and the darks.   Secondly, I didn’t have any images I could use as transfers, so I used stamps instead.  I am going to see if I can get a book with Architectural images that I can photocopy images from as that can be useful in the future.  Lastly, I also stopped at a certain stage with the adding of colors as I preferred my painting to be more dark/blue and less green.  My marks and words are different too as I didn’t like some of the marks in the lesson and I wanted to make this my own.  I don’t find adding marks natural to me as I am not used to doing it.  I suppose it gets easier after time.  Hopefully I will have my own marks that are distinctive to me.  I also added another window.

Although this painting is similar as in the book, it is not the same.  I had fun making this. Having completed some of the previous exercises in the book helped me when blending the paint and working on the different layers.  I also used my fingers a lot too!  Although this is not something I would normally paint, I can use the techniques for some landscapes that I would like to make.

Warning:  When buying a new book that you like, it can be so easy to go crazy and buy all of the supplies that are used in the book.  This can be expensive.  (I haven’t bought anything yet!)

Chris Cozen works for Golden Paints (lucky her!) and all of the products in the book are Golden.  Golden paints can be very expensive in the UK.  However, one can shop around and buy grounds and glazes from other manufacturers.  You can also find Chris and Julie on YouTube for more inspiration.

What do you think?

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!