Sunday, 18 December 2011

Walking in the Snow

Inspired by Kate Greenaway (and my daughter's family!), I painted this in watercolour and ink.

I hope it snows for Christmas.... but only briefly. :)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Just a few cards I painted for Christmas - may love and laughter fill your days this Christmas and throughout the New Year. HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Love from Sharon x

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Hills are Alive!

Not quite finished, but I have painted this as a present for a friend. Need to work more on the hands and face, details of course plus darks and lights.

It's all good practice and I have really enjoyed doing this.

I am hoping to finish next weekend.

Acrylics on canvas 16" x 12"

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I'm a Winner!

Yay! Just completed 50,556 words for the National Novel Writing Month - and ahead of the deadline (30 November). I am so pleased because I started late and did not really believe I would manage to get to the 50,000 words needed.

At least now I can get back to having some sleep! Lol

I intend to edit the novel after Christmas. You never know this could be the start of a whole new career!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Walks

There's an old Victorian Park not far from my home, I was fascinated by the wet walkway in the evening light and yet I wanted to inject colour into what might otherwise have been a dark and dull vista.

I may do more to this... not sure yet. I have to leave it sitting awhile before I decide.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Gouache Experiment

Decided to try a little experiment with gouache and waterproof ink.

Firstly, drew the outline of the flower with pencil and then laid white gouache in places.

Then when the gouache was dry I painted over the whole thing with black waterproof ink.

Wait until the ink is completely dry. Then wash off under cold water using a brush to gently remove some of the ink. In theory, where the ink lays over gouache it should lift off revealing the white paper underneath and the ink where there was no gouache remains untouched.

The finish was not quite as expected - in fact, you could say it all went hideously wrong. lol

However, it is quite an interesting effect and I will try this experiment again. I quite like the effect, it's just the black lines across where it didn't quite work for me.

I think perhaps I need to lay the gouache a little thicker, allowing it to dry completely and then go over with the ink. I also think it might be better to try something a little more robust than 140 lb paper. This could be the reason the ink sunk into ridges or lines across the paper.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Gorgeous Gouache!

OMG! I'm in love! I have just discovered the delights of gouache. It's like coming home, I've found my medium, it's better than chocolate even!

This is just a small quick study and maybe if I try something larger I'll come down off this cloud but so far it's so wonderful to work with.

It's like using watercolour but without transparency, it's opaqueness means that it covers even dark colours. It's easy to make changes and yet you can work in detail much easier than with oils (at least for me anyway!)

I cannot wait to have more time so that I can really get to know my new love!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Lovely Lily

Watercolour on HP paper 16" x 12"

Spent all weekend painting - how lucky am I? The most wonderful time which made me wish so much that I had more time to paint, but alas bills have to be paid so it's back to the day job!

I am fast discovering a love of painting florals. Not only do you get to enjoy the visual beauty but you're also surrounded by such heavenly scents.

Obviously, this one doesn't really fit with what this blog is all about... making a painting within 60 minutes, but I really needed to show this just to prove that I can actually paint something decent.

My pride has had a dent recently and I'm feeling a little unsure of my ability to paint so every little success boosts my failing confidence and self esteem.

I hope you enjoy this one.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Lavender Fairy

Coloured pencil on Stonehenge paper 7" x 5"

If there are fairies at the bottom of the garden then I hope they look something like this.... because of where I live it had to be a Lavender Fairy of course!

The coloured pencil was a departure for me - I liked that I could get detail with them easily but I find them a little difficult and not as satisfying as actual paint.

I always think that a fairy must have wings something like a butterfly, but of course it doesn't have to be that way they could be very fine and transparent like a fly.

When I fiddled with this drawing in a software programme and made it negative, I rather liked the look of the wings.... interesting.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pointillism Cat

Acrylic on Watercolour paper approx 10" x 10"

It was never intended to be a square format but that's how it ended. Sometimes that's the way life goes, you start off working towards something and along the way things change slightly and you see a different direction and go for it. That's not a bad thing, just means you're being flexible and open to change.

I liked trying pointillism, although I know it could be better. I need to work more on my colour selection and I may try another because it was rather fun to do, kind of therapeutic.

Hope you like.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Acrylic on deep canvas
Summer is almost over here but I want a painting to remind me of the long hot summer. OK so it was more short-lived than long but I need a summer landscape to help me get through the cold winter months and I rather think this should do it!

The view is from my garden at the old house and I used colours to emphasise heat and sunshine. Hope you like.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Self Portrait - Pouring Method

Just experimenting here with watercolour - thought I would try the pouring method to see what I could do with it in portraiture. I think I need more practice!

I am pleased with the hair at this stage (must admit the painting looks better in real life) but I felt I might need to add more of a fleshtone to the face as presently I look kind of bruised. I may do more to it tomorrow, we'll see.

As for likeness.... well, it's getting there I feel, not quite made it yet though. :)

Update - after adding more skintone - I have a slightly healthier glow now!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Exploring Exercise!

At the start of this year I promised myself that I would spend this year returning my body to some form of fitness and I embarked on a healthier diet. However, I must admit that as far as exercise was concerned after the initial excitement of getting out walking etc, my enthusiasm waned.

So within the last 3 weeks I have been attending our local Leisure Centre where you can drop into various exercise classes and try them out.

First I tried aqua aerobics which was a bit of a damp squib (ha-ha) for me as I am terrified of water and refused to move from the shallow end of the pool but I must admit the instructor was very patient and by the end of the lesson I was actually doing my exercises away from the walls unaided!

When I tried spinning. Wow, was that hard work! But you know, I loved it. The guy who led this indoor cycling class was very enthusiastic and had us cycling in the Tour de France. When we were riding uphill we had to stand and cycle but my legs being totally unco-ordinated refused to get into the rhythm so most of the time I remained seated. In this position, be warned, you are likely to get somewhat saddlesore! It was fun however and I am continuing with that class.

Next came aerobics - OMG, I hadn't done real aerobics for some years and this was such a shock to my system by the end of the class I was totally convinced of my lack of co-ordination and sense of direction. Every turn, every leg or arm movement you can bet I was doing the complete opposite to the rest of the class. Even when we did the floor exercises everybody waited while someone pointed out to me that I was facing opposite to everyone else! No, I'm not doing that one again!

Yoga next…. This is my dream exercise class, it's just perfect for me. Slow and
gentle, stretching, relaxing and deep breathing. Oh yes, my favourite by far and one that I am continuing with relish. Such serenity. Definitely good for the mind, but I also need more challenging exercise, so onward.

Now Zumba. What fun! I have never sweated so much in my life, but the dance routines and movements were wonderful. Easier for younger people but I really enjoyed myself. Hard work, but definitely worth it.

All in all it was pretty hard work, but afterwards I felt so good I knew that I must continue the exercise regime. With this in mind for the first time in my life I joined the gym. Today I am going for my induction after which I can use the gym as much as I want. I'm really looking forward to it and I'll report back to you later.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Red Dress

Acrylics in watercolour sketchbook 12" x 10"

Seems I am inspired by trees and woods lately. Asked if I could paint fairies I said no, I am no good with fantasy although I wish I were.

Anyhow this is it and I wish I had left off the wings but you live and learn!

I do like the sunlight captured here so all is not lost as I think I may be able to do something in the future with strong contrasts of light and shadow.

That's what sketchbooks are for, isn't it? Playing around and learning through play.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Child in the Woods

Acrylics in watercolour sketchbook 12" x 10"

Just playing around with acrylics, trying to get texture and colour with daubing the brush around.

Turned out much better than expected but failed to capture much light.

I think I am liking figure work even though I am not too good at it. My landscapes just don't seem alive without people in them and I do love people even though they are complicated and complex and at times frustrating, somehow deep down inside we are all very similar.

Monday, 8 August 2011


Acrylics in watercolour paper 12" x 10"

I am having some difficulty in getting back into painting and so I look to find some interesting challenges to inspire me.

WetCanvas is a good place to start and this challenge is about Australia - my thanks to Stacey for the use of her photo as reference.

I enjoyed doing this and hopefully I will soon rediscover my artistic muse.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Saturday, 16 July 2011


I spent a long time trying to get a likeness of a poppy and found they died so fast when cut and placed in a vase. The only way was to leave them to thrive in their own environment.

The Poppy at first glance is a simple flower, but upon closer inspection there is so much more to them and when several gather together they are astonishing in their beauty. They can make such a difference to the landscape.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, here is my latest painting.

Acrylics on deep canvas

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Couple Dancing

Another small study of a Renoir painting, this one was wonderful painting the dress and I think I could make it better if I spent a little more time on it.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Studying Renoir

Quick study in acrylics on canvas. Renoir's paintings are so beautiful, I love the colours and the subjects. Painting these were much more difficult than I expected, but probably due to the small size I chose.

I used deep canvas and continued the paintings around the sides which looks quite cool in real life.

Colour mixing can be frustrating, but surprisingly I really enjoyed myself. Discovered that I need a much smaller brush for detail, i.e. facial features. I may have to steal one of my small watercolour brushes for use with the acrylics.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blue Vase

Acrylics on canvas

I seem to be going through a blue phase just lately, I am attracted to everything blue. My new clothes are all in blue, my paintings lean towards blue and I feel I need the calmness of blue for healing.

I do think that colour is important and I have noticed at different times I am more attracted to one colour than another especially in the clothes that I wear. Normally I wear bright colours because it makes me feel bright and cheerful, I love reds and yellows but when I feel down I wear a lot of greys and blacks. Now, as I said, I am going through a distinctly blue phase. It's a lovely colour.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Fluffy Teddy

Teddies are always such an enjoyable subject. This one is in watercolour pencil in the sketchbook and I was rather pleased with how he turned out.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Beach Baby

Another baby painting as I endeavour to get to grips with figures and using acrylics.

Very quick sketch as I just wanted to get the general idea down. Poor skintones but these would be improved when doing a proper painting.

Acrylics in sketchbook.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Midnight Rose

Things can look very different in the middle of the night, the lack of light alters the colours and can sometimes create an almost ghostly feel.

It's important to remember that when the light returns everything will return to it's normal state.

Acrylics in sketchbook.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Timed Out!

Ran out of time here. Only able to capture the essence of the pose and I so wanted to get that lovely chaise longue, but alas time was not on my side.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Back to Life!

This is one of my favourite poses, the back. However, I haven't really done it justice. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Life Forms

Took a little more time getting the form with this one. I just loved the model's hair, wish I could have mine so long. :)

Drawing from life is so much better than from photographs, but it isn't any easier I can tell you. It was nice having a model to work from because friends and family really will not sit still for long enough.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Quickly captured

I rather liked this pose, so relaxed. Getting the main elements of the pose quickly is hard for me particulary trying to get everything proportionately correct at the same time! Charcoal is really good for speed.

This turned out better than I expected.

I hope to improve my speed the more of these I do.

Monday, 6 June 2011


Practising figures, this time a child, in an Impressionistic way.

Wanted to capture the warmth of the sun and of course I do need to practice children in particular.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Facing the Challenge

Hurriedly sketched this one using for reference an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith.

I just love children at this age when they're starting to get more mobile and inquisitive.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Plenty More Fish in the Sea

Another after Charles Robinson. Ink with watercolour pencil. I rather like the way these fishes seem to be in conversation.

Reminds me of what my grandmother told me when I was jilted by a boyfriend... plenty more fish in the sea.

I need to practice fish, I think. We have inherited a large pond with some rather sizeable fish in and I'm thinking maybe I should get out there now the weather's warm and start painting!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Summer Days and Fairies

Ink on tinted sketch paper - After Charles Robinson's The Siesta

A quick study of the illustration entitled The Siesta, which appealed to me because the fairies seem to be using a cobweb as a hammock. It reminds me of warm Summer days languidly lying in our hammock. I also adored the shape of the cat.

I could have worked more on this to give more detail, but didn't really have the time.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Mother Bear

Acrylic in small sketchbook

This is Mother Bear, just a very quick sketch of her in acrylics. I was getting ready for my stint as steward at a local exhibition when she called to me to paint her and I just couldn't resist.

I still managed to get there on time so no harm done, but it just goes to prove to me that the urge to paint can occur at the most inopportune times.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Angel Scattering Autumn Leaves

Ink in sketchbook

After Charles Robinson again, this time a fairy. I'm kind of pleased with it, although Charles Robinson's was of course better, but then he did add colour. I'm afraid to use colour in case I mess it up again. Ah well, it's only a drawing.... maybe I will try some colour on it after all.

If we are paralysed by fear and afraid of messing up we will never move forward, never enjoy the thrill of taking a risk and possibly succeeding. Where is the fun in that?

I think I'm ready to take a leap of faith.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sunflowers Quick Sketch

Watercolour sketchbook

Just couldn't resist going back to my old favourite Sunflowers. A quickie in the small sketchbook, but it cheers me to look at them. Sunflowers are so uplifting.

Don't worry I haven't forgotten the portraits, back to them shortly. :)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Another Try...

Ink on HP paper

As you can see still no likeness, in fact I think I'm losing it totally! Trouble is I rather like this guy, if only I knew where he was. He's so cute.

OK, tomorrow I start getting serious and get down to measuring properly. Let's see if we can nail this one once and for all.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Capturing Cary

Firstly, I apologise to Cary Grant for this abysmal rendering of him. He is my hero and represents for me a true gentleman. I adore his films (mostly because I like looking at him!) and among my favourites are of course An Affair to Remember, Arsenic & Old Lace and The Philadelphia Story. Of course that's just a few because I don't want to bore you with a huge list of my favourite Cary Grant films!

Anyway, back to art... I am trying again with portraits and as you can see by this one I really need to work on getting a likeness. I sure didn't get one this time! I will try again tomorrow and see what happens.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

After Charles Robinson

My version of Alice in Wonderland - not quite as good as Charles Robinson's but it was so lovely to use the inks again. I was pleased with this result.

Sometimes the hardest thing in life to learn is when to stop, when not to keep pushing but to hold off and allow the currents of fate to flow freely.

Unfortunately, even at my age I have not learned this lesson and did not know when to stop. I used watercolour in a very heavy handed way to add just a little colour and in so doing (to my mind) I spoilt the picture with a messy background.

Ah well, maybe next time I will take more care and just cease.