May Day!

According to the law it’s the last day for burning wood in the garden. It’s Sunday 30th April and I’m on the Greek island of Aigina. Through the net curtains and the tall blue slatted shutters I look up from my bed at the Saronic Gulf, calm as a lake between the pines of the […]

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Watercolour Garden Gate

Our family has used the gate into this garden for over 50 years. Mary and I can each count over a dozen houses we’ve lived in, but this garden has memories spanning them all.  Here’s my set-up, sitting half in the hall, with the paper taped to a table that I can push in and out […]

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Retsona Refugee Camp

Today we visit a refugee camp in Greece, one of three dozen together holding about 65,000 (known) refugees, forwarded from detention centres and now on the transfer lists awaiting invitation from the receiving EU countries.  We visit the home of a Syrian surgeon and two of his friends. One has left his family behind in […]

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Watercolour Snowscape

To start, I used masking tape over the horizon and applied a wash from Burnt Umber & Viridian Green up to Prussian Blue, for distant woodland and sky. Added pale tree trunks ‘behind’ the horizon after the sky was dry; before removing the tape. Then added shadows in the snow, mixing Prussian and Ultramarine Blues.  […]

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Naples Yellow & Lamp Black

My dad tells me that these two colours are essential. Got them today and tried them out. This is a 10m painting. However, I did try out a new idea: instead of using Snapseed (Google’s Photoshop) to change the overall hue, why not apply a ‘wash’ over a finished painting? In this case I decided […]

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Watercolour Waterloo Bridge

Friday 7th April My charming nephew James has requested a picture of Waterloo Bridge. It’s for his wife for whom the view has happy memories.  So we’re looking for a ‘warm’ or cheerful look. Sunlight and dancing shade is maybe beyond me for a while, so ‘warm’ it is. I seek out a shot at […]

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Street Drawing

Minimum gear: a pocket Moleskine, a 6B, and a sharpener. Fits in the suit. Off we go. Drawing quickly, to see if those first marks might work. Watching the subject, not the paper. Engaging brain to capture structure; disengaging brain to make intuitive meaningful marks. In V&A and S.Ken. 

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