Saturday, February 23, 2013


Being Content-Ted leads to such inner peace. Transparent watercolour 23.5 by 15 inches.

May your dreams tonight be filled with happy memories that leave you feeling contented too.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February's Tip of the Month!

 At some point  each month this spring I will share a useful tip and show you how I use this when painting. 

 A successful painting is really helped by careful planning of colour. Thought about warmth or coolness, complimentary versus analogous, and how to create the greys while keeping the palette consistent is very important. But even more important than colour is the planning and careful positioning of values in a painting. If you find this difficult to see just by looking at your painting you can take a photo of it and use the grey scale setting in a program such as photoshop. As a general rule you want the biggest contrasts in value to be at or next to your centre of interest (where you want the viewer to focus)You can use patterns in contrast in value to help lead the eye to your COI too.

Here is my work in progress today converted to grey scale. I still have a large section of the hair still to paint but I am pleased with how the values are working so far.

I promise to show you the colour version in a couple days once I have finished all the girls hair.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Content-Ted Wip 3

Softly does it is my motto in this painting.  I have only really suggested the girls pj's  building up the layers ever so gradually  and keeping mostly to the cool pinks and lilacs. Her face is much warmer in colour and I am also beginning to introduce warmer salmony pinks  as I paint Ted. This will hopefully help to link the two emotionally as well as physically.

I am keeping this painting fairly high key as I feel it adds to the dreamlike peaceful feel of the piece.

I am looking forward to painting Ted's sleepily contented face :)


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Content-Ted Wip 2

I have been working away at the portrait part of this larger painting over the last week slowly building up the shape and form of the face and then adding the skin tones in a series of glazes.

I wanted to create a very peaceful feel in this painting so although I have worked on keeping those deep values have kept the colour palette pretty warm and much more limited than I usually do in my portraiture. Next I will work on shaping her clothes.


Thursday, February 14, 2013


Urgent request..... please view this miniature painting before it is all gone!!!!

 This Tiny Ted really seemed to love my new miniature painting of some valentine cupcakes so I allowed him to get up real close (I innocently thought he wanted to look at all the detail) ... He seems to have been 'Tempt-Ted' to do a lot more than look though!!!

The actual painting of the valentine cup cakes is about 6.75" by 2.75" and  the whole painting including the tiny Ted and the painted mat is 9" by 5.25". It's painted in transparent watercolour.

For those of you, like Ted who want a closer look, here is a much larger than life close up of the cup cakes and part of Ted.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Magnifying magic!

I thought you might enjoy this photo my son took of me painting when he got home from school today.

The miniature is slowly taking shape. A lot of it is painted with the help of either this hand held magnifying glass or a larger table top one. Painting this way takes a little getting used to but once you do it really fools the brain into thinking you are painting much larger than you really are. This makes details like the wood grain on the table or the teeny tiny sprinkle hearts a lot easier to create. I must admit though that I feel a little like Alice because working like this for several hours at a time totally distorts your real sense of scale.

Talking of scale do you think my Ted's eyes might be bigger than his stomach? He says he has been appreciating the aesthetic beauty of my art work long enough and its making him hungry  (EEEK!)


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday's Sneak Peak

I have started my next two paintings over the last few days. I found that working on two bigger paintings at the same time was too intensive but  having a small one and a larger one to pick and choose between works for me. I find the miniatures fun but can only work on them for short periods of time. The larger ones need time to dry between the washes so interchanging between both works well.

So here is your Sunday Sneak Peak at my progress. Both paintings are in their early stages and both are Ted paintings but each have very different message and emotion to convey.

Now you know that I almost always begin with the background in a painting but in my larger painting I haven't done this because, for the dreamy effect I want to create the background will need to go in last. At the moment I am working on forming the facial features on this sleeping girl

When I am doing this I am looking for the colours under the skin that help to create the shape and form of the face.  I have lots of work still left to do especially on her nose, top eye and of course her  hand.

In my new 'miniature' I did begin with the background. I am working on hot press paper for my miniatures so creating a rich dark background was quite a challenge not only because of the size but the way the paint sits on hot press. The dark painted area that you can see below is 6.75 by 2.75 inches so not a true miniature but pretty close. The long thin format just worked better compositionally for this one.

The wood grain on the table was painted with my teeniest tiniest brush as was most of the top section of the cupcake which I worked on today. I tend to pick a section to do each sitting and then put it away for a while. Tomorrow I hope to complete the bottom section of the cup cake.

Hope you enjoyed your sneak peak over my shoulder at what I'll be working on this month.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

This was going to be 'Compact-Ted '

...I decided to do another miniature watercolour for my -Ted series. I carefully selected my Ted so, when painted, he would be 1/6th of his actual size which is the typical reduction for miniature work and then drew out a space that was 3 and 5/8 inches by 2 and 1/8 inches in size. The problem was Ted just didn't want to stay compact-Ted into such a small space.... he is much too keen on getting a hug instead

I guess I will have to call the painting 'Extricate-Ted' instead :)


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Strathmore Artist Papers Award

I am really pleased to let you know that Juror Cheng-Khee Chee, AWS D.F. NWS  has awarded my painting 'Finishing Touches'  The Strathmore Artist Papers Award at the 4th annual Signature American Watermedia Exhibition.

 The exhibition opens in The Janice Griffiths Gallery at the Fallbrook Art Center in California today and runs until March 17. Opening hours are Mon-Sat 10am-4pm | Sun 12pm-3pm.

Here is the official anouncement of awards on the Fallbrook Art Center web page. Congratulations to the other artists who have won awards also. I am honoured to be in their company.

There are some spectacular paintings in the exhibition which you can view on line here if you, like me, live too far away to see it in person.


Saturday, February 2, 2013


Thank you for your patience. It's taken a while for me to finish all that fur and sticky maple syrup but it's finally completed. Now it's up to you my selected jurors. The fate of this small bear lies in your hands. Is he guilty of stealing the maple syrup from Quebec in August of last year or has he been framed?

There is no doubt that this small bear loves maple syrup but was this just an innocent find on his part that he just couldn't resist? or had he deliberately stashed away the stolen maple syrup and was caught as he tried to 'dispose' of the evidence?

Please consider the evidence very carefully and give your verdict.