I could see perspective and how buildings all have the same basic structure, and I could see the shadows in a tree. It was this early artistic flair that really helped me along the path to becoming a professional artist. I have always thought that children’s minds are like sponges; they absorb information with an almost photographic memory. Because I spent time drawing and sketching objects like trees, I really captured these in my mind.
I have always thought that children’s minds are like sponges; they absorb information with an almost photographic memory. Because I spent time drawing and sketching objects like trees, I really captured these in my mind.
A big thank you to my parents, as they bought me my first watercolour set at the age of ten. From then on, I taught myself to paint in watercolour, by trial and error. I just kept trying and trying, until I got it right.
I soon developed my own style, which has a good balance of looseness with detail where it counts, drawing the eye to the painting’s focal point. I love to paint landscapes and seascapes, and painting from life is what I really enjoy. Watercolour is very easy to travel with; all you need are a few brushes, paints, a piece of watercolour paper and a bit of inspiration. Another favourite subject of mine is animals; capturing the detail in the hair is wonderful. I also enjoy painting close-up studies of old gates and cottage doorways. My painting has evolved over the years and it still evolves. I think in every painting you learn something new.
I started teaching groups and giving demonstrations in 1997, with weekly classes in my village of Langwith, Derbyshire. This led to more classes, and workshop days up and down the UK. Painting holidays soon followed. Before I knew it, I was teaching over 200 artist per week.
The Society for All Artists (SAA) approached me and soon had me filming watercolour dvds and working on my first TV show,
Paint Along with Matthew Palmer. We produced two successful series of this, and that led to me presenting A Splash of Paint on the Painting and Drawing Channel (from SAA).
The tools and information here are a collection of my many years of experience of painting and teaching. It contains helpful tips and tricks that I have picked up over time and ideal for either the beginner and those who wish to improve. I recently had my first best selling book published, Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner, which is a helpful tool for any level of painter.
In it, and on my website, are featured all the essentials necessary to start your own watercolour journey, or revisit the basics if you have painted before. You will find all you need to know about materials, translating a scene onto watercolour paper, with perspective and composition simply explained; moving on to light and shade, mixing colours, painting skies, figures, trees and water. There are also simple exercises to follow, as well as full watercolour paintings demonstrated in a step-by-step manner.
I hope to help you build the confidence to get started or develop your skills in watercolour painting.