Hints and Advice

Artistic Licence - 

Most of my paintings are either Landscape or Seascape, other artists select subjects such as Animals, Flowers or People & Buildings, the list is endless and eventually we each find our own favorite subject, whatever subject you as an artist decide on you will invariably end up using artistic license.

This means you make changes to your paintings which may or may not be reflected in the actual scene. Artistic license is used by almost all artists whatever their subject, and is done deliberately in order to increase or enhance the dramatic effect of the finished painting, don't forget it's your painting captured in your own individual style and ultimately your personal expression of what you see, that's the beauty of painting. Remember nature created the scene all you have to do is capture it on canvas in your own individual style

Building your Confidence

The more paintings you complete, the more confidence you will get to move on and attempt more difficult subjects. My success with watercolour has

boosted my confidence to a level were i now feel comfortable about the quality of my finished paintings, although improving my technique is always at the back of my mind, I now feel confident enough to show the world, through my web site what i have achieved in such a relatively

short period of time. Remember painting is supposed to be fun and relaxing, if you feel relaxed your chances of completing a successful painting will greatly improve, the fun and enjoyment comes from the satisfaction of viewing your finished product. Confidence comes with practice.


Always have a piece of clean tissue/paper towel in your hand before you start and during your painting session, this way you can control the amount of

water on your brush at any one time, and ultimately the amount of paint which goes on to your paper, the amount of water you use is the number one key factor for successful Watercolour Painting and only comes with experience I'm afraid. 

Getting your Drawing on to Watercolour Paper

They say practice makes perfect and that if at first you don't succeed try try again. When i first started watercolour painting, putting my initial sketch on to watercolour paper was so overloaded with detail i found it difficult to determine where my starting point was, in fact it was not a sketch it was a detailed drawing. In most cases my sketch took me longer to complete than the actual painting itself. It took time, but eventually i began to learn that too much detail in the sketch actually restricted my flow of paint on the paper. Most professional Landscape/Seascape Artists say a simple sketch is all you need and should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete, this is the time-scale i now try and work to. Since i started using this 20 minute technique, my paintings and individual painting style developed very quickly into what you see today. Remember anyone can learn to paint, all it takes is lots of practice, plenty of patience and a sheer determination to succeed, but most of all have fun and enjoy.

Painting will change your Life

Painting has helped me see the world as never before, the different blue's in the sky and the array of cloud formations which change dramatically minute by minute, then there is the awesome range of green's making our Spring/Summer trees and shrubs so rich and pleasing to the eye, and finally the spectacle of our Autumn/Winter colors such as the gold's, red's, brown's and yellow's, this is natures very own canvas producing a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year.

Before i started painting i took very little notice of the seasonal changes, now i find myself constantly watching the colors change around me, The best thing i ever did was to start painting. It has completely changed the way i look at life and once you start painting it will also change yours.


Always remember where the light is coming from when painting, it is no good showing shading down the left hand side of a tree in one part of your painting and on the right hand side of a tree in another part of the same painting. Light should always come in from the same direction.

Developing your own Style

Since I started painting I have tried to work as an artist and painter in the English watercolour tradition. The two subjects I love to paint are landscapes and seascapes. 

My personal style of painting has partially developed through studying the techniques of two modern masters of Watercolour Painting. Two British artists known around the world for the quality of their work and teaching methods they are Terry Harrison and Geoff Kersey.

It is through studying their DVD's, Videos and reading many of their publications that my individual style you see today, has partially evolved. Over time each artist will eventually develop his/her own style of painting, some will go for the new modern vibrant/abstract style of art, others take on the elaborate style of painting animals and buildings in explicit detail, while artists like myself have developed in a more Traditional and open English Watercolour style, all artists tend to find a level they feel comfortable with.

Interpretation and Imagination 

Remember you don't have to include every leaf, tree, rock or mountain peak in your painting just because they are there in nature, by using Artistic Licence, the artist can freely add or remove elements in the painting to suit themselves and thus increase the dramatic final effect of the finished product.

Your Interpretation and your own imagination are the only limitations you face as an artist when you start a painting, use your own freedom of expression and you are more likely to create that individual masterpiece. 

One of the most daunting things about starting to paint, or indeed any other leisure activity is finding help and support from someone qualified to advise on the subject, such things as where to start, what equipment to purchase and to offer assistance when required.

I was lucky here by being pointed in the direction of the SAA (Society for All Artists) a worldwide organisation. Joining the SAA was one of the best moves i made, there is always someone there to offer help, advice and support when you need it. Why not pay them a visit by clicking on the link below, you will be glad you did. 

SAA link www.saa.co.uk

Watch the Painting & Drawing Channel programes anytime you like! FREE direct to your computer screen simply click on the following link and select which of this weeks programs' you wish to watch. http://www.thepaintinganddrawingchannel.co.uk/tv-anytime.html. The SAA cater for all levels of artist, ranging from the beginner to the professional, for anyone taking up painting as a hobby, membership of the Society for All Artists is a must.


For dry brush work, make sure the paint on your brush is not too wet, hold the brush on it's side with four fingers on one side and the thumb on the other so the side of the hairs just catch the raised surface area of the rough paper.


Place Masking Tape around the edge of your paper before you start painting, when you have finished you are left with a neat white border surround.


When painting a mountain scene or a scene with rolling hills. It is important that your brush strokes follow the contours of the hills or mountain you are painting, this will ensure you get the correct land contours that fit the perspective.


Before you use Masking Fluid on your painting, first wet your brush with clean water and wipe the hairs over a small block of ordinary soap, this forms a barrier between the brush hairs and the masking fluid thus protecting your brush from incurable damage. Do not leave Masking Fluid on your painting for longer than a day or two as it could tear the paper when you remove it.


When painting trees take some detail from your reference photograph (i.e. Shape and size in relation to the surrounding landscape) but never try tore-create an exact copy. Remember the key to a successful tree scene is to simplify it, you are creating your own interpretation of what you see. Paint Quality

There are two types of Watercolour Paints available for purchase in both Pans and Tubes, Artist Quality and Student Quality, when starting out choose the best Paint you can afford because in the better paint (Artist Quality) the colour pigment is a lot stronger and more powerful which means you will use less, this works out cheaper as you end up putting less paint on your brush but end up with sparkling quality colour on your paper. 


When painting a sky on a Landscape scene always drop the sky wash in below the top of your distant hills, stopping where the hills meet the sky will 
leave you with an unnatural line.

My advice, if you are just starting is to let your own unique style of painting develop on your canvas as you progress, believe me within a short period of time you will be showing the world what you have achieved.

I thought, at first, i would never be able to grasp the concepts and principles of painting in Watercolor but through plenty of practice, lots of patients and many early failures, i now believe my paintings are beginning to take on a more professional appearance. My aims and objectives are to continue to improve my own unique style and take the quality of my paintings to another level.

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