Monday 25 April 2022

Little Paintings for my Kickstarter 'The Wind in the Willows' Book Campaign

 I feel like I'm blowng the dust off this blog, polishing my spectacles, and thumbing through its pages to see where I last posted... December 2020?!!! Oh dear. In explanation I use this blog to post my thoughts and process on painting, and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for promotion. Over the last year and a half I've been so busy, I've barely been able to look around and post something meaningful, until now.

As part of my Kickstarter campaign to gather pre-orders for my fully illustrated edition of 'The Wind in the Willows' (take a look), I have been creating 15 small watercolours for those lucky backers who snapped them up in the first few days of the Kickstarter launch. I also managed to make a time lapse video painting Ratty, start to finish. 


Many people ask me about my technique, hopefully this video will give you some pointers. At the beginning I start with my basic linework (which has been slightly erased with a putty rubber). Then I add an underpainting of cobalt blue and cadmium red mixed together. Those colours create a dull violet, perfect for cast shadows on a warm day (complimentary to yellow ochre). Once the underpainting is dry enough, I add local colours and then start to build up deeper tones and details all over. Lots of work is required on the fur to give Ratty a nice texture, but I have to be careful not to overwork his shirt and trousers, which is easy to do with transparent watercolour. The red chequer for the basket liner is left until last, because I want to build up all the tonal values first and then let it influence the layer of red watercolour. I do this with all patterned fabrics.

Here are the other character paintings, all taken from scenes in the book:

Thursday 10 December 2020

Pop-Up Exhibition and Sale, Sat 12th Dec

I'm hold a pop-up exhibition and sale this Saturday at the Calne Springs Showroom next to the Tesco Superstore. Open 10am - 5pm. I'll be selling prints, books and calendars, plus an outrageous amount of Christmas cards! Hope to see some of you there 🎅😀

Also, if you're in the Devizes area, the Best of British Art pop-up gallery is NOW OPEN! 


The Art Barn, Cuckoo Corner, Urchfont, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 4RA, UK.

10-4pm each day

Dec 7th-12th and Dec 14th-19th


I'm taking part along with a host of brilliant artists. Also, it's in the beautiful village of Urchfont - what's not to like!? Here's a Facebook video of the exhibition.

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Free Colouring Sheets

During lockdown I have been producing the occasional free to download and print colouring sheet. 'Catching Butterflies' is latest to be uploaded to my website

There are seven in total, so if you find yourself at a loose end, print some off and have a go and please send me your results!

Thursday 4 June 2020

Which Book Cover Do You prefer?

Help needed! Please tell me which book cover layout you prefer. Don't hold back on any other comments too. Thank you!!

Saturday 28 December 2019

'Telling Tales' and other artworks

As the year draws to an end, it's time to post some artwork highlights which I have completed in 2019. I don't post much work on the blog these days, so there is a fair amount to show you.

'Telling Tales' 24 x 31cm watercolour and gouache

'House Sitting' 24 x 31cm watercolour and gouache

'House Sitting' rough drawing
'Hankering For Home' 24 x 31cm watercolour

'The Last Train' 51 x 35cm, watercolour and gouache

'Nice Morning Ma'am' 24 x 31cm watercolour and gouache

'Ratty Writing Poetry' 24 x 31cm watercolour and gouache
Hopefully in 2020 all my 'Wind In The Willows' illustrations will be published in a fully illustrated edition of the classic story.

P.s have you seen my Winter Sale? Please take a look - . Everything is reduced, including calendars and limited edition prints up to 50% off!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Monday 28 October 2019

2020 Art Calendar

Paisley will have the last laugh.
Here's October's Paisley Rabbit illustration, and possibly my favourite in my new 2020 Paisley Rabbit Art Calendar, available now -

It's very exciting to have a full bleed, 12" square calendar. At a larger scale, compared to my 2019 calendar, the images have much more impact and of course you can keep the image page at the end of the monthand maybe even get it framed!!
11 illustrations from the book, plus one new illustration for May.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Work In Progress

Rough Drawing - I can't think of a suitable title yet!
I've been so busy I have nearly forgotten about my blog! Hopefully this post will kick me into a blogging gear. As I type I am waiting for this painting to dry. I have applied a mixture of prussian blue and payne's grey on saturated paper in the hope of creating an atmospheric late evening background of fields and trees under a light dusting of snow. The finished scene will have Mole sadly recalling his old subterranean home and how he hasn't seen it for so long. The two friends are making their way back to Ratty's house, late on a winter's day, when Mole suddenly catches the scent of his home and becomes distraught. Ratty consoles Mole and quickly decides to find Mole's house in the hope of cheering him up.

I love sloshing watercolour around...

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Two Paintings In One

Double Jeopardy
Every now and then I like to create two paintings on the same piece of paper. It saves time, paper and water because I soak my watercolour paper in a water tray before taping it to the board to dry and stretch. It may be a time saver, but working like has risks. I must be very careful to protect the half I am not working on from moisture and paint. Thankfully Scotch Magic Tape is brilliant for masking watercolour paper without overly-damaging the paper underneath. Fortunately the tape also adheres to the plastic sheet I use to mask larger areas, which means I can fix the sheet in place and seal all the edges so there is little chance of water encroaching onto the painting.

This message is not sponsored by Scotch Magic Tape, although I wouldn't mind if it was (they could pay in rolls of tape).

Here are the finished 'The Wind In The Willows' illustrations:
'Walking Through The Village'watercolour and gouache
24 x 31cm
'Heard The News?'
watercolour and gouache
24 x 31cm

Friday 22 February 2019

Open Edition Prints

Station Mouse
I've restocked a number of small and medium sized open edition prints, which are now available to buy on my website - 'Station Mouse' 6x6" (15x15cm) for £7.50 + P&P.

Monday 11 February 2019

Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears

'Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears' watercolour and gouache , 24 x 31cm
Another 'The Wind In The Willows' illustration, finished this morning and shared with the online world! Here Badger gives Toad some stern words, criticising his past behaviour and blaming him for the loss of Toad Hall. However, he also offers hope when he comes to explain there is a secret tunnel into Toad's old residence which they can use to flush out the wicked stoats, ferrets and weasels. Good old Mr Badger, I say!

I had plenty of fun adding the extra details to create a further narrative in the image, such as the oars above the fireplace and the framed map of the river and it's tributaries on the wall. Also, please take the time to read the newspaper headline, which harks back to the adventures of Toad.

There are also cameos for my Grandmother's caddy box on the mantlepiece and the obligatory cornishware mug on the table.