Monday 11 December 2023

paint your own watercolour christmas cards


Season's greetings and happy holidays! I love this time of year when everything looks so festive and so many people are feeling creative.

Are you painting cards for Christmas? Here's a list of the 6 tutorials I have for you...

  1. Gingerbread biscuits
  2. A robin in the snow
  3. A winter scene in 2 colours
  4. A deer in the snow
  5. 15 minute abstract Christmas cards
  6. A cathedral

You can find them on Patreon and Renee's Studio.

As always, I look forward to seeing what you create :-)

Happy painting!

Sunday 10 December 2023

new postcard club


Original postcard paintings

Just launched! A new Patreon tier where you can receive an original postcard painting from me each month - the Postcard Club.

I love to paint tiny paintings, full of details and vibrant colours. Tiny paintings seem like little gems, a little bit precious. Each year I paint a lot of little postcards - I pull out a blank postcard when I want to revisit a scene I've painted before, to try out different compositions before I paint a large painting or to play with new ideas or materials. Sometimes I pop these into the mail to a friend, but often they just go into a drawer or a box. This seems a terrible shame!

Starting this month I've got a new membership tier on Patreon where you can receive an original mini-painting from me. The subject of the postcard will be a surprise for you! Because each postcard will be different and lovingly created by me, this tier is limited to just 6 people at the moment!

Folks in the Postcard Club have access to all the watercolour tutorials as well, the monthly challenges and the community forum.

International shipping is included.

I'm already looking forward to visiting the post office and sending out some old fashioned snail mail.

Join the club!

Friday 17 November 2023

autumn silver birches


Painting an autumn landscape in watercolour

I couldn't let the year finish without an autumn scene :-) So here are some very pretty silver birches we spotted on a hike the other day. They just glow against the darker mountain behind!

While the main focus of this scene is the beautiful trees, there is also the pretty stream with little cascades over the rocks. Altogether, these create a super pretty autumn landscape.

Happy painting!

Friday 10 November 2023

snowy christmas robin

Paint a robin in watercolour

I'm going to say it! Christmas is coming!! So let's get a bit of head start by painting a cute, little, fluffy robin in the snow.

You can scan your finished painting and turn it into a Christmas card or paint is as an original to give to someone special.

I painted this one to match the deer in the snow that is a lesson from about a year ago. They'll look so lovely together.

Happy painting!

Find the full, real time, video tutorial on Patreon and Renee's Studio

Thanks to Abdul Rehman Khalid on Unsplash for the lovely reference photo.

Saturday 4 November 2023

sunlit ruin and stormy sky

Painting a sunlit ruin and stormy sky in watercolour

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a new abandoned town - Tiermas. This one is an old Roman town and had some beautiful medieval buildings, including a very large church. In the 1950s most of the town, the old Roman baths and all the orchards and arable land was flooded to make way for a reservoir. Everyone, except 2 of the inhabitants, moved on, with the remaining 2 staying until they died. It's a sad story for sure.

The part of the town that was on a hill still remains, and is quite extensive. But it certainly is very ruined! On the day I was there it was rainy and I had a number of false starts before sketching, plus a few trips back to the van to wait out showers then setting up again and continuing. It was rather funny, and also totally worthwhile, because the lighting was beautiful with the sunlight catching the stonework on the buildings and the dark stormy sky.

After I finished sketching, I took a million photos, and we're going to be working from one of those for this lesson.

Happy painting!

Find the full tutorial on Patreon or Renee's Studio -

Thursday 26 October 2023

painting watercolour landscapes with depth


How to paint watercolour landscapes with depth. Online Zoom course.

Upcoming Zoom course!

How do you paint beautiful, vibrant, watercolour landscapes with a wonderful sense of depth? When you paint a landscape with depth you draw a viewer right into your scene. You can tell a great story, create a painting with drama or peace and calm.

Painting with depth informs every single one of my paintings. It doesn't matter what I paint - landscapes, abstracts, still lifes, animals - I'm always thinking about depth.

Join me the first weekend of November, in this new online mini-course, where I'll explain the theory of aerial perspective and we'll put it into practise painting 2 vibrant watercolours.

2 lessons, online mini-course

In the first lesson we'll cover the theory of aerial perspective and paint a simple landscape putting the rules into practise. The next day we'll paint a more complex scene.

Classes are small and limited to 20 students only. This allows for ample time to ask questions and to get feedback on your work. Recordings are available after each class

Class dates …
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November 2023, 4pm CET (Madrid)

For more info and to book your spot :

I hope to see you there!

Archway, Wharariki Beach, New Zealand

Tuesday 17 October 2023

advice on painting boats on location

Painting boats on the north coast of Spain

Painting boats, their reflections and their beautiful surrounding is one of the most romantic themes for watercolourists and a very popular subject. Boat paintings in all media have a very long history, and they conjure up feelings of adventure, travel, hard work and discovery of new places.

Sketching them on location is just magical, because for sure you’re going to be in an interesting place - either somewhere surrounded by water, nature, birds and wonderful light, or in a harbour full of the bustle of boating people and fisher-folk.

While I was painting boats the other day, and taking step-by-step photos to make a tutorial for you, I was thinking a bit about how tricky it is to paint boats on location and some advice I would give to people who hadn’t done it before. So here are a few tips for you, if you plan on heading out.

  • If It’s your first time out, go at low tide and sketch the boats that have beached, or visit a harbour where the boats are tightly moored. Floating boats move a lot and the tide can move surprisingly fast when you’re quietly sketching and not at all aware of the time. Beached boats, and those tightly moored, will be a good first step to become familiar with drawing boats in general
  • Talking of the tides, it’s good to look at a tide table and know whether the tide is going in or out. Then before you set up, spot the tideline and make sure you’re not going to suddenly swamped by an incoming wave when you’re in your painting zone and looking the other way. It’s happened to me, more than once - but then maybe I’m a slow learner ;-)
  • Once you’ve got a number of lovely beached and tightly moored boats to sketch, then sketch them a lot. Really study how boats are shaped, what the shape of a hull looks like from the side, front, back and when seen from different heights. Then study the shape of the inside from all angles too. This kind of study is invaluable! You’ll really need to know the general form of boats before you start sketching them when they’re floating and moving.
  • So now you’re ready to head out at high tide. Yay! This is so much fun, because now you’ll have reflections too. You know how boats are shaped, so you can play a memory game - watch a boat you want to sketch for a long time and pick how you want to place it on your page, then draw it’s position from memory. This kind of observation and drawing from memory skill is wonderful to have and will transfer so well to drawing other subjects as well.
  • Talking of reflections. These are going to very affected by the weather and the wind. So a good study of them is essential too. Remember that the reflection is usually a darker value than what it is reflecting, so I find it handy to paint the water first right over the reflection area, then add the reflection later, so that the reflection has a darkish undertone.
  • Also on reflections. You’ll see this in the full lessons on painting boats that I’ve already shared, but I find it easiest to paint the hull of the boat at the same time as it’s reflection, letting the two merge into each other. This means I get the colour essentially the same, and I avoid a hard line or even a white gap between the boat and its reflection. This gap can make the boat look like it’s above the water, when in fact it goes right into the water.
  • And talking of water. Look really carefully at the colours in the water - it’s a reflection of the sky (so it is affected by the weather), and all of the surroundings, so normally isn’t just blue.
  • Final little tips. Just the usual - sunhat, sunnies (I normally don’t recommend painting with sunnies on, because of how it affects your colour choices, but light reflecting off water can be bad for your eyes, so in this case I’d keep mine on), insect repellant (mozzies at estuaries! Yikes!), and a camera for taking lots and lots of reference photos.
  • Final, final tips - don’t forget about the boat painting tutorials I have already done, they’re the perfect place to start before you head out.

Happy painting!

Friday 13 October 2023

paint little boats in pen and watercolour


Paint little boats step-by-step

For the last few years it's been a tradition for us to travel to the north coast of Spain for a little seaside holiday in September. Like migrating birds, we seem to be drawn (excuse the pun!) to the same little haunts each year - our favourite beaches, cliffs and estuaries.

Part of the tradition is for me to visit my favourite boats. It's a bit like visiting old friends - there they are, just where I saw them last. Some are a little more worse for the wear, some have a new coat of paint, but rarely is one gone or there is a new one.

What does change each time you visit boats, is the tide and the weather. So I'll happily keep painting these boats over and over again, because each time there's something a bit different.

Here are 2 old friends of mine I've sketched many times before, and now you can paint along too.

Happy painting!

Find the full step-by-step tutorial on Patreon or Renee's Studio -

Sketching little boats plein air

Monday 11 September 2023

how correct tonal values can improve your paintings


Comparing your painting and reference photo in greyscale to improve your tonal range

Do you find that sometimes your paintings look a bit flat? That they lack sense of depth? That your buildings don't look truly 3-dimesional? Or that your painting lacks vibrancy?

Perhaps you really like the reference photo you were working from, but somehow your painting is missing something that the reference photo has.

Of course, the answer could be many things, but most often when I'm looking at student paintings, what I see is that the tonal values in their paintings could be improved.

What do I mean by tonal values?

One of the important things to get right in your paintings is the correct tonal values - the darks and lights in your painting. To make a painting appear really vibrant, you often need to have a good contrast between light areas and dark areas.

Tonal values tell a story

Depending on the story you're wanting to tell, you might want a painting that is mostly dark (a sombre feel), mostly light (often for a more traditional feel) or to have a good range of both darks and lights (a vibrant feel). 

Probably you chose the reference photo, or the scene you're working from, because it told one of these stories. If you then look at your finished painting and it doesn't feel right, then it can help to look at the tonal range of your painting compared to the tonal range of your reference.

Tonal values help with composition

One of the many tricks to indicate a focal point in your painting is to have the darkest-dark next to the lightest-light in that area. Using this trick helps someone looking at your painting to know where your focal point is.

Correct tonal values help give a painting a sense of depth

Things in the distance are lighter in tone than things that are closer to you. For instance, if you were painting a scene with lots of mountains, then the mountains furtherest away from you would be the palest and then as you got closer to the foreground the mountains would get darker and darker.

Colours can confuse you

Some colours, particularly ones that are bright or vibrant, can look like they're a darker tone than they really are. As you become more skilful, you'll learn to be able to see the tone separately to hue. In the beginning, colours can mislead you. So...

Compare paintings and reference photos in greyscale

To help you judge whether you've got a tonal range in your painting that best matches the reference photo you're working from or tells the story you're after, you should view both your finished painting and your reference photo in greyscale. This is probably one of the quickest tricks that will improve your paintings.

Take a photo of your painting and convert it to greyscale. Do the same for your reference photo. Now compare the two. Removing the colours will instantly tell you whether you've got your tonal values correct. I use this all the time!

Renee's Studio and Real Sketch have tonal value tools

We've included a tonal value tool in both of our apps. These tools allows you to compare a greyscale photo of your painting to a greyscale version of your reference. 

Renee's Studio is for iOS and Real Sketch for Android.

Find Real Sketch on Google PlayStore  and Renee's Studio on Apple AppStore.

I encourage you use them, and see what a difference it makes to your paintings.

Happy painting!

Friday 25 August 2023

paint a zebra in watercolour


Zebra - pen and watercolour

By the time you watch this video I will be in South Africa visiting my parents and we'll be in the Kruger National Park, hopefully seeing zebras in the flesh. Of course I'll have my sketchbook with me and I'll be sketching memories of our holiday, but before I left for the trip I couldn't help getting a head start. And painting something with you of course!

This gorgeous photo on Unsplash caught my eye. Such an intimate view of the zebra and such beautiful lighting. I knew that it would just glow in watercolours.

This may be one of my favourite paintings of all time.

Happy painting!

Full video tutorial on Patreon and on Renee's Studio.

Thanks to Hans Vens on Unsplash for the reference photo.

Saturday 19 August 2023

free watercolour tutorial - a little ermita


a little chapel in a field of summer flowers

The Ermita de San Anton is a lovely, historic building on one of our favourite walks. I've sketched it many times before when I'm walking past, but this is the first time that I've done a full painting of the pretty place.

On one of our walks past the little chapel recently, the grassy patch in front was full of summer flowers and humming with bees and butterflies. I thought making a feature of these colourful wild flowers would make a fun scene to paint. Plus there's the wonderful stonework on the ermita too.

This tutorial is the free tutorial offered on my new iPad and iPhone app, Renee's Studio. Get the app here.

Happy painting!

Wednesday 16 August 2023

announcing the launch of Renee’s Studio


Watercolour tutorials on Renee’s Studio

We’re super excited to announce the launch of Renee’s Studio - my own iOS app for all my watercolour tutorials.

Perfect for your iPad or iPhone, there are over 50 tutorials there already and I’m adding new content every week.

You know I love to paint everything, so there’s a whole range of subjects - landscapes, buildings, seascapes, animals and more. There’s a range of difficulty levels from basic skills lessons right through to fine art style paintings. It’s all beautifully laid out and you can filter the content to easily find a tutorial or add something to you favourites to watch later.

David, my genius husband, did all the programming and patiently added all the features I asked for. I’m over the moon to have a dedicated space to feature all my favourite tutorials.

To get you started there are 2 free tutorials, including the pretty ermita in a field of summer flowers, shown in first slide in the photo above. Once you’ve subscribed you’ll have access to all the videos, step-by-steps, challenges and a large number of articles answering common questions.

Available for iPad, iPhone and newer Macs. Find it here …

Friday 11 August 2023

a little norwegian boathouse


paint a norwegian boathouse in watercolours

Such a wonderfully Norwegian type scene - the rainy sky, the lush green grass and the little yellow boathouse with it's tidy white flashings. It's just how I remember it being along many of the fjords.

In this lesson we have a lot of fun with the bright colours and the interesting reflections in the glassy water.

Happy painting!

Full step-by-step lesson on Patreon or Renee's Studio

Thursday 27 July 2023

painting a mountain climber

Watercolour painting of a climber in the mountains

We're finishing our month of big, snowy mountains with this painting from Fiordland in New Zealand. It's from a photo I took of my husband back in 2010. This is on one of our many mountaineering trips in this beautiful and wild area just south of where we live.

We'll put together the skills we've already covered in the last few lessons on painting mountains and work with just 4 colours. It's quite a bold scene, with a small human element, which adds a bit of movement and gives the mountains a sense of scale and grandeur.

Happy painting!

Full step-by-step tutorial on my Patreon.

Saturday 15 July 2023

aoraki / mt cook at sunset

Watercolour painting of a sunset over Aoraki / Mt Cook

We're back to New Zealand's highest peak this week. This time for one of New Zealand's most iconic and famous views - Aoraki / Mt Cook with Lake Pukaki in the foreground. And it's a sunset too - little happy dance ;-)

It's time to have some fun with all the lovely sunset colours on your palette to create the glowing sky and then use those colours on the sunlit snow and in the reflections in the water. The rest of the scene we paint in neutrals, so that the sunset colours really glow.

Happy painting!

Full video tutorial, reference photo and drawing to trace on Patreon.

Thanks to Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash for the reference photo.

Thursday 6 July 2023

painting aoraki / mt cook in watercolour

Watercolour painting of Aoraki / Mt Cook


This month on Patreon is all about painting mountains. The big snowy kind! For our first lesson we take a trip to near my home in New Zealand, and paint our highest peak - Aoraki / Mt Cook. In this scene we zoom in right close up on the mountain and paint it's summit peaks.

We start with a little bit of theory where I explain how to use a very simple tonal value scale and directional strokes to create the illusion of 3-dimensional form. Then we use just 3 colours to paint the scene.

Thanks to Jamie Davies on Unsplash for the reference photo.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

sketch party


On July 1st my Patreon turns one! Whoop whoop! To celebrate we're having a sketch party - on Zoom of course.

When : 01 July 2023, 7pm (Central European Time)

We'll have an hour of painting together, meeting each other and chatting.

Join us by signing up on Patreon.

See you there!

Friday 16 June 2023

a field of white daffodils


White daffodils in watercolour

The alpine flowers in the Pyrenees are stunning at the moment and everyday I see something new. But the other day we had a real treat - a field of Pheasant Eye Narcissus. I'd never seen white daffodils before and the were hundreds.

I was very sorry not to have my sketching stuff with me, but it was a showery day and I didn't think I'd want to stop and sketch on our hike, as rain could have happened at any minute. So I took lots of photos and worked these three little paintings from some of them.

This tutorial is a step-by-step of how I painted the larger painting on the left hand page.

How to paint a wildflower scene in watercolours

Wednesday 14 June 2023

art retreat in france - june 2023

It’s hard to believe that our wonderful 10 days at Perigord Retreats was a month ago already. I guess it’s taken me that long to absorb the whole experience and take it all in!

I can honestly say that it was a truly incredible 10 days. I had the happiest, funnest, most enthusiastic bunch of people (9 artists and 2 non-arty partners). They came from far and wide, and were wonderfully diverse in age and life. The perfect mix. We visited some beautiful places to paint and explore, painted up a storm in the studio, we ate fantastic food (I’m still full!), and were thoroughly spoilt by our hosts.

I have 400 photos in my camera roll and lots of video clips. Our WhatsApp group is full of more. Here’s just a little taster for you.


My 9 wonderful artists were indeed all artists in their own right. What many of them felt they lacked was the bravery to take their painting skills outdoors. Perfect! You’ll know that for me painting outside is one of life’s joys.

We painted poppy fields and irises, in a ’secret’ garden the medieval town of Gourdon and a medieval church on a stormy afternoon.

After visiting the famous Rocamadour we sat near the river and sketched an historic tower and from the hilltop fortified town of Domme we had a gorgeous sweeping vista of the Dordogne Valley.

There was a very Monet type experience painting a lily pond in the water gardens in Carsac and then a truly urban scene in the fairytale Collanges-la-Rouge where hundreds of people passed by taking photos and stopping to chat.

We covered linear perspective, aerial perspective, all sorts of techniques for stonework, tiles and brickwork. There were reflections, greenery and distant mountains.

One my students said she’s never painting in the studio again. Says it all really :-)


Talking of the studio, though … It’s great to have access to a comfy well lit studio at the retreat whenever we want. This year everyone made full use of this treat.

Usually I wake up early to pop down to the studio before breakfast to get ready for the day. This year I’d often hear quiet voices down there before me and it always made me smile. After every excursion we’d come back home and there would always be a few folks who’d head straight down the studio to keep painting. And then! Back down to the studio after dinner too :-)

Plus we had a few days that were studio only days. These days were for skills and also for working on a larger painting - with each person painting their own painting from a photo taken during the week with guidance from me.

At the end of the week we had a little exhibition and it was so lovely to see all the completed paintings and to page through all the sketchbooks. I was so proud - insert blushing emoticon ;-)


You’d think there wasn’t time for this as well, but we fitted it all in. Spring days are long!

Markets, rustic villages, medieval towns, cathedrals, picnics along the river, and, of course, shopping - oh, you know, a holiday in France!


And then what is probably the best part of all - the making of new friends.

The shared meals (every breakfast, lunch and dinner is a feast), the drinks in the sun room, the many picnics and the lunches out. The walks through the villages and the country roads near the retreat. All of these combine to give us time to share stories, laugh and become friends.

Our hosts Harrison and Katel, along with Greg and Paula, have created some kind of magic formula for an atmosphere that is relaxed and comfortable. After the retreat I got so many wonderful, happy emails from everyone. And I understand. I wanted to tell everyone back home everything about the retreat and how truly amazing the whole experience is. But I think you had to be there to really understand. Saying goodbye was really hard!

Thank you to the beautiful people who traveled far and wide to join me. Thank to our hosts. I miss you all. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

Can’t wait until June 2024 when I will be back. Lucky me :-)

Next retreat : 2-11 June 2024. Maximum 12 people. Details and booking information here.

Friday 9 June 2023

old wood and corrugated iron in pen and watercolour


Let's paint worn, old wood and rusty iron. We'll start with a few short exercises and then put it together in a painting of a cute, little barn.

I'll show you how to create the feeling of something having lots of character, giving you examples of some colour choices. We'll be working quickly and with free strokes and charging in with colours to make everything look organic and natural. As always, we'll be concentrating on the direction of light and the direction of our brush strokes.

There's a downloadable worksheet below for you to print out and keep.

Thursday 1 June 2023

a waterlily pond

A waterlily pond in watercolour

I've just returned from southern France. On one of our plein air painting excursions, my students and I visited a beautiful water garden. It was so peaceful and so beautiful - lots of different colour water lilies, big koi, croaking frogs and little paths through pretty water features. A very Monet type of place :-)

After our painting session, I went for a walk around the gardens and took lots of photos of the lily ponds, because I knew it would be lovely to paint something from the day with you. And here it is!

Happy painting!

Full video tutorial, reference photo and drawing to trace -

How to paint a waterlily pond in watercolour

Thursday 25 May 2023

old abandoned building in alto mijares, spain

Abandoned stone building above an old aqueduct.

An old, abandoned, stone building in a beautiful peaceful place - you know I'm hardly likely to just walk past that without wanting to sketch it!

This one is built alongside an old aqueduct (sadly no longer with water) and there's a little bridge of the canal. There's a little intro video of this scene in the post after this one, to give a little background of the place.

Join me in sketching this step-by-step.

Thursday 4 May 2023

cañon del rio turia, valencia, spain


paint a canyon in watercolour

I couldn't leave Chulilla in Valencia, Spain, without painting a view of the beautiful canyon. One evening, walking out from climbing in the canyon, I took this photo of the lovely evening light catching the cliffs and the reflections of the cliffs and trees in the water. It was a view just begging to be painted.

In this scene we paint cliffs, background forest, trees and, of course, reflections. It's a painting full of rich colour.


Friday 28 April 2023

a little street in chulilla, valencia, spain


Let's walk into the town of Chulilla, to one of the little streets leading up to the church. Here the focus is on the play of light and shadow on the pretty white houses.

This is our third lesson in Chulilla - we've sketch a few houses close up with lots of detail, a larger portion of the town with minimal detail and, in this one, the detail is somewhere in between.

Thursday 13 April 2023

an almond orchard in watercolour


An almond orchard in pen and watercolour

A few weeks ago the almond blossoms were out in full abundance. Solid white trees, lots of bees and a wonderful smell.
You may have seen my sketch that I did of this orchard on Facebook or Instagram. I did a lot of planning on how to capture white trees in watercolour. As soon as I finished the sketch I knew I wanted to paint it again - this time in the comfort of a studio setup and on a proper piece of paper.

This lesson has a lot of skills for you to try - a perfect example of one-point perspective, lost edges, hard edges, soft edges, reserving of the white paper and dynamic shadows.

Join me in indulging in lots of lovely pastel colours!

How to paint white trees in watercolour

Thursday 6 April 2023

the town of chulilla, valencia, spain


Chulilla, Valencia, Spain. Painting in pen and watercolour

I'm still in Chulilla, having a wonderful time painting the lovely white houses.

In our last lesson (a step-by-step) we sketched just a few houses, zooming in on all the details.

In this lesson we step right back and paint a much larger portion of the town, including the old moorish castle on the hill and the surrounding cliffs and bushes. We're going to minimise the detail, until we have just enough to make the town recognisable.

Thursday 30 March 2023

painting holiday in france - june 2024


In June 2024 I'm planning to go back to wonderful Perigord Retreats to guide another small group on a painting holiday in France. Based on the last trip I guided there, I can honestly say this will be an experience of a lifetime!

We will have 9 days for a beautiful blend of studio time, delightful excursions, cultural experiences and of course, plenty of free time to rest and explore! We will travel into the lovely countryside to paint and visit some of the most scenic towns in Southern France. We will spend time painting and picnicking along the Dordogne River and throughout the valley.

Thursday 23 March 2023

terraced houses in chulilla, spain


Little houses at the bottom of the village, Chulilla, Valencia, Spain

I've been sketching for a number of weeks in lovely Chulilla in Valencia, Spain. The white terraced houses, combined with terracotta roofs, are so fresh and bright.

The town is built onto a steep slope, with cliffs all around. Some days I'll stand or sit at a distance from the town, looking across at the houses until one, or a group of them, catches my eye. Then I get lost in sketching the details.

These particular houses caught my interest because they're not quite as tidy as some of the others - with a combination of stonework and rough white plaster. Plus the set of stairs leading up to the terrace in front really adds a wonderful compositional element - leading you up onto the terrace.

Here you can join me sketching this scene step-by-step exactly as I normally do in my sketchbook. It's a sketch, not a painting. Quick and loose. The idea being to capture the scene while the light is just right - shadows maketh the sketch ;-)

Full tutorial, and downloadable reference photo, on my Patreon.

Step-by-step urban sketch

Wednesday 15 March 2023

magical morocco - painting holiday october 2023


Join me in Morocco for a 9 day painting holiday

Visiting Morocco has been on my mind for years! The vibrant colours, the culture, the architecture and landscapes - all so different to anything I've ever sketched before. I'm really excited to announce that, together with Tedrart & Morocco Ecoway, I'm planning a painting holiday for this October.

9 days painting in Marrakech & Essaouira

We're putting together a wonderful itinerary starting and ending in Marrakech, and with 7 days in the historic fortified port town of Essaouira (with it's UNESCO heritage old city). There will be traditional artisan markets, old ports, boats, little alleyways, mosques, sea and beaches. There will be camels and goats. There will be luxury accommodation and wonderful local cuisine shared together. And, of course, we'll put putting all of this into our sketchbooks!

Proposed dates : 01 - 09 October 2023
Estimated cost : approximately US$ 2,900 pp
Cost will include luxury accommodation, daily painting tuition from me, an English-speaking local guide, all local transport, all meals and drinks. Maximum group size 15.

Details will be finalised soon.

Interested?! Contact me and let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday 9 March 2023

stonework and brickwork in pen and watercolour


how to paint stonework and brickwork in watercolour and pen

It's not necessary to paint every single stone or brick ;-) 

In this skills lesson I show you how to simplify stonework and brickwork in pen and watercolour. First we'll do a few of small exercises for each and then we'll use the skills to paint two pretty little buildings.

There's a downloadable worksheet for you to print out and keep.

Friday 3 March 2023

a barn in a field of dandelions


Pen and watercolour painting tutorial

Here's one of the happiest paintings I've done in a while! A barn in a field of dandelions. I just want to run through and set them all off :-)

There are a lot of wonderful parts to this painting - big areas of wet-in-wet, wet-on-damp, dry brushing, and effective use of masking fluid. There's a wooden barn, trees, bushes and a field of weedy dandelions.
Having said all that, it's not a complicated lesson at all!

Happy painting!

Full video tutorial, reference photo and drawing to trace on my Patreon.

Thursday 23 February 2023

sant joan del codolar, catalunya, spain


Sant Joan del Codolar, Catalunya. Pen and watercolour.

The sanctuary of Sant Joan del Codelar is nestled in some huge, old cypresses, and at the foot of the Montsant Range, just inland from Tarragona in Spain. It's one of our favourite places for the absolute tranquility, unspoilt nature and the cliffs for rock climbing.

I've sketched the chapel buildings many times over the years and from all different angles and in different lights. It's allowed me to become so familiar with the place and given me a wonderful opening for meeting and chatting with guardian of the buildings.

And yet, there's always a surprise of a new view. One evening recently we scrambled up one of the boulders to view the ermita from above. What a wonderful surprise to be seeing it from such an unusual angle and to view some of the tops of the cypresses too. So I was back first thing the next morning to perch in the same spot, with paper and paints in my bag.

I hope you enjoy following along.

Friday 10 February 2023

the eiffel tower in spring


The Eiffel Tower in spring. Pen & watercolour

It's the season of love! And this week on Patreon there's a full lesson for this watercolour painting of the Eiffel Tower in spring and peeping through some pink blossoms.

Full video lesson, drawing to trace and reference photos here.