Sunday, 14 December 2014


The final week before Christmas at the  Avon Valley Art group subject was 'Buildings' and it was a bit of a struggle to find something that I would enjoy and that I could manage. I found a photo in a set of photos from my visit to New England.

First stage , as ever was to do as careful a drawing as possible. I always do this before going to the session, as I would otherwise spend the whole two hours doing the drawing!

I was going to mask out some of the white with masking fluid, but decided against it as it would need to be added the night before, and as the paper has quite a soft surface (I was using 600 gm Leonardo Rough) I was afraid that the removal of the fluid would also remove the surface of the paper.I knew I could touch up with White Acrylic Gouache if I made any mistakes, but it did mean that I had to be careful painting around the steeple.
I started with the sky, and then painted in the building, followed by the greenery and the trees.Lastly I added a few Indigo/Payne;s Grey streaks to the foreground snow and that was it almost done. I used a toothbrush to give a really good splatter to suggest falling snow and that was it.

I am really pleased with the result but just wish I had made the sky a little darker or stronger and the greenery a little less green. However, if it prints well, it may well become next year's Christmas card.....How's that for forward planning!

White Roses

I am not really sure why I decided to have another go at this subject. Maybe it is simply a case of needing to paint and pulling out a picture and getting on with it.

I did think about how I was going to do the painting and I had in my mind the possibility of combining the white with an aqua blue background to produce a very cool image, but that was it as far as thought went!

The drawing was done carefully to ensure that the finished flowers actually looked like roses and I was careful to include an odd number of blooms. I deliberately drew everything to the left hand side of the paper as I am quite into dark passages giving way to very light passages.I is not too important if the pencil lines are a bit heavy as these will be erased when each section is completed.

I painted the flowers first, this time, putting in only enough background to identify the outer shape of each rose. I kept in mind the fact that almost all parts of white flowers are not in fact white and I tried to add blues, greys, yellows and slight amounts of pink as I thought necessary to produce the irregularity of the undulations in the petals. I also identified the orange centres of the four main flowers so that I could see how the composition was developing.At this point, I decided I needed another rose in the top LH corner to make the composition a bit stronger.

I painted just up to the pencil lines but not over them, which enabled me to remove the lines as the painting progressed. I also tried not to define too clearly some of the outer petals so that there could be a few lost edges when the background was added. Maybe in hindsight, I should have done more of this!As the painting developed, I added in the extra stem and flower on the lower right hand side . I also added a fallen petal, which I now wish I had left out.With the flowers generally in place, I added stems and leaves and began painting outwards from the middle the background using Teal Blue, Indigo and Ultramarine Blue. Whilst it was still wet, I dropped in some Apatite Green to increase the darks.

I added shadow to the pot and some strong colour around the pot to define its shape and to push the background back, as well as giving the pot a firm surface on which to stand.I finally added a few extra dark spots to the centres of each rose, lifted out a little green on some of the leaves and decided that it was time to stop.
Looking at the painting propped up in the studio, the roses seem a little to perfect, maybe a few blemishes on some of the petals would have helped them seem more 'real'. Nonetheless, they were a pleasure to paint and they will certainly get a mount and frame some time in the future,

(Sorry about the long black hair across the final daughter has been sleeping in the studio, our spare bed space, and obviously left it behind and I did not notice it!!)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Clematis ('Water' topic)

As mentioned in my previous post, the next subject at our painting group was 'Water'.
I was due to go North to visit my aging mother so could only stay for half the session, so was looking for something small to do.
I came across an article by Jan Kunz in her book 'Painting Watercolour Florals That Glow' which described how to paint dew drops on petals.
I have done this before but thought it was a good small exercise to practice for an hour.

I took a piece of heavy 'not' watercolour paper, and in the top LH corner, I painted freehand several clematis petals and a centre of yellow/orange. At this stage the flower painting was not the object of the exercise so accuracy was not my prime concern.

I then proceeded to paint a few dew drops onto the petals to remind myself how they worked. This filled the necessary first hour of the session and I left for my journey North.

When I got back home, I thought that my club exercise was perhaps better than expected and it might be worth finishing.

I drew in two more flowers, and tried to make them fit the original wash which had only been done for the first clematis.

I used only one colour for the petals...Quinachridone Purple... and the same pigment with a little Indigo for the background.
I originally pencilled in a bud and a couple of leaves, but decided to keep just the flowers with their limited palette. I added a few more dew drops, not all of them totally successful, but ok I think, and of course had to use a bit of white acrylic to alter the centres of the flowers as Clematis has the lovely core of white/cream stamens.Finally I darkened some bits of the background to make the flowers stand out a little more, but tried to be careful to keep the original top flower the main part of the painting.
As usual, my final task was to erase the pencil drawing where possible. No splatter this time!

                                                               'Clematis After Rain'
                                                                    33 x 22 cms

Unusually for me, this is a comparatively small painting and it will go into a 16 x 12 inch frame.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Autumn and Bubbles

Its hard to believe that these two subjects could have any links, but much to even my surprise, they seemed to!

A few weeks ago the subject at Avon Valley Artists was 'Autumn' and I opted to use one of my precious doilys to create an autumn landscape.

I carried out the work in the usual way, painting the doily with lovely oranges, browns and greens and let it dry completely.

I then applied a wash to my paper, using much the same colours, having in mind a sort of circular design. I painted puddles of dark pigment in the corners and made them into trees and blew through a straw to produce the finger-like twiggy bits. I then used the doily, torn into little pieces to create the canopy and some of the undergrowth.

On the RH side of the painting,at the base, I found that watercolours were not enough to cover the base of the trees, so I used Indian ink to create some shapes which I made into fine grasses etc by again using the straw.
I felt that the canopy of leaves was a bit thin, so I added more paint in splattery blobs to hopefully simulate more leaves.
I was quite pleased with the result and refrained from too much more as I wanted it as fresh as possible.

So what has all this got to do with bubbles?

When I paint each doily, I place it onto a piece of plain white paper and the obvious result is a painting of circles formed by the negative shapes of the doily. When I lifted the doily from off the background this time, I saw that the pigment had bled under the top layer and  formed a lovely pattern in its own right!

When I showed this to a couple of painting pals, there were lots of surpise and the inevitable 'What are you going to do with it'

I had no real idea until two weeks later, the subject at AVA was 'Water' and I thought of my bit of accidental patterned paper, and it reminded me of bubbles, so this seemed like a good idea to try.

I was anxious to make the most of the paper print, and not being really sure how it would turn out, I photocopies the sheet so that I could use the copy and retain the original.

I did not do anything clever with the painting, just a lovely wash, some lines to suggest water, and the cut up printed paper, and lots of blobs and spatter.
Knowing when to stop was difficult, but it still looks fresh and although it is quite abstract I hope there is a feel of water about it.

I did not have the time to do this at the art group, and I needed more equipment than I normally take, so it was produced at home in the studio, so now I need to think of something else for the 'Water' topic!

PLEASE if anyone reading these posts knows where I can find doilies like the ones I use, can you let me know. I am down to my last few! I keep searching but these days they are all flowery and flimsy!!!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Patty's Plum Poppies

 I cannot believe the weather we are having, and at a time when I would normally be putting the garden to bed for the winter, I have all sorts of summer flowers trying to re bud. I was amazed to find two fat oriental poppy buds, one of which has subsequently flowered, but been totally battered down by the wind and rain. Heaven knows what all this late growth will do to next years flowering season!

It did, however, put me in mind of some photos I collected of Patty's Plum poppies which I had not used for a painting, and being kept indoors by the continual rain, it seemed a good time to have a go.

One of my usual paper, Cornwall Matt, 600gm, and an initial wash of Quinachridone pink with a little Quinachridone Magenta, some Indigo and Apatite Green Genuine.

I let the wash dry completely, and then did a reasonably accurate pencil drawing of five poppies and some leaves.

There is not a lot more to say really. I painted in the flowers using the same colours as the top half of the background, being careful not to cover the pencil lines so that they could be removed later, and finished the painting by adding the greens.

I removed the pencil lines carefully at this stage.

I added some white acrylic gouache for the highlights and a little splatter and it was done.

It seems to work quite well, even though it is not really magical, as I would have loved it to be, but they cannot always turn out as well as we would hope, but I am satisfied. It looks very pretty with a mount and frame.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Rose Hips

In response to the title 'Leaves and Berries' I opted for the remains of some rose hips in the garden.

I started by applying a multi-coloured wash to a sheet of 'Cornwall' matt paper.
I wet some parts of the paper with a brush and the central part, I wet using a laundry spray.
The spray has the advantage of giving a textured look to the background as the paint runs along the linked spots of water.

You can see this lovely passage below the deepest area of Quinachridone Coral. I also used Teal Blue, Indigo, Sap Green, Translucent Orange and Quinachridone Rust.
I let the paint dry completely and then added a faint pencil drawing of the rose hips.I was careful to keep the central textured area as free from hips as possible as I really liked this part of the background.

I painted the hips, created some leaf shapes and added some twiggy forms for the stems. I kept the stems as natural as possible by blowing a small puddle of paint across the paper to give them natural shapes
I tried to vary the colour of the hips as much as possible, and left some only partially painted into the background.I erased any remaining visible pencil lines.

When all the hips were painted, I felt that the bottom three were in too much of a straight line, so I added a couple more to hopefully improve the composition.
I darkened the top LH corner and added to the bramble bits at the top. I decided that this was the point to stop. It is too easy to work dark areas into reds and get them 'dirty'. Even now it is not as fresh as I would have liked it, but I think it will do!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Another go at Roses

The mild weather is playing tricks in my garden and some things are beginning to produce a second flourish! I have 2 large opium poppies ready to flower again which I have never seen before, but do not know if we will have enough sunshine to bring them fully open!
It also means that there are a number of roses out at the moment, two or three on each bush, so it seemed like a good time to have another go at painting them.

I started with one 'Peace' rose, which I photographed from various angles, and used these to make the initial drawing. I think I used mixtures of Yellow Ochre and Indian Yellow for the hearts and Opera Pink and Quinachridone pink for the flushed edges.

Using the same technique as so often described, I painted as close to the pencil line as possible and then erased it once the paint was totally dry.
I worked one flower at a time, adding bits of green and some background (this gave me the edges of the white petals ).

When all the flowers were painted and the leaves, buds and stems added, I put in a dark background of mainly Indigo and Ultra Marine, together with odd patches of the Quinachridone Magenta. I always try to put the colours of the subject into the background.
I then tried to lose some of the edges by adding washes of white Acrylic Gouache.

I am not really sure it worked, but I did enjoy doing it and whilst I had some roses I was determined to give it another go.

This time it was a couple of pink roses, but I put a wash on the paper before starting as I though this might be a better way of losing some of the edges and keeping the painting a bit freer.

When the background was dry ( Still Qinachridone Magenta and a little Opera Pink, being especially careful with the green as this will give dull colours if allowed to mix)

I then did the drawing and tried to work the roses into the patches of wash in the background.

Again, it was one flower at a time, and removing the pencil lines as I progressed.

When I had finished painting the flowers, I was not sure if I needed leaves and stems, so I will live with it a little while before deciding, but one thing for sure, I am really pleased with this one!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Time to have another go at these lovely flowers, which are still in bloom in Cornwall, even though we are well into October.

As things are a little less hectic, I have remembered to photograph each stage, so I hope you find the process interesting.

I wanted three flower heads but began with a drawing of only one, as this helped me to keep track of where all the stems would be and also did not restrict me to where flowers of the next one would overlap. The drawing was very simple and light to avoid too much pencil in the finished painting

I carefully painted in the flowers, trying to vary the depth and mix of colours, using Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue and Quinachridone Magenta. I painted up to but not over pencil lines, and added free hand flowers where necessary to give me a nice dense middle.

I added a very small amount of stem so that I could decide later which one would be in front. I then added a pencil drawing of the second flower head, which I painted in the same way. before adding the third.

When all three flowers were complete, I painted in the stems and the golden bits of 'leaf' under each flower. When the painting was totally dry, I lightly erased any visible pencil marks.

I was really pleased with the painting thus far, but felt that it was a bit flat and wishy-washy, so I mixed up some slightly stronger paint and darkened quite a few of the flowers especially on the LH side, and added a darker wash over the LH side background including part of the first flower.
I had to do this really gently to avoid disturbing the under layer, which I had made sure was absolutely dry before proceeding.

I am sorry that the colours of each photo vary slightly, but I was painting during the evening and used flash on the camera, which is not always as accurate as daylight, but I think you can get the idea! The finished painting is somewhere in between the 4th and 5th photographs
The painting is done on 'Cornwall' Matt paper.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

White Swan

Browsing through my resource folders, I came across this beautiful picture of a white swan. Although the subject seemed daunting, I could not resist having a go and putting all I had learned about the versatility of white Acrylic Gouache into practice!

I started on Hahnemuhle Matt there was going to be lots of wet paint on the paper and I did not want it to buckle and have the paint run into the depressions and dry darker than the rest of the image. I did a fairly careful drawing of the head as this is the most important part. and gave myself just a brief outline of the whole body shape.

I was aware at this point that the beak and eye would be right in the centre of the painting, but was not sure how to get over this,so I at least made sure that it was  in the top third of the painting.

I painted the head, neck and beak in a quite figurative way and let it dry completely. I then added the background colours by wetting the paper and dropping in various pigments,including Indigo, Cobalt Blue and Quinachridone Magenta, allowing them to bleed freely into each other. I kept the top corners darker than the rest of the background, and kept it lighter around the feathers so that the white gouache did not have too much work to do covering dark areas.

I then simply built up passages of mostly yellow ochre for the underpainting and white acrylic gouache for the feather highlights. There was some Paynes Grey, Magenta and Indigo. The initial white areas had plenty of water as well as paint as this enables the gouache to be blended into the background, but it was obviously used neat to do the top feathers and the water droplets.

Before adding the final splashes, I darkened the areas around some parts of the bird to make the white areas stand out.

A very satisfying final splatter of white gouache and the painting was finished. It is not quite as vibrant as the original photo, but I think it does reflect my personal style of painting and I am very pleased with the result. I must do a few more animal paintings in the future!!

                                            'Swan'    26cm x 36cm watercolour inc. gouache

Friday, 12 September 2014

Elderberries : Limited Palette

We are back to the formal programme of subjects at AVA, which means no weekly hiding in subjects within our comfort zones. It was, however, a gentle beginning for us all as the only criteria was the use of a limited palette. This was described simply as two tubes, pans or sticks of  'paint'.

What was interesting about this subject was the need to begin with a subject that could be well described using only the two pigments, and then to explore the palette to try top find two pigments that could give you the greatest range of possibilities.

The first consideration was resolved, thanks to a neighbours  beautiful Sambuca Nigra bush on the border of our two gardens. The leaves and berries are not dissimilar to each other in colour and they lent themselves to a bit of artistic licence.

Having settled on the source material, I then had a good look at the possible pigments. I needed a rich burgandy for the berries and something which when mixed with the red gave me some lovely darks as well. In the end, after a bit of trial and error I selected Quinachridone Magenta and Pthalo Green.

I chose a sheet of 450g paper as I knew there would be plenty of water with the initial wash, and I have been having problems with buckling recently.The paper is  Cornwall Matt by Hahnemuhle which is becomming one of my favourite papers at the moment.

I sprayed the paper with plenty of water, using the spray can give nice textures when the paint is dropped in, as you can see with the green in the top LH corner.
I dropped in paint selectively but at random into the water and tried to create a few darks in the middle. When the wash was dry, I was a bit disappointed that there was not too much pure magenta left, but the paper is too expensive to waste, so I had to carry on. Whilst it was still wet, I used a straw to blow a few random twiggy shapes out of the base of the painting. I find this helps to keep the work a bit loose.

When the wash was dry, I simply painted in the berries and twigs and identified the leaves by using their negative shapes. As I could only use two tubes of paint, I could not get back the highlights in the berries which was a bit of a problem. In hindsight, I should have put tiny drops of masking fluid on the paper before doing the wash and this would have given me some hightlights. I tried to leave paler patches where possible and deliberately painted berries in the white paper patches to give really fresh colour and bright white highlights.I also added a little white acrylic gouache to some of the berries on returning home!

Because I did no drawing, I did not get quite right the way the stems grow from the main branches, so it cannot be described as a botanical painting, but I am quite pleased with the result. It does show what a lovely range of lights through to very darks that you can get with just two tubes of paint!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Sorrel and Honesty

Along the same back lane where I picked the blackberries for the previous post, there has been lots of sorrel in the hedgerow. When the sun shone it was the most glorious colour and I could not resist clipping a couple of pieces to bring back into the studio.

I also had some new sprigs of honesty, so decided to combine the two, as this would enable me to use lots of my favourite colours.

                                                                  Sorrel And Honesty
                                                      Fabriano Artistico 300g Rough paper

The paints include Indigo, Teal Blue, Paynes Grey, Quinachridone Rust, Transluscent Orange and Yellow Ochre. I also used white Acrylic Gouacheon the honesty and for the splatter.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


Now that the exhibition and my stint at Invigilation at our local University are over , it has been lovely to have a couple of clear days to pick up a paint brush again. I wanted nothing too complicated or thought provoking, so I picked up a branch of blackberries from the lane down which I walk every day whilst collecting our morning paper and spent a few very happy hours painting the lovely fruit.

I put on a wash of Quinachridone Magenta and Indigo to start with. I left it to dry completely before adding a little Apatite Green Genuine. Adding the green too soon can make the other colours go very dirty.

Without ant more preparation, and no drawing, I painted the fruits with a combination of Quinachridone Purple, Ultra Marine Blue ,and Indigo for the dark fruits and Opera Pink, Qiunachridone Coral, Sap Green and Yelloe Ochre for the unripe fruits.

A bit of splatter and I felt it was finished. One of those paintings where perhaps less is more, and I think lots of white in the background helps to keep it fresh.

It was lovely to be painting again, especially as there will be little chance over the next couple of weeks as I have been called for Jury Service.

                                                                     'Blackberries '
                                                           Cornweall 450g Matt Paper

Now that I see the painting on screen, I think the two pairs of dark fruits are too similar but not sure how I might rectify this. I will give it some thought, but might, in the end, leave it as it is.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Things have been a bit hectic over the past few weeks, getting ready for and stewarding our exhibition in the Cloisters of Wells Cathedral. It was a great success and despite our anxieties regarding the change of venue within the Cathedral, we were very pleased with how it all looked and visitors seemed very pleased with the standard of both the display and the paintings.

Towards the end of the week it was a bit chilly and damp, but that was a small price to pay for such an impressive venue.

During this time I have done very little painting, with one exception.
My daughter and her partner went north to watch the Tour de France cycle race and profitted from their time there to do a bit of exploring. They came across a lovely village with a ford and a row of traditional cottages.
My daughter took a photo and presented it to me saying that she thought I would enjoy painting the garden!

Because she had gone to the trouble of getting the photo I did not like to say that the main subject of the image was the buildings and really buildings are not my thing! I did feel, however that I should at least have a go on the premise that all objects are just a series of shapes and possible to paint in a reasonable way.

With tongue in cheek and a bit of trepidation I did my best and sent a photo of the finished painting to  daughter and son-in-law.

The next thing I know, son-in-law, Dave, has managed to track down the owners of the property, sent them a copy of the painting and they appear to be totally delighted with it and would like to own it.

The photo looks as if the building is leaning badly to the left and the water runs up hill to the right! Sorry about poor photographic skills

It has now been carefully packed and dispatched for them to see, and I await either their approval and a small cheque or a return of the painting. I somehow think it will be the former, and I am flattered and delighted that one of my few attempts at buildings has achieved some small success.

Having said all that, this week at AVA, with a free choice of subject, it was back to painting flowers!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Anemone Japonica

About a week ago these lovely flowers began to open, and although it is great to see that they have survived, I would not expect them to be in full flower is my north facing garden until the middle of August. If I could only choose one flower to grow it would be these. At the back end of the summer when the greens have lost their freshness and lots of the star performers have finished flowering, they are a beacon of light in sun and in dark corners alike. If they are out now, what are we going to be left with going into September. That's nature!!

It is a while since I painted these flowers, I have two examples hanging on the walls in the house, and often forget that I can have another go.
It is interesting to see if my style has slightly changed over the years.

there is not a lot to explain in this painting. I did the drawing first and because they are white flowers, I painted the background to give me their shape. I kept the colours very muted and soft so that the ring of stamens would be the focal point.

                                                                  'Anemone Japonica'
I am quite pleased with the result and it is nice to compare it with others that I have done in the past.
The painting was done on 'Cornwall' 450g matt paper by Hahnamuhle which I think helps the soft quality of the finished painting.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Field of Red

I had such a lovely time creating 'Bluebells Abstract' so I thought I would create a sister painting but of poppies.
The Bluebells gave rise to some debate about the actual flower depicted. There was some suggestion that it was more Hyacinth than Bluebell, so we compromised and I called it 'Field of Blue' ( See blog posted 3rd June 2014 ).Hence the title of this piece....'Field of Red'.

I used exactly the same technique as the previous painting so any details can be seen on the previous post, and I have become a little anxious about repeating myself, since Peter Ward was informed that his blog contained too many pictures and in future he would have to pay to post picture!!! He was then locked out of his site. He is trying to rectify the matter, but it does make me a bit wary of posting all the stages involved in my paintings.
I am sure I have lots still to go, as Peter has been going ages longer than me, and his posts are very picture based, much more than mine, but it does not hurt to be wary. If anyone reading this post has had the same experience we would love to here from you.

Anyway, back to Field of Red. I started by sticking some distressed builders linen scrim to the lower foreground in a slightly circular shape to produce some texture. I attached it to the painting with gesso.
 The background was then painted , using lots of Pyroll Red and Apatite Green Genuine, with other pigments added. I was very careful to let the green dry before adding the red, as if the two colours mix they become very dirty.
I then painted in a few field-like marks, and then using pva medium I stuck down my bits of painted doiley.
I completed the collage with circles cut with a hole punch from the edged of the doiley paper.
I finally added a few green streaks over the red area to give me some stems.

Sorry, the greens on the left look a bit blue, but they are actually very fresh 'new grass' colour. Must be the light when I took the photo!

Friday, 27 June 2014


It is getting very close to the exhibition in Wells Cathedral and I have been busy putting together the flyers, posters etc. I realised that I was using an image of Agapanthus  as my contribution, (we both have a painting each on the posters etc) but I sold the painting quite recently. It felt necessary, therefore to produce another as similar as possible to hang in the exhibition.
This was no problem as painting Agapanthus could never be seen as a chore and I was pleased to have an excuse to get going.

The process was exactly the same as the last one I painted which is described in a previous post,(See post dated 30th December 2012) so I will just show the initial wash and the finished painting.


                            As usual the painting is on Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough 300g paper.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Catching Up : The Squiggle and The Poppies

There has been quite a bit of upheaval over the past two weeks. I have been having work done on the kitchen and decided that this was just the right time to clear out and clean the kitchen cupboards. What a lot of gadgets we can acquire and then never use! They have all gone in the bin. Space is limited so I cannot be too fussy. Hence, no time for painting except at AVA.
We had the final session of the compulsory calendar, which is always a fun week. We are presented with a couple of squiggles, drawn by one of our members grandchildren and we have to choose one and create a painting or drawing. Our members really enjoy this session and it always produces lots of really creative ideas.
My choice looked like this.......

There were quite a few birds from this shape, but I chose to rotate the drawing through 90 degrees. The drawing has to be faithfully copied onto a piece of appropriate paper but it can be enlarged or reduced as desired. From this shape, I produced the following painting which I am quite pleased with.

The first week of the summer session, with freedom of choice, I was back to painting flowers. The Opium Poppies were out in the garden and so I took some photos ( I have never cut them to bring indoors so do not know if they would last long enough!) and had a go at painting them fairly loosely. I think they work reasonably well, but I would have liked the reds to be a bit fresher.

Its great to have a set programme as it takes us out of our comfort zone, but it is lovely to look forward to the summer months where we can experiment and enjoy our own special loves.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Bluebells Abstract

I have been quite determined to paint and put together another painting using my lovely doilies. I wanted to do something based on a bluebell wood, so thought I had better get around to it before I forgot what they had looked like. They grow quite well at the bottom of my garden under the trees, and because I am so used to them being there, I have never bothered to take photographs.
Anyway, not too important as it will be a very abstract interpretation.

I started by putting a fairly wet blue and green wash onto some rough paper, and where it puddled I used a straw to blow it into the centre of the paper which I had left white and dry. I tried to vary the strengths of the colour especially in the blue area.

When it was completely dry, I used some quite strong colour to try to define some flower shapes growing up to the pale centre. I then used the edge of a narrow strip of mount board, dipped into green paint, to add stems and leaf shapes.

I then painted a d'oily with the same colours as the original wash, but using less diluted paint as the surface of the paper has a slight gloss which prevents it absorbing colour very easily. I tore up the inner part into usable pieces and I used a hole punch to produce lots of small circles from the edge pieces.

I then used these pieces to collage the painting  ( can you collage a painting?) hoping to get the effect of lots of bluebells reaching for the sunlight. I never stick the pieces down completely, so that when the painting has a double mount and is framed, there is just enough room between support and glass for the strips of added paper to curl slightly to give a three-dimensional effect.

                                     Abstract Collage on Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough paper