8 September 2011

Advice Pretty Please ...

A little while ago a friend and I enrolled in a drawing and painting evening class.  It's just dawned on me that we start in a couple of weeks so I've unearthed my poor neglected watercolour paints ...

They were terribly dusty.  Can you see my fingerprints?!

I absolutely love painting but far too rarely do I actually do it.  I don't know why really.  I find it one of the most relaxing and rewarding ways to spend a few hours.  However, the longer the gap between painting, the less confidence I have that I will be able to create something that I like or am pleased with.

A few years ago, I painted a few little ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) measuring 3.5" x 2.5" and put them up for auction on eBay to try and make a few pennies.  They each started at 99p and, to my surprise, all sold for between £5 and £15!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember me struggling with this painting of Bertie about a year ago ...

Other than the odd half-hearted dabble, I've done absolutely nothing since (hence the dust on my paintbox!).

The class we are going to is of 'mixed ability' thankfully.  The idea is that we each take a photograph from which to draw or paint.  That's where I'm getting a little stuck/greedy.  I really, really want someone to help me paint more 'freely' and to be more confident with colours.  I'd also absolutely love to tackle a portrait in watercolours.  Do you think that's too ambitious?  Should I approach one thing at a time?  Does anyone have any tips as to what type of photograph I should take?  Should I take one of my own children or am I better to tackle a face less familiar to me?

Sooooo many questions!

Any advice would be warmly welcomed. :-)



  1. unfortunatly I can't give you any advice...have no idea (about most things these days!)
    However, couldn't go without adding that your paintings are fab and you clearly have lots of talent.
    Do let us know how it goes ...
    fee x

  2. Hi Heather - I can't give any real advice as painting is not my forte, but I just wanted to say WOWSER! Your paintings are fab - I would buy one in an instant. My fav is of the teddy bear (of course!) If you ever have one of those for sale, please let me know.
    Best of luck with the class xxxx

  3. I think you should just do what ever the hell you feel like. It's your art, it's your time. Do exactly as you please and enjoy every single second. Just spending time painting will improve your skills. This is probably not the right answer but I think you should paint for joy.

    'speak' to you later.


  4. To me your paintings are wonderful, and I can't give any advice about the photo, but I hope you enjoy your classes.I hope you continue because I love the painting of Bertie and the cat.

  5. hhhmm I am no painter but you certainly are, your paintings are gorgeous! to get over you fear of colours why not create a watercolour in private but only use bright colours to do it - like a way of breaking you into them and it may be fun :-) Re a piccy, I think no matter who you paint a piccy of you will still be critical of yourself so why not create it of a loved one. xxx

  6. Your watercolour paintings are really lovely, Heather, you are very talented! I don't really think you need advice, but all I would say is just go with your own feelings and paint whatever you want to, in any way you would like and I think you will do it well.....I look forward to seeing what you paint next.
    Have a happy weekend.
    Helen x

  7. I'm afraid i haven't got any advice, just go with what feels right i guess. But you are very very talented xxx

  8. I'm afraid I don't know much about painting at all, so I can't offer any advice but I do know that I LOVE your paintings - they're absolutely beautiful. Siiiiiiigh
    Emily x

  9. How exciting! Many years ago I did a watercolour, from a photo, of my boyfriends niece. I enjoyed it so much and was ridiculously proud of the end result..... so my vote would be for a photo you love, of someone you love! Let us know how it goes! xxxx

  10. WOW Heather! They are amazing. Just gorgeous. You're so clever to have created a sense of emotion in them. I'm in awe.

    I think you should pick something that you'd love to paint so it sounds like that's a portrait. Or do you have a nice holiday photo of your children that you could do?

    Whatever you choose I'm looking forward to seeing the finished article and wish you loads of luck and fun in your class. Clever gal.

    Nicki xx

  11. lovely blog and paintings, your very talented, love the scarf too

  12. Your painting are wonderful, i think you would easily do a fantastic portrait, you've certainly loads of ability.
    I would def try one of your children, easy to put love into it :)
    Karen x

  13. I don't know why you haven't got more confidence in your talent - thosw watercolours are wonderful!
    It does occur to me that if painting one of your children, you may be overcritical of yourself in trying to get it 'just right'.

  14. Ohmegosh!
    You are very talented. I love the bunny- so cute!
    I agree with Amanda- go with a special photo.
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
    Can't wait to see your results.

  15. i know everyone else has said it but your work is lovely, you know just today i brought some more pencils and a pad even some brushes to give painting ago again but hey ive not painted since i left school. I have drawn some pencil pics of my eldest two and i want to do morgan soon, so go ahead and do the same too you might just surprise yourself and i for one will be looking forward in seeing how you get on x x helen x

  16. wow, you have such a talent. I really hope you love your class and it gives you your confidence back (something that you clearly shouldn't be lacking in :) ). Ele x

  17. Your paintings are excellent. I love your use of light and shade. I agree with Cuckoo the most I think. Enjoy it! I think perhaps I would choose someone familiar to me as I think I would enjoy painting them more. It would also bring better insight to your picture in terms of their personality which you would know very well. I can imagine this would lead to the painting having lots of character. Other than that. Any picture that you love, because you love it! And don't worry about your class, you will be one of the good ones!

  18. Taking the class is an excellent idea.. as I'm an artist too and like you, just don't make the time to *do it*. I've done some of my best work in classes, because you actually take the time to work. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create. Teresa :-)

  19. Heather...you have talent. I love your paintings.

  20. I am a controlled water colourist... I spent two weeks working at royal Worcester pottery and tried like he'll to loosen my style and free up my water-colours so that I could create work like one of their oldest designers... His work was so amazing ... An amazing painting with a few sloshy strokes.. However I could not master it... I did however come to realise that I was ( at the time) 20 and he was at least 40 years older with probably that many years honing his skills and finding his style...
    I think your work is amazing... Water colours are so tricky... They can so easily be over worked and turn to sludgy colours... All I can suggest is take some pictures of what appeals to you... Don't try to paint what you think others will like... You have a natural eye for composition and even the spaniel painting is fabulous although you feel it was a struggle... And take notice of how others paint... Watch how they manipulate the medium...

    I do think you will be watched more though... You are very gifted.. Xx

  21. Heather you are so talented! I love the watercolour cards you did, especially the dog and cat - the eyes are lovely!
    I cannot offer any watercolour advice being a complete novice but Im sure whatever you tackle, be it a familiar loved face or not, it will turn out good.
    Gill xx

  22. I don’t know why you don’t paint...you are very talented!

    Good luck, not that you will need it.

    Lou xxx

  23. The watercolor of Bertie is fantastic! I love watercolor also, have done some, but like you, am a bit controlled with it and should loosen up. I've also found that when I finally sit down and paint (few and far between--like years!), I ask myself why do I wait so long to do this?

    Pink Feather Paradise gave excellent advice--just go ahead and jump in! I would say one thing--I've had instructors who have made me think that my style was 'wrong'. We all have our own painting style and we don't need to feel as if we should paint like someone else.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Anyone ever told you that you're a peach? xx