Newspaper pots

We’re growing a lot more from seeds in the garden this year. A few weeks ago, having run out of pots and trays, we made some of our own from old newspapers. They worked really well, and as the newspapers were being thrown away by a neighbour, they had the added advantage of beingĀ free ! Now the seedlings are ready to be planted out, some in the borders, others in the vegetable plot, where hopefully they will thrive through the Summer.

Having sketched them at this stage, I’m looking forward to being able to paint some of their produce!


In the Garden

The Spring bulbs in the garden are mostly over now, their beauty faded until early next year. This week-end was spent starting to plant out some of the seedlings which have been growing vigourously in their little grow house and becoming used to spending time outside. It is so nearly June and the hope is there will be no more frosts, though it is never guaranteed.

In the meantime, the pots they’ve been growing in can be rewarding to sketch and in some cases can add a little bit of colour while we wait for the flowers to grow!

Little pots


So blustery today in contrast to the last few days. Standing in the queue at the supermarket it seems that some people still have problems with the two metre rule, interpreting it as anything from an arm’s length to somewhere around twelve feet. I noticed today some people brought books with them to read while they waited.


Supermarket queue

I had my sketchbook. Colour was added later.

Out and About

It’s lovely to be able to go out and about a little more freely while still complying with social distancing. It gives one time to attempt a sketch without having to rush things.


Today I went to visit the replica stone age roundhouse close to my home which was built a couple of years ago, to see how it has mellowed. Someone has added a bit of decoration to in the form of a large pair of eyes on the doors. I am not sure if this is some authentic Iron age art or not, but I thought it gave a menacing feel to the house (an early version of security camera perhaps?) so I chose to leave it out. It also has a gateway with a very un-Iron age padlock which is a shame. Still nice to paint though!

Good news Persimmon


I wasn’t going to post this as I thought it was too similar to the Orange of two posts ago, but I thought it might be useful. I was working on the top Persimmon when it occurred to me that it was becoming overworked and I was losing it’s freshness. Not what I wanted at all. However I was delighted to find that I could lift out most of what I had painted with a wet brush, waited a little and then started again. The paper in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook doesn’t seem to have minded at all despite the treatment I gave it. Well done Moleskine !

This is good news as it gives me the confidence I can be a bit braver when I’m using it outside on location – which won’t be long now that the Lockdown has been relaxed a little in the UK.

Stay safe.

Painting Greys

closed cups

Sometimes painting greys can be just as fun as painting brighter colours. I often use French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna but sometimes I use Indian Red instead of the Sienna. Either way once I have the blue/red mix on the page I drop in a little Yellow Ochre which, being more opaque than the other colours, tends to stay where I put it without travelling too far or turning into mud.

Continuing with the fruit/veg theme these closed cup mushrooms were interesting to sketch. I might add some text to this page later on.

Does anyone else have a favourite fruit or vegetable to sketch ?

A Beautiful Fruit

A Beautiful Fruit

From today’s sketchbook.

I seem to have painted a lot with earth colours recently, so when I saw this orange it was a good excuse to bring out the Winsor & Newton New Gamboge and Cadmium Scarlet.

Always remember to begin sketching BEFORE you eat anything, otherwise you end up with a less interesting page.

21 x 26 cm in Moleskine watercolour sketchbook



The new normal – queuing to enter the supermarket. At least there are more things on the shelves than when this started.

Many people have trouble with the 2m rule. Some interpret it as a good 12 feet, others as the length of a supermarket trolley. Others still don’t seem able to ‘get it’ at all.

Although not anatomically good, my main object here was to pass the time while holding a small sketch book and trundling forward slowly without making it too obvious to those travelling in the opposite direction less than 2m to one side. I added the watercolour later.


21 x 13 cms Moleskine watercolour sketchbook

Social Distancing

04-07 Two Ducks

The Village is closed. There are notices that say so on all approaches, advising that car parks are shut until further notice – and so is everything else so there is precious little for any visitors to do if they did get here.

An air of calm lies over the village like a blanket as most inhabitants obey the official advice and stay at home. Indoors or quietly toiling in the garden.

The roads are less busy and pedestrians scarce. There are those who walk their dogs and others who take a gentle stroll as part of their daily exercise in the wonderfully warm Spring weather we are enjoying. The sun is a blessing. Imagine queuing outside a supermarket for half an hour in the pouring rain.

Since the lock-down was imposed, those one meets in the course of legitimate exercise or shopping,are invariably polite and considerate. We smile warily at each other as though sharing a secret understanding.

It is not so everywhere, I know, but where it does, wouldn’t it be good to hope that after this catastrophe is over, the air of communal support, co-operation and respect which flourishes at the moment could continue to thrive, and not be quickly forgotten ?

Keep your distance. Keep safe. Happy Easter.

Keeping a distance

03-27 Old barn

I caught a glimpse of this from the road probably because there was very little traffic about (I was travelling for a valid reason), and suddenly things which generally remain hidden become noticeable. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop and wouldn’t have been able to get closer anyway. As soon as I reached home I made some thumbnail sketches in pencil before I forgot the basic details.

I doubt it is very accurate but it will serve as a reminder that once the world is safe again it may be a place I can try and get to for a more considered painting. Meanwhile, the garden may become the focus of attention for the next however long it takes !

Stay safe and keep painting !