The beauty of prints!

Not everyone can afford to buy an original painting. They can afford a good quality print. Sometimes a limited edition makes it even more special. More and more artists are selling framed, limited edition signed prints of their artwork. This isn’t a new practise but is becoming much more common. There are several versions of printing available to you and these are just two.

Giclee – this is inkjet printing, with light fast pigment ink printed on fine art paper, that will last for decades.
Digital – this is laser printing, CMYK onto card stock, still good quality, but no guarantees as to light fastness and longevity.

Prints are only as good as the method used to capture the artwork in the first place.

Photographic imagery, great for dynamic range and colour reproduction, inexpensive to do.
Scanning an image, only as good as the quality of scanner you use. The high end scanner is called Cruse, this will cost about £250,000 so not a common purchase. It’s not the same as photographic capture, but it’s equal at times.

Set up may vary, your printer may charge you a base cost to capture an image and then give you a good price for each print. Around £30.00.
Quantities – The good news is if you can buy any amount from 5 – 5000. You have the artists that want a few an buy low numbers and then artists that are buying volume and can negotiate an even better price.

My framer does the whole job, photography, printing, any size, mounting and framing. I just add the number, title and my name. He also produces cards of the same image, provides envelopes and cellophane sleeves.
It’s all very reasonably priced and affordable.


Brentor Autumn Arriving.

After a weekend of teaching Autumn Colour I was keen to paint the same scene in Acrylic, to capture the turning of the season from summer to autumn. This painting epitomises that point in the year. I put a base of warm orange on the canvas as a starting point. This was to harmonise the whole painting with tiny bits of orange peaking through.

Thee is some orange left in the sky, orange stalks on the foreground flowers and grasses, and hints of orange where the paint has only just cover lightly the surface of the canvas.

It’s important not to leave too much orange in the background as the warm colour brings forward the image and flattens out the painting.

As each areas is “blocked out“ less and less of the orange is visible.

The beauty of Acrylic is the use of many many laters so that bits of colour show through.

It’s important that once you think your are finished to walk away and look back with fresh eyes and decide where it can be improved.

By looking at shape, tone and detail you identify where to add the finishing touches. Then stop, don’t overdo the painting.
Available as a limited edition, signed, framed print – £150.00

Autumn Courses

Here we are at the end of October and the colours of Autumn are upon us. We have hosted a weekend and five day course with the dominating theme of autumn.
Emphasising the importance of using transparent colours we focused on the gorgeous colours of fallen leaves.
The aim to capture the rich burnt browns, oranges and greens found on the fallen and rotting leaves. Wow did we have fun!

We are hosting two more courses In November, a weekend 8th – 19th and a five day 10th – 15th, we will be continuing to explore the Autumn theme exploring rich strong colour in watercolour.
As we head in to a dramatic winter landscape we use of a Charcoal to capture the lack of colour and drama of Dartmoor, the trees and skies. Fancy a creative weekend? There are a few places left.

Preparation and practice for a large painting.

How do I prepare my ideas and practice my painting before painting a huge canvas?
I don’t want to waste paint, canvas and most importantly my time painting a huge canvas without having some idea of what I want to paint.
In preparation for a large painting initially I go out to my favourite location and absorb the atmosphere, take photos, draw and sketch and add watercolour to the sketches.

I often choose a theme for my latest work, it has been winter snow, reflections in water, iced winter colours. This theme idea comes from my time as s fashion designer when I worked with trends.
I used to replicate my photographs, using interesting painting techniques, I now combine my memories of the moment, and my sketches to capture an essence of the moment in my painting, with the aim that it is not a replication.

I like to prepare a few pages of the simplest of ideas, psint this in my sketch book, the simpler the better as few marks as possible. Or I sometimes like to do really detailed drawings, I like to vary my initial ideas.

I then use small square canvases to 20cm x 20cm to produce a small version of ny idea. Often working on 6 – 8 canvases one after the other to formulate an idea. I also enjoy working on watercolour paper A3 size. I also lie to work on another intermediate size canvas 60 x 60cm.

I produce a collection of about 12 pieces of work and then choose the strongest idea to paint much larger.
The development of the smaller works into a very large pieces changes and takes on a life if it’s own.
The larger piece take more time and more content, the mark making needs to be developed and sometimes the drama and scale of the mark has to be bold and flamboyant. This is tricky and sometimes works bigger and sometines doesn’t.

If I feel work from the previous year us now outdated and I no longer like it I use it as a textural base for a new paintings. This adds another dimension and provides an interesting base for the new work.

Painting large scale needs lots of distant viewing so I am always stepping away, at least 10 feet, to get a fresh look and overall perspective of the painting.

Snow Magic!

As Christmas is upon us, you have the opportunity to use wax as a replant, creating snow on the branches of pine trees.

I used to be the greatest advocate of masking fluid, but now wanting to be able to mask quickly without the gloopy mess, and liking the effect for snow,  I use a wax stick.

I have two sizes of wax a standard thick candle wax, app rock 2cm in diameter and a finer wax stick that is about 1cm in diameter.

Before going for it and using the wax on the branches, prep by testing out the sort of marks you use on the branches. As the was is white or transparent it is hard to gauge the amount of pressure needed to create the effect you want. Don’t be too fussy with your matk making, keep it fluid and free! I love the effect.

Use your Fanbrush to paint your pines and finish off with a bit of detail using two sizes of brush to get the correct scale for different size trees.