East Neuk Open Studios 2017

I was so busy leading up to the ENOS event that I did not get a chance to post about the event beforehand. Thank-you to those that came to visit me at my new studio (Wash House Studio).

I enjoyed meeting with many people during the open studio event. I was even able to do some sketching during the day. A lot of people commented favourably on the sketch book and liked seeing what I had been painting. They could see my still life on the window ledge and were curious as to how I approached my sketch. The pastel book below is full of various coloured pastel papers, these give me a wonderful colour choice for the background. The green I decided to work on particularly suited the sunflowers.

During the week I did another study using watercolours and a long handled brush which was great fun to paint. My flowers were still fresh and inspiring.

It is full on right now for the Pittenweem Arts Festival 2017.

Purple Tulips

The weather lately has been warm and sunny which attracted me to painting outside. The tulips in the garden were at their best. I knew they wouldn’t stay this way for long so this forced me to get on and do a painting in situ. My study was in pastel and I then went on to paint in oils for the final painting.

Summer Sunset, Study, Pastel SOLD


Last thing before retiring to bed I went into the studio and was presented with a spectacular sunset. Only one thing to do was to try to capture its essence in a matter of minutes. I just grabbed a scrap piece of pastel card and a box of pastels and worked on this study. I could barely see the colours in my box however my hand seemed to guide me towards the colours required.  Using vibrant pastels I have managed to recreate the sunset as I remember it. The next morning it was nice to see this study in daylight.

The Orchard, Pastel


After a busy time with the open studio I treated myself to lunch at Pillars of Hercules. I had intended to do outdoor painting when I was out and about. As soon as I sat down I knew I wanted to sketch the view in front of me. Fortunately I had my pastels in the car and a board to work on. This was the sketch I worked on. Lunch was excellent as always, great place to relax.

Croft On Barra, Pastel SOLD



This painting is a demonstration which I did last week at Cupar Art Club. I arrived with a prepared underpainting in watercolour. I talked through why I had prepared a watercolour underpainting in complementary colours. I then proceeded to apply the local colour of the scene leaving some of the underpainting to show through. This had the effect of making the colours sing and can lead to a more realistic looking painting. Multiple colours working together can give a greater sense of reality. Degas was aware of these techniques and experimented with a variety of undertones and underpainting techniques to get the effect he was after. It was useful to have my home made colour wheel at hand as shown above.

Glen Orchy, Pastel SOLD


The first image shows how I started this painting. I blocked in a selection of complementary colours onto Pastelmat card which can take watermedia. Next I sprayed some pastel liquefier to soften and fix the colours to the card. Such a fun way to approach a new painting. I then did some light drawing with charcoal.The top layer of pastel was then applied in colours true to the scene.