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Wednesday 1st February!
Wet wet wet!


Where is the sun to help with some good colours and tones? Never mind – table top beckons…

I have three watercolour table tops on the go. Today I wanted to put more, deeper, and some brighter washes with wax resist on to them. It took longer than expected but drying washes takes time. I’m interested in the wax on the surface – also think I need some Gum Arabic in a few washes too. Can’t decide about including or omitting the ink bottle and quill.


Next I worked on the Donkey Cart again. I’ve been doing a measured drawing (sightsize) to work out how it is constructed. It’s a fairly standard (and to me boring ) composition that I have been working on, but working it through; looking at its relationships, mathematical elements, and patterns have given me an idea of where to go with it next. As it has some provenance to connect it directly to Jane Austen (as with the table) I would like to make it part of my final work.
More art materials required too – a significant shopping list of items became necessary today.


A sketch on board – colour far too ….wrong! Can’t think what I mean – but I know it’s wrong.

During the afternoon it dried up enough to begin some of the planned oil pieces (see thumbnail sketches beneath) which I hope to do; looking back into Jane’s working room through the window and including the hearth and kettle. This was a room where the family had breakfast and would make tea. Breakfast was frequently a chore which fell to Jane, and including both the practical and occupational aspect of the room seems appropriate.
I see the weather forecast for Friday is very poor. (wet) – Oil paint (outdoors only in this special and historic setting) will be a challenge.


I use the front and back covers of my Moleskin watercolour sketch books for pencil thumbnails….working out drawings for compositional stuff!!

#commission #JaneAusten #ThrowbackThursday #WeeklyBlog @JaneAustenHouse #Hampshire @HantsCulture #watercolour #writing table 

More table watercolour and Donkey Cart afternoon. A positively balmy day to work – mild enough to go hatless indoors! Yes that’s right! That warm!!
(Last week required thermals, trousers and overalls, with 5 layers on top!) – and a hat at all times – and a scarf. Indoors and out!


Early washes on a table top watercolour. For the watercolorists out there – wet in wet. You have to look for colour – not assume colour from what your perception of wood has already taught you. Fresh eyes and no preconception required! It shines much bluer than you would imagine. 

Really been thinking about my markmarking again. Lots more to do here.

#commission #JaneAusten #ThrowbackThursday #WeeklyBlog @JaneAustenHouse #Hampshire @HantsCulture #watercolour

Table top watercolour. Start of the day Tuesday 31st January.

Thinking about the writing table top.


Beginning again with colour mixing, wet in wet, dry brushes, mark making with tools to show the marks! and looking at darkest and lightest tones on the surface in my sketchbook prior to a larger piece. I could do with time to edit images but am anxious to get on with work.

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The Well, Friday 27th February.


A shorter working day today with the first review in the morning and Songs of Praise filming in the afternoon. The light went very quickly too – on what was a rather gloomy end of afternoon. I had painted outdoors initially as we had had a bit of brightness following on from the flat foggy light earlier this week.
Boy it’s been cold. Barely a break in frost and freezing temperatures till today, and still rather dull – hoping for more sun and colours soon!
See you next week.
Ps – using hand stretched linen with rabbit skin glue primer…how traditional is that! A lovely surface which takes the paint really well from the brush, so its great for detail!