Welcome to our painting diary

We are two British artists living in south-west France. We paint on commission or according to our moods. We create paintings in watercolour, acrylic or pen and ink. Here you can see our work as it is completed.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Watercolour painting commission - Café, Montbron

The proprietor of this café in the Charente region of France commissioned me to paint this view of his bistrot 'A Tous Les Goûts'.
He supplied me with a photograph of the building from this angle and I added the customers.  I also took the liberty of adding a lot of sunshine which entailed inventing the shadows.  Hopefully I got all the angles for the shadows about right.

watercolour painting commission - Café, Montbron, France

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Painting people in watercolour 2

Recently completed this painting of three men playing pétanque.

I'm not sure if I like all the empty space on the right of the painting and could crop it square to just focus on the players.

I like the crop but others have suggested that it would be best to leave it as it is with the empty space helping to show the field of play and the setting for the painting. Haven't decided yet.

This painting is the second I've done recently of pétanque players and I still prefer the first which is done in a much simpler style and is perhaps the direction I would like to go in, although I like the way I've done the figures in this latest one too!

Here's the first one from a few months ago.....

Friday, 2 November 2012

Painting people in watercolour

I have been concentrating recently on paintings which include human figures - much more difficult than buildings!  I've done several portraits of individuals and some work with studies of single people incorporated but want to create more with crowds and groups of people.  I made this painting after a photograph which I have had for ages but never felt ready to do anything with. I was happy with the result and the painting was featured on the home page of Red Bubble which may not mean much to most but is an indication that at least somebody else liked it!

Sunny Café Terrace

On the strength of this and other paintings with people which are exhibited on our stand at the fairs and markets I have just received a commission to paint a local café. The photograph which I will be working from has an empty terrace so I will have to add the customers and will probably use this painting as a reference for some of the figures.
Currently working on a painting of some men playing boules which is also becoming a favourite subject! Must get back to that now.  The last brushstrokes will be dry and I can carry on.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Still painting! Commissions galore!

I haven't posted since before the summer and will now try to rectify that with some serious updating.  Summer sales have been good this year and in between going out to exhibit, and commission work, we have been hard at it to replenish our mobile gallery of work.

Our stand at St Mary in July

Fran has been doing several pet portrait commissions, all of dogs, and recently they nearly all seem to be of labradors! Here is one that isn't.  This is Foxy, a German Shepherd, in his younger days.  He is now an old boy and Fran is currently working on a more recent portrait.


After our spring exhibition in Angoulême I decided to paint a watercolour of the cathedral.  I actually did two versions of the same painting trying to work in a looser style and with a very limited palette.  The first uses three colours while the second is done with just Winsor Blue(Red Shade) and Burnt Sienna.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Original paintings or prints?

I am looking into the possibilities of selling limited edition prints of some of our original paintings.  As well as being able to get additional mileage out of one of our works, the reduced cost would enable an enthusiast to better afford to own one of our paintings.
Many artists offer this service and I know of some who find that this is a more lucrative market for them.  There are those who will sell prints which they have created from their own home printer, which are not bad in terms of reproduction quality, but are not really good enough to last. I will be using a professional service with Fine Art Guild standard inks and paper to provide a quality print that will be much more durable.
I'm thinking of starting with a painting of a local café which I have painted several times and of which I have sold all the originals. I recently sold the painting below and had considered that one, but have now decided to create a new painting and use that.

Original watercolour painting - Chez Maurice, Montbron, France

Monday, 5 March 2012

Exhibition in Angoulême

We have finally been to visit a gallery in Angoulême with a view to hanging our paintings there.  This visit resulted in our booking a space for each of us to exhibit for a month from March 13 to April 13.  The gallery incorporates a café and is situated in the heart of the city.


Fran has been busy getting together some canvases to show while I have been agonising over which of my many unframed paintings to mount and frame.
Here is one of Fran's new acrylic paintings of an appropriately seasonal scene.

Bluebell Path - Acrylic painting on canvas 40x30 cm

This is one of my latest paintings in a representation of the mount and frame that I have used.

Summer Rain -Watercolour painting 30x20 cm

Friday, 24 February 2012

Acrylic painting - Old Boots

With the greatest reluctance I finally had to concede that it was time to buy myself a new pair of boots.  I had become rather attached to this pair and do still wear them around the garden.  There's nothing really wrong with them as long as it's dry.

This is an acrylic painting on a box canvas.

Acrylic painting 40x30 cm