Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Portraits : One , Two , Three . Take Two!

 " In The Shade"

 Portraits are as easy as one, two three?

Not really but oh boy are they fun.

 Following on from yesterdays blog post showing how I created a face from a simple wash I thought it would be fun to show you how much more fun I can have with the very same painting. Making small changes and adding details to change the painting further. Remember this piece is headed for the bin so it doesn't matter if anything goes wrong. I am just having fun. 

If you remember I finished yesterdays portrait "one, two, three" demonstration at this stage. 

If I am not selling a painting I will push the boundaries and work on it until I cannot add more either in colour or detail. There is no learning value in just painting for something to do. I need to keep working to discover how I can change or improve a painting and at the same time improve my own skills.

Look what I did next and after that too! I had so much fun.

I added a cap. And a dark background. And a red scarf. My gentleman looks younger here.


Adding a cap and scarf and taking away the years.

 Next with the simple use of gouache I added a beard and a twinkle in the eyes!


 Adding a beard and ageing my subject

 I built up the beard gradually and added a hint of a pair of spectacles next


 " In The Shade"

Just simple changes from my imagination created several different results in my painting. 
Experimenting is valuable when learning to paint. As is having fun. And this is why I love writing and sharing my tips on working in watercolour.

So now my portrait looks very different from here, where I stopped working yesterday.

 Even more different from this stage below

 And just look where it all started. A colour " blob"

I absolutely adored writing my chapter on how to paint faces in my latest book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" The professional photographer had the opportunity to record my brushstrokes and show how I built up a painting in a way that I cant on a blog post. And I am so  thrilled to be working with such a great publisher who has the best team to hep me share my techniques in my publications.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

You can buy a copy of "Jean Haines World of Watercolour "via this link

Portraits are on pages 130 - 142. With the challenge of growing as an artist included.


World of Wildlife Exhibition 2015 : Wildlife Collection

 World of Wildlife Exhibition 2015

Continuing with my blog posts sharing paintings from my upcoming exhibition at the Frame Gallery in Odiham.
Opening September 11th, 2015

I am happy to share this next collection of original wildlife paintings from my World of Watercolour exhibition which includes original paintings from my book of the same name.

 In every one of my shows I have always exhibited a hare painting. Why? Because they are my good luck charm. I have always loved hares and enjoyed painting them. Ever since I was a child. The long ears and soft fur enthralled me then and they were often in stories I read in my childhood. I would imagine them in moonlight and found them to be totally magical as wildlife creatures.

But then came the joy of seeing them in real life. My fascination grew. I have laughed at their antics, watched mesmerised and as is obvious, I have fallen completely in love with painting them. In this exhibition there will not be one hare. There will be three! And here they are.

 Twitching my Whiskers
Size 58 x 74 cms
Price £675

You can find this hare in the new version of my first book "Colour and Light in Watercolour" which will be out this November. There is a demonstration on how to paint a hare in this new version starting with a gorgeous glowing eye.

This particular painting plays heavily on my Chinese brushwork techniques and use of white paper to tell the story. It shines in reality and looks so beautiful off screen. There is a sense of life and magical energy about the painting. In that it feels spiritual which sounds crazy but when I worked on this piece the silence and calm in my studio was so special. And that feeling remains in the composition. The hare is very still, waiting, resting and absorbing the nature around it.

This is in a stunning white frame to show off the brushwork.

A favourite.

As is this next piece.

Hare Brained
Size Approx 60 x 58 cms
Price £675 

I love this painting so very much.  This is the style that I was told off for painting years ago by a well known and pretty famous artist. He told me I would never get anywhere in my art career if I kept painting one eyed , one eared subjects. Well years later I am writing books, exhibiting and travelling all over the world to teach watercolour workshops invited by wonderful art societies. Who wait when my schedule is full for future bookings. And I am so grateful for their patience. I always try to keep everyone happy but this piece is about me. I kept to my own true way of painting without taking criticism or advise on board that led me away from my path. A path that has led me to where I am today.

This hare is more than just a painting. 

Its' a statement. 
If you want something it will come to you if you believe in yourself. 

Its is a statement 
That nothing is impossible. 

It is a statement 
That dreams do come true. 

And it is a statement
In following your heart.

Please note: The size is approximate as it has returned from the framers yet.

It is a stunning piece with a superb eye. I know when a painting is magical. This one is and holds  magic in it  which I hope will fall on the new owners shoulders.

Humble Hare
Size 70 x 76 cms
Price £750

Humble? Yes! Because this  beautiful animal in real life was created minus glowing colours but how it is loved worldwide. Doesn't the hare as an animal prove that even the dullest of appearances can be decievingly stunning Yes, hares are beautiful in glowing brown shades. And with this piece it is all about the eye, that soft long ear and of course the whiskers around the twitching nose.

Even the framer was taken aback when this piece was taken out of the folder to be framed. They were right as they selected a gorgeous  special frame to show off the piece. I unwrapped it this morning and my heart knew this was another piece I want to keep.

But to be honest. I want my paintings in home of collectors who enjoy my work and feel the energy in each piece.

So these three hares are in my upcoming exhibition.

As is the sweet harvest mouse from my latest book Jean Haines World of Watercolours.

 Harvest Mouse
 Size 70 x 76cms.
Price £620 
(Prints available at  £100 each. To be ordered from the gallery)

This little mouse can be found on Page 100 of my new book  in the chapter that covers how to paint a harvest mouse on an ear of corn in a simple step by step demonstration.The demonstration goes from page 100- 109 .

The chapter is called " Starting Small" . A great place to start .


All art can be reserved via contacting the Frame Gallery.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Portraits : One Two Three

 Can you see a face yet?

 I have no idea why I started painting portraits the way that I do . I just did. I was attending art classes in Dubai studying portraiture  in oils. The tutor was a master at his skill and I loved the classes. But the paintings always seemed lifeless to me. Perfect but lifeless.

Hours were spent sketching which has taught me in good stead for observational skills. But once the portraits were sketched onto canvas what followed was a basic form of filling in colour to build up the painting. Perfectly. And yes, there were incredible paintings created with superb likenesses. I spent ages in that class. Taking months to complete each piece. All of which were sadly stolen so I have no portraits to cherish from that time in my art life.

But as I moved to watercolour from oil I wanted something more from my work. And I developed my own way of painting portraits. Now each time I hold workshops I often close a session by painting a face. At first the class watch as a "blob of colour" appears on paper in front of them. Next I look for the light hitting the face. And at this stage my first wash looks a little bit of a mess. 

Like this!


 First wash of a portrait. 
Working without a sketch and just adding colour where I feel it should be.

 This portrait is of an elderly French gentleman that I met on my travels in France. He was sat in a French market watching the world go by and who could blame him on a Summers day with so much colour to enjoy and terrific people passing by.

Next I add just a touch of detail. Not much but enough so that I can recognise the face has features.

This takes it away from being just a colour blob and turns the wash into something more recognisable.


 Now my subject is looking directly at me!

 I now have to be so careful. I don't want to lose the freshness in the piece but I do need to define a few more sections. With my rigger brush I now add the fine lines needed to complete the painting.



I tend to paint these portraits at the end of my working day. Not to sell. But to improve my skills. I set time limits to improve my accuracy and speed at capturing the subject.

This is an enjoyable exercise and fun.

Portraits as easy as one, two  ,three?

Not really as I have been doing this for some time now. But practise does help.

I painted a memorable portrait in front of the workshop class in Tasmania . The organiser watched spellbound and said. " Thats' it.. I'm now convinced you are a witch. No one can produce faces just like that"

Which made me laugh!

Sharing what we know and how we paint is a wonderful gift to possess as an artist.  I am often asked why I do give so much away when I write my blog posts or share online. I can't  fit everything I want to share in my books and I know by the time I have worked through the one I am working on now I may have forgotten to share this demonstration.

So please enjoy it and have fun painting faces. Like me you could become addicted!


There is more on painting portraits in my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" which includes lots of tips on how to paint them.

World of Watercolour Exhibition 2015 : Landscape Collection.

World of Watercolour Exhibition 2015

This is the landscape collection from my upcoming solo exhibition at The Frame Gallery in Odiham.
The three paintings below each have a story to tell which I am really happy to share in this blog post.

Size 60 x 52 cms.
Price £625

My husband and I stayed in Valencia a while ago and as we walked out of our hotel, we turned to look towards the square at the top of the street we were staying in and saw this  beautiful sight. In strong sunlight it was magical. I loved the glow on the buildings. I enjoyed painting this landscape so much that I decided to include a demonstration in my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". The demonstration can be found on pages 152 - 155 as a step by step. Sharing tips on how to create a cityscape. This painting is shown on page 145.

"Valencia" asa  painting has caught the eye of everyone who has seen it including the gallery which is hosting my solo exhibition in September. Which is why it is also on the invitation and gallery web site and can be seen via this link giving details about my show.

It looks stunning in its' frame and captures the beauty of Spain.


An exhibition wouldn't be complete without a painting of Venice.  
This piece, also from my latest book, will also be in the collection on show.

Size 56 x 63 cms
Price £625

Venice will always be the most romantic of places for me. I had always wanted to go and my wonderful husband surprised me with an unexpected trip there on a special wedding anniversary. At first he told me he was taking me to the opera. I laughed ou tloud  and replied " But you hate the Opera!" . That's when he told me we were going to the opera but in Venice. My jaw dropped and I sat speechless for the longest time. I can remember feeling close to tears as he was making a long time dream of mine come true. And he knew how happy he was making me. I love him so much. I always have and always will.

I know many artists have painted this scene. But when I paint it my heart pours into each brush stroke.

I am hoping whoever owns this painting in the future will have a connection to Venice in some way because it really is the most special of places in the world . And so romantic.

This painting can be found on pages 156/157 in my book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour".


And now for a surprise painting as it is from the relaunch of my first book. Which hasn't even been seen yet as it isnt available until later this year. It can be pre ordered and there is a limited edition of a Special Collectors version. In thsi new version are wonderful new sections and chapters  plus a whole new collection of paintings. Including " In the Bleak Mid Winter shown below. This is an English Church in English countryside, speckled with softly falling snow.

In The Bleak Mid Winter
Size 50 x 60 cms.
Price £595

This scene reminds me of Christmas as I enjoy midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I love the spirit of the community coming together to celebrate a special time of the year. This is a time when families come together. There is a sense of giving, hope and happiness shared.

Very magical which is why I aimed to keep a sense of magical atmosphere in the piece.


I will keep sharing paintings  from my upcoming exhibition on my blog. I have already had wonderful requests from people interested in buying work from this collection. Paintings can be reserved before the show and two paintings have already been sold because the buyers were so keen to own their favourite paintings. These two paintings will be on display but with a red dot to indicate they are "sold".

I really wish for these special paintings from my books to be owned by someone who really loves them and wants to enjoy them. One email this morning really touched me and that was why I agreed to the early sale. This is an exhibition with a difference. All new work is on display. Being seen for the first time in a gallery and I really can't emphasise enough. If you like something please contact the gallery early to let them know of your interest.

I will share more paintings this week. There are florals and more wildlife to come in future blog posts.

Its' fun looking through my exhibition collection and seeing how it was a huge part of my new book and its' creation. A book that I loved writing and is making me so happy by the feedback I am receiving about it. So I want my paintings from this book to make others happy too.

More soon!


The link for the gallery regarding paintings is

The link to buy "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"  is

The link to buy my next new book,"Colour and Light" the Collectors Special Edition is

Monday, 31 August 2015

"Colours of a Fox" : Watercolour

"Colours of a Fox"
( Copyright : Jean Haines )

This has to have been my best ever painting day in ages! I have had such a fantastic time working in my studio. I woke dreading unwrapping all the paintings for my solo show. Please don't misunderstand. I love seeing my work framed and it is so exciting seeing each painting as it appears back from the framers. But I knew this unwrapping of a whole collection would take me away from painting and I think from my blog posts today you can see where my heart lay.

I had to paint. 
And oh boy did I paint! 
There were almost sparks coming off my brushes.

I have happily finished the fox in watercolour painting and I have loved every single brushstroke added to this piece. I had to leave this beautiful animal yesterday with no ears and only one eye. The porr thing! I often actually only paint one eye but this gorgeous fox deserved two. Bright shining and full of life. This is a young fox, eager, inquisitive and raring to go.

 The painting below is where I had stopped working yesterday. And to be honest I like it as it is at this stage. But I felt I couldn't exhibit it without adding more detail.

"Colours of a Fox"
Stage 1.
Over the years we have watched fox families visit our garden and we have often witnessed them as we have driven home in the country lanes late at night. The best sight was a group ofsmall  cubs playing  with each other. We stopped the car and were fascinated. They played just like puppies which isn't suprising as they are of course related to the dog family.

I have come to learn about "Cubbing" recently. The practise where fox hunters train their hounds how to kill apparently. On fox cubs.  I can't think of any human enjoying teaching a dog to kill. Or any human enjoying killing wildlife. But then thats' me. Maybe in years to come future generations will look back and ask

"Did people really do that?"

When it is probably too late to turn back the clock.

But for now I am working on my exhibition and I cannot wait to see these last few paintings framed. But wait, that will mean even more work to unwrapthem when they come back  and even more lost painting time!

Oh well!

Thats' the circle of life for an exhibiting artist!


King Charles Cavalier in Watercolour

King Charles Cavalier 
In Watercolour
Size 52 x 62 cms.
( Copyright Jean Haines )

Waiting for an exhibition is such an exciting time. This weekend I am unwrapping work from the framers, measuring each piece and pricing my collection for my solo show which opens at The Frame Gallery in Odiham, Hampshire on September 11th. This exhibition will include all new work, unshown in a gallery before.
My collection includes wildlife, florals, landscapes and portraits. In fact the selection of work is very diverse so I think there will be something for everyone. Today in my studio I am making a few final additions to the collection as time is now running out for framing new work. I had delivered the main body of paintings for framing some time back as I like to be well prepared in advance. I am aware that the show catalogue takes valuable time so usually I am completely ready at least two weeks before the opening.

But I am having requests. 

" Will there be a badger in the exhibition ?"

"Have you got any new hare paintings?"

"Please say there is more than one fox?"

"You will have a dog painting in the show won't you?"

The answer to all of the above questions is yes!

Including the little King Charles Cavalier above. This is based on Peter our neighbours little dog. But if you look at Page 118 in my latest book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" you will see how this piece started. Its in the chapter " Working Loose and Getting It Right" . This was a fabulous section of my new book to write as it looks at where to start when working in a loose style, how to add definition and putting all you know together to form a complete composition. It was a joy to write.

I loved the start of this dog painting so much that adding the definition was delightful.

The inspiration?

When we first moved to our cottage I heard a gentleman in a nearby field calling for "Peter". I assumed it was his small son that had got lost so asked if I could help find him. But no. Peter was a young King Charles Cavalier that had selective hearing. He only came when called if he wanted to. I still see Peter who hasn't changed at all. He still keeps his owner  chasing after him which is quite funny!

So Peter will be in my show and sitting still for a change!


Jean Haines World of Watercolour can be purchased via this link

Paintings from my "World of Watercolour " Exhibition 2015 : Birds

 World of Watercolour Exhibition 2015

 Here are the next  collection of paintings from my new book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" that will be included in my solo exhibition of the same name, at the Frame Gallery in Odiham this September. These paintings are very dear to me for personal reasons. This blog post includes some of the birds from my book and upcoming solo show. Wildlife is a favourite subject for me. Living where I do in English countryside I am so privileged to see it up close, to paint.

 Jenny Wren 
Page my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 52 x 60 cms.
Price £525

I have always loved wrens. I see one each day on my morning walk with Bailey, my bearded collie. But there is also one that seems to live in our garden. They are beautiful little birds. To me the most fascinating thing about them is that they are tiny and plain in colour. Almost insignificant. But that is what appeals to me about them. The way they move, their bright eyes.To me they are such pretty birds. Beautiful in their simplicity. Not everything needs to be a blast of colour to be gorgeous. Painting this one was an absolute delight to paint but as I worked in my studio on the piece one hovered right outside my studio window. As if it knew it was the subject for my painting.

I have selected a white frame to show off the delicacy of this piece and it looks wonderful. I am thrilled to include this in my show.


Page 173 of my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 52 x 62 cms.
Price £495

Anyone who has been to my cottage or my workshops may have heard me talk about Hector. Hector is the heron who lives in our cottage garden. Sometimes he reminds me of an elegant grey haired gentleman who just happens to love passing the time of day with you. One who loves a country garden and is happy to wander around it. Of course Hector is also naughty in that he steals fish from our pond but on the whole he is so charming that I can't be angry at him for that. And he has made an appearance in my new book.

Painted in a a way that makes the most of my Chinese Brush work techniques and leaving the white paper to tell the story as much as what is painted upon it.

Hector is in a white wooden frame and he looks very handsome!

Page 51 of my book  "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
Framed : Size 62 x 47  cms.
Price £525

Not seen in my garden! This beautiful Puffin is very dear to me for a different reason. I hold workshops all over the world and on them I am asked to demonstrate how I will approach painting all manner of subjects. On one occasion I was asked how I would paint a puffin. The demonstration was part of my course "one on one" sessions but the whole class are able to watch these if they are interested in the subject. And they were. I started with the eye of the puffin and began to build up the painting. At one point while demonstrating there was only the head and no beak so the little bird looked rather odd.  At this time a member of the class informed me that Puffins beaks fall off in winter. I couldn't help but reply " Do you mean they walk around looking like this?"  The whole class fell about laughing as did I. And for a while I couldn't stop giggling. This is confession time. My biggest fear when demonstrating or holding workshops is to get a giggling fit because even at this age I can't stop once I start laughing. It is embarrassing. I was lucky, the whole room laughed with me but for a while no one could say the word " Puffin" in front of me in case I started laughing again. Artist son this course remembered and emails that followed often mentioned " puffin" knowing it would get me smiling and giggling again. There was a bond in that class that I will never forget and the loved flowed into this painting because of it.


I love all these paintings. They look fabulous in my own home but they are also very integral to my book and how it was written. My goal in this exhibition is to have my work owned by people who love each painting for a reason. And this is why I am letting these special paintings go.

If you are interested in any of these paintings or work from my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" please contact Jan at the Frame Gallery who can advise you on how to purchase.

My solo exhibition opens on 11th September 2015. 

Here is a link to the gallery.


If you would like to buy a copy of my book "Jean Haines World of Watercolour" it is available via this link

Jean Haines World of Watercolour.
Launched in June 2015. 
Already an international best seller