Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Phlox in Watercolour : Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour

 Two paintings of Phlox in Watercolour on my easel
One complete, another as a work in progress 

This time last year my book " Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour" was launched and I loved being at Patchings Art Festival to sign books and demonstrate my techniques. It was fantastic.

This year I am sitting in my garden again painting florals and loving each plant as it comes into flower. In my flower book there is a chapter on how to paint white subjects and complex shapes. The phlox flowers were perfect for this demonstration as they met both challenges as a subject.

I worked the background around negative edges first using colours that to me helped make the white spaces sing.

I then began to paint around the edges of several of the focal point blooms and left some half finished for viewers imagination, of my finished piece, to complete.

Finally I always add fine detail.

The paintings on my easel as seen above show the finished phlox painting from my book. The other painting is a new work in progress and I am experimenting with it. I have used various products on this piece which I hope to share in a future demonstration. In fact I will be sharing far more very soon I am happy to say but for now as they say " Watch this space"  Exciting news is coming!

Below you can see a photograph of the white phlox flowers that are blooming in my garden this year.

The seasons teach us so much. We need to enjoy each one before it is over. And all that each gives to us.

Phlox flowering in my garden


Artists Tip

Maybe you have painted a subject a year ago and you were really pleased with the result. I painted phlox a year ago and felt this way.

Try taking a familiar subject that you know you can paint and attempt to create a new composition with either similar shades or new ones but try to improve on the art you created the year before. 

Take the good parts of your previous painting and carry them into your new work and try to dismiss any elements that you didn't like in your previous work.

Become your own teacher.

It really works! 
Having said that aim to see the good points of your paintings.

Try not to be overly critical! 

( Lets' face it. We are all far too good at that already!) 


Patchings Demonstrations Cancelled 2019

Sweet pea in watercolour 

Sadly I have had to cancel my demonstrations at Patchings Art Festival 2019 and I will not be attending this week. It is such a shame as I had so much that was new to share but I have been advised not to travel too far from home at the moment. I had a small health blip a few weeks ago and although everything seems to have settled again I just couldn't take the risk of letting everyone down at the last minute.

Ironically, since I cancelled the event my health seems to be rocketing into the far better zone which is really infuriating! 

Patchings always has been a huge favourite part of my year in UK as I meet so many wonderful people there. I will however be demonstrating in London next month at the Mall Galleries which is near to my home and I will definitely be talking about my new Daniel Smith sets and how to use them along with sharing a new techniques that I am falling in love with.

Everyone has been so fantastically understanding about my cancelling this year and Chas from Patchings has extended a huge warm invitation for me to be there next year .

To everyone going to Patchings, have a wonderful time, think of me and see you next year , hopefully!


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Paint Yourself Positive : Waterlilies in Watercolour

"Quiet Reflection"
Waterlilies in Watercolour

I feel I should start this blog post by thanking everyone who follows me and who reads my posts. There was a time I could over load my blog with up to three posts a day, this slowed down over time to several posts a week. Then I started travelling and when I was on tour time often went by with very long periods between posts. At the beginning of this year I was really poorly and my spirits took a nose dive. I hardly shared on my blog at all during that time. But luckily I had written my latest book. " Paint Yourself Positive". 

I have taken time to read and absorb the chapters. Smiling at the positivity on each page and actually I have been kicking myself into action. What I needed to do to heal correctly was paint as well as heed the specialists advise. Not surprisingly it has worked but my painting has changed. I seem to have grown again. Leapt over another hurdle and my technique has improved.

I have even MORE excitement about colour . You may ask " Is this possible from Jean Haines?". The answer is a resounding YES!.

I sat quietly by my lily pond yesterday and painted the above watercolour of water lilies. I listened to birdsong as I worked. My puppies slept mostly by my feet although at times they naughtily crept into sections of the pond that they can easily access. I did tell them " No" but its' so hard to keep a straight face when a puppy with duckweed all over its muzzle stares intently at you trying to work out what the command is. I laughed non stop.

I think my laughter flowed into my painting as it has a happy feel to it.

This is a large piece. The smaller waterlily painting seen in my book " Paint Yourself Positive is a favourite of mine. There is something about waterlilies. Something magical. They always makes me think of Monet garden. It was a long time dream of mine to visit his garden in Giverny France and when I did I was so happy, and emotional.

Having dreams come true is very special. But they cannot unless you make some. Have you added to your wish list lately? If not, why not?

If you have never had a wish list now is the time to start. Have small wishes that are achievable and a few that may be out of reach. As one dream comes true add a new one. Just keep wishing.


I want more free time to share my news on my blog as I have so much!

Happy painting


Artists Tip

Try looking at a painting you did a year ago and paint a new version of it. See if you have grown as an artist or do you like how you painted before?

Compare the "you" from today and last year and see if you can positively chnage the "you" of tormorrow!

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

New ** Jean Haines Daniel Smith Shimmer Set

Jean Haines Daniel Smith Sets

As promised here is a link with more information on my new Daniel Smith Shimmer Set!



Poppies : Jean Haines Daniel Smith Shimmer Sets 2019

Jean Haines Daniel Smith Shimmer Sets

Can life get any more exciting? Or painting? 

Yes it can!

I am thrilled to have two new sets of Daniel Smith Watercolours about to be launched and one is a shimmer set. This collection really does include some of my favourite iridescent and shimmering shades. Some I have shared previously on my blog. Some I use in subtle ways adding exciting sheen to my work that sometimes aren't easy to spot but I love it when I am asked " How did you achieve that effect?".

The following painting as seen below is a perfect example.

At the moment I have very delicate pale purple poppies growing in our cottage garden. They self seed each year and spring up absolutely everywhere. I have learnt to enjoy then rather than pull them out. After all they are nature working in the garden breaking up any idea of our flower borders being looking manicured!

I started this piece by painting the purple section of the poppies. I then added a mix of green below the flower heads, placing cling film on top to form crinkle paterns for the leaves. Next I worked the negative edge of the top of the flowers. 

Next I added poppy buds and a seed head. Stems too started to appear. And this was where I could have stopped colour wise. But I selected a few of my shimmer set shades. Iridescent Ruby and Iridescent Topaz to pump up the drama in a subtle way. The sheen on my silky petals looks glorious now. You may notice subtle use of Iridescent Electric Blue too, a colour I adore!

Dancing Poppies

These shades from my shimmer set work so well adding magic when combined with other colours. They give a form of light and life to a painting that is unusual, which suits me perfectly. To be honest, I love having little tricks to bring my paintings to life and its' ideal to have sets available so that others can experiment too.

Iridescent Ruby and Iridescent Topaz
Shimmer shades from my new Daniel Smith Shimmer sets

Below you can see my easel  To the left is a small study just created for me to try colour ideas. To the right the painting I created whilst sat in my garden looking at the real thing. I prefer painting from life as you learn so much from how light plays and interacts on a subject rather than by working from photographs constantly.

My easel with my poppy studies , small and large. These give me ideas for techniques to be used in a later more serious painting, colour combinations and composition flow.


Artists Tip for the Day

Try hard not to only paint from photographs. Painting from life in natural light gives you far more information on colours to use, you can observe colours interacting,see genuine light and shadow. So much detail that you can miss when painting a flat image as seen in a photo. Look for something as a subject that draws you in to paint it and have a go no matter what it is. 

And of course. Have fun!


Paint Yourself Positive : Mall Galleries Demonstrations 2019

Paint Yourself Positive
My new book........
Out now!!!

I am hot off the phone to my publishers and I am thrilled to share the news that I will be demonstrating at the Mall Galleries in London on August 28th. I will be demonstrating three times during the day with projects from each of my books including my latest book " Paint Yourself Positive".

Actually it has been a rather tough year as my health took an unexpected nose dive, we sadly lost friends who were close to us that also hurt so much and various other things happened that were out of my control knocking me for six.

But. as always, painting lifted me back to where I usually am. High spirited, smiling and living life to the full again. I am so glad I wrote this latest book as for a change I desperately needed to heed my own advise! 

" Paint Yourself Positive" has changed my life. I thought I was already a positive person but there were many ways I could enrich each day and even give myself the power to simply " be" and get the best out of each moment.

I am back to having a ball and I am so excited at being able to demonstrate and give my all to everyone who comes to see me. 

I will share more news about this fabulous event soon.

But if you wish to come please mark the date in your diary, and I will be signing books that you can bring with you or buy at the venue.

See you in August!


Monday, 24 June 2019

Racing Ahead

 Racing Ahead

No matter the time of year, my horse racing scenes are always the most requested by galleries. Still. They take time to create and build up into a really good action scene that is full of movement. These compositions are when I ironically use my "Don't race to finish a painting" technique.

We can lose so much action in a scene like this by rushing to complete a painting. We can also miss the touches in places that really do add drama and impact in a piece if we continue to work non stop rather than take our time.

I do love how this piece is developing.

My favourite to win at the moment is the jockey in red seen below. But the jockey in blue could take the lead at any time.

The point is in life, as in painting, there are times when waiting to see how things develop is far wiser than trying to force a result.

The words " I will just..............." spring to mind as I often think I will just add one more brush stroke before leaving a piece  as a work in progress. That last " one more touch " can sometimes be the killing brush stroke, or yes, it can be the making of a painting.

But as artists we often have to follow our gut instinct.

My instinct is telling me this piece is nearly complete. Detail needs adding in places and "confusion" in others as in breaking up areas where blocks of colour exist at the moment. With each touch I am learning so much about the way I create and why.

We never stop learning, in life and in art.

And for me the journey is still as exciting if not more so than reaching my destination.

In fact.

I am in no race!

Close up of my favourite jockey and horse


Artist Tip for the day

Don't race to finish a painting

Enjoy every addition of colour and take your time to see where it is really needed.

Study your favourite sections of any painting and work out why they work, is there more or less detail there? Are the colour combinations there working better?

Always ask questions and strive to take in the best answers!

But most of all, enjoy painting!