Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bullying Online

Close up Section of
"Flowers in Blue"

I received so many incredible messages from readers of my blog post on bullying online. So many by email and I am so touched by reading some of the messages. I had no idea this was such a wide spread problem in the art community. I tend to live in a world full of encouragement where I walk into a venue full of strangers on workshops or at my talks worldwide and every single person I meet is fantastic. The warmth and friendship we share through our passion for art in all mediums is beautiful and something I cherish.

But it appears that there are people who take pleasure in putting others and their art down. By criticising their work so badly that it really has had a huge impact not only on their paintings but their lives too. One artist felt so traumatised by continual attacks that they felt suicidal. Can you imagine feeling that low? I don't think being anonymous online is helpful on social media because I wonder if people would be quite so brave if they had to disclose their real names.

Lets' think about why we paint in the first place.  It is to enjoy creating. Yes, it is great if others recognise what you have painted especially in your first years of learning. This is when you are new and possibly at your most vulnerable to comments by those looking at what you produce. 

But please think about this.

Look at why anyone would put you down. And look at who they are too. Are they a great artist? Are they a great teacher of art? Are they a writer about art? What qualifies them to put your art down? And if they are painting do you like their art? Because if you are painting in a very different  style maybe someone who is painting in another won't appreciate your work and vice versa.

Qualify, if you need to what merit the criticism is worth.

But, personally. I prefer to think you would ignore. I know this isn't easy to do but giving air to unkindness gives it room to breath. If you give no oxygen to unkind comments you eventually suffocate the one being unkind by blanking them out.

Please, please, please share encouragement as much as possible. And when you see talent in artists at all levels of their art journeys tell them!

We can't change the world. we can't change everyone turning them into  people who respect others but we can make a difference by being there treating others with respect.

Artists knock themselves consistently as it is. Without anyone else throwing rocks at their talent.

So my request today as my artists tip?

Always give words of encouragement. If you do feel you can help an artist improve there are ways of doing it without crushing their soul. And no. You do not need to crush an artists' soul to help them succeed. You need to give them wings to fly!


Thank you to everyone who shared their personal stories with me. 
Always know you are never alone and you are better than those hurting you.

Summer Blues

Large Abstract of Flowers on my Easel
Colours Used: Indigo, French Ultramarine, Violet and Turquoise

I often set myself a challenge just for the sake of it. If I don't, I end up painting what I know, what I love and what I feel like. And this could lead me unwittingly into painting the same things in the same way continually. And so I experiment continually to keep my work fresh and my enthusiasm alive.

To make myself jump out of my comfort zone I will often cover a large piece of paper with random colour. Leave it overnight and then see what I can visualise in the result the next day. I never think of a subject ahead of my experiment. I just play with colour. Recently my passion of more abstract work is effecting my results. This morning I adored the wash created previously by using Indigo, French Ultramarine, Violet and Turquoise. These colours are a dream when applied together and allowed to merge naturally. I applied salt in sections of the wash and left it to dry overnight.

My next challenge was to limit the use of colour on top of this wash. So in this painting I have worked with indigo to create negative patterns which have formed soft flowers. Just a little more definition and this could be a fascinatingly unique painting. And very different to my previous paintings which is the whole point of my experiments.

This was so relaxing to work on and I can add more detail to complete this painting. But the joy really was the process. The journey towards a result. Not the destination. And I feel I have improved my imaginative skills by working this way.

Artist Tip : Whatever you are working on this week please find time to stretch your skills, your imagination and leap out of your comfort zone. You may find, like me, that you prefer being there instead!


I have had some amazing emails about my new book and I promise I will try to reply as soon as I can. I am teaching workshops in UK this week. The week after that I will be demonstrating at Patchings.
But I am reading every single email and I am over the moon that my book is being enjoyed already. It took so long to write as I was determined to have different subjects in it and new ideas so it would be completely different to " Atmospheric Watercolours". In a way it is meant to read like being on workshops with me. Fun, enjoyable but totally inspirational to encourage readers to be unique and create art that is beautifully personal to them.

Thank you SO much for each wonderful message! 
I am so lucky to know people like you.


Friday, 22 May 2015

Getting Stronger

 Wisteria Hue
Bold, dramatic and exciting colour

I have been reading my new book. There are particular words that are really having an effect on me, as if I wasn't the original author. I know each time I pick up my brush I grow as an artist. And I still learn far more from things that don't go right than the things that do when I am experimenting. But the joy in creating for me has always been a sense of adventure. Rather than accepting one way is the only way to paint.  And its' been a week full of so much happening that at times its' been very hard to keep my feet on the ground.


Well, 1) I had a fantastic meeting with my publisher that had me floating on air but that news is for another blog post.

 2)  Because I have had so many wonderfully touching emails and messages letting me know how much my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour"  is being enjoyed. And one message made me stop and take time to see how the sender had interpreted one of the chapters as it had become so personal to their own art journey. In a truly positive way to overcome obstacles.

So, to anyone who is reading my blog today and dealing with situations that could pull you down can I share this part of my own journey.  There was a time when I shared online on a large art site. A forum.  I was new to sharing on social media and hardly "worldly wise" of being online. At first everything was really exciting. I felt I was meeting new friends from all over the world. I loved it.  I think being in a circle of others who loved painting as much as I did was so magical. But after a while something quite ugly started to happen. In short, I was being bullied online to the point that I left the site. The bullying continued and I was harassed by emails from the same group of people. This week , and completely out of the blue, I received an email from someone from that time who wanted to wish me well and they meant their message so kindly. But the reminder made me sit and look at how far I have come as a person as much as an artist.

If I had let those who were enjoying their game of simply ruining anothers' life get to me I wouldn't be where I am now. I wouldn't have written my first book. I wouldn't be holding my now very popular workshops. And I wouldn't be meeting wonderful people from all over the world when I travel.

I had forgotten all about this time. Until I read the email about it this week. And it arrived as another artist was asking for my advise on how to deal with others being unkind to them online. Isn't it sad that some people feel it is acceptable to be unkind, run others down or  even go out of their way to find a way of hurting someone? All behind the safety of a computer screen and in some cases an anonymous name. The  artist asking for advise is understandably upset, hurt and even worse. They are faltering in their career which is terrible as they are so talented.

I think in life we all need courage at times. We definitely need to like ourselves. Which isn't always easy. And we need to realise we cannot please everyone. But if we are kind and true to ourselves I believe that shines from within us. And a positive attitude improves our own lives. We sadly also need to understand that there are those who simply cannot be happy unless they are hurting someone else. But giving air to these kind of " trolls" takes away from our own energy. 

How did I cope when I was bullied? I threw myself into my art to be honest. I loved painting so much that I carried on in my own way and I was lucky in that I was spotted by my publishers and other wonderful contacts who have supported me over the years. And everyone I have met has commented on my generosity, warmth and willingness to share. I just want everyone I know to be happy. And I feel sad for those who can't live this way because it is wonderful.

So, if you are having doubts on your own ability to paint or if you are facing a problem. Know that you have the strength and ability to overcome obstacles. Especially if it is something that is happening to you by unkindness of others. Shine in your own way and make everyone around you feel like you would like them to make you feel.

Ignore negativity. Walk away from anyone or anything that pulls you down and aim to love life to the full.

Bullies actually helped me get where I am today. So as strange as it may sound, I am really grateful to them. But I do know it is the most horrid feeling dealing with unkindness. 

And so back to painting. Yes I am still addicted to painting Wisteria but I have new watercolour shades I have been given. And I am putting them through their paces. I am delving into a new way of experimenting with products. Depth, drama, impact, bold colour placement are fabulous buzz words. And oh boy I am feeling on top of the world!  I would love everyone I know to feel as happy as I am when I hold my brush. It is such a freeing feeling.  Until the Wisteria has finished blooming in my garden I feel this addiction to painting it is going to push me into a whole new chapter of my own art life.

Artists Tip: Have fun painting, stay positive and be you! 
 Lets' face it. You are an original and well worth being appreciated just as you are!

 Wisteria on my easel
I am loving working on this series of experiments with colour. It has been a dream of a painting week and there has to be another to follow!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Wisteria Magic

Wisteria on My Easel
Work in progress

I am in love with my garden at the moment so painting in it is wonderful. My UK workshops start next week. The week after that I will be at Patchings Art Festival.

But tomorrow I have a meeting with my publisher, at my cottage, to discuss two books. The revamp of my first book which is  almost complete apart from proof reading the new compilation once it has been put together in a book form. And a whole new exciting project that will keep me very busy for some time. One I am really looking forward to getting my "painting teeth" into!

I am thrilled with all the very kind emails  fromartists who have bought my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" and want to thank everyone for being so kind in writing to me. Never take it for granted that an author doesn't have emotions about each publication. They do! And I have been looking forward to this new books release for some time now so its' thrilling to finally hear it is being enjoyed. Which is , after all, the whole purpose of writing.

Now I am painting in my studio but pushing myself to find new ways to capture similar subjects. Today I have been working with new colours which I cannot share just yet but I will be able to soon. But to give you a glimpse at them you can see my latest Wisteria painting , above. I love this at this stage. It is soft and dramatic.And I think my favourite so far. I will leave it overnight and see how it looks in the morning. At that time I will have fresh eyes and know whether to add detail or enjoy it as it is.

That is the beauty of not racing work. Having time to savour each brush stroke is far better than having to complete a painting in one go every time we pick up our brushes. And I learn from each new painting which is thrilling.

Roll on tomorrow!


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wistful Wisteria : Wisteria in Watercolour

 Wistful Wisteria

I cannot walk into my cottage without stopping to admire the wisteria which adorns the walls around the front door. I am hooked on painting it.  I have several pieces on the go but the one I am sharing today is my favourite. The above image shows one of the  hanging blooms.

Wistful Wisteria 
Take 2.

On a large blank piece of paper I happily started painting one wisteria, but gradually more blooms  were added as seen in the image above.  And it didn't stop there. Because soon a large painting existed with blooms falling in shade and sunlight. See the image below.

Large composition. 
A work in progress but nearly complete.

The glow in this work, not really easily seen on screen,  is because of the new Daniel Smith shades I am now working with. And I am not afraid of colour. Cadmium Yellow works fantastically in the shadows as well as in the more well lit sections. It adds warmth and a glow to sections that are hidden and lights up those that are not.

I will work on this further and share it when it is finished. Incredibly someone has offered to buy this painting and it is not even complete yet. And it was painted for my own cottage! But f  rnow it stays in my studio to be enjoyed and for more brush work to be added. At leisure, with love and my passion for the medium flowing through it!


Goodbye " How to Paint Colour and Light"

"How to Paint Colour and Light"
My first book.

I have mixed feelings this morning. I have just heard from my publisher that they expect to sell the last copies of my first book " How to Paint Colour and Light" within the next two months. This will see the reprinting of this book come to an end.

This book was my leap into being an author and it meant so much to me. But I had limited freedom in writing it in that it had a set number of pages I had to adhere to because it sat in a series of " How To" books. I was so lucky to be invited to be included in this series as at that time as I was unknown in publishing circles. But my publisher took a risk with an unknown author and from there I continued to write "Atmospheric Watercolours" which has become so popular worldwide and of course my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" has just been launched.  

"How to Paint Colour and Light" stood out in its own right from the series as it has sold so well. So my publisher invited me to expand it. I have grown so much in the time since I first started writing and the new additional chapters to this book will bring it more inline to how my other books " feel". Now I have no page number restrictions I can really throw my all into the new edition which so already looks very exciting.

But I must admit. I feel quite sad that my first book will no longer be available in its' current format. In fact I am going to buy one of the last copies because this is the biggest memory in my career. The day I was offered the very first contract to write this book. My excitement and happiness. And this book has been the doorway to my other publications.

The last copy of " How to Paint Colour and Light" will be sold soon but it really has been a very good friend to me.

Goodbye " How to Paint Colour and Light" in  its' old look!


You can still order copies from but when the last copy has gone, thats' it!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

June 16th : Inspirational Demonstration in the Cotswolds.

Gifts from the Demonstration

Wow! I have just heard that Daniel Smith will also be providing shade charts and free dot cards for everyone attending my demonstration in the Cotswolds on June 16th plus providing a fabulous raffle prize! I must admit I didn't know about this but the celebration event of my book launch is getting more exciting by the minute. I am hearing from the hotel regularly on bookings coming in which is fabulous. Can everyone attending be prepared for a truly inspirational afternoon with one very excited artist who is eager to share her latest discoveries on colour, technique and also answer questions on art careers and your own art hiccups.

See you then!  To book please see the link below! 

 A wonderful book signing event in the Cotswold's this June.
Everyone attending will receive samples of the paper I use kindly provided by St Cuthbert Mill and my own personalised dot card with my favourite shades from Daniel Smith.

Manor Hotel
Moreton- On The Marsh
June 16th 2015
Meet the Artist . Inspirational Demonstration and Talk
Book Signing Event
Afternoon tea with clotted cream and scones
 Fee includes a copy of Jeans new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" 
Leave feeling energised, refreshed and inspired! 
Book via this link  


Monday, 11 May 2015

Wistful Wisteria : Exciting Washes

"Wistful Wisteria "
Exciting closeup. 
A watercolour breakthrough as I leap into a new way of working with this subject.

 I have been painting Wisteria in my garden and as much as I love the pieces that I have created so far something is wrong. I wasn't happy with the flow or results. They look beautiful but something about them was really niggling me. This morning I worked out what it was. I had fallen into the trap of painting what I "see" rather than painting what I "feel".

I think it is easily done when working from life. You see a gorgeous subject in front of you be it a view or a flower. And you want to tell the story in colour. But in my mind so does every other artist. So my wisteria paintings were bothering me because I was painting almost exactly what I saw. Purple flowers. Even though the previous paintings were created in my loose style the magic didn't seem to be there.

Today I decided to paint from my heart, listening to my instincts and I forgot I was looking directly at purple blooms. I started by covering my paper with a gorgeous wash of a mix of Daniel Smith colours. I refer to my technique as " watercolour sculpting" when I work this way. I gently make watermarks with clean fresh water. Dropping water neatly into a wash in a controlled manner to allow patterns to form. The "blobs" at the top of this piece are the patterns formed by dropping water into my wash from my size 10 sable brush. Once the first wash is dry I can add detail. Please look at the colour in the first wash in the image below. . Quinachridone Gold makes an unexpected appearance to the right of the composition and it positively glows, bringing not only warmth to my painting but a unique outcome. I am under the influence of the cottage walls behind the wisteria that I am looking at but I haven't allowed their form or lines to appear in my painting. Just a hint of their colour.

Wisteria : Work in progress
Joyful colours singing to bring energy and life into this more unusual piece.

There is far more excitement in this piece. Not only to look at,  but by the journey in creating it. Maybe I am the kind of person that always needs to be searching for something new but I am so happy with my work today. Its' been a sheer pleasure to paint because I have made myself paint from the heart and ignore slightly what was right in front of my eyes.

 Close up of the Wisteria painting before further detail was added.

There is a sense of mystery and magic about this new painting and the best part is, this happy feeling will flow into my next work. Leaving my studio on a high is a must for me each day and I honestly cannot wait to get started painting tomorrow.

 Wisteria Falls
Section of the large painting I am working on in my studio 

It is impossible to be bored with this way of working because there is always a new colour or subject or technique to try. And I intend to have fun discovering as many as I can. Bringing them all to life in a truly unique way.


Artist tips of the day?

Don't always be controlled by what you see. Allow your inner artist to emerge and take over at times. Its' way more fun and you could surprise yourself with your results if you do!

And don't get stuck in a rut with using the same colours all the time. Leap into the unknown and try something new!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Exciting News : New Book Release!

Jean Haines World of Watercolour
Now in stock!

I am thrilled to share the news that my new book is now in stock with And the first copy has already been received. Wow! I heard the news on Facebook this morning so everyone who pre- ordered a copy should be receiving their  copies very soon.

I'm going to confess the other side to my writing books. I love writing them and work so hard to include as many tips and interesting step by steps as possible, with easy to follow dialogue. I always feel exhilarated when I have completed each book but then I go through a very weird stage of not wanting to let it go. I have been at that stage for a few months waiting for this new publication to be printed.

And now its' out there in the world and I have to let it go. And keep my fingers crossed that it is enjoyed. 

I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has not only bought a copy. But to everyone who has supported me so wonderfully over the years. I have amazing friends who I am so very lucky to know. I have artist friendss who have been on my workshops since I first started teaching, many of whom are successful in their own careers now. Which is what sharing art is all about. Helping others grow and learning as much as we can on our own journies. I still feel very much like the new artist who simply paints because I enjoy painting. In my wildest dreams I never imagined years ago that I would have one book published on watercolour. Yet alone three. And I suppose I should be relaxed about it all by now but I find this totally overwhelming.

When I travel to hold workshops abroad I find it incredible that artists are  looking forward to meeting me. I find it humbling and terrifying at the same time that my way of teaching and painting seems to be so popular. But I don't take this  for granted at all. I am just very grateful for every single person who is with me on my journey. In my mind I am only just starting but having a fantastic time.

So again. A huge thank you for reading this,for  following my blog and for being with me each step of the way because without you I wouldn't be here sharing my love for watercolour.

Thank you!

My book can be purchased from via this link.

Everyone attending Patchings Art Festival this year can also purchase copies there to be signed and I will be celebrating at the Manor Hotel over a cream tea,demonstration and talk with a smaller more personal group. For which tickets can be purchased here.


June 16th: Demonstration in Moreton-On-The-Marsh

Gifts from the Demonstration

Just a quick reminder of the wonderful book signing event in the Cotswold's this June.
Everyone attending will receive samples of the paper I use kindly provided by St Cuthbert Mill and my own personalised dot card with my favourite shades from Daniel Smith.

Manor Hotel
Moreton- On The Marsh
June 16th 2015
Meet the Artist . Inspirational Demonstration and Talk
Book Signing Event
Afternoon tea with clotted cream and scones
 Fee includes a copy of Jeans new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" 
Leave feeling energised, refreshed and inspired! 
Book via this link  


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Owl in Watercolour: Making Changes

 An owl going through a correction procedure.

Making Corrections and Changes in Watercolour

Can we correct mistakes in watercolour ? 
Yes we can! 

 Workshop Demonstration : Favourite Owl
Seen many times on my workshops over the years.

I promised I would share this owl and discuss it on my blog as it has been a very old favourite demonstration of mine on my workshops for so long now. Artists who have attended my courses may well recognise this familiar piece. I often use this subject for giving demonstrations on how to paint eyes and then work away from a starting point to create the whole subject. And because of the way I work I often choose to leave out many sections so that the viewer of my finished painting can add detail as they wish through their own imaginations.

But this particular owl has a more valuable use on this blog post because I come across so many artists who tell me you can't make changes in watercolour which adds to making it the most difficult of mediums to work with. I believe you can make changes and corrections and I often do. So lets' look at this wise old owl to see what I mean. 

The above image was created by painting the eye without a preliminary sketch. Then finding the outline shape of the face next and playing with colour for the body in the foreground. I used salt and cling film for the main section of the body  in this painting to give me a gorgeous texture effect. On my workshops its an ideal choice of subject to demonstrate how I do this.  But look how I can  take a few risks and correct them if they are wrong.

 Image 1. I have suggested where the back of the head will be by a very light outline of colour. Sometimes when we paint without the aid of a preliminary pencil sketch we are not confident our shapes or proportions are correct on the first attempt. So keeping colour light in your first washes and brush marks is a great tip. Unless you are absolutely sure where your defined detail should be. So if you are new to working without a pencil, take this tip of working with light colour first.

 Image 1. Is the head outline in the right place but how can we correct it if it isn't? The pigment is totally dry so I can think about how to make any alterations in my following stages.

Making Corrections and Changes :  I can change the head outline by applying a new line of fresh colour where I think it should be moved to. Then gently merge this new colour into the background area.. In Image 2  below you can see how I have altered the placement of the back of the owls' head.

 Image 2. Changing the outline of the back of the owls head

But what if I didn't like a line here at all? Am I now stuck with what I have just painted? Not at all, because whilst the pigment is still wet I can add colour on top and graduate this new application of pigment into the background easily. Almost completely losing both outlines that were there in the previous stages of painting this subject.

Image 3. Losing both head "outlines" by simply adding colour at the right time.

There are so many tricks and tips to working in watercolour and once you get used to using them by instinct you never really come unstuck with the medium. Each new situation becomes a fun challenge. So instead of worrying about things being right, have fun working out what to do if they go wrong.

I must admit I loved each stage of this owl but wanted to share my corrections techniques.However,  guess what? My work is still so light in colour that I can choose either of the three above options for my final selection to finish my painting.

Watercolour is great to work with so do have fun with it and forget the old myth that its' a hard medium to use. Its actually the most magical!


Promise kept, my owl has made it to my blog but I have more promises to keep and I will try to as soon as I can! 

To everyone who has seen this demonstration, how are those owl paintings coming along?


Afternoon Tea with Jean in the Cotswolds : Moreton On The Marsh 16th June 2015

"Twitching Whiskers"
Hare in Watercolour

Manor Hotel
Moreton- On The Marsh
June 16th 2015
Meet the Artist . Inspirational Demonstration and Talk
Book Signing Event
Afternoon tea with clotted cream and scones
 Fee includes a copy of Jeans new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" 
Leave feeling energised, refreshed and inspired! 

Book via this link  


An artist on one of my recent workshops told me they "had never felt so over stimulated!".
 Come and see what they mean!

Wow! What a great venue for an intimate group to celebrate the launch of my new book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour". I will be at the fabulous Manor Hotel in Moreton-on-the-Marsh for a book signing event that includes  gorgeous clotted cream scones with afternoon tea.

What you can expect by attending?

The group will be small and personal.  I will be giving a demonstration and talking about my art journey. I have new discoveries in colour from USA that I will be talking about as well as having my personalised Daniel Smith dot cards which are only available at my workshops. I will be giving a personal insight into my journey from beginner to professional artist and answering questions from everyone attending. This is going to be a very friendly gathering on a more personal level due to the limited numbers of places. I will be there early to meet everyone before my demonstration,share afternoon tea and stay afterwards to chat with everyone who has come who wished to meet me.

You will have a free copy of my new book as part of the fee, and spend the afternoon in a gorgeous setting . What better way is there to share passion for watercolour! To be honest I have so much I am eager to share on this occasion. I will be painting subjects from my new book and sharing experiences about growing as an artist.

The fee is only £25  and this is the best way to spend personal time with me this year as my UK workshops are fully booked until 2016.

See you there !

You can buy tickets via this link


Please note. I will be aiming to speak to everyone attending and answering any questions on a personal level so join me on this occasion as a friend who loves art! 

By the way Moreton-On-The marsh is so beautiful you may wish to look around while you are there. More information via this link

Friday, 8 May 2015

Wallflowers in Watercolour : Daniel Smith Shades

 "Copper and Gold"
I have been reading through the advance copy of my new book and it sounds crazy but I feel so inspired by it that I need to keep painting. I am also heavily influenced by my recent trip to Seattle where I held workshops with Daniel Smith. There I feel in love with so many new shades I hadn't yet tried from their watercolour range. I thought I was a watercolour addict before my visit but oh boy, I am even more so now! I think we are all influenced to paint by so much that happens in our lives. For example when I was little my Grandfather grew sweetly scented wallflowers. I always remember their gorgeous coppery, gold colours that seemed to alive to me then even as a child. As a little girl with ginger hair quite often there were similarities between the petals colour and my curls!

Later on, I lived in France and wallflowers grew around the Auberge where I lived. They sprang up each year like weeds. Oh how I wish they would do that im my own cottage garden. Here I painstakingly plant them each Autumn so that I can look forward to seeing them in flower the following year. But my Grandfathers' gardening plays a huge part in how I see the beauty in flowers. Also my time in France introduced me to the work of aquarelliste, Madam Blanche Odin. My heroine when it comes to painting flowers of any description. 

Today, I started my morning by wandering around my garden, picking a wallflower to paint in my studio as the weather to paint outside was atrocious. I then matched it to colours from my recent trip to Daniel Smith as I felt they would be a perfect choice for these very rich coloured plants. And I am happy to say they were.

After choosing my juicy glowing colours I created a loose first impressionistic wash of my flower.  This was alive with vibrancy but these are no "wishy washy" delicate plants. They need bold, strong colour definition to make them seem fully accurate in a painting.

Daniel Smith  Quinachridone Gold, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue and  Transparent Pyrrol Orange made my first wash exciting and vibrant.

Next I needed to add darks, also I needed to separate a few small flowers with hints of definition before leaving the piece alone. I didn't want to "over fiddle". I always feel once you have told the story in a painting move on to the next story. And that's exactly what I am going to do!

Close up of definition placed on top of the first light wash.


Some flowers demand a delicate soft approach when painting them. Others beg to be painted in striking bold colour that is applied confidently. Try looking at each flower and decide before hand how you should paint it. Gently or boldly? Whatever, have fun painting because if there is no joy in holding your brush there is no joy in the result.


Not A Wallflower!

Wallflower Study

I must admit some old sayings really puzzle me. How can something so beautiful like a wallflower be used in a negative expression. Which I think the meaning of the saying " She felt like a wallflower" meant?

I plant wallflowers every year in our cottage garden. There is a feeling of excitement planting something that you know very well will not  flower until the following year. You have something colourful to look forward to. Like knowing there are many new colours I haven't tried yet but I am still looking ahead to when time allows to do so.

Today I wandered around my garden and picked a small wallflower that was way passed its' best. I carried it into my studio where it is far warmer and played with a little colour study. The petals are rich and velvety. I often place tubes of colour next to my real subjects to give me a clueas to how they will match. As in the above image.

I found Daniel Smith Quinachridone Gold perfect to add a boost of energy to my colourful study. It merged well with Cadmium Yellow for warmth. I have allowed watermarks to create patterns for petals rather than my fiddling with adding details. The freshness in this little exploration is exhilarating and prepared me for more serious paintings which I am working on for galleries.

Wallflower study painted with my Jean Haines Personal Size 10 brush

I have had a lot of questions about the paper I use.It is Saunders Waterford 300lbs mainly for gallery work and Bockingford 140lbs for studies or experiments.

My brushes are available from Jackson's Art Supplies or directly from Rosemary's Brushes.

I have a wonderful blog post to share on Quinachridone Gold and why I am so happy I am trying the Daniel Smith range carrying this colour. But that story is for another blog post!


Well done to everyone trying their hand at painting roses in a loose style following my blog post. To be very honest I would rather not state how long ago it was that I first started teaching painting roses this way! But I am so glad I did. Lets' just say it was a pretty long time  ago!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Daniel Smith : Favourite Shades

Playing with Daniel Smith Colours

I have had some fantastic feedback to yesterdays' rose blog post. It seems very popular so as a thank you to everyone who liked it and got in touch here are a few more tips.

I play with colour on scraps of paper before I paint. This not only helps prevent me from messing up a painting by using the wrong colour. It teaches me about how pigments interact . I often discover new favourite shades and colour combinations this way.

My favourite colour for painting pink roses is Daniel Smith Opera Pink. And you can see an example of my pink rose paintings in the above image. If like me you get tired of working with the same shades, looking for something new and exciting is always on the horizon. For me it is a part of my daily routine.

Following my trip to USA and my workshops at Daniel Smith I am absolutely hooked on their range of gorgeous watercolours but I know I have many to still discover. I give myself time for playing with each new shade I come across. So that I know exactly what I can use it for and how it will interact with other favourite colours already existing on my palette.

This weeks experiments have seen me fall in love with Daniel Smith Quinachridone Rose. It is stunning! If you study the image above I will explain why. I have applied dots of  Daniel Smith Quinachridone Rose and Daniel Smith Perylene Red on a scrap of paper. As I am in the mood for painting roses I have then placed a watery application of Cadmium Yellow along side each and with touches of water allowed the pigments to flow into each other. The Perylene Red as I expected is far too strong for capturing soft summer flowers with delicate petals. But the diluted sections of the rose and yellow shades have merged into an absolutely fabulous effect. So these are perfect for a summer watercolour collection.

I use these experiments and discoveries for all my subjects. I now know if I want unique shadows or warmth in a building or a landscape scene this combination could be a great option.

We often go straight into painting a serious piece  with little thought to how we could change our results by using new colour choices. As artists, consistently depending on what  know instead of searching for something far more exciting even if it is out of our comfort zone can sometimes be a difficult decision. But for me, it is what makes art magical. 
The thought of something new to discover.

Artists Tip of the Day : Don't get stuck in a rut. Try new colours frequently


I thought it was quite comical when someone asked me if I worked for Daniel Smith. No, I don't but I would be a nightmare if I did.  As I would constantly be playing with the colours in the store rather than helping anyone. But I have to explain. If I love something I really do have to share it with the world. And I love Daniel Smith watercolours.  Its' that simple!  And what do I gain by sharing my tips and favourites on my blog? Hopefully happy artists around the world who love painting as much as I do and like me are always looking for something  new to try!

Daniel Smith : Seattle 2015 Workshops and Demonstration

Giving a Presentation at Daniel Smith Store in Seattle.

It has been a truly whirlwind month. I was a celebrity guest artist at the Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey which was fabulous. Then I headed for Seattle where I was hosted by Daniel Smith to hold workshops and give an in store demonstration. I have to say I loved it!

Can you imagine for one minute, standing in front of a group of artists and talking about your favourite colours and if they want to they can simply  pop into the next room which happens to be a huge art store to buy them? It was amazing! Anyone who has been on my workshops will know how excited I am about colour and how passionate I am about watercolour. Well here I found myself landed in Aladdin's cave! Seriously! 

When I arrived I received a warm welcome and walked in to a beautiful display of my book "Atmospheric Watercolours" which is the main reason Daniel Smith knew about me. It has become so popular that the union between myself as the author and the colours I have fallen in love with seemed absolutely natural. The display of my books dwindled long before my book signing event which was also thrilling.


I held two , two day workshops and each were fully booked with long waiting lists for places. To anyone who couldn't get in I have good news. I am going back next year! I met wonderful people in Seattle that I have only talked to on line via Twitter or Facebook. And it was  fantastic seeing them in person. Hello Hap and " A Woman Who is"! My instincts were right. These are lovely people online and I can tell you they are fabulous offline too.

 "Jean Haines World of Watercolour"
The advance copy of my new book was raffled at my in store demonstration.
And won by a very happy winner!  Hi Sharon!

 But back to my workshops. they went wonderfully. I am still trying to catch up with emails so please bear with me to everyone who has kindly written to me to say how much they enjoyed my courses and love their new found inspiration. I am passionate in everything I do and throw my all into my courses. Which usually has everyone leaving them feeling overwhelmed with, as someone put it recently, a feeling of  "over stimulation". I had one professional artist contact me to say they have never felt so enthusiastic about painting in all the years they have been painting which is really humbling. Thank you so much to everyone who came.

 And to everyone who watched my demonstration thank you too. I will share the magical moments that really knocked me sideways. At the beginning of my demonstration a lovely lady came up to me and asked if she could have her photograph taken with me. This lady had changed her chemo appointment so that she didn't miss being there. I painted a rose as one of my demonstrations and gave it to this lady because she touched my heart in a way I cannot describe. How can someone I have never met know about my work and turn up at a demonstration, and even in these circumstances? I am so touched because I had no idea that was possible. And I am thinking very hard about how my books or blog posts do seem to reach all over the world. You see, when I write them they are almost like a personal diary for me. I don't actually expect anyone to read what I am writing or sharing. So after all these years this is a shock for me , still. 

On the day of the in store demonstration I went for lunch with my hosts from Daniel Smith  which was  wonderful. Exchanging ideas and hearing all about the history of the colours I adore. It was fascinating to hear how my gorgeous watercolours are made. I then had a tour of the production which was eye opening. And I felt privileged to see the " behind the scenes" scenes.

The store seemed to fill quickly as my presentation time drew near and as the chairs for the auidence filled up people started to stand at the back. the atmosphere was terrific. Alive with anticipation and I must add, warmth. That may sound strange but I felt the enthusiasm in the room. It was tangible. I started with a brief introduction and then started painting. While I was demonstrating I noticed what I thought was the familiar face of a young man at the back of the room. But with a sea of faces in front of me and my presentation flowing I couldn't focus on this. Until one of the store assistants brought him to me explaining he had made a special trip to see me but unfortunately had to leave. He wanted to say Hi before he left. In front of the whole audience, all of a sudden, I recognised this wonderful young man as one of my youngest sons best friends, Neils. I was thrilled and I know my excitement was obvious. I explained to everyone in the room that I hadn't seen him since he was about 16 when we lived in Hong Kong ! Many fabulous memories of teenage boys racing through our home on their way to the swimming pool or coming to stay for sleep overs raced through my mind. It was such a happy time in our lives. Wow, he has changed, is still very good looking and still thankfully absolutely gorgeous in personality. He is now a happily married Dad of three. So I was knocked sideways, excited and so happy. How kind of him to come to see me. And then I had to pull myself together and carry on with the demo! What was so wonderful was the genuine happiness in the room as everyone shared my "moment".  But what I hadn't shared was why I gave my demo painting to Judy in the audience. I know if I offer to sell a demo piece that there is only one painting, and it is awkward when more than one person wants to buy it. I hope you agree with me that giving a demo to someone it will mean so much to is far more rewarding than money changing hands. And I am afraid that is me, how I feel. So I hope I didn't disappoint anyone that day.

Anyway.,my second workshops was fabulous too just like the first. I met some terrific artists on it from Portland, Oregon. Now I have to explain that my husband and I travelled by train from San Francisco to Seattle and I was blown away by how beautiful the scenery in Oregon was. I said straight away that I have to go there. Well these artists would love a workshop  fo rtheir Art Society so if we can work things out that might be a future destination. I also met a fabulous artist  from Utah who has invited me there. Hi Colleen, I hope my painting is making you smile and inspiring you daily!

 Artists ask me how can they get on my workshops? Because they fill so quickly. Well I can tell you a little secret.  I work well in advance for my tours. This fall I will be in USA on tour again in four location's. But places were fully booked up as soon as the dates were announced a year ago.  I am now looking at 2017 .  I may also have one location slot free for Autumn 2016 if anyone is interested. As soon as the dates for next year are announced please book early. That's the best way to get a place. And you are welcome to contact me with suggestions of new destinations. I am always  open to new ideas and as 2017 is still being arranged I can look at adding to my tour then.

But one thing  is for sure. I will be back with Daniel Smith and it will be a very exciting return as I have a lot to celebrate. But that news is for a different blog post!

Now its time to race for my colours. The question is, which will be my favourite colour today!

 Just a few of my favourite Daniel Smith colours!


A huge thank you to everyone who welcomed me with open arms on my recent USA tour. Its been fantastic and I know I am so lucky to keep meeting wonderful people all over the world. I am blessed and I know it!.