Thursday, 3 March 2011

First Photographic Shoot for Second Book

Photographic shoot for my second book 

With Gavin, a fabulous photographer and friend!

Yesterday saw me  packing my car  yet again and making the drive to Tunbridge Wells for the first photographic shoot of my second book which will be launched next year. This really is the dream book I have always longed to write. I am filling it with so many subjects, tips and new techniques that it feels like Christmas when I stop to think of everyone who has asked me to include certain sections in it.

It is incredible when you begin to understand the logistics of what actually goes behind writing a book and the final result when it is complete.The planning and meetings beforehand lead the way into days like yesterday when I was ready to  have images taken to include in the first sections. I am very aware that many find watercolour  difficult to use  so my aim is to make that idea fly out of the window. I also have artists coming to my workshops who have been painting for years but just don't feel as excited as they used to about the medium. I happily change that notion with my  ever increasing enthusiasm and passion for  working in watercolour.

And so I arrived armed with  the flowers I wanted to shoot for the day and other subjects which were only in beginning stages. I can now work on these at home up to stage two for the next shoot. There will  be easy to follow progressive stages of many subjects from start to finish so they need to be recorded throughout the devlopment process.

I also want to share the real subjects I am working on to avoid readers having to find them when they buy my book.  Gavin was  fabulous at getting the exact shots I wanted for me to use as if I was talking in a workshop. I often point out what I feel is important and even more interestingly stress what is not relevant to a successful painting. 

The lighting has to be perfect for a successful publication, the experience and skill of the photographer is vital. Some colours don't  reproduce very well such as yellow or orange and so expertise in getting them absolutely spot on for readers to  see exactly which colours work and how is again absolutely  crucial.

Search Press are a wonderful established publishers and work with an incredible photographers studio owned by Roddy Paine. When I visited there for my first photographic shoot I can remember feeling so nervous. In minutes they had me not only relaxed but laughing too so I knew yesterday we were all going to have a great time and that will show when my book is finished.

Gavin at work.

We started the session with shots of the real subjects I was using. These were followed by shots of paintings at a various stages so that I can work on them for the next photographic shoot. And then my favourite part of all. I could paint! And oh boy did I paint. After what seemed like ages setting up shots and preparing angles now I could hold my brushes and set them moving across clean white paper. On my jounrey I had longed to be painting as I missed my studio. This week I have been on such a roll creating one lovely watercolour after another. so to leave the studio was very difficult for me. Especially after the inspirational workshops I held last week !

I was all fired up and eager to work so there were sparks almost flying off my brush as  the end of the session drew nearer. This  painting of white flowers was  really  very quick in less than five minutes but I didn't want to take the flower home having not painted it!

Less than five minutes, a first wash for the camera!

Before I knew it the time had come to pack my car again  and make the long drive home, tired but very happy as the day had flown by and it held magic. The kind of magic artists will understand when they read this second book finally next year as so much love is going into it. Talking of which I loved seeing Katie from Search Press again and Gavin who  is fantastic knowing exactly what I am trying to achieve and finding ways to help me make that happen.

Now I really am desperate to paint in my studio but I have just recieved even more good news so I must send a few emails first!


" How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" my first book is available from or from SAA,The Society for All Artists along with a DVD.

"Amazing Ways With Watercolour" a new DVD which  is a two hour film of  my techniques showing how I work on a number of subjects will be launched  after March 31st. I know many artists and friends are eager to see it  !


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