Friday 18 December 2015

Christmas Roses in Bloom 2015

Christmas Roses coming to life in watercolour 2015

Have you noticed how the blooms of Christmas Roses grow and face so many different directions? Their flower heads hang downwards, face upwards, sideways and hide behind other flowers. I wandered around my garden this morning and noticed a clump of these flowers were blooming beautifully in my cottage garden. Some of the flowers are brilliant white, some are a pale green, Others as they wilt and pass their best look almost ochre in colour.
I couldn't resist painting them so I have literally flooded a scrap of large old paper with colour just as a warm up and then searched to find a few blooms in the first wash, making negative edges bring each individual bloom to life.

I am having a ball and I am even forgetting I am getting over the flu!

Painting is so therapeutic. It can distract you from so much that is unpleasant in life and bring you renewed energy when you are tired if you work with great brushstrokes that are full of energy and life.

I loved letting go and painting for fun this afternoon.

And I am loving reading and sharing personal messages that have been sent to me by artists who have either read my books or attended my art demonstrations or workshops.

It is a magical Christmas season so far and I hope the magic continues!


Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Phil Anderson

 Original Watercolour By Phil Anderson
Christmas Inspiration 2015. 
Phil has kindly given me his permission to share both his painting 
and his really wonderful message to me.
I have always believed there is far more to art than simply creating.
We touch peoples lives and can also help others. This is a wonderful email.

And again I am very grateful to be contacted, and mentioned in this way.

Thank you Phil.

Hi Jean, 
We previously exchanged a short email about painting demonstrations. 
I am located in Dublin, Ireland and I suffer from mental health illness. 
I have found a deep love of watercolor painting and I try various styles 
from different artists/writers.  I find painting is a great source of therapy for
me as it helps me to live in the moment and forget about other challenging 
matters.  I especially love your books and I paint some of your 
demonstrations over and over again, at times with a different twist. 
Recently I spoke as a service user at an exhibition in the mental 
health services hospital that I attend along with other speakers 
including Brent Pope, New Zealand, a renowned rugby commentator who 
is one of the ambassadors for the mental health services hospital.  I 
submitted two paintings to the exhibition, one of which is painted based
on a theme from one of your demonstrations - it is a semi abstract 
painting of a georgian door ... I use all kinds of different colours 
albeit I do not use cling film or sea salt (I think I am using the wrong
 paper type to truly get the desired effects).

To date and to my surprise I received 4 expressions of interest 
from people in the semi abstract painting. To date I 
have never accepted money for paintings and rather I asked people to 
simply donate to a charity of their choice. On this occasion though I 
will accept the monies and I would like to donate some of this money 
back to 'Walk in My Shoes' which is a charity for teenagers who suffer 
from mental health.  I will also spend some of the money on your DVDs so
 that I can learn more artistic techniques. 
I wanted you to know how much pleasure, therapeutic value and inspiration
that I get from watercolor painting especially from your books.  I also
wanted you to know that you are indirectly supporting a truly 
worthwhile charity.
 Yours in Art,

Phil Anderson

Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Magdalena French

Continuing with my 2015 Christmas Inspiration Theme I would like to share a really lovely email that I received from Australia. Magdalenas' words are so kind that I just had to share them and I am grateful for being given permission to do so. Thank you so much Magdalena. This week my email inbox has been full of amazing messages like this one, and because of them I feel I couldn't ask for more at this time of year. In fact these kind messages make me want to give all the more which I will do on my workshops and art events next year. And my blog of course!


Hello Jean,

My name is Magdalena French and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I have only just begun to learn watercolour painting since February 2015 after having dreamt of taking up watercolour painting for over 25 years. My introduction to Watercolours was unexpectedly very traumatic, where I took a 12 lesson beginners watercolour course only to find out that I was the only person in the class who had never, ever picked up a brush to paint before except to paint my house...

Despite that terrible experience I persevered because I just LOVE the look of watercolour soooooo much and l was seriously desperate to learn. I trawled YouTube at every opportunity I could to try to pick up as many tips and hints as possible so that I could begin to understand the nature of many paintings seemed more or less the same - even the majority of really, really experienced watercolour artists - all their work seemed the same, of course their work looked really pretty, really nice, really accurate and you could tell there was a lot of work, time and energy put into them...but somehow I failed to see anything really special in their work that appealed to me or inspired me.

Then about 6 weeks ago I found YOU...I borrowed your Atmospheric Watercolours DVD through my local watercolour society and I fell in LOVE with your work - the way you paint is exactly what I had been looking for even though I had no idea how to express this until I saw your work - watercolours that were fluid, free, vibrant, subtle and yet so, so gut-wrenchingly expressive. I have since bought all 3 of your books and 3 of your DVDs and every opportunity I get I practice the exercises you recommend. I find that by using your techniques I feel so free to just 'have a go' and think 'so what' if what I do doesn't turn out quite right - I am free to NOT try to create something perfect as through your teachings that burden has lifted greatly from me (I really and truly was traumatised by that first watercolour course as everyone in the class knew, understood and had experience working with watercolours and so they knew exactly what the teacher was talking about and I just fumbled along in the back not having any idea whatsoever how much paint to squeeze out of my tube let alone mix watercolour or know what a 'wash' was...of course everyone in the class reproduced the teachers paintings easily and effortlessly whereas my work looked like that of a 5 year old because I had no idea what I was doing and of course I stupidly compared myself to everyone else and began to doubt that I could possibly ever learn this medium that I love so much...).

I'm sure that never a day goes by where you do not receive emails of gratitude from people all over the world thanking your for your generosity of spirit in sharing and passing on your knowledge of watercolours so freely and willingly, and I very humbly add my name to that growing list. It is not that easy to find people who are willing to share their knowledge to help others, perhaps it's because people with the knowledge aren't very good communicators (as I experienced from my first watercolour teacher), or maybe they are frightened to give away their secrets lest others becomes even better than them - or possibly a combination of the two. In reading your books I was soooooo touched by your generosity of spirit and passion for life and your love of watercolours. Your example impressed upon me so much the importance of sharing and passing on knowledge and experience and I'm sure it is because of your generosity of spirit that you have achieved such great success through your art and such happiness in your life as well. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart as I cannot begin to describe to you the feeling of sheer JOY I get when I look at your work which in turn encourages me to believe that I too, one day, will be able to express myself through watercolours with such freedom, vibrancy and emotion as well.

 I hope your Christmas is filled with Joy and Peace.  
Warmest regards  


Thursday 17 December 2015

Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Florine Porter

 "Striker O'Brien"
Original watercolour by Florine Porter 

 I must admit this has to be the best Christmas ever as I am continually oepning wonderful emails from artists and organisers of my workshops this year who are thrilled with the results of their paintings after attending my watercolour classes. I strongly believe there is absolutely no point in sharing your passion for art unless you can also enjoy the art of those you meet, whilst you are on or sharing your own journey.  So it is an absolute pleasure to share the gorgeous watercolours of Florine Porter. I  met this fabulous artist in St Louis where I held workshops orgainsed by the fantastically warm hearted and very professional Cindy Klatt.  This beautiful painting was forwarded to me by Cindy as Florine had shared her work via an email. I then contacted Florien asking permission to share her gorgeous work here on my blog. And so here it is and here are the two messages.

 Original message from Florine to Cindy about my workshop

"As I began a new painting Tuesday I reflected on what Jean Haines told us, begin with the eyes and nose.  That's where I began.  I got so much from the time I spent in her class.

Here is how it turned out!"

And the very kind message from Florine to me

Jean, I can't thank you enough for coming to St. Louis and sharing 
your knowledge with us. I was always nervous about painting people and 
animals. Before I began this painting I remembered your words, begin 
with the eyes and nose, and I did!
Florine Porter

Isn't this painting absolutely beautiful? 
Watercolour shining as a medium, 
captured expression, talent and a gorgeously beautiful result.

Well done Florina and thank you for not only sharing your painting with me 
but allowing others to see your work and words also. 
Hopefully you will inspire many with your kindness and talent.

Thank you!

Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Mary Agostino

Original Watercolour by Mary Agostino

I have been asked so often what I would like for Christmas. Actually all I want for Christmas this year and next is for everyone I know to be happy and for everyones' dreams, no matter what they are to come true. This Christmas time I am opening and loving reading gorgeous emails following my 2015 workshops here in UK and from my tours in USA

Here is a gorgeous message from Mary Agostino who I met on my USA Autumn tour when I was teaching in Lewisburg, West Virginia this year. Mary is so talented. Her use of colour is brilliant and her way with the medium is fabulous. I have a feeling I will be seeing many more gorgeous paintings by Mare in the future. Here is Mares' message that she has kindly agreed for me to share.  Again, as in my last blog post this email is linked to selling art.  And letting go of favourite paintings. Mare purchased the koala painting from my latest book " Jean Haines World of Watercolour" which I found hard to part with for a variety of reasons, but I knew it was going to a wonderful home.  

I remember meeting Mares husband when I was in the lift at our hotel in West Virginia as we were all staying in the same place. He said " Hello Jean" and laughed when I was taken aback and surprised he had recognised me. He told me his wife loved my work. And then at the workshop I met this incredible lady in person. An artist who genuinely has talent and I know, to many more gorgeous paintings inside of her to share.


Mares message.

" That Feeling "

The other day you mentioned on your blog about people selling some 
work after your workshop. So I thought maybe you'd like to hear that I 
sold two paintings as well this month.  It's always very special to know
 someone appreciates a painting that you have done. It's also kinda sad.
 You know 'THAT FEELING'. It's like regret rolled up in remorse. You had
 expressed that to me as when you sold the Koala to me. You must know 
that I cherish it and love the pleasure I get when I look at it. I guess
 there's nothing to do to resolve that feeling. I think mostly I get it 
because when a lot of paintings go wrong , I think I'll never paint 
something so nice again. Well I hope that doesn't happen. There's also 
That Feeling when you do paint something wonderful and it Rocks!
 Ps. If it 
weren't for you I wouldn't be painting at all. It was the idea of 
working without a pencil and the atmospheric idea that spoke to me. Well
 yelled at me to paint.
Warm regards
Your friend,



I hope the atmospheric idea keeps yelling at Mare!

What a lovely email to read. 
I wonder how many artists new and professional get "that feeling" when they too
part with a painting that has gone really well or holds a special meaning to them.
Have you a story to share?  

Christmas Inspiration 2015 : Alice Donadu

 "The Long Walk"
By Alice Donadu

Following on my theme of sharing guest artists work on my blog leading up to Christmas and hoping to inspire others by doing so, today I am sharing a gorgeous painting and email I received from Alice. I met this wonderful lady at a demonstration I gave earlier this year in Bourton-On-The Water. Alice also later attended an exhibition of mine in Hampshire and will be on one of my workshops in 2016.  It is so wonderful how you can meet someone as a complete stranger and in a very short time know you really enjoy their company and their personality. Alice is one of these people. She is full of enthusiasm and is so generous in spirit. She is also a fabulous cook as she has brought me  extremely delicious little italian cakes each time we meet.  Now a favourite of mine!. So here is the message I recieved from Alice and I hope it inspires new artists. These words show how little faith we can have in our own talent when we first start painting and selling. I think the happiness felt by Alice is so infectious.  It makes me feel happy and I hope it makes you feel happy too. 

Dreams can come true and so can our goals. I hope you like reading this and thank you to Alice for sharing your story.


I am sending this mail cause I think I owe you a big thank you.

Three days ago I've been contacted on instagram by one of my shop customers. She asked me if I could sell her one of my paintings called "the long walk".

I thought she was just giving me some encouragement as she has always been very supportive but then she contacted me again, privately.  I had no words. I couldn't believe someone wanted to pay money for my art.

Please believe me.

I couldn't think she was serious.

She came to the shop where I told her she could see my painting for real and she looked at it and said "it's beautiful".

My first painting sold. All because of you Mrs Haines. Because one year for Easter me and my boyfriend decided to go to Bournemouth and I decided to go and see a bookstore and I found your book and I fell in love with you and your way to see things. I wanted to share this emotion with you cause my happiness is all because of you.

"The long walk"started its journey to another house and it's so symbolic that it is a painting about a journey that has been sold first I cannot express my shock in words.

Thanks Mrs Haines! 

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Sharing the Christmas Spirit 2015 : Mike Johnson

 Christmas Watercolour by Mike Johnson

I am receiving the most wonderful of messages via emails from people who have bought my books or attended my workshops. Some are so wonderful that I just have to share and have asked permission from each artist if they would mind my sharing their words and art on my blog. There are many but I am sharing just a few that have touched my heart for a variety of reasons. I think at Christmas time we should be sharing in as many ways as possible. All year I have shared my own art on my blog. Now I want to share others art too with the story behind each painting.

I was absolutely blown away by the painting above of Bethlehem. The use of salt for texture, the composition and the placement of colour is incredible. I immediately asked if I could share this beautiful Christmas Card design inspired by one of the exercises in my book.


The guest on my blog today is Mike Johnson. 

And here is Mikes' wonderful message that went with the above fabulous painting.

Jean, just wanted to share a little.
Getting ready for the March 2016 class in Vancouver, I bought your book and have been working through the exercises. I was struggling with the exercises where you add bold colors at each half of the paper and merge the colors with water, then add salt for texture.At the same time, my wife was pressuring me to paint a Christmas card. One night, I added some Ultramarine and Indigo to one corner and some Cad Red and Windsor Yellow to the other and moved them around with water. I then added both some coarse salt and some fine salt. As it dried, I thought it looked like the night sky over the desert.... wow! Potential Christmas card... so I added a stone-wall-fortified city and I had Bethlehem. I had not left any white area for the star so I did have to scratch the paint out. But I was satisfied, and so was my wife.

 Have a Merry Christmas,
Mike Johnson


Thank you Mike and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for sharing and inspiring everyone on my blog too!

Monday 7 December 2015

Silent Night

"Silent Night"
From my book "Colour and Light in Watercolour

How crazily busy life can be.  I have so much news that I would love to share and so many messages to reply to but I am still working very hard on my new book. It will be launched next year and is at the stage where the lay out and design is taking shape with my text and images. There are so many decisions to make right now on this new publication and this it is very time consuming. Why I always find myself doing this book writing stage when Christmas is weeks away baffles me. But here I am yet again working very hard !

Actually this year I have worked unbelievably on not one, but three books. I started the year signing off the final proof of "World of Watercolour" and the new updated version of "Colour and Light in Watercolour" was also almost complete but not quite.  My new book which will be launched next year hasn't really all been written this year though. It was born as an idea a while ago. It lay as a seed waiting to grow and oh my, how it has grown over the last twelve to eighteen months. It is looking beautiful now but it is really beginning to take over my life. I eat, sleep and constantly dream about it. For example I had thought about taking a tea break at three this afternoon to join my husband so we could enjoy looking at the Christmas decorations we had both put up earlier. But it is now six in the evening so my mid afternoon break has managed to disappear. As it often does.

I am writing each new chapter though as if it is a Christmas gift. One that brings joy and more importantly a fantastic peaceful feeling with it. This time of year should be just that. 


A time when we think of others more than ourselves and ways to make them happy. Good old fashioned values of loving thy neighbour and doing unto others as you would do unto yourself seem to have almost vanished when you hear the news. But my heart is a simple one. And my desires are simple too. I just want everyone to love each other and be happy. And my aim in life is to do just that.

Make others happy.

So whatever you are doing I hope you have a fabulous Christmas Season and I hope you and all around you are happy too.

God Bless.


Monday 30 November 2015

Its' Cold Outside!

"Its' Cold Outside"
Christmas Card Scene

I have been locked inside my studio as I am working very hard on my new book which will be launched in 2016. This publication has been a challenge as it isn't like my previous books at all and I am having to think about every single word. Far more than usual. It is at the stage when the photographs have arrived from the filming session at the photographers studio recently and I have to choose which ones to use.
For each step by step in this new book there seem to be a zillion images. I often need to select just six to lay in the design and pages of certain chapters. I look for images that clearly show how I am holding and using my brush and they have to depict what I am painting. It is hard work as I find myself concentrating so hard at times. Luckily Bailey, my dog, knows he needs to interrupt me to take me into the garden for breaks now and then. What would I do without him!

It is grey here today. The sky looks gloomy and the rain has tried to dampen my spirits. But I am so happy because so much is happening. Most importantly I am opening and reading gorgeous emails from artists who were on my workshops while I was on my USA book signing tour. Many are almost making me cry with happiness. One artist has got into a gallery for the first time already after my course, having been guided by me to try as their work was so fabulous. Another has won two prizes. Another has had several sales which were totally unexpected. It is wonderful helping others reach their goals but one message told me my workshop had changed the artists life. I won't go into detail but the words really were so very moving.

Isn't it incredible by simply moving brushes we can reach out and effect others all over the world?

Painting is powerful. And I am so happy I do indeed paint.

So happy painting and I hope whatever your dreams are they come true. And I hope if you can, you find a way to make others dreams come true as well because that is the greatest gift in life. Making others happy!


Tuesday 24 November 2015

The Difference a Minute Makes : Christmas Roses 2015

Christmas Roses with the addition of Holly Berries

I intended to leave my studio and the Christmas Rose painting to return to in the morning with fresh eyes. But it is looking so fascinating and after writing my last blog post I couldn't resist adding red holly berries to see what the result would be and here it is.

I have splattered yellow and orange around my Christmas Rose centres which instantly brings life and energy to the painting. The red berries really have added a sense of warmth and a feeling of Christmas. I need to add shadow under a few flower centres next to define some of the stamen which will make these flowers look more like the real thing. And the upper corner isn't quite working for me but this is nearly finished. I like the flowers hidden in shadow in the centre of the composition adding a sense of distance and mystery.

I have absolutely loved working on this piece and sharing the stages on my blog.

I hope you have enjoyed reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed typing them!

Here is the painting minus the red holly berries and further colour additions. Just a minute can make such a difference to a painting. And knowing when to put your brush down !

 Painting as it was, minus the red holly berries, splattering and ivy detail.


Christmas Roses and Ivy in Watercolour 2015

 Christmas Rose Bouquet developing as a work in progress

I thought I would add to my blog on Christmas roses and end the day in my studio with a happy memory. When I paint I don't have a set destination or goal. I know for example with this painting I am working from a single Christmas rose that I picked in my garden. I am using this solitary flower and looking at it from different angles to add to a composition that is growing by the minute.

At first my painting was intended to be two full blooms and a half flower,painted from a sideways view. A connecting wash created the backdrop. And I liked it this way.

 Stage 1. My two main flowers and a soft background wash.

Next I began to create a more accurate outline on the lower flower. I did this by painting the outer edge of  two petals then I gradually bled this colour away with my brush into the surrounding area. This made the flower "pop" off the paper.

 Making white space "pop" by adding dark behind it for drama.

But here is the funny story that made me laugh as I was painting. When I held my workshops in USA on my recent tour I described how I paint as if I am jumping in a car with my husband and heading to a destination. My husband is the kind of man who has the map, knows where he wants to go and will get there by the quickest route. Not me! I get distracted. So if something beautiful leads me in another direction off I go. We were driving along the coast of California and knew what time we were aiming to reach our hotel that night. I saw a sign directing the way to see seals and wanted to go there instead, which incidentally we did. And it was fun and it lightened the long drive. But that's me. I love having fun in my life and in my art.

So I may have started this painting thinking it would be two and a half flowers. But something far better happened along the way as the painting developed and as I had no preliminary sketch to follow or be  restricted by I was able to take a more fun route!

I have allowed more Christmas roses to appear in the background. Now there is a whole bunch of them. I actually worked around whites in my barckground that were there by accident. Little triangles of white paper acted as petals turning over at the tips.

More flowers appearing in the painting. In a free flowing composition.

I looked at  this painting at this stage then wandered around my garden again as my dog Bailey needed a little break. I noticed the gorgeous ivy on one cottage wall and how it was shining in the light and realised my white flowers would look lovely nestling in a bouquet with dark dramatic greens as a backdrop. And so I added a mix of greens and blues behind my flowers. I now have easy places to add leaf outlines in my next colour additions.

Dark background added which will be ivy in the next stage of my painting.

Part of me feels I could add clusters of dark ivy berries or even holly berries or leaves to make this feel like a Christmas card design. I have so many options to choose from in where I am heading next with this piece. I could even turn this into white clematis if I chose too. That is another idea!

But the whole point of my journey in my painting is that I don't know where I am heading. I have no map. I am just simply enjoying what happens as it happens and being guided by colour and shape which is pleasing to my eye.

I write about this constantly in my books  and I share my way of working on my workshops.

My main passion is that painting in watercolour is magical. I always reccomend letting it lead you rather than you lead it, and you will have a ball painting if you do.

But on another note, you can imagine I am a nightmare to be with in a car if you need to get somewhere in a rush!

Happy painting!


Christmas Roses in Watercolour 2015

 First Wash of Christmas Roses bursting into life in watercolour

It is so good to be home and not travelling. I have adored meeting everyone on my workshop tour in USA but there comes a point when you are teaching that you begin to feel really envious of everyone in the class, as they can focus on painting whilst you are guiding and there for that sole purpose. I give my all in each workshop. My time belongs totally to everyone in the room and what happens during each session is important to me. I want each artist attending to leave feeling 100%inspired. But what happens is that I too get inspiration and I find myself  absolutely desperate to paint non stop when I return home and to my studio.Which is how I am at the moment!

Today I wandered around my garden and came across Christmas roses flowering beautifully. Their snow white heads with stunning yellow centres called to my brushes so even though I am supposed to be working on my new book this week I took time out to paint just for me. I wanted the feeling of freedom and flowing colour capturing a sense of light.

I am looking at this soft first wash and it reminds me of two white doves due to the softness of my brushstrokes here. There is a feeling of peace and calm about this painting. And how badly that feeling is needed in the world today. As artists we can switch off and escape into a world of beauty whenever we choose to. How wonderful it would be if we could do that for real so that every single person in this world sees beauty, treats it with respect and aims to teach others to make this world brighter, filled with love and kindness.

But I am straying away from my painting here!

Christmas Rose Painting Tips.

Paint a good negative outline first. I started this first wash by painting the outer edge of two flowers and a side view of another. 

Soften Edges I have softened edges in places and used a selection of blue and turquoise shades for the background. I have started adding yellow centres. 

Find a few leaf outlines  I teased a few green leaves to appear at the edge of one side of the wash. Next I will add detail of the individual petals and more greenery for depth in the central section.

Make the most of watermarks. I love the watermarks that shine here showing this is pure watercolour minus any other medium being added.

Observe the Real Subject . I often place the real flowers on my work during the creative process to get a feel of how they look compared to my painting as you can see in the image below.

 A real flower and leaf have been placed on my painting to help me decide what brushwork or detail is needed next.


While I was walking around my garden I had a wonderful surprise. Two of the cygnets that had visited us earlier this year appeared and wanted to be fed. Of course I fed them and they stayed here for ages.  I think these must be the offspring of Sydney the swan who visits us each year. 
If you were on my workshops this year you may have seen my photos and video of them.

Here they are!

 Two cygnets almost fully grown visiting my garden today. My next subjects maybe?

 Close up of one of the cygnets

Side by side, what a wonderful sight. Photo taken in my garden this morning.


Monday 23 November 2015

NEW : Vancouver Watercolour Workshop : March 2016

Vancouver Watercolour Workshops
March 2016

Due to the popularity of my watercolour tours and workshops and their selling out so quickly, I have been invited to hold an additional workshop in Vancouver to allow more artists to attend. Having checked my schedule I can add one more course.

However, I must confess that since this news went out there are now only five places left on the new additional Vancouver workshop.

If anyone would like a place on this inspirational course could you please contact me urgently and hopefully you will be able to attend. 

Please email me on 


Robin in Watercolour : Seasonal Inspiration

 Robin appearing in watercolour
 The original model was posing in my garden this morning.

Painting a Robin in Watercolour

Its' that time of year when my Christmas card design should have been painted and sent to the printers long ago. I meant to paint my card design before I left for my USA workshop and book signing tour but there wasn't time as I was then working on my next book which had to go to my publishers before I left for my first flight.

So here I am , painting a Christmas scene and as I am enjoying the process so much I thought I would share it with my blog readers. That's you! Hi there. There is always something in life that urgently needs doing that gets in the way of what we really want to do at times. So I have abandoned everything to complete this card design and get it to the printers today.  

I hadn't really decided what to paint for my Christmas card this year until Rocky Robin followed me on my morning walk with Bailey. Rocky sings beautifully each morning as if to greet me. Bailey is more interested in sniffing around but I always take a few minutes to relax, unwind and appreciate the joy that this little bird seems to share. Oblivious to all that is going on in the world he sings his heart out.  And why not!

 If you want to join me take a clean piece of white paper and follow my step by step.

Stage 1.  Working From a Starting Point.

Step 1. Working from the eye as a starting point I begin to paint my robin in watercolour

 Start with the eye, leaving a little highlight,leave to dry then work away around the eye with an orange shade for the surrounding face area. Add the tiny sharp beak. The shape of my model was very round this morning as Rocky had fluffed up his feathers. But you can paint your robin to  look like one you have seen or have a photo of.

I painted the round shape by adding the back of my bird in turquoise and then I allowed violet to drip to form the little legs. These I attached to a branch with a hint of a line in water, letting the colour merge here.

 ( If you have my books please read the sections on working from a starting point !  ) 

 Stage  2.

This, as in any painting, is decided by personal choice. I wanted to add a background as Rocky was sat in hedgerow this morning with frosted fields in the distance. It was cold but the greenery in the foliage was stunning.  I added a hint of the wings and back of my robin keeping this section minus real detail or form at this point. Next, I added a few twigs leaving the top of them white to give the illusion of snow. This may be the only way I get a White Christmas by painting one,  so I enjoy creating my watercolour snow scene! I have worked green shades in the middle sections between the twigs allowing red to merge for hints of holly berries. I'm keeping the background  soft and less detailed. But will pick up a few holly leaves and darker berries later in the creative process. The  main point is that I am not  rushing this painting. I'm not in a race. I am not in a competition. I am painting just for me. Well that's not quite true. My friends and family always tell me they love my Christmas cards so I don't want to let them down.  I try to paint something that I know will make them smile each year.

 Rocky Robin sat on a twig with atmospheric hints of background foliage and berries.

Before adding any other detail I place my painting on my easel and take time to consider what to add next. As I mentioned so often on tour teaching workshops all over USA, when a painting goes right we love it so much that we don't want to put our brushes down. That's usually the point when we should to avoid over working!

So here is my painting so far on my easel.

 Robin painting on my easel so I can decide what to add next.

Stage 3.

Now I can easily see what is missing. The robin needs the addition of detail at the back of the head as the composition is very weak here. At least for me it is although the feeling of light looked fabulous minus the addition of further colour.

But I have continued with this painting. I have added a background colour that  works in harmony with the rest of the painting. I also placed foliage over one hard line of the twig going off the upper corner of the painting to soften it.

 Background added to define the back of the robins head using negative brushwork.
( Please read how to work  with negative shapes in the sections of my books that show you how to do this technique )

Stage 4.

Now I am adding detail to the berries in places and a few darks in between the foliage to add interest.
All that is left for me to do now is add the back of my robin. Just in a few places. And I can splatter white gouache if I wish to make it look like fresh snow is falling.

Adding darks to complete my painting, a gradual process, taking my time enjoying each touch of colour.


One thing that everyone without fail has told me on all of my workshops whilst on tour. Is how much I give away, of myself, my time and my techniques. I want to. I love this. I love sharing. I love making others happy. Giving is the best gift of all and the messages I am reading from everyone who has loved my courses has made my heart sing, almost as beautifully as Rocky Robins' song.

Have fun painting, practise all the techniques you can to make your paintings shine and make others happy with what you do.

Happiness does make this world a beautiful place, one we should all cherish living in.


Sunday 22 November 2015

Colour and Light in Watercolour : New Edition

Jean Haines Colour and Light in Watercolour

I was at my publishers last week for a meeting regarding my next new book. While I was there I personally signed the last available copies of the special collectors edition of " Colour and Light In Watercolour", the hard back version which celebrated the launch of the new edition of my first book.

Copies have sold incredibly well of both the Collectors hard back edition and the paperback version. My  publishers are thrilled as am I.

You can order a copy of this  special edition while stocks last via this link


Home For Christmas

From the new edition of " Colour and Light in Watercolour"

It has taken me some time to find my way back to my blog! After all the fantastic excitement of my Fall 2016 USA tour I then left almost immediately on my return home to film my new book which will be launched next year. This week I have been catching up in my cottage and also the cooking bug has hit me big time as I started my preparations for our family get together at Christmas. Some recipes like Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake, chutneys and pickles need to be created well in advance so flavours can mature in time for the celebrations.

Ever since I was little I can remember the aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon in the kitchen months before Christmas arrived. My stepmother was a brilliant cook and her recipes were favourites she used year after year with success.  Now I enjoy the same joy in cooking for my family, thinking of how each delicious dish will be enjoyed. Its' a way of showing my love for those I care about.

In many ways my creating in the kitchen is similar to how I learned to paint in watercolour. By trial and error. I knew what I loved and tried to succeed in achieving my goals. Whether it be a delicious Christmas Cake or a composition that works well.

I think in life if we put our heart into what we do the end result is far more pleasing.

I love painting and meeting people from all over the world who enjoy it too.

And I love cooking, so I will be sharing my recipes on an old blog of mine and sharing a link here on this blog later in case anyone wishes to follow another side of my life there!

For now though I am proof reading my next book and there is a lot to work through as it is very different and I am working with a different team at my publishers who will be working on the layout with my ideas over the next few weeks. So I need to ensure those ideas work and are right!

Most importnatly I am home and on my blog again so a huge thank you to everyone who has let me know they missed me whiel I was travelling.

But now I am back!

Heres' to a great week ahead painting and enjoying life. 
Those of us who can are so fortunate.


Saturday 14 November 2015

Red,White and Blue : Tears for Paris

"Teardrops in Red, White and Blue "

I had intended to return to my blog this weekend after my USA tour , to share happy memories regarding the wonderful people that I met whilst holding my watercolour workshops and art events there.

But I hope you will forgive me as I share an emotional image to pay tribute to the wonderful country that I adore. 


I refuse to allow negative actions of a few to disturb my beautiful haven of a place where I aim to share happy thoughts, news and inspirational blog posts.

I refuse to allow my heart to be stilled from the passion I hold for life, love and sharing freely.

Red the colour of love
White the colour of peace
Blue reminds me of heaven,blue skies with tears falling for those who needlessly lost their lives in Paris yesterday.

My thoughts are with Paris today.



Tuesday 10 November 2015

Where are you?

I am opening so many wonderful emails asking me where I am. And more importantly when am I going to be back on my blog!

I am so sorry there has been such a long silence here but I have been hectic with my Watercolour Workshop and Book Signing Tour in USA. I finally arrived home last weekend which I spent catching up with my family.

Now I am leaving yet again for a full and exciting week ahead as tomorrow the filming for my new book, which will be launched next year, begins. This is a very different publication to anything I have ever written before and it has been quite incredible to write. I hadn't had time to write the last few chapters of my new book before I left for USA and if ever I have felt I am being guided in my career this was the time. I have met people and heard stories on my tour that have to be included. You will understand when I find time to write a few magical blog posts later this year.

Today however I have a meeting with my publishers and while I am at head office I have been asked to sign a 100 copies of "Jean Haines World of Watercolour". That will take a little time too!

I view my life right now as emotionally incredible because of the amazing people I am continually meeting. I said in one of my tour workshops that this gentle style and medium seems to attract very wonderful , warm hearted and kind people  in a way that unites us all quite specially. Having read so many gorgeous emails thanking me for my workshops I know that's true. I strongly believe kindness is a way of life and I have met like minded souls everywhere I have travelled. I'm so lucky!

Thank you to everyone who came on my workshops or who attended my art events. I promise to reply to all my lovely emails and messages when I am home but I am away yet again and working hard this week, as always.

But soon I hope to find time to chill a little! Then you will hear from me!

Have a great time painting and God Bless!


Sunday 18 October 2015

St Louis Demonstration and Book Signing Event October 2015

I will be giving a full demonstration into my techniques with a talk in St Louis and everyone is welcome! I'm also selling and signing my books there

For full details please see this link

Saturday 3 October 2015

USA Watercolour Workshop Tour 2015

What a wonderful week. I arrived in USA last Tuesday for my annual Autumn Watercolour Workshop and Book Signing Tour. Flying into LA , then driving to San Luis Obisquo. Staying for two nights before driving to Sonoma County for my workshops here.

On arrival in Sonoma I was invited for lunch by my Publishers Distributors so after visiting their head office we headed to Petaluma for a fabulous meal and I enjoyed my first root beer which was refreshingly delicious. Immediately after lunch I met the organiser of my workshops in Sonoma at the venue where I was to teach to discuss the set up.

I took the first day of my first two day workshop here today and meeting everyone was fantastic. I love USA so much. Everyone is always so enthusiastic and excited about my loose approach to painting. My teaching style I know is different but watching everyone translate the information and techniques given via demonstrations is such a fabulous feeling when there is such a great "high" felt in the room. As always the day came to an end far too quickly but of course there's another day coming on thus course.

I had an extra surprise today. My neighbour from Dubai where I lived years ago had signed up for my course. I haven't seen Margie for years so to be reunited was wonderful. Her husband Bill drove up to join us for a meal tonight and we caught up on some very happy magical memories over an Italian meal. What a fantastic surprise. I'm over the moon.

I have loved seeing so much already on this trip. Bull seals on the drive to Monterey on Highway 1, the incredible coastal scenery, the beautiful vineyards and glorious colour. The sunshine is an added bonus.

My only complaint? The food is far too good. Last night I had biscuits for the first time. Not the cookie kind! And they were gorgeous. Hot, tasty, light and they melted in your mouth.

There have been worries about getting my books in time for the book signing events as my book "World Of Warercolour" has exceeded sales expectations so had to go to reprint early and the latest order eventually arrived just in time, luckily!  Getting stock of "Atmospheric Watercolours" has been fun as I have the distributors last box! It's selling so well as a book apparently and I'm over the moon.

What happens on each of my tours is that I'm hit by how incredible loving art is. Painting enriches our lives in so many ways. It brings us a sense of achievement when our results are successful, goals to work towards when they are not but also, an overlooked bonus is the lifelong new friends we make continually. I know I'm making more wonderful friends for life on this trip. And how incredible is that? And I know everyone else is too.

I have two more workshops , a presentation and a book signing event in Sonoma. Then I move on to West Virginia, St Louis and New York. A fully booked trip and an amazing adventure. I'll try to share again soon but for now I hope whatever you are doing, you too are smiling and loving, living life to the full!

Happy painting!

Monday 28 September 2015

WASCO Watercolor Artists of Sonoma County Book Signing Event 8th October 2015

Please can my blog followers be aware that my talk at WASCO Watercolor Artists of Sonoma County is on 8th october 2015.

There was an error in a previous blog post which has now been corrected! 

WASCO Watercolor Artists Of Sonoma County
8th October 2015  1.00 pm - 4.00 pm  Admission Free

Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center
2050 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA