Wednesday 22 May 2019

Racing Colours : Jean Haines Daniel Smith Watercolour Sets

 "Racing Ahead"
Aussie Red Gold takes the lead 

I am currently working on a gallery collection and I am delighted to share the news that this year my own Daniel Smith Watercolour Sets will be launched and they include my favourite dynamic colours. In fact, shades that I cannot live without. 

I will be sharing more news about my sets soon but for now my favourite colours are acting as silks on jockeys in my latest horse racing paintings.

Everyone knows I adore Aussie Red Gold from the Daniel Smith Watercolour Range so it is no surprise to many that it should be my choice for the the winning jockeys silk however Lunar Blue quickly came into play as not only the dramatic background colour choice but it became the silk of the jockey that may just take the new lead position. It is so hard for me to choose a favourite colour as I love them all !

 Lunar Blue coming into the lead

My Daniel Smith master set colours can interact with each other, give glorious effects when used and they are beautiful for adding punch and drama to any painting. The word boring is not in my vocabulary in life or whilst painting, so I only opt for the most exciting choices when it comes to selecting a product range. And I have been invited many times in the past to have watercolour sets in my own name. Until now I have always refused. But the quality of , the incredible colours, and the excitement I feel when working with, Daniel Smith shades is outstanding. To be invited to have my own sets created by a manufacturer that to me is the best in the world is a dream come true. I leapt at the opportunity and I am hoping these sets will help other artists see how exciting working with this range can be,.

 The first wash stage of my horse racing painting.With my set colours lined up against the appropriate jockeys silks.

Below you can see the painting so far. It is building up well and I am taking my time as I really love this piece. The horses look almost 3D in places and the depth of the background pushes each rider forward  creating a sense of movement which is much needed in any action composition.

Racing Colours Work in Progress so far.

Artist Tip.

When I am teaching I come across so many artists who race to finish a painting in one go. Sadly they often miss the beauty of what the painting itself is screaming to the artist to add in the way of brushwork or colour additions as the painting evolves during its creative journey.

I find if I work on an action piece like the above, taking my time adding dots of colour or single brush marks  gradually rather than in one sitting the painting is often far better. Not only that I then don't risk over working. I also avoid making the mistakes that are often easy painting  traps to fall into when rushing a painting.

So try painting something over a course of three days, each day looking at each stage in progress taking your time to consider what is needed to be added next.

You may find you learn so much  in the process and become a far better artist!

Have fun creating.



Saturday 18 May 2019

The Race that is Life

 New half sheet horse racing painting
Horses and jockeys appearing in the first wash.

Life has a way of becoming busier by the second without you even realising it.  I have accepted commissions which I am delighted to say have all been delivered even though I generally as a rule do not take them on. Why? Because I find it almost impossible to keep up with demand for personal commission paintings which sounds like a lovely position to be in as an artist but they tear me away from painting following my hearts instincts. Now I am working for galleries and I am creating with a passion that runs deep within my soul. I am not distracted by teaching at the moment so I can throw myself into my studio time with sheer abandon. 

However life is incredibly busy for me still. With many projects on the horizon. My new book "Paint Yourself Positive" will be launched this summer,already available to  pre order on and I am thrilled to share the news that I have my own Jean Haines Daniel Smith sets coming out too this year. These are incredibly exciting sets of colours which include my personal favourite shades. Actually they aren't just shades to me, they are my best friends as I can't work without them. The colours are vibrant, magical and the master set is an absolutely stunning collection. There is also a shimmer set because I have found I am now using the iridescent and shimmer shades to add drama to all of my work. There is nothing more thrilling to an artist that has been painting for years to be asked by another professional how they have achieved a certain effect. To use colour and still surprise artists of all levels is such a terrific feeling as it makes me understand I too am growing and developing still , discovering new techniques and ideas. Please look out for the sets when they are launched, news will be shared on my blog about them consistently.

But now back to my horse racing painting. I lay an important first wash down which really has to depict the characters and subjects well. They need to be coming to life immediately, if they don't it is  not worth working further. This piece feels more than right. It holds an exciting energy that thrills my soul and even now when looking at it I can almost hear the hooves of the horses resounding as they cover the ground hurtling towards the finish line. Who will win?

Below you can see my easel with this first wash along side a study of two horses which put me in the mood for painting the bigger piece and gallery collection which will follow.

 Colour study alongside my first wash of the bigger composition,.

 Below you can see the vibrant colours I am going to be adding on top of the first wash to bring drama, impact and even more energy to this piece. These colours are from my Daniel Smith Master set. Not one colour is boring within my Daniel Smith collection. Boring as a word does not fit into my life in any form especially when painting. My shades in each set will set your heart racing as if you too were heading towards the winning line!

 Daniel Smith enticng watercolour shades 
 To create a full painting I often start small with a study. The below piece is lovely as it is but the energy increases in my work when I get into my painting zone.

Study which helps me get into my "painting zone"

I have been quiet lately on my blog. At the beginning of the year I had a health scare which I have now fully recovered from, then we decided to bring two puppies into our lives and their training has taken up quite a bit of my time. But I have been painting in my studio for once for me only minus thinking of writing or teaching workshops. I believe to teach well we have to sometimes fill our own artistic tanks so that we have new material and ideas to share and oh boy is my artistic tank filling up.

Watch this space and happy painting!