Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Festive Fun

Blame the holly.  Or perhaps Geoff Kersey's demo in the December issue of Artists & Illustrators. Either way, for the last few weeks I've been making watercolours, just at the time of year when I should be concentrating on getting ready for Christmas!

a watercolour experiment with masking fluid
© Teresa Newham
As regular readers of this blog will know, masking fluid and I don't get on, but I'd been meaning to give it another go.  Geoff's article had me reaching for a piece of scrap paper almost as soon as I'd finished reading.  Besides, it was a pleasant distraction from all the other things I was supposed to be doing, such as designing and printing my 2013 Christmas card. . . . this is the smallest watercolour I've ever produced, but I was delighted with the result, and resolved to keep trying with masking fluid.  And because the painting was small it was quick to do!

light on the lake
© Teresa Newham

Next, having practiced and practiced my holly demo for the visit to Manland School (see last blog post), I suddenly got the urge to paint some holly in the way I really wanted to - in layers which could be left to dry while I got on with something else.  The holly painting took a couple of days, but the time actually spent doing it was probably only a couple of hours:

how I wanted to paint the holly all along!
© Teresa Newham
At this point I realised that these small paintings could form the basis for some Christmas card designs - and that I should take advantage of the festive atmosphere around me to create some more, perhaps with a view to selling them at art fairs.  My next attempt was a tree.  I'm not sure where the little girl and her dog came from, but now they've arrived, you may well see them again!

branching out (not the name of the painting!)
© Teresa Newham
My most recent finished painting (yes, there are more in the pipeline!) is a robin.  I hadn't painted a bird since the Swan in 2009, but he's turned out quite a cheeky little chappy - just like the one in my garden!  (of course, some holly had to make an appearance too - and so did the masking fluid . . .).

watercolour of a very portly robin
© Teresa Newham
This is such fun, and it's good practice too.  At approx 7 x 5 inches each, none of the paintings are large enough to prevent me doing what really needs to be done in the way of Christmas preparations.  So I've decided to keep on with these little card designs for as long as the Christmas spirit moves me!


  1. I love these little paintings; they're really bright and cheerful and among your best work.

    1. thanks! I'll carry on doing them as long as the Spirit moves me x