Welcome to Polly's Blog

Welcome to Polly's Blog
Watercolour, humour, this and that

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Yes you heard it officially  from me, I am a big fan now of brusho, but realise that it may not be something I will do a lot of until next summer. I don't know why, but painting with it in the outdoors seems the right thing to do, with all the lovely vibrant flowers in the garden, and the beautiful bright blue sky above me. (they are not all done in the garden I might add)  So, here are some more from this summer.

Also, for a while I will be back be back painting in my first love of  Watercolour (you will find out why in my next post) and later on fancy trying water based oils (it's many a long day since I used oils).  So enjoy seeing this lovely vibrant medium with it's bright summery colours.

Here's an ephalump (my childhood word) first drawn with ink and twig, then paint sprinkled on and then sprayed.  I really didn't do any painting, it painted itself!

Same method as above, but a pencil line first and some wax. But careful painting done to bring out the flower

Here is a more gentle use of brusho, leaving some of the sprinkled texture on and then some exciting spraying and tipping

As we say goodbye to summer and hello autumn with it's lovely rich oranges, gold and rusts perhaps I may squeeze in another outdoors painting, weather permitting

Have a lovely autumn.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Am I lucky, or am I extremely lucky, to be able to join Hazel Soan in her studio in London,  this weekend, along with other like minded people,  to learn from her and be inspired by her.  She is so generous in passing on her knowledge to mere mortals like myself, and so good at demonstrating her magical skills.  We watched her first and then attempted to do something similar!

In at the deep end to start with,  we painted lines of ostriches and a giraffe without drawing.  Yes, I said without drawing!
No drawing remember. Colours used were Prussian Blue, Indigo and a little Alizarin, trying to use the least number of strokes
Best lion I ever painted in my life.  The last one looked like the advert for The Lion King!
  I still can't believe I did this without drawing. I thought I would paint him again without drawing just the outline to see if I could do it a second time and a third!  I don't know why, but if I am on one of Hazel's courses my brush seems to behave itself!
This poor Masai chap has a tiny head, but I enjoyed painting him and it was done in a very short time.  Last  painting  of the workshop

This is an excellent exercise for getting to know your brush.  We drew roughly the outline of the Zebra and don't they have a big head, and then twisting and turning the brush we painted the lines in Inidigo. I thoroughly recommend this 

This is a lovely picture of an elephant with highlights.  This was painted with love and care as ephalumps are my very favourite animal.

Thanks to Hazel I now have some wonderful reference material and memories too.  I surprised myself with what I managed to paint.  It is amazing what we managed to do in a weekend workshop with the lovely Hazel.

I have put a link to her website at the top this post and also recommend her wonderful African Watercolours Book. Do have a look at her work if you haven't already come across it.

Do you think I am a fan of hers. Yes, absolutely.

Monday, 9 September 2013


Brusho crazy is what I have been this last week.  I have Joanne Boon Thomas's ebook and DVD Brusho Moments, at last. So, armed with my brusho, brushes, bleach and enthusiasm, and fear of a change in the warm weather (I wanted to paint outdoors as I am a very messy painter), I had fun, fun, fun trying out some of the exercises, and then painting without the safety net of the book and DVD.

Exercise mixing the powder in the palette like watercolour.  See how vibrant the colours are. They don't fade like watercolours

This was drawn with a stick and ink and spraying method
Well I am over the moon with this one! Some negative painting here.  This was following a superb red poppy that was demonstrated by Joanne.

Money well spent if you ask me.  I have had a ball.  Got more ideas in my head but need to set up the cold garage, which is away from the house, as a makeshift Brusho studio.  Buy some thermals and fingerless gloves.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


First a little about my day painting in Botanic Gardens on behalf of the art club I belong to.  Churchtown is a small village and it is a small park near where I live and where the art club is. It was the first time they had a Victoria Fair and it was to raise money to help maintain the park, which shouldn't really be the volunteers task!  Some people came in Victorian Costume. And then a nice story, so please read to the end.

 This is not a proper painting, I just painted the odd person who was standing in front of me. They just looked at the brass band playing then moved on.  So they were quick studies.

And this is me!  I had painted all of the previous day at our exhibition so what a lovely arty weekend.  Here is what I managed to do in the afternoon I was there.

Here is the nice story.  Five youngsters about 10ish, were asking me what was going on in the park, they usually went there and didn't know this was going on.  So I explained that the volunteers were trying to raise money to keep the park looking nice. We talked for a while and then one of them asked the others for some money and they raised the grand sum of 40p between them.  Then one with a sad look in his eyes said 'It's to save the park'.  That was what I call a special arty moment.  It made my day and I will remember those children whenever I go to the Park. Now that IS special! I hope they grow into lovely adults.