Painting ,with thanks to Rosemary and Co paintbrushes

This blog post is the first of a few I intend on posting through the summer. I have just completed my GCSE art Coursework and intend to document some of my work.

In this post I want to explore my favourite technique -by far- Painting. I have really enjoyed playing with colour and texture. For the pieces within this post I have been using Rosemary and Co Paintbrushes and I have been very much pleasantly surprised by the soft hairs. I especially enjoyed using the long fibre brushes which allowed me to create very accurate detail. I was very happy with the precision of the fibres in all of the brushes and the ergonomically shaped quality woods. Furthermore these brushes are very good value and I would highly recommend them.

Where to start…

When I think of painting a few distinct artists come to mind. David Hockney and Lucian Freud stand as my favourite artists. They create art in very contrasting manors : David hockney uses very bright colours and his work is somewhat abstract whereas Freud work is very raw. Freud’s work displays the subjects for what they are, with very realistic skin tones. I think the thing I really love about Freud’s work is the way that every brush stroke builds the aesthetic individually, where (I feel) Hockney uses shape and colour to create his art.

A painting I did of my nan in a similar style to Lucian Freud work
Another painting

After trying out portraiture painting I started to look at Landscapes, and specifically the way that Hockney paints them.

I started with a brightly coloured palette and began painting

After painting some landscapes I also had a look at the Pompidou building. I played with wild brush strokes and very bold colour. I feel that this was successful and found the extra long paint brushes very useful for creating straight lines

My painting of the Pompidou centre

So Painting…

So in summary painting is an interesting medium and it has a very broad usability. If you are an artist all I can say is that you must start broad and experiment, before finding your style and beginning to develop your repertoire. Painting is incredibly personal, no two styles are the same because there is so much variation.


May I also make one final recommendation of Rosemary and Co Paintbrushes and thank them for supporting me with a set of brushes.

Skin tones

I know that there are many difficult elements to creating a beautiful portrait. In this posts I am going to help you overcome one of the elements in a portrait: the skin tone. A good place to start is with two clean palettes.  Then what you need to do is squirt out your palette. I recommend that you have the follow colours : cold yellow, warm yellow, brown, cold red, warm red, blue and black.

Now you have your palette prepared it is time to start mixing the colours. Start with a bit of yellow then add a tiny bit of the red (use all cold or all warm don’t mix). Now set aside this orangey hue. To make the tone lighter add white and to darken add blue and black. A good way to prepare yourself is to mix a repertoire of skin tones and lay them out in order. Like this….

To experiment and develop your understand you could take pictures of skin and try to replicate the skin with your palette

Photo of my hand
Small painting of skin

After painting a few samples I went on to paint a portrait

Portrait focusing on skin tone

There are many artists you can look at for further development in the area. For example: Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville and Stanley Spencer are all relevant artists to this subject. Here is a painting I did based on the works of Stanley Spencer

I think that you can achieve great contrast with some palettes but with others the tones are quite similar. Experiment and have fun!!

Proportions of the face

It is very difficult to create a proportionally perfect portrait. In this post I want to inform you of how simple it can be to draw the facial proportions. These proportions are only a guideline though so there will be variations.

#1 start with the head. Draw a shape that fits that of the person you’re drawing. 

These are all samples from my sketchbook

#2 the eyes are half way down the face. Split the line across the Centre into five. From the side the eyes will fill the 2nd and 4th sections. Remember that the eyes aren’t as big as you think

#3 the bottom of the nose is halfway between the eyes and the chin.

#4 the mouth is halfway between the mouth and the chin. A tip to make the mouth more realistic is to only draw the upper lip and just draw the shadow beneath the mouth. Usually the sides of the mouth are between lines drawn down from the inside of the pupils.

#5 the ears will be between the level of the eyes and the mouth.

#6 the hair will extend above the head and on most people will reach down to the ears

I hope this has helped. Get creative and start sketching. Please like and comment if you like and please follow for frequent posts.

Thanks for reading I hope you found this useful

David Hockney : My favourite Artists

David Hockney. To me he is an inspirational figure because of the way he paints his passion onto a blank canvas. I always feel like there is a clear influence to much of his repertoire.

Overtime his Art developed and whilst living in California he moved through many art styles including photo collages. He moved from Oil to Acrylic paint so he could achieve brighter and clearer colours. I like the clarity that his paintings have.

Hockneys Paintings are quite imposing when displayed in a gallery. A lot of his earlier paintings make you think. When looking at some you can’t help but stop and wonder. Other paintings are full of bright colours and large painted people. I like the way he paints them with smooth features, bright colours and high precision.

Hockney never stayed stagnant. His focus has always been changing. He has had galleries full of : Trees, Landscapes and nature, A selection of boldly coloured portraits and most recently a gallery displaying art from all periods of his career. I would confidently say that his art has been the biggest influence to me  because of the bright and bold way he paints

In my opinion his art from the Royal Academies exhibition ‘The Bigger Picture’ was his most amazing series of paintings. I love his use of colours and thick texture from the Arcylic. They are truly beautiful. In this exhibition he also had a section of digital and phtotographic art. He used an iPad to creat some landscapes and he also did several timelapses of him driving down a forest lane in different seasons.

Since starting a collection of copies and pastiches, I found that the colours schemes he uses are harder to achieve than previously expected. Here are some attempts of mine.

Barry Humphries Hockney Copy
Hockney landscape copy
Hockney Landscape Pastiche
Portrait Pastiche

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Here are some links to the art supplies I used to make this post

Acrylic paint-

Paint brushes-

The best Pens/ Pencils

Today I was looking at my pencil case. It was annoyingly cluttered with awful pens I never use. They all have no ink and are scratched, bent and generally in very poor condition, so after some time rummaging through my art supplies I came across 2 quality pieces of stationary and I thought I’d include my recently purchased Apple Pencil. There will be links to all of the pens mentioned in this post at the bottom so please feel free to check them out.

Also, If your new please follow for frequent posts

#1 the Lamy Al-Star

I like the Lamy Al-Star because of its design and quality. Lamy sell a cheaper plastic version of this pen called the ‘safari’ but in my opinion it is quite poor quality plastic and that it is well worth paying an extra luxury for the metal body. It will last longer and it feels SOOOO much nicer !!! Also the design is very ergonomic in the hand but most of all it just looks great. It’s hard to Compliment a pens aesthetic but they have definitely managed it. Finally, it is a great pen to write with. I have the Lamy brand ink and it is really smooth to write with. Here are some photos

Lamy Al-star photo collage

#2 the Apple Pencil

I was sceptical at first with the £99 price tag but since purchase I have been really impressed. Firstly, the body is very well built despite the plastic finish. It feels solid in the hand and easy to hold. The only issue I can see is the magnetic cap on the top falling off but I guess I’ll just have to be careful! I have enjoyed making pictures on pro create but have mostly found myself using for taking notes in lessons on notability. For these tasks it performs very well because of its pressure and gyroscopic sensors. Here are some photos

Apple Pencil photo collage

#3 The Koh-I-Noor Versatte

I picked this pencil up from the Tate Modern last year for £5. I was astonished at the amount of pencil you get for the price. Again though, its main body is plastic but the mechanics are all metal and this improves the aesthetic. The Pencil is nice to write with because the graphite is so soft so it floats across the paper nicely. I also like how the wide graphite area is as it means you can achieve excellent shading and on the contrary you can sharpen and achieve precise graphic sketches. Here are some photos

Koh I Noor photos

This is my new pencil case. I hope you have enjoyed reading. Please leave a comment with any posts you’d like me to do. Please follow to get access to all my frequent posts and please leave a like to help support my blog.

Here are links to the products featured in this post

Koh-I-Noor Pencil:

Apple Pencil:

Lamy Al-Star:
Thanks again for reading

Drawing with the Apple Pencil

Throughout time Apple have claimed to have reinvented many things but has the Apple Pencil created a useful platform for new art forms? I was skeptic all at first however after investing in the iPad Pro I thought I would buy an Apple Pencil to go with it. To say the least, I have been impressed. Please read on and leave a comment with your thoughts on the Apple Pencil.

The first thing I tried was a landscape drawing of Pembrokeshire. I found the multitasking view very useful. I got used to drawing with the Pencil very quickly and I felt it lives up to its name as it writes as a Pencil would. 

Here is my painting (iPad) of the Pembrokeshire coastline

Thanks for reading

Comment what you think

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Here are some link to useful equipment. Please take a look

An iPad-

The Pencil of the future!!!!!-

Wacom bamboo iPad stylus-

How my Final Piece evolved 

Today I was looking back on one of my Art projects. I was given a wide task that was to base the project around your personal identity and portraiture. With only 4 weeks to complete this mini task.  I was curious to see how my Final piece evolved so here is a brief documentation of my ‘identity portrait exam’

The first thing I did was look at me.

I drew myself a few times to help understand my features and the way I look

Then I developed my project with an experiment of watercolour and ink (loosely inspired by Agnes Cecile). 

Initial identity page (loosely based around the works agnes Cecile)


Then I refined this experimentation into a focused project around eyes. I did 2 copies and 2 pastiches.

Focused work around eyes

Then I created an ideas page to develop my ideas. I look at urban and rural areas and looked at the concept of reflections.

Ideas page

Then I used these inspirations to create a final Piece.

My final piece

With this final piece I wanted to incorporate personal influences to my life. For example I used the fact that I wear glasses to create and interesting concept to build on. Then I looked at reflections and areas/scenes that I find interesting. I chose the sea because of my personal hobbies and my life beside the sea. Then I used previous work to help create eyes that stand out.

As always, thanks for reading. 

Please check out my other posts and Keep arting!!!

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Here are some links to useful pages.

Find good deals here: 

Some quality watercolours:

A good set of paint brushes: http://.to/2sqarzQ

GCSE art annotations 

Annotations can be a great way to inform your examiner of what is on your page.

A great way to effectively annotate your work is to: describe, justify and explain. What this means is, you need to 

1-describe what you have done. 

2-Say why you have done it and 

3-expain how it will further your project

Also, you need to be using the correct vocabulary. He is a word bank you can use to create insightful annotations: 

Here is an example from my sketchbook

Sample from Agnes Cecile response

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading!

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I edit my blogs using this iPad:

Here is some more of the equipment I recommend 

Some nice pencils:

And a good rubber:

Sketchbook Page ideas

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep your book interesting and different on every page. So, today I am going to be giving you some tips on how to create an effectively layer out page.

#1 Planning- Before doing anything decide what it is your page is going to focus on .Whether it be a leaf, an artist or an artistic style. Write down some notes of ideas 

#2 Create a relevant ground- Having a ground is a great way to improve the aesthetics of your page. Making sure there is no blank areas on your page can make the book feel like it’s buzzing with ideas. The ground MUST be relevant to the art that is to follow.

My Mono-Printing page

#3 A neatly written title- The title need not be overly extravagant or long and wordy. All that is needed is a few words summing up the page written neatly using relevant fonts. Search up any style you want to incorporate followed by font and the search should be brimming with ideas.

#4 Carefully refined Artwork- Create some pieces to show your talent effectively.

#5 Annotation- You MUST be careful with this stage. Examiners are not looking for lengthy essays explaining every detail and inspiration to each piece. They want you to tell them briefly (a few words) What, Why and How. NOTHING more. A cluttered book will not appeal aesthetically so keep annotations to a minimum

My page exploring Natural texture
Here is a labelled example of one of my Sketchbook Pages

For more ideas look through my other posts and stay subscribed!

Please FOLLOW for frequent upload and useful resources.

Some ideas for equipment 

Start with a quality Book: (Seawhite sketchbook)

My personal favourite pencil: 

This is the fountain pen I use to create interesting typography. It is fine, precise and ergonomic in the hand: