Learning to paint…everything!

Art lessons, Winsor and Newton watercolors

I have had the wonderful chance of attending art classes in Madrid during our family visit here and I am learning so much. After 6 months of learning from books and YouTube videos, I felt so privileged to be able to paint under the guidance of professionals. I had 2 teachers who taught me in 2 very different ways so I was very lucky.  One was a young painter/teacher Clara Varela who taught me the techniques I really needed to understand in shading and blending with watercolours. In my first class with her, I told her I would eventually like to be a food painter since I’m such a foodie, and she said, “so paint food.” and I replied “eh…ok”. I was actually putting this off until I could paint well enough but I guess  had to start somewhere, and no better time then with a teacher.

turnip signed.jpgI chose a turnip as I love the colours of the leaves, but I didn’t realise it was going to be so difficult to paint all the folds and my highlights look like tiny worms…but overall its not bad for my first attempt and I love the turnip root!

1st outdoor painting

We had an outdoor class with her and I learnt so much in this lesson but essentially learning to compose my image on paper and adding shading instead of contours. This also taught me to paint the big picture and not concentrate too much on details, although I still added too much. It was so enjoyable to paint outdoors in a park in Madrid and to find a little respite from the 35C heat here!

leaf study a3.jpg

At the same time I was taking classes with Justin Williams at DeCinti Villalón Academy of Painting & he taught me how to mix my colours smoothly & tried to get me to go with the flow, something which terrifies me! Because this is what happens when I do…

Ines abstract.jpg

I tried to paint my daughter in an abstract way but as usual I put too much colour and went overboard… but I had fun and I will try to redo it again. I did learn so much from him about drawing according to proportion as this is my first portrait drawing/painting too.

I’ve had many “firsts” this week, also filling an A3 size paper as until now my largest paintings have been on A4, and painted different subjects and styles so do I know what I prefer? I’m not sure yet but I do know I still love the idea of painting botanicals and colourful abstract art and I’m happiest when painting details with a small brush but I still want to learn to let go & create large washes in different colours.

At the same time I’m learning to paint with oils, water soluble oils that don’t smell and wash off with water and its so much more forgivable than watercolours…but that’s for another post!

 Thanks for stopping by & I’d love to know your thoughts on my painting experiments.

Have a great day!

paint signature base

*All the painting were done with Winsor & Newton watercolours and Raphael or DaVinci Maestro brushes.

New Design Team Member – a2Z Scrapbooking

a2z Scrapbooking, Cards, Hero Arts digital

Hi all, I’m back again today to share some very happy news with you. I’m now a design team member for the a2Z scrapbooking store! I was thrilled & so honoured when Cindy asked me to join the team of talented designers. Today is my first post on their blog and I  created a framable watercolour piece using a Hero Arts digital stamp with the no line water-colouring method. Hop on over to their blog to see how I did it and I shared a video of the “making of” there too.

July 11

If you don’t know a2z Scrapbooking yet, they are distributors of mainly Hero Arts  products but have recently added Sugartree digital stamps to their online shop on Etsy. They are also the EXCLUSIVE distributors of Hero Arts digital stamp! Yes, Hero Arts make digital stamps, isn’t that great? Especially for people like me who don’t live in the States, shipping can be so expensive. But now you can purchase and instantly download Hero Arts digi stamps from a2z Scrapbooking!

Another amazing thing about working for this team of volunteers is that the company, which was created in 2007 by Hero Arts fans, was started in an effort to raise funds for Celiac and Behcets awareness, so you can shop there knowing you’re doing your good deed of the day too! Use my discount code Gwendolyn15 to get 15% off your purchase of $25 or more. If you’re looking for a Hero Arts product you don’t see in store, use the Request Custom Order button from with-in the shop.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be a fan of mine over at the a2z Srapbooking blog too!

Have a great day!


I’m sharing this card over at:

a blog named hero.jpgA Blog named Hero – Birthday card

CAS Watercolour.jpgCAS Watercolor – Splash watercolouring. I probably didn’t splash enough for it to count but I wanted to share it anyway!

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Fun in the sun. My fun was painting outdoors!

allsortsAllsorts challenge – Flowers all over