Happy Easter and news from my easel (not literally lol)

Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame

‘Magic is believing in yourself. If you can make that happen, you can make anything happen’
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Please note: some items are repeated for the benefit of new subscribers. Thank you 😊

Hey there my friends I hope you’re all keeping well and warm (still a bit chilly here in the UK).

Let me first take this opportunity in wishing you all a wonderful Easter, and whether you’re busy at home or at work that you’re still able to find some ‘you time’ to relax and be creative.

Since we last chatted I’ve been quite busy – completing a private commission (can’t share with you just yet), writing an article for Derwent which they were over the moon with (but I can’t share that with you just yet either, sorry), taking on a new commission (will share this one with you once I begin it) and finishing my Toucan in Inktense…. which I can share with you. Hurrah lol.

Plus the new studio is coming along slowly but surely (can’t wait to move into my studio space and yes, for all of you who’ve been asking, I will make a video of my studio room once I’m in). Still waiting on the electrics to be installed (my electrician has damaged his Achilles tendon so may be a few more weeks). But while waiting for that I’ve been busy fitting the last of the insulation, and have now cut most of the plasterboard panels to fit, so I’m getting there and so pleased to say that it no longer resembles a building site and now actually looks like an inhabitable room!

Back in my makeshift studio space (aka spare bedroom) I’m busy at my easel working on my latest project – Kingfisher in pastel (I’ll post the image in the section below this one). I’m creating this for this month’s wildlife-based art workshop due to run on Saturday 22nd April at WWT Martin Mere. Kingfishers are such a beautiful species, but I was surprised by how many people in the UK have never seen one in real life. That dazzling fleeting glance of turquoise and orange takes me right back to my childhood. Memories that I cherish.

Okay onwards with the rest of this pre-Easter newsletter:

On My Easel

As briefly mentioned above here is a quick glimpse of my current project, Kingfisher in pastel. I used Pan Pastels for the background to create a bokeh (out of focus) look, and I’m using pastel pencils for the actual subject. I’m hoping to get this one completed over the next few days, so that hopefully I’ll be able to share the finished painting with you all in my next news letter. Once this is complete I’ll then be able to begin my next private commission.

Wildlife Art Workshops for 2023

£60 per person

All workshops are held at Martin Mere Wetland Centre and 50% of all proceeds go straight back into conservation.

January 21st 2023WatercolourPostponed
February 25th 2023PastelRed Panda
March 25th 2023WatercolourFox in Snow
April 22nd 2023PastelKingfisher
May 20th 2023WatercolourToucan
June 24th 2023PastelTBC
August 26th 2023WatercolourTBC
September 23rd 2023PastelTBC
October 21st 2023WatercolourTBC
November 25th 2023PastelTBC
December TBCWatercolourTBC
All dates have now been confirmed

My preferred materials for the the pastel & watercolour workshops:

Preferred Pastel materials:* Clairefontaine Pastelmat Paper (I rarely use anything else now)
* larger sheets are available and can be easily cut to size (this is what I do)
* Carbothello Pastel Pencils are a must have in my studio, available individually or in different set sizes
* Derwent Pastel Pencils are soft with a wide range of colours, available individually or in different set sizes, ideal for covering larger areas with their thicker pigment core
* Mungyo Soft Pastels – an affordable way to cover larger areas of a painting, and for adding base coats for your pencils to go on top of
* Pan Pastels – my ‘go to’ soft pastel choice, available individually or in sets, 92 colours in total
Preferred Watercolour materials:* 140lb (or heavier) Hotpress or Coldpress watercolour paper
* 9″ x 12″ minimum size (buying larger sheets is preferable as they can then be cut down to size)
* Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours are a great paint to get started with (I still use them for sketches etc)
* A variety of brushes, sizes & shapes, made from golden taklon which is a synthetic material. Here’s a link to the affordable W&N Cotman set.
* A white mixing palette or a white plate will do
My ArtDiscount & Amazon affiliate links – please feel free to click, browse and shop at no extra cost to you.
An excellent way to get started with Pan Pastels

Nine new dates for 2023 have been confirmed by Martin Mere Wetland Centre One running each month, with the exception of January, July and December. Workshops will alternate between Watercolour and Pastel, but feel free to bring along any art medium you wish if the subject is something you would like to create from. All workshops are suitable for beginners. More information can be found over on our exclusive Art Workshop page on the Martin Mere website as well as on the Workshop page of my website. If participants would like further mediums or subjects added then extra dates can be slotted in to suit. So if your passion is coloured pencil or you love acrylic or oil painting then just let me know.

This Red Panda project was the subject for February’s art workshop over at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

Diary Dates

Art Safari in Uganda Postponed
Patching’s Art Festival13th – 16th July 2023
Exhibition of Wildlife Art28th – 30th July 2023
North West Birdwatching Festival14th -15th October 2023

Patching’s Art Festival – an international four day art event celebrating the best in art & craft. Open to all there’s something for everyone, the chance to meet over 250 artists, a lot of which will be demonstrating (including me demonstrating for Caran d’Ache). Plus ‘hands-on’ workshops and art material offers all set in 60 acres of beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside.

Exhibition of Wildlife Art – ‘an exciting three day show featuring the work of some of the world’s most talented wildlife artists. The biggest and most successful, open selling, exhibition of Wildlife Art outside of London. All exhibited work is for sale and many artist demonstrate whilst there.’ I’ll be demonstrating whilst exhibiting there this year and would love for you to drop by and say hello.

North West Birdwatching Festival – Open at 8am, start your day by watching the spectacle of thousands of wild geese leave the roost before heading for breakfast in the Martin Mere restaurant. Over the two day there will be an array of guest speakers and exhibitors, artists and photographers including photography workshops, guided reserve walks, and more. I’ll be exhibiting and demonstrating throughout the weekend and would love you to drop by and say hello.

Art Safari in Uganda – a two week tour taking in some of Uganda’s best national parks, optional gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, visiting a rhino sanctuary and so much more. With a maximum of 6 participants this art based safari ensures you’ll have all the natural world of Uganda has to offer, plus plenty of 1 to 1 guidance from me when you need it to enable you to capture all that you want on paper or canvas.

Subscriber Question

Q. I really enjoy pastel painting but struggle with backgrounds. Any suggestions would be welcome.

A. Many people feel intimidated by backgrounds so you’re definitely not on your own there. A simple way to start is by creating a bokeh effect. It’s easy to achieve with a little practise and once you begin to gain confidence can be used for out of focus foregrounds too. If you’d like me to create a video concentrating on more detailed backgrounds just let me know using the ‘suggestion box’ at the bottom of the newsletter or via an email, whichever you find easier.

I may not always have a video on my YouTube channel to go alongside a subscriber’s question, but when I do I’ll be sure to add it.

Okay that’s it for today folks, short and sweet, feeling in need of an early night with a hot drink and a good book.

Thank you once again, as always my friends, for spending some time with me today, and please feel free to leave a question or suggestion in the contact form below.

Wishing you all the best, until next time, as always, stay safe and stay creative, Kerry xXx

Free cup of coffee photo

Questions & Suggestions welcomed

© Kerry Newell ⭐ www.KerryNewell.com ⭐ All rights reserved