Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame

“Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest until…
your good is better and your better is best.”
St. Jerome.

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 during this weird April weather). Sorry for the delay in getting my latest newsletter out to you all, hopefully three new videos will make up for it.

Over the past few days I’ve been chatting with a lady on social media regarding her art journey, or lack of it. She has the materials, a space in her home set aside for a creative adventure and the time to do so. But still her journey hasn’t begun. The reason being is that she says she is afraid she will fail. My heart felt like breaking when she said this. Maybe she’s experienced criticism in the past that she hasn’t been able to deal with, or maybe she’s sought confirmation from someone and hasn’t received it. I don’t know, but what I do know is that “fear kills more dreams than failure”. To ‘fail’ at something gives us the opportunity to start again, and that’s a positive:

I can’t even begin to think of the amount of times I reach for an eraser when sketching out a new project, each erased pencil mark means I’ve learnt something new. The world of social media can be very misleading, especially on YouTube. Sped up art tutorials make it look like everyone knows what they’re doing from beginning to end. But that is rarely the case. All of the artists I know, including myself, make mistakes and that’s just part of the artistic process – a learning curve that never ends. So if any of this resonates with you take heart, pick up a pencil and allow yourself time to play.

Choosing a subject can also be a barrier to some, scrolling through hundreds of photos on your phone just to find ‘that something’. Yep I’ve done that too, and before you know it hours have passed by, nothing has ‘jumped out at you’ and now you’re too tired and it’s time for bed lol. But inspiration will very rarely strike when we’re just sitting. However, if we exercise our imagination a little inspiration, it seems, will begin to creep in. I’ve made a little 15 minute video where I cover one way of overcoming ‘art block’ and am currently working on a follow up video to this where I put this act into practise. Here’s the first one for you:

Another way of climbing out of an artistic rut is to switch mediums. I rarely get art block and I’m pretty sure it’s because I work with different mediums, switching regularly between pastel, acrylic, ink, graphite etc. This in itself keeps my inspiration flowing and my artistic journey that little more interesting. However, I know that this isn’t always possible for everyone due to time, resources and maybe even allergies. But by making a little change here and there you’ll be surprised by the new horizons that come into view. Sketching with a ball point pen for instance, instead of a pencil, brings out a spontaneity in lines that still surprises me. Knowing that lines can’t be erased takes away the pressure of getting things right lol.

The saying ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ doesn’t apply, thankfully, to art. Switching between mediums, or exploring a new one, isn’t as scary as it may sound. Things learnt in one medium, such as contrast value or composition are easily transferred between mediums. And on the whole colour mixing adapts well between mediums too. So why it may have taken you weeks, months or what seems like years to get to grips with one medium, wont necessarily be the same hard slog for a new medium. For what you have learnt up to know you’ll be able to put to good use moving forward. The following video of a Barn Owl in pastel is now exception, for I would have used the same mindset, colour theory and contrast should I want to create this again in another medium:

Now while I say there’s nothing wrong in trying new mediums, I would only encourage you to try one new one at a time, for they each have a learning curve. And not every medium will suit every artist. For instance, pastels can create dust which could affect your choice should you suffer from asthma. Oils take a while to dry, so planning ahead is a must – waiting at least a day between layers and depending on the mixing medium can have quite a strong odour. Watercolours and gouache (opaque watercolour) are great if your art time is limited or if you want to travel with your supplies. Whereas coloured pencil projects can be slow to complete and nine times out of ten you’ll require a larger selection of ready bought colours as colour mixing can be more difficult. And then there are acrylics… with a drying speed resembling a speeding cheetah they’re not for everyone either. Then there are inks, graphite, charcoal etc the list seemingly endless. So what I’m trying to say is that if you do fancy dipping your toe into a new medium, try a little to begin with. Pastel pencils or coloured pencils – by a handful of colours and have a play to see if they’re the right choice for you. Watercolours – maybe a couple of tubes or pans, a decent quality paper and a watercolour brush. Acrylics – just get a black, a white and have a play. And so in keeping with the current ‘switching between mediums’ nature of this newsletter so far, here’s my latest YouTube video (uploaded today):

Well I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that my waffling is over lol. I’ll keep the rest of the newsletter short and sweet, but with an update to date ‘subscriber question’ and answer at the bottom of the newsletter.

I’m so pleased to say that Wildfoot Travel have launched their page announcing an Arctic adventure that will include everything Wildfoot Travel normally offer, plus as an ‘added attraction’ I’ll be there too, offering art advice, tuition and encouragement along the way. I’ll be painting and sketching during the voyage and will be auctioning one of the paintings whilst on board, with all proceeds going to the WWF.

The following is a tiny portion from Wildfoot Travel’s dedicated page for this adventure: (for much more information on their site)

Wildfoot Travel are also offering a 5% discount to anyone booking prior to 10th February 2024

ABOARD: M/V HONDIUS I’ll be there encouraging and hopefully inspiring anyone who wishes to either start their art journey or take their skills to the next level.

Join renowned wildlife artist Kerry Newell on this very special voyage to discover the enchanting coastlines and fascinating, seldom visited regions of eastern and southern Spitsbergen. This unique itinerary offers you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to uncover Spitsbergen’s outstanding natural beauty in the company of one of the UK’s most revered wildlife artists, who will not only offer you tuition time, but will also be creating a new masterpiece right in front of your eyes as you journey through these wildlife-rich lands.

Sailing during the high Arctic summer solstice, on this authentic Spitsbergen cruise experience you can enjoy exciting Zodiac excursions, twice daily landings accompanied by Arctic experts, extended hikes through the region’s magnificent landscapes, an informative lecture and presentation programme, and thrilling wildlife observation opportunities. Discover a world of spectacular scenery, search for sightings of polar bears and indulge in the adventure of a lifetime!


  • Discover Spitsbergen in the company of revered wildlife artist Kerry Newell who will be offering tuition and creating a special piece that will be auctioned onboard, with the proceeds going to WWF
  • Enjoy spectacular scenery throughout from amazing glaciers to icy fjord systems and mystical tundra
  • Experience the high Arctic summer solstice and sail under the Midnight Sun
  • Visit fascinating historical sites and bountiful seabird colonies
  • Good chances of spotting whales, seals, and possibly even polar bears


  • Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
  • All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
  • Programme of expert lectures
  • Loan of rubber boots

PRICES FROM £3,364pp 17 JUN, 2024 | Up to 7 nights

Plus any bookings that mention ‘KerryArctic2024’, Wildfoot Travel have kindly offered to adopt a polar bear with WWF on behalf of the booker, on a per booking basis.

If you’d like to know more then please click on the button below, this will take you to Wildfoot Travel’s website where you’ll be able to further explore all that the polar regions have to offer:

An example from my page:

My ‘Red Eyed Tree Frog’ painting now offered in a variety of prints, including canvas prints and framed prints as well as greeting cards, tote bags and a plethora of other products too.


‘Red Eyed Tree Frog’ iPhone case by Kerry Newell. Protect your iPhone with an impact-resistant, slim profile, hard-shell case. The image is printed directly onto the case and wrapped around the edges for a beautiful presentation. Simply snap the case onto your iPhone for instant protection and direct access to all of the phone’s features!’

The phone cases are available for all iPhones , from the iPhone 8 – iPhone 15. Cases are also available for the Galaxy S4 – Galaxy S8.

Fine Art America

Wildlife Art Workshops for 2024

£60 per person (materials not included)

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

January 27th 2024
March 23rd 2024PastelBarn Owl
May 18th 2024WatercolourTBC
September 21st 2024PastelFallow Deer
November 23rd 2024WatercolourTBC
The above dates have been confirmed and bookings are now being taken.

My suggested materials for the the pastel & watercolour workshops:

Suggested 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
Suggested 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
* Bring along some white gouache too if you have some – great for adding highlights etc.
* Two water containers
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

Workshops 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 Kingfisher project was the subject for June 2023 art workshop over at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.

New Diary Dates for 2024!

Arctic Expedition17th – 24th June 2024
Global Bird Fair12th – 14th July 2024
Exhibition of Wildlife Art26th – 28th July 2024
North West Birdwatching Festival19th – 20th October 2024

Arctic Expedition – Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear. Now with an addition of having me on board to help, encourage and hopefully inspire you should you wish to sketch and paint during the trip.

Global Birdfair – an international three day event – Join a community of nature lovers and birdwatchers from around the world as we gather to make a difference to Conserving Nature Worldwide. Lectures, demonstrations, art exhibitions, holiday destinations, authors, photographers, Global Birdfair auction, optics companies including Nikon, Viking Optical, Zeiss & Swarovski Optik – there really is something for everyone at this annual event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. Global Birdfair will take place at Rutland Showground, Oakham, Rutland UK.  LE15 7TW 

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.’

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.

Subscriber Question

Q. Can you please advise on a palette that keeps acrylic paint workable for longer periods of time? Thank you.

A. Thank you for your question, I can thoroughly recommend the New Wave Glass Palette and the Mastersons Palette box – I use these together and can honestly say that I haven’t had to look for anything else since buying these items. I explain in the video below how I use them and why:

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 folks that’s it for me for today. 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.

Until next time, as always, stay safe and stay creative, Kerry xXx

red ceramic mug on red saucer
Photo by Archie Binamira on

Questions & Suggestions welcomed

© Kerry Newell ⭐ ⭐ All rights reserved