Two new videos, material reviews and more…

Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you don’t believe it’ll work out, you’ll see obstacles.”
Wayne Dyer.

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 enjoying the sunshine – sunny here in the UK at long last. I spent a busy, but productive, morning in the studio today, followed by an afternoon catching up on some gardening. With the dinner on I thought I’d make good use of this downtime and catch up with you all through a quick newsletter. Don’t worry I’ll keep it short, unlike last week’s essay style letter lol.

I’d like to say a huge thank you for the lovely feedback I’ve received regarding last week’s newsletter. Many of you, it seems, could relate to the lady I spoke of, and many of you have taken action to turn things around and begin the artistic journey you’ve always wanted.

While on this subject I’d like to draw (pardon the pun lol) your attention to the quote at the top of this newsletter (yep a different one each time if you hadn’t already noticed):

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you don’t believe it’ll work out, you’ll see obstacles.”
Wayne Dyer.

Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, try to begin with a positive mind set. I know that sometimes this is hard to do, but you’ve nothing to lose by simply trying. Whether you’re just beginning your art journey, or you’ve been on it for a while, everything is possible. Some things take minutes to learn, some weeks or even months. But these time frames shouldn’t be obstacles to you, for every moment spent creating (whatever the outcome) is time well spent.

Okay let’s move on. A few months ago, just before Christmas actually, Derwent sent me a prototype of their Watercolour Paint Pan set, asking me if I had the time to trial them. Needless to say I readily accepted the challenge and began to design a project that would put them through their paces. At the time of receiving the paint box prototype my Cyclamen was flowering in my studio, it was definitely one of those ‘meant to be’ moments, so the following afternoon I settled down to a relaxed afternoon of sketching some thumbnails, developing a sketch and later a completed drawing. It was a couple of days later before I could begin to start putting paint to paper, beginning by swatching the paint colours and testing their transparency, mixing abilities and finding out how easy they were to lift once dry. Once this procedure was complete, and I felt I had a feel for the paints, I set my camera to record and began to paint, the following video being the result. After completing a few more smaller projects with these paints I can now thoroughly recommend them. The paints were finally released this month and are now available in both a 12 set and a 24 set. Video number one for this week’s newsletter:

A few days before the final release of the above paints I received a rather large parcel from Derwent. Inside was an assortment of goodies which I’ll be reviewing over the coming weeks. Amongst the contents were a set of Derwent Technique Brushes. Now this is something that I don’t very often use in my paintings, having been self taught I’ve learnt through the years how to maximise the use of my existing materials, and so can pretty much match the strokes these brushes make but with either a round, flat or filbert brush. However, when teaching a beginner, or for someone wanting to learn techniques a little quicker, these brushes would be a great addition to their art supplies. Hence video number two for this week’s newsletter:

Over time you too will get to know your art materials, what can and can’t be achieved and what the possibilities really are. But never be afraid to play, just doodling with a pencil or sampling some brush strokes are all worth while. Each time we sit down and explore our art supplies we’re learning, and as we do this we’re building muscle memory too.

Okay, I’m pretty sure we’re all caught up now. I’ve a couple more changes to make further down in the newsletter (see if you can spot what they are lol) and I’ve more exciting news regarding my journey with Derwent – but I’ll tell you about that in my next newsletter.

This Epic Arctic Art Adventure is soon to have a date available in 2025!!! More news on this soon.

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 2024WatercolourReindeer
March 23rd 2024PastelBarn Owl
May 18th 2024WatercolourPainted Lady Butterfly on Flower
reference image shown above
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. I hope you choose my question 🙂 I find it hard knowing what to put in the background of a watercolour painting. When I try for realism it looks awful, so I’d like to try something different but I don’t know what. I hope this question makes sense and equally hope that you can help. Thank you in advance. Gracie

A. Hi there Gracie, thank you for your question and yes I do know what you mean. Before jumping in to creating realistic backgrounds that can prove a little daunting, especially when you’re wanting to get on to the more pleasing parts of a painting such as the subject, I would recommend starting with something a little looser. The background on the following giraffe painting was created with watercolours and was a very easy one to do. Putting the paint onto wetted paper and really just letting the paint move freely. Practise with colours on a separate piece of paper and once you know which colours will work well with your subject give it a try. I hope you find the following video useful.

I may not always have a video on my YouTube channel to help when answering 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

clear glass bowl beside yellow flower

Questions & Suggestions welcomed

© Kerry Newell ⭐ ⭐ All rights reserved