Added Value

Added Value

So on we march, getting through October and relishing the sunshine when it appears. Here in Devon this year the colours seem brighter than ever , there seems to be an abundance of acorns, berries and apples.


Whatever this year has been, mother nature has not disappointed . I try to make the most of these autumnal days , we all need that daily dose of daylight. 

I love to enjoy each season as it comes and goes. It makes each season , each month seem special , and gives our lives a comforting rhythm whateve rmay be  going on around us.

We walked near Castle Drogo on Sunday by Fingle Bridge, seeing the trees turning and enjoying the gnarly trunks and amazing colours as we went.



I am also topping up my bird feeders daily and enjoy watching all sorts of birds try to get the best positions to take their fill of what is on offer. I felt it might be time to let you into a little secret, I sometimes return to past pieces, take a good look at  and decide if I can maybe add some more to them.

So looking at this goldfinch piece from a year or 2 ago I thought...I can add some value to this one.

I wanted to add some extra autumn colour and a spiders web

First I drew them onto the painting.

Then I used making fluid to make the cobweb.

I use a paper clip, carefully dipped in the masking fluid and apply the masking fluid onto the paper holding the paperclip at a slight angle.

Here you can see I have applied it and now you need to wait for it to dry



I also drew some leaves and I need to paint them in too, I also need to add colour around the spiders web or else it won't show up.

I want to add the lovely warm colours of autumn, yellows, ochres , oranges and warm browns.

Make sure you give your leaves shadows and folds. Add light areas and darker tones. I like to take photos of leaves on my walks so I can use them as reference for such a painting.


Keep adding until you are happy

You also need to add colour behind the cobweb.

I keep stepping back and seeing what I need to do. I think I need something in the left hand corner.

I also added some extra colour to the goldfinch , sort of touched him up a bit. Now leave it to dry completely.

Finally use a soft pencil eraser to rub off all the pencil marks you can and the masking fluid.

And I have spent a happy autumnal afternoon adding warm tones and textures to a picture I painted maybe 2 years ago. Don't be afraid to revisit something you can maybe see something you didn't at the time, have fun and enjoy these colourful autumn days x



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What a wonderful blog and some useful tips, and excellent idea to re visit a painting even after a few years.

Chris Osborne

You are my favorite watercolour artist and have given me much inspiration. I used to live in Devon and know Castle Drogo. I now live in Australia. Great work Rachel always.

Roberta Sandeman-Allen

A great read, you certainly write the sentiment of how I feel among nature, I love Autumn it is my favourite if the seasons, mother nature makes me smile in this season she never fails to delight the senses.
Fabulous blog, I actually learnt alot from this one in the way that I’ve discarded old paintings as failures but actually adding to them may just give them a lift and not be destined for the bin.
Thank you

Diane Hayward

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