The world keeps turning , but things are not going well. I don't think anyone can not have been upset and troubled by events in the Middle East. I think we all have have compassion for anyone caught up in conflict , suffering, and fear. At this moment I feel helpless and so very privileged to have a house, know where my children are, and be able to sleep at night without fear. If anyone reading this is directly affected by events this week we all send you our love and support. 


It feels trivial to carry on painting at times like these, but boy the last few years we do seem to lurch from one crisis to another, and I do believe that nature, the natural world, doing something which engages your mind as well as your hands, is a form of therapy. My art has been my solace through good times and bad, and I hope I can share some of that enthusiasm with you.


As the nights are drawing in and Autumn is upon us


I thought it about time to paint another hedgehog as he snuffles around getting ready for winter. I hope you find my step by step guides interesting whether you intend to have a go or just interested in my process

Step 1

I draw a simple sketch and thinly mask out the whiskers with masking fluid. I also splash some masking fluid around to add some texture to the finished piece. I find just throwing it at the paper helps. ( I have never been noted for my neatness!)

Step 2 

Unusually for me I started with his little snout. I wanted it to look shiny and wet. I used blue and cadmium red. I used some burnt umber and cobalt blue, and then for the very dark darks I never use black but a mixture of indigo and sepia.

Step 3


I use tiny brushes and try to get the colours to merge, but it takes a lot of practice, and a lot of looking to understand what you are painting.Now I move onto the eye with the same level of detail.

Step 4.

Always leave a speck of white in the eye I don't use masking fluid for this as I want soft edges, but when you are starting out you might want to as it can be tricky controlling tiny amounts of water. 

Step 5

Now I can get a lot looser. I turn the painting upside down as the spikes face away from the hedgehog, never be afraid to pick up your painting and manipulate the water, but just be aware if you like what is happening then keep it still, as moving it around will change it. The more you do things the more confident you will be .

Step 6.

So to create the texture and the spikes I work wet in wet with a mixture of cobalt blue and cadmium red. The whole hedgehog is very wet and I drop colours into it where I think they work best.

Step 7

Finishing touches. I like to flick some white acrylic to add more texture on the spikes, as well as some darker purple. I have added a suggestion of leaves ,some splashes and flicks. I now need to leave him  and come back when it is completely dry, to rub of the masking fluid and let the paper settle down . I can tweak him a bit and hey presto he is done !

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