Polar bears

Polar bears

Here in the UK we are experiencing a cold snap, which has turned into a cold blast. Heating is on in our house, morning and evening ( finally persuaded hubby it was necessary ) and my woodburner is blazing in my studio. My heart goes out to those suffering because their heat isn't working or they can't afford to turn it on. Or perhaps don't even have a home... 

Here in our Devon village, it looked so pretty , like a Christmas card...

but if your cold I expect you wish it all a long way away. We decided to walk to the post office on Saturday morning, orders have most definitely slowed down due to the strikes, but I had a few things for people and I thought it best to get them on their way as quickly as I could.

Then Sunday we planned to drive to Warwick to collect our son , after his first term at Uni....not a journey I would like to repeat in a hurry, snow, icy roads, stuck in traffic on the M5 for hours and our lad, overslept , when we arrived....far from ready to go. The perils of being a parent ...

So he is safely home, we are warm and Christmas is around the corner.

With all this cold I thought it might be time to tackle these 2 polar bears again, and talk you though the process

First I drew them.

Then I began on their features, A weak yellow ochre for the fur, and a paynes grey nose and a tiny eye.

Keep everything very wet, I used the weak yellow ochre, then dropped in shadow colours of cadmium red mixed with cobalt blue, to add the shapes in the fur.

Then repeat on bear 2

Now the ground they are standing on, I used a lot of water and dropped in some indigo, while it was wet but not too wet I sprinkled on some salt.

Now the dark arctic sky, lots of indigo, and then salt, 

Next step was to introduce some cling film and a moon by wetting an area and removing the colour with a piece of kitchen roll.


Now walk away and let everything dry before , adding a few finishing touches.


Stay warm everyone x 







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I’m so excited to stumble across this blog post and can’t wait to give this a try. I’ve never used the cling film before – can I check whether you remove it immediately or after the paint has completely dried?


I just love the crispy night atmosphere that you cought in this painting. I am glad I found your website. Do you hold any courses?

Lena JO

Going to try this. It is very cold in Northern Illinois today with a big snow storm on the horizon. I love the way you do animals and birds. Going to settle in during these winter months and accomplish some art work. I love the way you do your night skies.

Mary von Tish

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for sharing your wintery world! Even though it’s summer here in Melbourne, Australia, we are also having a wintery blast and our heating is on this week (last week it was the cooling!) I love your polar bears! Thanks for the information. I might put this on my list to try! If I do I’ll post it on my Instagram page and tag you. I hope you and your family have a wonderful White Christmas and Happy 2023! Best wishes Robyn


Lesley I’d love to see your painting but I do understand if you’d rather keep it to yourself. I was so nervous to show my work, but when I did, it changed my life! Good Luck x

Rachel Toll

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