Monday, 9 November 2009


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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Windfall apples and chestnuts

I've just finished the first pass of colour on the bowl and one of the apples on the table is underway. I'm trying to get all the apples done before they start to wither so I'll concentrate on those today.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Windfall apples and chestnuts

I forgot to blog the underpainting stage but you can still see it! I used a wipeout method with burnt umber and turps. I started putting colour on today, using cadmium lemon yellow and ultramarine blue as the main colours in the green mix adding yellow ochre and raw sienna here and there to create warmer tones.
The apples and chestnuts were collected from a friend's garden and were meant to feed our pigs but I borrowed a few for my still life.

Friday, 9 October 2009

I finished the pear study this afternoon. I used Maroger medium with the oil paints throughout. I've come to really like painting with this medium by C. Roberson and Co. It enables you to paint wet into wet very easily, without going tacking and drying before you've had a chance to nudge the paint around the surface a bit.

Friday, 2 October 2009

So this is the underpainting of the pear study. It came together quite quickly and is now drying, in preparation for the first pass of colour. I'm using rather a clunky light to cast shadows on my still lifes at the moment, but hopefully in the future I'll get a light that is a little easier to position.
The landscape is also progressing, but now we've moved the pigs' enclosure on to the spot where I had set up my easel, so I think I'm going to have to battle with the pigs next time I paint this one!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Today was spent doing the underpainting for a new landscape painting and setting up a still life of a pear. Both paintings are quite small so I'll try to do them at the same time, perhaps doing the still life in the evenings and working outside in our garden on the landscape. I'm positioned just next to the pigs' enclosure and each time I go out to work on this scene the pigs think I'm going to feed them so all hell breaks loose!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Green landscape

After taking the painting outside to work on, I quickly changed my mind as the autumnal wind whipped up and blew the easel over on to my head! So the painting was finished off in the studio. It symbolised the end of the summer to me, as this painting has accompanied me through the holidays, looking after children and animals and managing to grab a few hours here and there to paint.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Things are progressing with the painting. It's amazing how many people you meet when you paint outside, even on a small country road!
I think in hindsight it would have been a lot easier if I had done a poster study beforehand as balancing out the colour values as I go is tricky. Also the light changes depending on the weather and having a reminder of the colours would have been useful.

Monday, 3 August 2009

I've been standing at the end of our drive painting this scene, trying to create a sort of stormy feel. The only problem being that it's been fairly sunny here so getting the colours right is mainly from memory. I wanted to capture the temperament of the Breton landscape in rain swept conditions.

I've used a warm grey and titanium white for the sky and raw umber, raw sienna and terre vert for the trees.

Monday, 27 July 2009

I started a new painting today of the little track across the road from us. I balanced the easel on the sloping drive and did the underpainting en plein air. I used a wipe out technique with raw umber and turps. This should be dry for tomorrow when I'll start the first pass of colour.

Here's the finished sweetpeas and apricots painting. This was a good warm up after having a break from painting due to health problems. The vase posed a lot of problems because not only was it reflective but it had a kind of white splodgy glaze over the surface.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

After completing the first pass of colour I then repainted areas using oil paint combined with Maroger medium.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Today I've been trying to get the flowers painted with the first pass of colour so that even if they wither a bit, I've got the shapes and tones there already. I painted the background at the same time to soften the outline of the flowers. You can then blend the colours together where required so that the flowers and the background feel part of the same space.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Sweet peas and apricots

After having quite a bit of time out due to a back operation, I have finally managed to get back in the studio. Here is the underpainting of some sweetpeas that were grown in our garden. I used raw umber and turps for this stage.

And here's the finished rice bowl!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Rice bowl

Here's the underpainting for my next picture. I used burnt sienna and a bit of turps to help lift some of the colour out. I'm going to use a limited palette of ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, golden ochre and titanium white and concentrate on the subtle shifts in tone to capture the light falling on the object.

Monday, 6 April 2009

The painting is now finished! I continued adding glazes to the fruit and shadow area on the cloth and scumbled some white over the bright draping material.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

I've been working glazes over some of the fruit today, trying to capture the soft reflections in the light sections and the depth in the shadows.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

I've nearly finished the first layer of painting, just the rest of the cloth to complete tomorrow before going onto the glazing stage. I've been using linseed oil paste as the medium in this painting and I really like the quality of the paint as it dries - it retains a slightly glossy film. 

Friday, 27 March 2009

New painting.

Well, after being ill for about a week, all my flowers had withered away on my previous still life and no more were growing outside to replace them so I thought I would start a fresh painting. I forgot to take a photo of the first stage of the painting, but I spent time drawing out the composition on paper first and then transferred it onto canvas. I then used a wipeout technique for the underpainting, let that dry overnight and started the first pass of colour the following day.  

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Red flowers

I was inspired by some of the flowers blossoming in the garden. I abandonned any idea of a traditional type of underpainting in this picture because I wanted to try and capture the original colours of the flowers before they withered. 

Saturday, 7 February 2009


I decided to change the composition a bit and create more drama by darkening the foreground and creating a path leading into the picture from the right. The balance of tones is working better now although I think I'll soften the dominant hills in the next sitting. I'll also start building more detail into the foreground, adding grasses and hawthorne.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Monts d'arrée landscape

Here's the beginning stages of the landscape painting. The main positioning of everything has been pinned down. The tones need manipulating now, darkening the foreground areas with glazing and lightening other areas to give a sense of depth and distance.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Painting courses

kervéguen art offers courses for all abilities in watercolours and oil painting, run by Emma Akroyd, a qualified art teacher. You will enjoy the benefit of one-on-one or small group tuition, and the inspiration that is the rugged and diverse landscape of Finistère.


Emma has been an art lecturer in further education for the last seven years before moving to France with her young family, and setting up her own studio, atelier de kervéguen.

Emma started her art career at Bradford College of Art before going on to study for a degree at the Hull School of Art and Design. It was while she was here that she gained the opportunity of studying at the Academy of the Plastic Arts in Prague, learning traditional oil painting techniques and igniting her interest in classical painting. After finishing her degree in 2000, Emma then went on to study for a PGCE in post 16 education, becoming a qualified lecturer in 2001. As well as lecturing in college during this period, Emma initiated a number of art courses within the local community and undertook private tuition.


The courses start at beginner level, for people with little or no experience of painting. The client is introduced, within a friendly and relaxed environment, to the joys of watercolour or oil painting. The course is tailored to the wishes of the individual and can consist of just two sessions of two hours each, or can be several sessions, taking place over the duration of the week.

The next level of tuition is intermediate, where the client has a sound grounding in either watercolours or oil paints and would like to build on their experience. Again the lessons take place in two hour sessions that can be arranged to suit individual requirements.

The final level of tuition available is advanced. This is designed for those who have a keen interest and a good understanding and knowledge of using either watercolours or oil paints.

Once you have selected a course, and indicated your preference on the gite booking form, Emma will contact you to discuss course content and tailor the sessions to your individual requirements.The prices for tuition start from £68 for two beginner’s two hour sessions and include all the materials you will need. For a comprehensive list of all the prices please contact us. Discounts are available for group bookings.

The timing of sessions can be organised, in advance, according to your holiday plans.

Monday, 26 January 2009

New studio

After house renovations and painting walls rather than canvases for the last few months, I am finally in the new studio, ready to get down to some work. I still need to sort out where everything is going to go, but for now it's just such a relief to have a space to paint in.

I've even got my beautiful piano in the studio, which is the perfect place for it to be!

I spent yesterday out on the bleak Monts d'Arrée getting rained on and swept about, it was fantastic! I was planning out new landscape work, which will be appearing on the blog soon.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

I put some glazes over the shadow areas today, after leaving the painting to dry. To create the glazes I chose transparent colours and then added linseed oil. This makes the underlayers of paint still visible. I also put more detail in around the core of the apple.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

After saying I was going to paint a squash I ended up painting this apple! It just appealed to me as it was sitting there in the fruit bowl! Instead of a burnt sienna wipeout underpainting, I painted the image loosely in the actual colours and values and then 'tonked' it! This means that I placed a piece of newspaper over the whole image and gently rubbed all over the painting, taking all the excess paint off. You can then start working straight away, without having to let the image dry. I meant to take a photo of this stage, but I forgot as I got engrossed with painting.
I'm going to let it dry completely now and then go over with some glazes.