Michele Clamp's Watercolor Blog - Michele Clamp Art



Wading Blue Heron

Wading Blue Heron. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 14”x11”

Wading Blue Heron 250.00 Add To Cart

After a couple of false starts this heron finally came together. Surprisingly tricky to get the character of the bird with the lovely angled neck and feathered body. Love the loose edges in this which are crucial to getting the right feel.

Sun, 24 May 2020 15:38:57 +0000

Black-Shouldered Kite

From a fantastic photo from Dave Nightingale in the Reference Images for Artists facebook page. The photo is almost too good to paint but I wanted to do a very loose bird painting after all the precision painting over the last couple of months.

I wasn’t sure whether it is finished or not. I’m tempted to do more on the wings and more detail in the face but I’ll leave it until tomorrow to decide.

Mon, 18 May 2020 19:42:31 +0000

Train Painting

I’ve been looking forward to having a crack at this train for a while. I’d envisioned it being almost monochromatic and pretty indistinct and hazy in the details. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s part of a commission and I’m still undecided whether I need to make changes.

Here are some work in progress shots :

Sat, 16 May 2020 20:01:42 +0000

Zoom Art Class - Poppies

Poppies. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Phew. Another marathon zoom class today. Flowers were as intense as usual and had to rush towards the end.

Here is all the paraphernalia needed for zooming an art class. We’ve tried to keep it as unobtrusive as possible but there seems to be extra things creeping in.

Tue, 12 May 2020 20:19:18 +0000


Poppies. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

This was HELL! I had the idea to try painting flowers on hot press paper. It wasn’t a good idea. I thought the hot press would keep the colors bright as the paint doesn’t sink in so much. However the paint also dries immediately it hits the paper so blending and losing edges was nigh on impossible. I soldiered on even though the thing was looking wretched and bit by bit it came back together.

Looks nice but NEVER AGAIN!!

Mon, 11 May 2020 21:32:41 +0000

Penguin Demo Lesson


Penguins today. Rather than my usual subject I thought we’d do something different and combine photos to make a new scene. Started off with a sketch and then some exercises on darks and fading colors. The final thing was a bit of a struggle but pretty much came together at the end.

Here’s a closeup of the final result.

Tue, 05 May 2020 19:47:51 +0000

Value Exercises from Paul Foxton

I’m signed up for Paul Foxton’s Threads community and we’re tasked with doing daily value exercises. I’m committing to a value sketch every day for two weeks. Here are the first ones. They’re quite challenging to do. I’m trying to get the right value on the first try and simplify the values where possible.

Sun, 26 Apr 2020 22:07:34 +0000

Self Portrait with the Newton Watercolor Society

Self portrait. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

The Newton Watercolor Society has been having zoom meetings where we paint for a couple of hours and then meet up and show what we’ve done. Great fun and it gets me to do things that I don’t usually do.

This week was self portraits. Eeek. Haven’t done one of these since I started painting again so it was going to be interesting. Came out ok - not a great likeness and insanely flattering but there’s some good work in there.

Progress shots:

Drawing and initial washes. Warm in the center and moving out to cool at the edges.

Slightly further along. Struggled a lot with the shadows. The photo could have had stronger side lighting but looking at my side lit face for two hours is not a happy prospect.

The final thing with the photo. After some hairy moments especially with the mouth it came out ok. I should do some more of these definitely. Maybe not self portraits though.

Sat, 25 Apr 2020 21:19:00 +0000


Rooster. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

Deceptively tricky this rooster. A lot of color but not a lot of value changes so I had to introduce more to get the form of the body. Fun though - the colors came out well and the final result has a lot of life and character.

Some intermediates :

I first mixed up some swatches after matching to Munsell chips. Everything is pretty low in value - highest is a 4 which was surprising.

Next the drawing. Careful comparisons across the body both horizontally and vertically to make sure everything lined up. Where possible I use negative shapes to get the right angles.

The first washes. I toyed with the idea of just painting the whole thing in one layer but finally plumped for putting in a light under wash of the main colors and intentionally went outside the lines into the background. When finished this layer is barely visible but gives some visual interest and some depth to the final picture.

Half way through the second layer here. I’ve kept the eye and beak areas clear as they go in at the end. The tail feathers have to go in pretty much in one go - if it goes wrong you have to live with it. Worked out this time thankfully.

The final thing. Pretty handsome I think.

Sun, 19 Apr 2020 20:36:59 +0000

Sunflower Workshop

Sunflowers. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Phew! Another video lesson this afternoon and it was pretty intense. Flowers are tough at the best of times and require a huge amount of concentration. I’m exhausted! Everyone did really well - congrats to Cathy, Meredith, and MaryJo!!

Mine came out tighter than I would usually do but for me that is always the case when talking through a painting. I may touch this up and finish it off later.

If anyone is interested in joining me online for zoom lessons there are more signups available at Post Road Art

Tue, 14 Apr 2020 19:56:42 +0000

Paint along with Gary Tucker


Gary Tucker kindly ran a free online 2 hour workshop today. I found it challenging to say the least. I gained a lot of sympathy for my students as it was difficult to concentrate on what he was doing and his vision and also manage to paint a decent painting myself. Had a lot of fun thought and managed to make some progress with those wretched trees.

Here’s the reference photo. I had to dig deep to get inspired by this - another problem with trying to get inside someone else’s head.


Sun, 12 Apr 2020 17:45:39 +0000

Lemons in progress

Lemons. In Progress. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

In progress using a wonderful photo from Paddy Rathbone‎ in the Library of Artists Reference Photos facebook page. Not sure how this will end up yet.

Wed, 08 Apr 2020 18:37:00 +0000

Hawk video workshop results

Hawk. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Phew - first video workshop done. Great fun but intense. Had a great group of people and they all produced really nice paintings. Well done all round.

Tue, 07 Apr 2020 19:58:53 +0000


Familiarity in uncertain times. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 13”x19”

Familiarity in uncertain times 350.00 Add To Cart

This was done during the zoomathon with the Newton Watercolor Society. Just about got it finished and was very pleased.

Sat, 04 Apr 2020 21:07:32 +0000

More barns

Barn. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14

Another day another barn. These traditional subjects seem to be appropriate in these times.

Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:58:14 +0000

Barns Galore

Uncertain Future. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Posting this here as a placeholder. Can’t decide whether this is worth keeping or no. Will wait until tomorrow.

Looking through the back catalog I haven’t done many barns at all. I don’t feel too bad now. That tree needs some attention though.

Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:45:45 +0000

New Great Blue Heron!

Blue Heron. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

This was a HUGE struggle. I think it’s ok - video is uploading with all the gory details.

Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:03:29 +0000

Nighttime Doodling


Noodling on the ipad last night I tested drawing some people from imagination. Tricky but quite satisfying.

Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:52:48 +0000

Kursaal Take Two

I was quite encouraged by yesterday’s effort but wanted to have another go to put in more value contrast and also more color.

Well I managed the value contrast (although the darks in the tower were a bad idea). but failed miserably on the color. Too much to think about at once maybe. I think it’s worth another go though.

Sat, 28 Mar 2020 20:13:37 +0000

The Kursaal - Southend-on-Sea

The Kursaal, Southend-on-Sea. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Now this was very enjoyable to do. It’s from an old photo of an amusement park in my home town. It may need another couple of tries at it although there’s plenty going on that I like.

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 20:05:40 +0000

Page created: Mon, May 25, 2020 - 09:05 PM GMT