Preview our most recent tutorials

Every two weeks there is a new tutorial for you to enjoy.

Fun, challenging and something you'll be proud to say is your painting.

ALL   |   BEGINNER   |   INTERMEDIATE   |   ADVANCED   |   SPORTS   |   PEOPLE   |   UNDER 1 HOUR   |   OVER 1 HOUR   |   DARK COLOURS   |   LIGHTER COLOURS

ADVANCED TUTORIALS:

Jan 28 2024

138. DAD AND SON FISHING – PREVIEW

This week is a beautiful image of a father and son fishing from the steps in Tenerife. This is a great tutorial for all abilities and is broken down into easy sections. You can start with the usual light wash followed by focusing on our two fisherman, then the sea and the dark background steps make our two fishermen lift off the page and become the stars of the painting. You’ll all enjoy this one.

Jan 14 2024

137. ENJOYING HIS PINT – PREVIEW

Remember when we were ‘Back in the pub’ well this image is a close up from that very painting that were going to do in more detail. He’s looking quite sombre as he contemplates life over a good old British Pint. Lot’s of light to use here, in fact its the most important element, use it to accent where the brights hit his face and the table in front of him is important as it bounce light back onto him too. Use those deep tones to create a rich, wood effect, and don’t forget to let the soft furnishings feel nice and rounded. This is great for all levels.

Dec 30 2023

136. YELLOW BEETLE – PREVIEW

And now for something totally different… Yellow Beetle is a fabulous painting that everyone can complete. No figures here but plenty of detail to add as we create this beautiful image from Mexico. Lots of wet into wet with a little bit of wet into dry for our crisp details and we add a final layer of dark detail to really accentuate the colours and highlights here. This is a great tutorial for all abilities and a fun way to start your new year.

Dec 15 2023

135. SNOW SHADOWS – PREVIEW

It’s Christmas season and what better way to celebrate than painting our winter scene. This is ‘Snow Shadows’ and is a beautiful composition of my own using two photos to create this stunning snow painting. This year we aren’t using any masking fluids, we’re going old school and using the paper to create our highlights. Plenty of colour is still used in our surroundings to accent the whites, a great painting for all abilities. Merry Christmas everyone.

Sep 24 2023

129. CHECKING THE BILL

This week we are "Checking the bill" with this wonderfully busy cafe scene.  We break it down into 3 sections, the top background, the people and finally the chairs and foreground, giving it a nice easy to follow structure.  This is an intermediate to advanced painting but will be great fun as its a challenge to recreate accurately, but don’t try to repeat every line, use shapes and shadows to form your darks and keep those whites preserved. Enjoy...

Aug 26 2023

127. AFTERNOON BOWLS

Fancy a Great British tradition? Well today is your day, we’re going Bowling but this is Crown Green bowling and a photo taken mid afternoon to create a lovely, active photo for something that’s quite a calming activity. We have so many whites to preserve here but you have to keep some colours in here too to show our reflected greens and our blue top lady. This is a great painting if you’re at an intermediate level but is good for all to try, keep your lines sharp and your backgrounds soft. Enjoy…

Jul 28 2023

125. BUBBLES – PREVIEW

125! Yes it's our 125th tutorial this week, so I saved a real favourite of mine for this one. This is "Bubbles" and it’s a photo of my nephews daughter taken a few years ago now. Perfect as a really interesting and advanced subject for you all to try, this is all about that cheeky face and the white, crisp bubble outlines that make this truly shine as a painting. Happy 125th tutorial everyone...

Jul 16 2023

124. WALKING ON THE BEACH – PREVIEW

This week's tutorial is a reminder that summer is here (even though the UK isn't really seeing it) and this is a great reminder of those lazy days just walking down the beach with the sea lapping at your feet. This is an intermediate level piece and relies on a loose touch to create some lovely movement and texture in our sea and sand with some nice sharp lines to define our figure. Enjoy...

Jul 1 2023

123. VENICE SCENE

This week it’s just one wash, yep you heard right, only one wash of all six colours directly onto a wet canvas to create this great Venice Gondola scene. We then use some lifting off to help enhance our highlights. This is one of our really simple paintings to really encourage our new members to give this painting a go several times to see your progress each time. You’ll really enjoy trying this and seeing your water and pigment controls improve as you go…

Jun 17 2023

122. THE LITTLE MAN – PREVIEW

This week we have something totally new, its two paintings in one. We do our first painting with a sea and sky background and then replace that background with a darker version based on our original photo. This is a great opportunity to see how just changing the background can transform your painting without touching our main subject at all. It’s a great exercise in knowing how to correct something using darker tones. This is fairly advanced but good for all levels to try if you can set aside a couple of hours to complete it. Enjoy…

Apr 22 2023

118. JOIN THE QUEUE – PREVIEW

I love this weeks painting, it’s a nice intermediate to advanced piece that’s quite long but produces a fabulous result. “Join the queue” is something very British, we will stand in queues for pretty much anything, but this is a typical scene you see on our streets and this one is from our great city of Oxford.  We split this up into bitesize chunks to allow some time for coffees, but you could do it all in one sitting if you’re really brave and let your brush stay loose and expressive. I really hope you enjoy this one it was a fun one to paint…

Nov 19 2022

107. PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET

Get comfortable. Todays painting is one of the hardest projects yet. It’s a busy scene with lots of small marks to help form the shapes of the people in the distance, but you must preserve those whites between, this will help to keep those lovely highlights in between as the sunlight bounces down. This one is a world famous market in London called “Portobello Road” enjoy…

Nov 5 2022

106. STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO

The streets of San Francisco are famous for there undulating nature and we have a challenge here for our students, the perspective changes due to the nature of the hill but you’ll see as we paint along that it’s still using our normal techniques to create this effect. This is a really fabulous painting to display if you can master it, an interesting location, a great bustling scene and some vibrant colours, what more could you ask for…

Oct 8 2022

104. BEEN SHOPPING

This week were using just one wash, no going back over areas, just one single wash to create this nice quick piece called “Been Shopping”. Keep your brights bright and your background nice and wet to keep the colour flowing.  Your foreground should be subtle and in the light here so don’t overdo it. Enjoy everyone…

Sep 24 2022

103. HOT DAY AT LONG BEACH

This is a little different today, we’re using 8 colours not three or six ! So if you’ve been here a while you’ll know I use Winsor Violet and Winsor Green when I’m in the mood, lol, just to add some extra tones into paintings and that’s exactly what we're doing today. "A hot day at Long Beach" deserved to add those extra colours to give our greens and purple shades a little boost. You’ll have lots of fun here…

Mar 11 2022

89. TWO GO CYCLING

This was taken in Oxford, England several years ago and it maybe “two go cycling” but we have five people in this one so it’s definitely in our advanced category. Everyone should give it a go but take your time and watch and rewatch areas of detail. Give some special attention to the wheels, they not round so draw it carefully. Remember above all, have fun and enjoy…

Feb 12 2022

87. SKIPPOOL CREEK

Well, this one is slightly different to usual, we don’t have any people in this scene, but a lovely warm bright boat, sadly sat upon the sands. This is great for everyone to paint along with, nearly an hour long, it’s great for intermediate levels and its important to keep this one nice and loose.

Jan 15 2022

85. SHOWJUMPER

This one is a great challenge to get that background pushed backwards and abstract without obsessing over every branch, which in turn distracts from your main subject, its a piece anyone can try but is around the intermediate/advanced level really as its over 2 hours. This is a photo of a family friend of Jemma and Bess and its a really lovely action shot. You’ll get great results if you tae your time here and plenty of breaks in between layers. Happy painting…

Dec 31 2021

84. COUPLE ON WALL

Happy new year !!! As a perfect cure for those with slight hangovers we thought you could do with a nice intermediate level painting, this one is called ‘couple on a wall’ and its ALL about preserving the whites on the two subjects. Happy painting…

Dec 19 2021

83. THE LAST TANGO

This is a perfect Christmas painting, the Strictly Come Dancing final is this weekend (dancing with the stars in the USA) but it originated right here in my home town of Blackpool and I thought a “Last tango” would feel very Christmas spirited right now. Happy Christmas everyone, and see you in the new year for another great year of painting some fantastic subjects…

Nov 20 2021

81. LAZING ON LAUREL LAKE

This is a photo that was given to me by one of our members, Nancy Gallagher, and I loved the relaxed nature of the photo so thought it would make a great tutorial for us all. This really is in the advanced category and is over 2 hours long so give yourself plenty of time, and take several breaks as you go along. You'll really enjoy the end result though. Happy painting.

Oct 23 2021

79. CONTEMPLATION

This is a fantastic painting for our advanced (or daring) students, this is "contemplation". We use a lot of wet into wet here and its a long one at 2 hours and 15 mins so get comfy maybe with a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy this fantastic tutorial. The result is well and truly worth it.

Oct 9 2021

78. PROMENADE COUPLE

This week were painting a subject we’ve painted before, but from a different photo and using just two main washes to try and create a vibrant painting you’ll be proud of. This is a great piece for all levels and at just over an hour long its one you can practice a few times.

Sep 25 2021

77. SUNNY GIRL

This is a great piece for all abilities. “Sunny girl” was taken near Kew Gardens in London a few years ago and is a great way to hone your watercolour skills, especially maintaining a lovely warm but bright highlight on our main subject as well as soft backgrounds that hint at the setting without doing every tiny detail. Enjoy…

Aug 28 2021

75. THE YELLOW PARASOLS

Welcome to my 75th tutorial. This is a big one and has been requested by members many times, so here we go... This is "The yellow parasols", a bright and vibrant painting you'll be proud to hang in your home. We use all our normal techniques and the final result is incredible. It’s an advanced tutorial, over 2 hours long, so get comfy and break it down into manageable stages. You'll really enjoy this one.

Jun 19 2021

70. THE SLEEPING CAT

We have a real challenge this week, this is one of our more advanced pieces called 'The sleeping Cat'. It's a beautiful image and I've added a cat in the drawing as it just fits so well in the scene. Lots of wet onto dry and those highlights are all important here, a fantastic result and well worth the time, have fun...

May 8 2021

67. THE JAZZ SINGER

This piece is a great exercise in learning to add colour to a black and white photo. You don't have to stick to my colours here, have some fun with this fun painting. Try to stay loose and get nice and expressive here, I can't wait to see your submissions for this one.

Feb 27 2021

62. Hot Day for a Hot Rod

Todays tutorial is this fantastic Hot Rod. This is an advanced piece and it's not for the feint hearted. We are going to use softening to create the shining chrome effect and I've changed the background to something that’s a little nicer on the eye. Feel free to change it to your own, maybe the desert or perhaps someone will put it on the famous route 66?

Dec 19 2020

57. IT’S SNOW FUN

Merry Christmas everyone ! This week we're painting 'It's Snow Fun' a fantastic winter image. I've turned to the dark side and used some masking fluid (I know, I know) but its really the best way to create that fluffy snow texture as it gets thrown into the air. We then soften things down a little with a damp brush to create those lost edges. Enjoy this during some downtime over Christmas.

Aug 16 2020

48. CARRIAGE RIDE IN DALLAS – PREVIEW

This week you’re painting one of grahams most requested paintings. We’re painting a horse and Carriage, mid ride in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. This is Grahams longest tutorial so make sure you’re comfy if you’re going to do this in one sitting. It’s a great way to use light and shadow to create shapes that jump off the paper. Colourful, beautiful and interesting, this is a great way to hone the skills we’ve learnt to create your very own masterpiece.

Jul 5 2020

46. LONDON STREET CAFE – PREVIEW

Today we’re in London with something that feels a little alien to us all right now. It’s a photo of a man sat outside a cafe relaxing. We’ve got some great use of lights and darks to create shadows around his bag and under the table as well as preserving all the highlights using the white of the paper where it's needed. Hopefully this will become the norm again so, enjoy…

Jun 7 2020

45. RODEO – PREVIEW

Yeehaw, this week were painting one of my favourites. It’s a rodeo scene of a cowboy riding a bull. This is a really exciting subject as we have to create the effect of dust and movement in the foreground whilst keeping our focus on the bull and cowboy. Were using our pallet of three to start and moving on to all six colours for the detail, you’re gonna love this one…

May 2 2020

44. WALKING AND TALKING – PREVIEW

Today we're in the world famous Liverpool. This is a photo of my own with great shadows to really show perspective in the painting. It’s two people ‘walking and talking’ in everyday life, a typical everyday scene that could be from anywhere in the world. We are going to use three colours for our initial wash, and then six colours for our detail. You’ll really enjoy this one!"

Apr 4 2020

43. BACK IN THE PUB – PREVIEW

Today we’re back in the pub. This is a photo I took many years ago in Kew, London and is one I love painting because of the intense light coming through the windows and reflecting on the tables. We’ve got several people in the shot and they add some interest and detail, but were trying to catch the atmosphere and overall feeling of the traditional British Pub. Enjoy !"

Mar 14 2020

42. WHATS OUT THERE – PREVIEW

We are going to Spain... This week we have a more in depth tutorial that focuses on two women sat on a wall looking out to sea. It's a great exercise in using wet in wet technique as we need a nice blurred background from which we can build detail into the main focus which is the two women discussing "Whats out there?"

Feb 29 2020

41. DONT DO THAT – PREVIEW

This week we're having a little fun. This is a composition of my own with a woman, hands on hips, looking on with disdain at a little dog spraying her luggage. It's a light hearted but great beginner/intermediate tutorial for you all to have some fun with. The reference image doesn't have a dog in it but I thought adding it made it a better composition, plus you get the chance to choose your own dog, search for one on google, or use the one in the reference drawing. I'd love to see a few different types of dogs in the gallery so go crazy and indulge yourself.

Feb 15 2020

40. THREE MEN WENT TO SEA – PREVIEW

Welcome to Tenerife, This week we're painting from a photo I took of three men going out on a boat for a days fishing. It's a scene you see a lot in the small fishing ports and is great fun for all levels of artist. We use the three base colours for our under wash and move to all six for our more detailed work. This is a great painting and I hope you really enjoy it.

Feb 1 2020

39. TETE A TETE – PREVIEW

Bonjour, we're in France. A typical small cafe, to be specific, with a couple sitting enjoying a drink. This is a great painting for all levels and we've had some long tutorials recently so this is nice change of pace running a little shorter at just over an hour. It's a great use of colours in the shadows and washes then using precision to create the pavement and the shutter effects. I hope you really enjoy it.

Jan 18 2020

38. POOGANS SMOKEHOUSE – PREVIEW

We're in Charleston, South Carolina, and we're outside the famous Poogans Smokehouse. This is a challenging and in depth painting that creates a wonderful finished painting worthy of anyones wall. I've broken it down in to several sections and we will work through it logically, Don't worry about counting those bricks in the background, I'll show you a great way to create the brick effect. It's a really fun painting that you'll really enjoy.

Jan 4 2020

37. FRENCH GARDEN – PREVIEW

This week we're in France. This is a photo of my wife Pauline gardening on a trip to France a couple of years ago. This presents some challenges, it has some fantastic colours throughout, but we have to keep the painting balanced to create realism. It's a really fun painting to follow along with. We will use three colours initially and then progress to using all six to add details throughout, there's no blurred backgrounds, which means lots of detail, but I know you'll really enjoy this one.

Dec 7 2019

35. TWO IN TENERIFE – PREVIEW

This painting is a little different. We have two people, two trees, two pigeons, it's two in Tenerife. An advanced tutorial for those who really want to get stuck into using multiple washes using our base three colours and then using all six colours to create a deeper more detailed tone for our subjects. We break this down into multiple sections to create a methodical approach to the painting. Enjoy.

Nov 23 2019

34. SONNY MACK – PREVIEW

We're in Memphis. Beale Street, the world famous home of Jazz and we're painting Sonny Mac mid performance. This painting only uses three colours to create lovely darks and a shallow depth of field for our background. Then we split the painting of Sonny himself up into nice easy sections before coming in with the final detail at the end. This is a really challenging tutorial but the result is an incredible painting you'll be really proud of.

Sep 14 2019

29. JON JASO HOME RUN – PREVIEW

This tutorial is painted from a photograph I took during a visit to the US last year and my first baseball game at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis. It was the St. Louis Cardinals vs the Pittsburgh Pirates. We capture the moment John Jaso hits a home run - full of action and movement and a great subject to paint.

Aug 31 2019

28. SMOKY JAZZ – PREVIEW

This is a totally different subject for me, it's a night scene in a dimly lit, smoky jazz club, with some great atmosphere. We tackle this one with my usual triad of three colours, and as always the drawing is supplied for you so we can get painting straight away. You're going to need a lot of paint for this one so let's get painting!

Jun 8 2019

22. STREET FOOTBALL – PREVIEW

This weeks project features a group of kids playing football on a hot day in a city location, most likely in southern Spain, Portugal or Brazil. What attracted me to this scene was the vibrant colours, strong crisp shadows, high contrast and sense of movement coming from the kids.

May 11 2019

20. FIRST PAST THE POST – PREVIEW

Hello everyone, here we have a painting tutorial that is jam packed with loads for you to get stuck into! The horses riding at full gallop provide loads of movement for you to capture and the exciting, vibrant colours really bring this race to life. So let's get started!

Apr 13 2019

18 MORNING CATCH – PREVIEW

This is a beautiful little image of 4 or 5 guys pulling in their fishing nets. Not too much detail in this one but a lot of atmosphere, with vibrant colours and the almost silhouetted figures on this panoramic view.

Jan 18 2019

12.STREET LIFE – PREVIEW

This is an interesting night scene, probably in Prague. It’s darker than my usual paintings, and we’re going to use the colours to mix some interesting shades and create a warm feel at the focal point of the painting. I want to create feel of a balmy evening and bring the street vendors’ stall to life. We will only be using five colours, but mixing them together to create a nice flow of paint using wet techniques. This helps create lovely soft edges where needed. We will then add wet onto dry to create more details and sharper edges for the focal point of the painting using darker, more intense mixes of those five colours. I always love painting real life situations, and here we have some great reflections from the street lighting to work with. This is great for beginners and experienced artists and I love the final painting because we’ve all had similar photos from holidays and the techniques can all be applied to a similar photo of your own.

Nov 29 2018

11. AMERICAN FOOTBALLER – PREVIEW

This is a really fun piece to paint, creating the feeling of movement within a painting. We will start with a background wash using wet in wet to build a nice blurry feel, creating that lovely out of focus feel so that the hero of the painting stands out. We use lots of wet in wet techniques to create nice soft edges using the 1 inch brush. We’re using yellow and permanent rose for the background, so we’ll have to work quick here as it’s a staining colour. Once we get paint on the brush we work from top to bottom to get our nice mottled background in place. Once dry we will move on to the subject and start with a light wash to give a basis to add layers, adding darker and lighter paints to produce a sense of movement within the footballer. We’ll apply some finishing touches, using virtually neat paint to create the badges and emblems, and to give a darker tone to draw the eye into the painting. We’ll also use add some of this darker mix to emphasise the shadows.

Nov 29 2018

10. ROUND THE BARREL – PREVIEW

This is a great painting to try if you want to paint something with a little “action”. We will create a feeling of pace and power for the horse using various shades of golds, reds and blues. This give us a real sense that were in the heart of the action. Using wide brush strokes, combined with contrasting and complimentary colours, we use light and darks areas to create form. Later on in the tutorial we will use Quinacridone gold and reds mixed with some cobalt blue to really highlight the intense areas and create that feeling of fast movement within the painting. Using washes and brownish reds we will enhance the dusty feel within the background to give the horse and barrel a solid grounding. This is a really fun painting to try if you’ve never painted a fast moving subject before. Let's get the brushes out.