…while away on family business, I finally decided to BUY Will Kemp’s Beginner’s Drawing class…I have been drawing off and on all my life, from early childhood…it has always been something that was easy to do – no major tools necessary – some paper, (a napkin!) a pencil…time, and the desire to record or create.  Why did I take the beginners route?  I trust that a block to my creativity is not having some aspect of the ‘basics’…the vision is there, the desire to do it, but the technical know-how is missing which I guess is a disincentive to creating…not that you don’t try, but if you are like me, if you try AND try again and the results fall short of your expectations, then perhaps a few tips from the experts will remove that frustration.  It just takes time and of course perseverance.  Information is a powerful thing, and the information Will Kemp gave me in this course, simple, straightforward and with good visual examples was all I needed to UNBLOCK.  Now comes the practice part!

Thanks, Will!!!




…A WORK IN PROGRESS /completed!
(Satisfaction with the finished product – 6/10 – learning level – 10/10 – enjoyment level – 10/10)




Layer on layer – it is very easy to overwork something, or not have the patience to see how you can use each layer to capture a detail…tricky business. Light is also key – working outside plein air requires knowledge on many levels. How to control light, paint, glare, on and on. The early evening light right now is my favorite…it’s good early morning or mid-evening (if you don’t have to make supper!).

The boards are primed, base-coated and waiting for my attention…here’s the start of the next painting… GULP!


PAINTING ON BOARD AS OPPOSED TO CANVAS…preparing the board surface for ACRYLIC paints.

It turns out prepping your ‘board’ is not so difficult…The board I am using is
NOT prone to warping.  It is probably such lovely wood I shouldn’t use it
for painting, but I don’t see much carving and printing on the horizon!

Basically, you coat your board with gesso (3 times min.) and if you like a smooth surface
without too many brush marks, sand between each coat.  Some artists actually create
a textured surface that matches the kind of painting they are going to create.  I did my gesso coating outside for quick and thorough drying, and sanded in between.  It is advised that if you don’t want warping (especially after you’ve done your artwork!!!) then coat the back and sides as well with gesso.  Let everything dry and then you are ready to apply your base color.

You can find more ‘in depth’ discussions on the Web, but it’s not very complex!
Enough futzing Avril, get painting!


A year ago my husband and I began our walk in Spain on the outskirts of Zamora in the countryside village of Roales del Pan.  We walked over 350 km to Santiago de Compostela, along the Via de Plata, or the Silver way…the Camino Sanabrés, the name of one of the branches of the Via de Plata, is one of the Pilgrim routes heading up central Spain and Northwest to Santiago. In Salamanca, I went into a Gallery that was having an exhibition of paintings by Ignacio Piña, and I snuck some photos of his work with my iPhone because it was polished and vibrant. Here are but 4 examples out of perhaps 20 paintings in the exhibition.  I have searched endlessly for information on this painter, to no avail!

Click on the first photo for enlarged slideshow.


…more of WILL KEMP

If you want to take a beginner’s tutorial and learn to paint a French cafe scene
in acrylic, check out one of the most generous and talented artists on the web.
Will Kemp.  I’m a big fan.  Will takes a lot of time and effort to share his talents
and expertise with anyone interested in improving their painting skills.
Learn how right here. He also has a fantastic course on palette painting,
absolutely FREE!  He does offer online courses in drawing and painting,
for a fee, but the amount of information he shares online is awesome.


SPANISH VILLAGE, Via de Plata, ruta Sanabres

SPANISH VILLAGE, Via de Plata, ruta Sanabres

This painting remains unfinished; it sits on my easel waiting for me to get un-busy and
painterly…the fact that it has remained unfinished for so long makes me want to abandon
it and start a ‘fresh’ canvas, but this is not the kind of work ethic I want to establish
for myself, so I look longingly at it and look forward to adding more layers
to the top part of the work so it is in harmony with the bottom…layer upon layer…


Seems that the gardens and household chores have got the better of me these days
of sunshine and no rain…taking photos of hummingbirds is about as artistic
as I get currently…however I am thinking of registering online for Will Kemp’s
beginner drawing classes…a self study online course with this very entertaining
and bright young man, who I consider the Jamie Oliver of the Art World…entertaining,
personable, VERY talented, practical and very helpful…he is super dedicated to his
teaching. Amazing really, considering he has about a million hits on his web page!

If you have never visited his website here is the URL


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