See my watercolour interview and demo

On Saturday 16th May I did my first ever Instagram live interview and watercolour painting demonstration!

Here’s how it looked on screen with Philippa (aka @5ftinf) and I deep in conversation!

For better of for worse – you can still see the entire interview and demo on Philippa’s IGTV channel.

I can’t deny that in the run up to this ‘event’ I was quite stressed! Having never used the technology before, let alone ever really having filmed myself painting, I just didn’t really know what to expect.

I did give some consideration to what I would paint as my demo – in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to do an entire painting and the chat part of the format in the time available.

I opted for a view Brighton station, similar to one that I painted over a year ago. I did have to do quite a bit of work to turn it from a landscape to a portrait orientation so that it would better suit the format of Instagram stories and TV.

This first image below is the practice piece that I started on the day before the big event, finishing it off on Saturday morning.

Brighton station, platform 3 (practice piece)

As well as practising the painting, I also practised how I would set up my phone to film the painting. This is something that I’ve always shied away from in the past as being too much bother!

Now that I’ve done it once however, I feel much more confident that I could set this up pretty quickly in the future.

I filmed little excerpts of me painting different stages of the painting that I was able to post on Instagram stories to help promote the big event!

I’ve stitched all of these together here so that you can see an almost complete painting from start to finish. This was filmed in portrait format but I haven’t been able to edit it in this format so it’s little cropped but hopefully of some use/entertainment!

If only I could really paint this fast!

I’ve never done one of these time lapse videos before so would love to hear what you think of them and if you’d like to see more of them here on the blog?

I think one of the (many) things that came out of the experience was to make me think a little more creatively about how I might be able to use video / instagram etc to help promote my work.

The only nagging thing is that all of this has the potential to take away from the already limited amount of time I have to paint!

On the day itself, I painted this version of the same scene:

Brighton Station, platform 3 (demo piece)

And here are the two side by side to you can compare and contrast:

I’ve stitched all of these together here to make an ‘almost’ complete start to finish painting that I hope some people may enjoy!

After the event, I was incredibly surprised, flattered and delighted to receive by email a portrait of me based on the interview!

Desperately in need of a haircut!

This wonderful drawing was done by Rob who many of you may be familiar with as a long time follower and valued commentator on the blog.

Rob’s an accomplished artist in his own right and you can see more of his work on Instagram and on his website.

All in all then, while it’s been a very different experience to a ‘physical’ open house – it’s still been hugely enjoyable and I feel that I have learnt a lot along the way and can take a lot of positives away from it.

I should also mention that my paintings are still (all!) available to buy on Philippa’s online shop and gallery until the end of May.

Needless to say, should anyone ever be interested in purchasing any of my work – you are most welcome to get in touch with me directly!

Thoughts on See my watercolour interview and demo

24 thoughts on “See my watercolour interview and demo”

    1. Hi Jo and thanks so much for this, I really appreciate it! I set out to do another time lapse style one today but had to abandon it as the light went crazy! hopefully I’ll refine this so that I can do more in the future! Thanks so much for commenting, I really appreciate it!

  1. John I have finally been able to watch your interview and demo, actually I am about 2/3 into it but I find that is an accomplishment so far! I have been so busy and trying to watch and do a lot lately. Anyway I wanted to tell you that what I have seen so far is truly inspiring. I didn’t realize how personable you are with a good dash of humility. There is so much that I can comment on but since it is 2 am I better get a move on to bed. I hope that you make more appearances in the guru because I benefited from your interview. Cheers!

    1. Hi Margaret and thanks so much for taking the time to watch the interview/demo – I really appreciate it and am bowled over by your comments! Never having done anything like this before I had no idea how I might come across but ‘personable with a good dash of humility’ is better that I could have hoped for! I’m still thinking about how this might develop in the future. Sadly, like everything, it takes time… and more time here means less painting there. So chuffed by your comments though so think I need to find a way! Thanks Margaret!

      1. I had to comment some more, I think that it is important to allow people to see you, how you express yourself. It helps people to get the gist of who you are as an artist. I feel that it is an integral part of painting. Your painting is more than a painting, hopefully it conveys your view, your story, that in itself makes appearances such as this important. Especially with your life experience of late, it helps to push you further into discovering who you are as an artist. It all matters, IMHO. Haha seems like I keep saying the same thing over and over. Oh last thing, painting your Mother’s kitchen and personal surroundings really tapped into something very sensitive and special. It can only open up more avenues in your creative journey. Ok I’m done!

        1. Hi Margaret and thanks so much. Seeing photos of your recent ride out to a restaurant reminded me that I hadn’t yet replied to this message. I’ve since added this ‘interview’ to my ‘about’ page on the website in case it’s of any interest to anyone! I agree too, I know that I like to be able to see the ‘whites of the artists’ of the artists that I most admire to get a sense of who they are and what they’re like – and this does affect how I feel about their work too. I suppose this is just another step in our journeys! Thanks so much Margaret

    1. Hi Evelyn and thanks so much for this! The great thing is that now it’s on Philippa’s IGTV channel, I think it’s there for a long time. I’m afraid it can’t compete with prime-time viewing but if you’ve got nothing better to do…. Thanks so much Evelyn!

        1. Hi Evelyn and thanks so much for this. I have had a few positive comments back since doing this so It’ll be good for me to try to find a way to build on this!

  2. Congrats! I’m fascinated by the time lapse video. Your paint is so much looser than mine. It’s fascinating to see how the piece comes together. I haven’t taken the video leap yet, but I think I’m getting close.

    1. Hi Jean and thanks for this. I think now that I’ve done it once, I feel more encouraged to do a little more of it – though I know I’ve still got a lot of learn! Once I’d got the camera set up, it was quite straightforward to do (and at the back of my mind is always the fact that I don’t have to show anyone if I don’t want to!) I look forward seeing your leap into video!

  3. Hi John,
    I too really enjoyed your interview and seeing you in person, and even better, whilst painting! I did smile at the JZ comment as I have a little tale to tell. One of my paintings friends was bought a gift of a painting holiday with JZ. I have his book which she asked to borrow and would get it signed for me….wow, yes please I said.It wasn’t till she returned it that I remembered I had written in the very front….‘Don’t state, Indicate’. When she returned it he had signed it in red ink, and had written…’keep indicating!’ I treasure it…an amazing painter.
    Regarding hair I asked my hubby to cut mine for me as I like it short. He did this and it was a bit radical and he told his Facebook friends who kept asking for a photo. I don’t like photos of myself but the next day he persuaded me and put one on FB. We had about 130 likes and I love it, even better than my hairdresser’s cut! So maybe ask your wife to cut it for you😱
    Anyhow it was lovely to ‘meet’ you. You were great in front of the camera.
    Stay safe and happy painting,
    Warm wishes,

    1. Hi Carole and thanks so much for taking the time to watch the interview and for such kind and supportive comments – I really do appreciate it.
      Your JZ story is great – (though am still in awe that your friend received it as a gift!) – He is indeed one of the watercolour greats!
      As for my hair, I was actually thinking of letting my 8 year old have a go at it – just for the fun of it. Fortunately my far better half talked me out of this notion! I’m increasingly enjoying my increasingly dishevelled appearance – it partly feels like I’m preparing for an audition for the role of wild man of watercolour! Maybe when this is all over I could get your husband to cut my hair!
      Thanks again Carole, your comments have made my night!
      Best wishes, John

  4. Margery Griffith

    What a difference that interview has meant to me! Seeing you in person has made such a difference. I feel I really know you now and that does actually make a difference to me. Now if I could only show you who I am and some of MY painting? We even have matching ‘hair-dos’ thanks to Covid 19. Mines a little longer but the same color but then I’m quite a bit older but no wiser. I love Philippe (and her name) now also! It’s so much nicer now that I have had an opportunity to meet you ‘in person’ and can better understand who you really are!
    I especially like some of the things you said like “Start with hope and optimism” and “don’t state, INdicate!” I will post-note those things and mount them on the cabinet where I also paint IN MY KITCHEN! You already know I like color and boats and luckily I never saw one sinking…how scary!

    1. Hi Margery – so pleased you enjoyed the interview with Philippa and the opportunity to ‘meet’ me! Yes – I’m certainly sporting the de-riguer coronavirus crop atop my head! I’m thinking of letting it carry on growing now just to see where it goes! So pleased too that you also like Philippa. I’m really enjoying getting to know her and love her energy and enthusiasm! Now that I’ve done one of these, I won’t feel so daunted should other similar opportunities arise! Thanks for taking the time to watch it Margery. All the best.

  5. Wonderful interview and demonstration, John! I couldn’t have enjoyed it more had I been there (which was impossible for many reasons). A happy experience! Thank you so much. Carol Zechlin

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Hi Carol and thanks so much for this, I really appreciate your kind and generous comments about the interview and demonstration. It makes all of the stress and doubts that I had about it in advance melt away. Thanks so much!

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