welcome to my new home: john haywood watercolours

Hi there and welcome to my new home, ‘John Haywood Watercolours‘.

Please do come in and have a look around! I’d love to hear what you think of the new place!

My previous website, ‘Brushes with Watercolour’ has now been set to redirect all visitors to my new home here and any new updates and weekly blog posts will now come from this site.

So, "what's new?" i hear you ask

Well, here’s a short summary of what I’ve tried to achieve:

  • To step out of the shadows! After years of writing under my ‘brushes with watercolour’ pseudonym, it seemed right to step out of the shadows and publically declare myself. So, ‘John Haywood Watercolours’: my name, what I do, and what people can expect to see from me. Where possible, I’ve also been making this change across other profiles (such as on Instagram, Pinterest etc) 
  • Create a clean contemporary site that clearly puts the emphasis on my paintings. This inlcudes the layout and the simple white background. When I mount my paintings, I use a simple white mount, and this site aims to mirror that approach. 
  • My paintings are available to buy, but it was hard to tell on my previous site, and even harder to find out about sizes and prices etc. I’ve started to add paintings to each of the galleries and will add more in the weeks ahead. I’d love to hear what others think about how they’re displayed etc and if there are any improvements that you think I could usefully make.
  • I’ve been fortunate to receive some wonderful feedback and endorsements from people that have bought my paintings but it was hard to showcase this on my previous site. Short testimonials are now displayed at the bottom of the homepage and at the bottom of each of the gallery pages.
  • I’ve stripped back unnecessary content or content that was rarely viewed, liked or commented on.
  • To design a site with two audiences in mind:
    • people interested in the weekly blog
    • people that may be more inclined towards browsing my paintings and potential buyers

While was difficult to turn the lights off on my ‘brushes with watercolour’ site (especially having to say farewell to the 10,000 likes that I’d accumulated over the years), I am really pleased with how my new home is looking and am excited at the prospect of settling in a little more and getting some more unpacking done!

I’m indebted to Sarah Callender who designed and built the site and was incredibly helpful and patient with me. I still can’t believe that we only spoke to each other once during the whole process!. Should anyone else out there be considering something similar – you should get in touch with Sarah – she’s great!

Aside from getting the website live, time for painting has felt quite squeezed of late, which is why it’s also been nice to be on my ‘Using green in watercolour’ course with Paul Talbot Greaves – on which I’m receiving regular feedback and course work to focus on.

Using Green in watercolour

Feedback on Session 3, grey greens

Last Friday, I received Paul Talbot Greaves‘ feedback on my most recent assignment,  session 3 of 5 in his course ‘using green in watercolour‘ which focussed on ‘grey greens’. I’ve already shared the work that I submitted but here’s a quick refresher, followed by the note that accompanied this submission and then Paul’s commentary.

My comment to Paul:

‘I think I went too dark with too many darks in the trees so they lack subtlety and variation.’

Paul’s critique:

‘Yes, possibly a bit of extreme contrast here John, although your colours look great – very
definitely capturing the mood of a grey day. I think you need just a bit more density in the
tree shapes. The drag brush looks great and you have achieved it very well but it can be
overdone if you are not careful and in this instance, I think you have a few too many gaps
through the foliage. This is creating that extreme contrast around your darks, so a more
solid tree shape may actually work better and the tones and values would be more

I think that this is all fair commentary. I do feel a little conflicted about the gaps in the trees versus a more solid tree shape. I think this stems from an adage that someone once recalled from a workshop or demonstration with the great Edward Wesson. It went along the lines that, ‘you always needs to have some gaps in your trees for the birds to fly through’, though I take Paul’s point, that I may still have a few too many! 

Each time we receive feedback, we also receive the accompanying worksheets and a link to a demonstration by Paul. Next up is ‘Summer Greens’

session 4, summer greens

Each time we receive feedback, we also receive the accompanying worksheets and a link to a demonstration by Paul. The new assignment is ‘Summer Greens’.

The format is the same as in previous weeks, beginning with some colour theory looking at the colour wheel and different colour properties of the pigments, before moving on to a demonstration painting.

Instructions are provided both on a pdf that features step by step photographs and descriptions, as well as a link to a video where Paul also records all of the content and demonstrations for people to follow at their own pace.

This first sketch is purely based on step by step photos and description on the pdf document:

My initial A5 sketch study

I must say that was pleasantly surprised with how this turned out as a little study. The main purpose of this sketch was just to play around with some of the colour combinations ahead of doing a larger version.

Here’s how I got on after having done this sketch and then watched Paul’s demonstration video:

My larger, and slightly more laboured study

Still some nice parts to this I think, but overally, the sketch is far more pleasing to my mind! I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get another few studies done on this assignment before we need to submit our work for Paul to comment on.

This is the fourth assignment out of five and inside, I’m already mourning the end of this course, I’m really enjoying it, which is all the more reason to make as much of it as possible!

Thoughts on welcome to my new home: john haywood watercolours

6 thoughts on “welcome to my new home: john haywood watercolours”

  1. Nice new home, John – though I’m still not sure about the curtains.
    When you put up two different versions of the same subject, can you put them side by side (as you often have in the past) so that I can compare more easily – or should I be able to work out how to do that for myself?!
    Keep eating the greens!

    1. Hi Rob and many thanks for this and I’m glad you like the new place (soft furnishings aside, which has never been one of my strong points!)
      Putting the images side by side for ease of comparison is something that I should be able to do and will look into that for my next post! I’m still finding my way around how to get things done at the moment so I’m expecting a good few teething problems! (apologies in advance for any inconvenience this causes!)

  2. John, excellent idea! I think you’ll do extremely well having a professional web site. After all is said and done; your work is very saleable!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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