Welcome to my site

For the past few years this site has been featuring my various paintings in watercolour, oils and pen and ink, but with the publication of my new book “Your Turn To Find The Hammer”, now in Amazon Kindle e-book format, means a ‘WRITER’S BLOG” will be more appropriate to handle any social media comments.

The rest of my site is absolutely free. No limited edition prints or original art. No expensive online demos. No plein air trips to exotic European destinations and no sponsors plugging their products. Everything is absolutely free here, with the usual copyright warnings of course. As a long retired graphic artist and writer, I now paint for fun and enjoy painting in a medium which is often frustrating but immensely satisfying.

Hence the name of my site.

Watercolours For Fun, yes, and for profit, if you insist. You’re welcome to use whatever you find here to help you do better watercolours, whether you paint to sell, or do as I do – paint for fun.

For a complete list of all my free step-by-step watercolour demos click here

14 thoughts on “Welcome to my site

  1. Looking forward to learning from you.
    I am an amateur botanical artist from Oxford, CT, who is interested in learning how to paint crystal & glass to complement my still lifes of flowers in vases, fruits in bowls, etc.


  2. Hello,
    I found your step by demo of Morning Calm on the art instruction blog site. This led me to your site. I would like to be able to paint along with some of your step by step demos that are on your site. Your instructions were do clear for Morning Calm. Is there a way for me to access written instructions fit the other demos?

    I am retired and taking painting classes from an artist whose forte is really oil and acrylic, while I love and am working in watercolor. I love your work and any suggestions are appreciated. Many. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Martha:

      I’m glad you found my site and I’d be happy to help in any way I can. As I explain in my introduction, I’m long retired and don’t run any kind of commercial enterprise. My demos are all free, and you should find explanatory text with each step-by-step. These demos were originally used when I taught adults the art of watercolour a few years ago. I would do each painting twice: once in my studio as I photographed it, and then again with my students, using a large flat TV screen.

      As they progressed from beginners to intermediate, you will find the text changes to reflect that. I suggest you start with our very first lesson: Apples. You will find this at the bottom RH corner of the various demos shown. Follow this on the LH side and you will engage with the series more or less in consecutive order.

      I will send you a private email and if you need any help we chat back and forth. Good luck with watercolours,

  3. Thank you, John. I am the worse artist, but I come from an artistic family, Artist and very musical. I can not draw a straight line and I am tone deaf. Nine kids and talented parents. I have no idea what happened to me. I may have to try your watercolor demo. Thanks again, John. Sincerely, Judy Leeann Michon

    1. Hi Judy:
      Thanks for dropping by. You learn by doing – regularly. By all means, try my very simple apple demo, but see if anyone is offering lessons in your area.
      We all have to start somewhere. If I get you going my task is done. Stay in touch? I’ll help if I can.

  4. Hi, John. I also discovered your site through your step-by-step tutorial of “Morning Calm”. When I tried to access any of your other lessons, they were not available. Do I have to have a Flickr account to be able to see them more completely? I am in awe of your talent and the generous manner by which you are willing to share your knowledge! Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Dana:
      I’m glad my tutorial proved useful. To access the rest of my free tutorials, just go to my home page and cursor down to
      where it says click “here” – that should give you access to my Flickr page and some 36 similar step-by-step lessons.

  5. Hi John I am new to water colours, but having been taught on my recent cruise by the excellent Mike Purcell I come back from holiday and have trawled the net for online tutorials that interest me. I have in 2 months produced 80 or so pictures. Sadly I have signed up for an art class for beginners (which I consider I am). and the class is paint a carrot, now follow this crib sheet. SO i was excited this morning to dicover “How to Paint a Still Life in Watercolour Step by Step” something new I pounced and read all your instructions. Glass! yes that what i need to learn to paint glass. I eargerly clicked the link paper in hand ready to start. :-((((( no link. I wonder if you have the the information that was at this web location please.

    If not no problem I will bash on through.

    One other question do you think being able to paint is talent or practise????

    thanks for your inspirations Hazel

    1. Hi Hazel:

      Thanks for your interest in my site. The link you seek is unfortunately no longer available as it was once part of a site I started many years ago. I did a search of all my images in various files but can find no trace of it as this demo was done around 2003. It was never transferred to the new site as other demos were available. Don’t give up though – if you go to the home page of this site and cursor down, you will find a link to 34 of my free watercolour demos, some of which will lead you to glass techniques. Look for “Green Bottles” – “Tulips” – “A Bowl of Lemons” as examples. I hope these will help you.

      Regarding your question: “Do you think being able to paint is talent or practise????? My experience as an art teacher leads me to believe some cognitive abilities beyond the normal range helps. Some people are “naturals” – you see it in the very first class. Others can try and never get beyond primitive efforts. I always repeat what my very first art teacher told me: “My job is to teach you to ‘see” – people go through life looking but often fail to ‘see”. I will teach you to see the clouds, the reflection in shadows, the light on a raindrop in a rose, the way light refracts as objects are immersed in water.”

      Click on the link for “Apples” a demo, and you will see the very first project I tried with some seniors I taught. None of them had ever painted before. My text explains the techniques I used.

      You learn to paint by painting – a cliche but true. You need the aptitude of course and the motivation, but learning is a cumulative skill. You will often learn more from failure than from success. Some people will be content to paint simple things – nothing wrong in that – while other will always find their grasp exceeds their reach and will strive for better things. So – some talent and lots of practice is the key to success. Be sure to join http://www.wetcanvas.com/

      I will send you a private email address you can use if I can be of any further help.

  6. Hi John,

    I also found (happily) your site ! I am retired (69) and a beginner.
    Your work and photos are fantastic.
    Thanks for your inspiration and instruction blog.

    Best, Gerard

    1. Thanks, Gerard. My apologies for the long delay in replying but my site was down and I’ve only just been able to rescue the password to enable me to get back into editorial access.
      I’m glad my site is helping you.

  7. Hello John,
    I believe your green glass bottles with corks painting is perfect and a pleasure to look at…shows up the beauty of sparkling glass. You have the exact lovely crown glass green colour!

    I love glass and used to make and polish astronomical lenses years ago, then a bricklayer, now retired, and just starting at watercolours, as you say. for pleasure and fun!
    Regards from Tom Daly in Leighton Buzzard, England

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