The Empress is relieved, my major painting is finished!

#hongkong#oilpainting#suzanne brooker#audible#stephenfry#therapeutic

Here she is! My gift to my Husband for his 50th birthday. It is how we remember Hong Kong from a great trip a few years ago. As you can see, the Empress is by her side patiently waiting for me to get back to her. 
Thankfully my dear Husband P was very happy with his gift. He did have some input in its design so it wasn’t a surprise. It’s hard to hide a painting this big in our 3 bedroom house.

I went through every range of emotions painting this, joy at the start of a new project, pure joy once the paint went down, frustration when I got the ratio wrong,and then enjoyment once I got going again. And then the time came when I knew it was done, time to say fin!  

There was so much I learnt too, techniques wise. I did gain some very useful knowledge from some books during this time, especially The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting: Techniques for Rendering Sky, Terrain, Trees and Water. By Suzanne Brooker.  This book was my mainstay throughout. It has so much to teach and is written in a way that I easily absorbed.  

I also painted listening to audiobooks on Audible, primarily the Harry Potter series. Stephen Fry is so engaging as a narrator. My time in the studio is so enriching and therapeutic,  I also spend some time at a friends studio every week. I am so blessed by this, painting with dear friends it could not be better!

So, until my next update and hopefully less time between, 



The Enduring EmpressĀ 

A little update for my fellow WordPressers , the Empress and I have only been vaguely acquainted these past two months . I have made some changes to the background and worked on her waistband decoration. I have also worked a little on her face.  You see , I don’t have a deadline for her which is actually very enjoyable. I do however have a fast approaching deadline for my other painting in the works,  a Hong Kong harbour scape and building skyline. Here is a shot of her so far

It is a very challenging painting from which I continue to learn more and more each time I sit at the easel. I think it is about 3/4 done. Think. 

Till next time,

#oilpainting#HongKong# portrait #harbourscape#

The Empress is very patient!

The empress is very patient with me, she has so far endured constant design changes, colour palette changes and more. But we seem to be getting along quite well all things considered. I am working things out as I go, I haven’t painted fabric before but it’s enjoyable as is the rest of this painting. I have no deadline for this painting other than a self imposed one of the end of 2016. 

#painting #Empress #colour

The Empress

I’ve not posted in a little while,  here is what’s been keeping me busy. The Chinese Empress, it’s a partial shot of the canvas as she’s still a work in progress. I’m having a lot of fun painting her , she is quite demanding and time consuming.  I have reworked her hanfu costume  a number of times and feel I’m starting to get somewhere with it. If you notice the white drawings on the left, I started sketching in some peonies, they should make a nice interesting background.  I have a lot of work to do on her face too. I’ll keep you updated on my progress,  until next time.  Tania 

#painting #Empress#Chinese

Empress Wu

A works in progress!

I have over the years read many novels and non fiction books set in China. From fantasy to romance to memoir. From this I  felt inspired to paint Chinese Empress Wu, I have used a number of historical photographic references and sketches to get to this stage in the painting. I would say I’m about a third through the painting process.

It is 16″ x 20″, so just a nice size for a portrait painting. There is some background interest to come as well as much needed work on Empress Wu’s facial features, hair and headdress. I’m working in Oils for this painting,  it is definitely my favourite medium to use.

Stay tuned, I’ll be listing some more progress posts as the works progress.




I took this photo on a recent trip to Cairns, Far North Queensland. I just love the endless variety of depth and colours, the constantly changing landscape in the sky. We were on the Skyrail Rainforest Gateway returning back to Cairns from Kuranda Village. It felt like we were sailing through the sky, albeit our ship wasn’t quite as majestic as in my imagination. Think Jolly Roger or similar.

Naturally my mind turns to art and some of my favourites, JMW Turner comes to mind first when I think of clouds, then Constable. The light and illumination when you look at their clouds and skies defies logic when one steps back and realizes these are made by the artist laying down paint on canvas. The painting of clouds is something that I have only tackled a few times, each time it has required a light touch and a less is more attitude.

If you have time, look up the aforementioned artists work, you will be rewarded for your time I’m sure.

Issy’s Cafe sign finished work


Here it is the finished works. My daughter gave me a brief when I offered to make her a sign for above her Nespresso machine. Turkish or Persian inspired, rich color tones in watercolour on the beautiful St Cuthbert’s Mill watercolour paper.
I am glad to say that I  filled the brief and my daughter is thrilled with the finished sign. Now she needs to do some thinking on what kind if framingshe should go for.
Any thoughts welcome!

Till next time