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Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cowal Peninsula 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

Thought I'd try one in portrait format for a change.  Here's a river flowing through the Cowal Peninsula in watercolour from a photo I saw on the internet.  It was such an inviting scene I felt I had to have a go at it.  Sales at

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Lochan, Dunoon 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

Someone asked me if I had any paintings of the Dunoon area of Scotland.  After a brief search on Google images I found this view and quickly bashed out this loose watercolour impression.  Sales at

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Another imaginary Scottish Landscape 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

Here's a little bit of Scottish wilderness I made up as I went along.  I'd love to stroll along the shores of somewhere like this taking in the local wildlife and then head for the distant hills and mountains.  Sales at

Friday, 23 July 2010

Automata Wooden Model 'The Great War'

This is my dad's latest automata model called 'The Great War'. It took him 4-5 months to design and build. At the end of the film you can watch some of his earlier automata creations.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Scottish Landscape 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

I've painted quite a few watercolours recently of imaginary Scottish landscapes.  Here's another one.  It could be anywhere really, north of the border.  Sales at

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A Corner of Scotland 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

This watercolour came from my imagination.  It's probably my favourite type of scene to paint - water with some distant hills/mountains.  Sales at

Monday, 19 July 2010

Loch Leven 15" x 11" Watercolour Painting

This is my loose watercolour impression of Loch Leven.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

5 Ways to Ruin Your Painting

In our endeavour for recognition with our paintings, there's no doubt that practise (and lots of it!) makes perfect.  Make no mistake, there's no short cut in the pursuit of excellence and it's no coincidence that the most talented amongst us are the very same who practised the most.  Hark work will bring its just rewards, but to give yourself the best possible opportunity you need to avoid some common pitfalls.  Here are 5 of the easiest ways in which you can ruin your painting.


1. Lack of Tonal Difference.  I would go as far as to say the varying tones in your painting are more important than the colours.  Counter change (light against dark) provides contrast in your work and is most important when viewing the final composition.  Photograph your work and get it in a photo editor.  Change the colour to black and white and see how it affects the image.  Are the main shapes in your paintings clearly defined?  If not then your tonal values are wrong.


2. Using Too Many Colours.  As a novice it's understandable your first instinct is to hit every colour on your palette and really go to town.  But you'll be amazed at what you can do using as few as 2 colours.  The fewer colours you use the more harmonious the colours in your painting.  Try various mixes of just 2 or 3 colours and see what you can achieve.  You'll be pleasantly surprised!


3. Trying to Paint Every Detail.  Personally I like to paint fast and loose.  I couldn't paint every detail if I tried.  I look for techniques that offer the most effect for the least effort.  Whether you're painting from real life or using a reference photo, remember that you're just trying to create an impression of what you see.  Allow your own personality to make its stamp on your work.


4.  Poor Composition.  There are exceptions to every rule, but one that will generally see you in good stead is the 'Rule of Thirds'.  Imagine your canvas or paper divided into 3 equal parts both vertically and horizontally.  Where the lines cross is where you should place your main subject or focal point.  Always avoid the centre, your painting will not look right and the viewer's eye will have nowhere to go.


5. Not Knowing When to Stop.  This is probably the most frustrating error of all.  How many times have you produced something to be proud of only to ruin it at the end simply by fiddling?  The temptation to fiddle often proves too much for most of us, so when should we stop?  Personally, once I reach a point where all the main elements are in the painting and all that's left is to touch up parts that you've already done then it's time to stop.  I sign the painting and that's it!  Once it's signed there's no going back!


Ultimately your success is down to you.  The more you practice the more your skills will develop and the prouder you will be of your work.  With practise comes experience and the promise of bigger and better things.  Best of luck and happy painting!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Loch Rannoch and Schiehallion Watercolour Painting | New book

'The Paintings of Steven Cronin 2009 - 2010' is the title of my new book and is a collection of my favourite paintings from the last couple of years.  Unlike the first 2 books I've done, this one is in full colour and on premium paper.  Obviously the price reflects this but I think it's the only way to go.  I've entered the book into the Photography Now competition on  Hopefully this will help it get some exposure.  You can view the book at  I would appreciated any feedback.
This watercolour of Loch Rannoch features in the new book and is one of several recent paintings I've done of the area.

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