The other morning I was on my routine walk with my dog, Jet along Latchbrook Leat on the outskirts of Saltash in South East Cornwall and we had experienced a very hard frost overnight. It was one of those wonderful mornings when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was just starting to shine along the leat creating the most wonderful light and shadows. Everywhere I looked was a painting so it was just as well that I had my iPhone with me.

Mobile phone’s take pretty good photo’s these days and they are easier to handle when you have a very energetic dog with you.


Recently I bought a pack of 5 full sheets of charcoal colour Clairefontaine Pastelmat and was eager to try them out. They were much darker then I anticipated (Almost black) which meant a different way of working.

Normally I block in the darkest colours loosely and work my way up in lightness but that clearly wasn’t going to work on this paper so I laid in the light and mid tone area’s roughly.

Once I had got the beginnings of the painting It all started to come together quite quickly and the painting progressed quite quickly.

Pastelmat by Clairefontaine is a great surface to work on and it is very forgiving. It is also really surprising how many layers of pastel you can work into a painting.

Anyway, here is the end result which is also available on my on-line shop.