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In the final part of our three-part still life composition, we are going to paint the inanimate object of a small magnifying glass. If you’ve had a go at the Christmas bauble, then this will be easy in comparison. My favourite bit about painting the magnifying glass is painting the glass itself so amazing how just a subtle change of colour can transform the circle into an object. We also deal with the cast shadows on this tutorial. Once you have completed this why not find similar subjects and create a beautiful little still life all of your own. Happy painting, x Billy

I’m always filled with such utter joy when the sweet peas really start to flourish into bloom, this beautiful patterned sweet pea was a delightful surprise when it appeared amongst a mixed seed bed. Although it appears very challenging once you switch off and get absorbed in the detail, I am convinced you will enjoy the process. Add it to your previous sweet pea studies to create a new composition or simply enjoy the flower head and perhaps send it as a handmade card to a loved one. As always, happy painting, x Billy

Continuing a still life study I’ve decided to add a pheasant feather, the wonderful thing about painting feathers is it improves your skills in using the fine tip of your brush. I hope you agree that the colours are beautiful and that it sits very nicely next to the poppy seed head, you could replace this with a feather of your choice as you may have a real feather to work from. Happy painting, x Billy

Back to my found things, the poppy seed head has been a favourite of mine for many years. When fresh they have this wonderful green and lilac hue and when dried they go to this beautiful soft golden colour with speckles and little areas of bloom.

Painters block is so annoying, we say to ourselves yes I finally have time to myself to paint and then you spend all your time tidying the drawers of your desk rather than painting!

Picking up something small and simple may be the way through, there is no pressure, no hours spent drawing, no pressure to complete, just a simple 'pick the brush and go'.

Here we return to the avocado, this time we are looking inside the beautiful green flesh and the shiny avocado seed. Avocados have become extremely popular in recent times and as well as being glorious to paint they are delicious. Why not combine a study of this with the tomato, the colours will compliment as do the flavours. Happy painting, x Billy

This black skinned avocado may seem an odd thing to paint but we follow on with a cross section and together they make a challenging and informative study. The colour mix alone is absorbing and keeping the light is your mission. If the whole study seems a step ahead of where you think your skills are, then try just a section, every dabble marks another step in your journey to confidence. Happy painting, x Billy.

Happy Easter one and all, I have decided to add in something a little different this week. Long gone are the days I receive a tissue paper daffodil plastered onto a sugar paper card from my boys, alas but by indulging myself in a little Easter craft, it takes me back to jolly times with the children. Why should the fun stop? Here we are painting snow drops onto blown eggs, I have used Daniel Smith painting ground but you could use a white matt emulsion paint as an alternative for this project.

This project is intense but not too difficult and if you have the reference enlarged you will be able to see the detail and enjoy the very subtle changes in colour throughout the bud arrangement. If you can get your hands on a flower that would be wonderful as the shape of the buds are quite unusual and not what you would expect. Happy painting!

On this project we look at how we start to compose a study page of a plant and then how we paint the beautiful smooth, rich, green leaves of the Hyacinth. The beauty of painting something as glorious as the Hyacinth and you can watch it grow and enjoy the scent as well.

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