I’m often asked whether I prefer acrylics to watercolour and I honestly have to say I love them both!
ACRYLICS are great to get stuck into a painting on canvas and hang it straight on the wall. I usually work from darks to lights and can easily alter the painting as I go – just as long as the layer is dry! Acrylic is my first choice for original works to sell.
WATERCOLOURS are SO PORTABLE! I love taking them with me to add colour in my sketchbooks. I love how quickly I can use a brush to capture shapes in watercolour to then draw over in pencil to record a memory. I love that I don’t have to wear ‘painting clothes’ for watercolour! It took me years to embrace using plenty of water though… but now that I’m less worried about the end result, I’m more often delighted with the organic things that watercolour can do.
And you know what? Doing a study in watercolour for an acrylic painting is a quick way to test an idea before committing to a canvas.

Yesterday I painted this month’s acrylic Paint Along, ‘Caravan Dreaming‘ in watercolour for my Shiny Happy Art Club members. ***Often it’s the inspiration that’s the block when you want to learn to paint***, so we use one image to inspire another. It’s no longer acrylic OR watercolour, it is, in the MOST FRIENDLY way, AND.
So don’t limit yourself. If you want to paint, try both. Stay open to the seasons of your art life that you may prefer one or the other, but never close the door completely. There’s too much art joy to be had!
Hope you can paint a little (or a lot) this weekend. And if you need inspo, head over to my website, That’s what I’m here for!
See you in my virtual studio.
New Online Paint Along for July 2021

New Online Paint Along for July 2021

Anna and Caravan Dreaming

I’m delighted to share ‘Caravan Dreaming’.

Quite a few years ago, my sister and her family set off on what was planned to be a 12 month caravan dream holiday.

Except it wasn’t a total holiday. She’d be home schooling her 9 year old son and the two younger ones would be doing their thing… let’s just say they may not have lasted even six months!

The Sydney shopping centre croc-stuck-in-the-escalator incident has become family folklore.


But obviously there were some wonderful memories made, and my sister has wanted me to do a caravan painting ever since.

So Online Paint Along #30 is ‘Caravan Dreaming’ (there you go, Lauren) and it’ll be released on 1 July.  A super colourful one, I’ll show you how to knock back the mountains to show distance, to add BRIGHT shadows, and how to paint quirky chooks!

And you know what? The end of the month is always the BEST time to join the Shiny Happy Art Club.

Not only do you get your FREE Online Paint Along straight away (right now that’s ‘Parisian Flowers’), but your first monthly painting in your subscription arrives super soon (ie. ‘Caravan Dreaming’ on the first of the month – which is only 5 days away!).

Join the Shiny Happy Art Club now.

The true beauty of a Collection

The true beauty of a Collection

Ahh! I love a #collection!

One painting invites scrutiny. It’s easy to pull apart and be critical.

Two are a pair. Your eye is looking for the similarities as well as the things that ‘don’t quite fit’. And they’re often easy to find.

Three? Well that’s a ‘few’ and it’s more impressive. You’ve put some work in here and that’s admirable in itself. Perhaps you know what you’re doing. Because you’ve done it three times.

Four? Oh honey. I’m impressed. Such stamina! You’re feeling good? Great. I can see the improvement between #1 and #4. You’re getting this.

Beyond four? Well that’s the gravy, baby.

And THAT is why I paint Demonstration Collections each month. I commit to do 12. Even if you only do 3 a month you’ll have 36 somethings at the end. A Mighty Collection.

So join in and stretch those creative muscles. I’ll be on FB later tonight or head to to get this month’s Demo videos for half price.

So don’t be overwhelmed. Choose your favourites and aim for three. You just might find yourself doing four. You’re welcome.

Aussie Animals Demo Collection

May the Fourth

May the Fourth

I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I love the challenge of painting or sketching something for May the Fourth Be With You day each year, and seeing the progress in my art.

This year I surprised myself with this sketch, and I can honestly say I have NEVER sketched C-3PO or R2-D2 before – and they’re busy characters! That’s the main reason I decided to sketch upside down – so that I was only looking at the shapes and not letting my mind get in the way by thinking of arms and legs, etc. I really recommend having a go at drawing this way!

May the Fourth 2021


Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

What’s better than one #mooloolabasurfclub ? FOUR.

The first was sketched on our first morning at the beach (fun),
the second from a photo that night (a bit staid),
the third on the beach (while my students may have been taking bets on how long it would take me to finish it – 17 minutes), and
the fourth from a photo as a demonstration painting in our main room with (mildly) spherical perspective and only four paint colours.
There’s so much to be said for painting a subject multiple times – and if it’s a subject you love, that’s even better.
Danny Gregory of #artb4bkfst says, “Warhol’s Law: if one drawing of a thing looks okay, ten look AWESOME.”
I agree.
And I think I’m done now.