Painting tip: Try using a limited palette. Use as few colours as possible by finding the right combination of colours for your subject. By limiting the number of colours you ensure harmony in your painting.

April, the Blue Eyed Mary’s have stared popping out, the hazel leaves sprout there’re maroon coloured leaves and the clocks turn to summer time.

This month I visited the Dorothy Tanning exhibition at the Tate, which was very good. The hotel room installation Chambre 202, Hotel du Pavot  was interesting but not quite as impressive as her paintings which were good from both the point of view of surreal subject matter and in the quality of paint and colour, something that was often overlooked somewhat by the surrealists. Her folded and unfolding sheets were great, rarely is sheeting rendered with so much symbolic wait. The Dorothy Tanning exhibition is on till  Tickets £13 or free for members.

I also visited Wildlife Photographer of the year exhibition at the National History museum. These were brilliant photographs but reading the text that went with them was saddening, the human race is destroying so much of the planet and the beautiful creatures that live on it. The exhibition is on till the 30th June. Tickets £13.50 full price, free for members.

The John Ruskin exhibition at Two Temple place is great. It is free for a start, Two Temple place is a beautiful building with amazing stained glass windows. The exhibition shows how Ruskin was influenced by and then influenced other artists of the time. Some of the pictures on display are exquisite, I particularly like Ruskin’s watercolour painting of a piece of brick with moss and mold growing on it. The show is on till 22nd April, Two Temple Place, WC2R 3BD very close to Temple tube. Free

I haven’t visited the Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain yet, partly because I’m told it is currently six people deep to each painting. I’m also told that his connection to Britain is rather tenuous. I will go later this month though. It is on till 11th August and costs £22, free to members.

Classes and workshops

With the Easter holidays coming up things will be a bit quiet in April.

The regular Monday “drop-in” watercolour class at Lordship Hub in Tottenham will continue . This is a lovely venue by a pond in the middle of the recreation ground. It runs from 11.30 to 1.30 and currently costs just £8.  This is good for learning and scratching up on watercolour skills, covering all sorts of areas including landscape, figures, still life and of course natural objects.

Starting on the 3rd May at City Lit is the Botanical illustration advanced. This is an exciting course taught by myself and Gita Hahn and looks at developing your botanical drawing and then using Photoshop and Illustrator to edit them for graphic and textile designs. See the CityLit website for more details.

All course dates can be seen on the website www.obscurewonder.com

For further information email –  info@obscurewonders.com