Mad About the Koi, watercolor koi paintings

Just recently I had a hankering to paint those gorgeous koi carp.

fish koi 2 copy

Their dramatic and wild orange red splotches against the white of their body were just begging to be captured in watercolour.

I imagined painting them fast and loose at the early stages using wet into wet technique.

That was what I did and it was a thrilling experience. I loved how the orange scarlet Winsor and Newton watercolour tube paint spread deliciously over the paper.


Early wet into wet stages in and bleeding softly



Once I had the early vague, organic washes in I then added a darker hue on top to add a second dimension of depth to those markings.

This process of building is very satisfying.

Then I dried the whole fish and added more texture wet on dry.

Here are some items that I created to sell on my Society6 art shop – for the koi or fish lover they could make a perfect gift.

SHOP NOW via this link –

If you want to see my free teaching videos on how to paint then click here!


I then went on to paint the koi at 4 art classes and demos and my art students did them very well indeed.

Here are some examples –

The originals are for sale here if you love real paintings for your home.

fish koi 2 copy

To purchase – click this link –



To purchase fish below please click this link – fish koi 2.jpg


Thanks for reading

Watercolour Dog Portraits

For a beautiful original watercolour portrait of your dog please contact me – Alison Fennell on


Berk crop

All I need are very good quality images of your dog in the pose you wish to have him painted.

I require at least 1 Megabyte (!MB) images so that I can see every last detail in your dog’s face.

That way I can give you the best portrait possible.


Romeo Framed

Framing is simple once I have completed your portrait as I paint to standard 8×10 inch or 10×12 inch photo size.

This means you can skip your original custom dog portrait into any off the shelf frame available from department stores and supermarkets!


My turnaround time is under 2 weeks from request to finished painting!


My 8×10 inch original watercolour portraits are £95 plus shipping/packing

My 10×12 inch portraits are £125 plus shipping/packaging

I do not request a deposit.


I paint my animals in my home studio here in Pontypridd, South Wales, UK

I do not paint shaggy coated dogs.

Smooth-coated dogs are my speciality and as I love painting those that is all I do. Please contact me if you are unsure.



I have been painting in watercolour for 25 years and specialise in animals. Their faces and character continue to engage and entertain me as I paint.

My work is currently for sale in Dunelm throughout the UK as large prints and The Museums & Galleries Collection sell a range of 12 of my animal cards called “Alison’s Ark” in museum and art gallery shops UK-wide.

For years I have donated my art to various animal rescues and charities including The Fox Project, Animals Asia, Hope Rescue and The Dog’s Trust and several rabbit rescues.

I regularly write for Leisure Painter Magazine giving step by step demonstrations on watercolour subjects.


I also teach two watercolour classes near Cardiff as well as running private one to one workshops for watercolour students.


For details on any of the above please contact me – Alison Fennell at or visit my online art gallery at

I’ll look forward to hearing your doggy requests!



This Week’s Art


This week has seen a lot of art being made:)

  • Tuesday daytime – I was teaching my Art Spirit Painter’s Group how to paint a tall ship
  • Tuesday evening I was doing a watercolour horse demonstration to Sully Art Group
  • Friday afternoon was spent with my growing Tonteg Art Spirit Painter’s group where we painted a Moroccan doorway


  • on Saturday morning I gave a one to one foxglove watercolour workshop to Chris – a lovely lady and one of my Tuesday class.

Below I include the links to some of the videos made during the workshops and demos plus some of the finished results – enjoy!


Click on this image to see videos on how to paint it via my YouTube channel

Feel free to try this demo yourself

Feel free to try this demo yourself

Horse 2 Horse 3 horse appears

The horse was painted in watercolour using a limited palette of Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, and some final passages of Cadmium Red Deep and Cerulean Blue for contrast. I worked wet into wet in the early stages to create soft washes and then worked tighter and smaller on details as the painting progressed.

At Friday’s group we travelled to Morocco and painted a hot orange doorway with lovely curves and palms to frame the scene.

I used Winsor Orange and Rose Madder Genuine and then Cobalt Blue for the dark washes and shadows. I didn’t feel the need to paint the palms green but kept them in a complementary shade to tie in with the overall colour range of the painting.

We had done a lot of tight work in previous weeks and so felt this slightly expressionist and suggestive project would be a change of pace!

When I got home I decided that I would add some pastel to my watercolour. Here is the end result.

“Sultry Shadows” original mixed media painting 9×11 inches – pastel and watercolour by Alison Fennell

Finally – on Saturday it was a focussed session with Chris to look at foxgloves. We worked wet into wet to give a loose impression in the early stages and then added finer and harder details as we progressed. Chris took home more polished skills and a fabulously delicate foxglove watercolour.


Here is the step by step if you wish to try it out.

Have a go of painting this yourself!

Have a go of painting this yourself!

foxglove 2 deep

Have a go of painting this yourself!

That’s all for this week – happy painting and CONVO me with any questions about watercolour! Alison

New Paintings this Week – watercolour dogs and a watercolour hare

Had a busy week this week completing two more watercolour dog commissions.

dog haagen smaller copy

I also painted a hare in a midnight countryside scene as one of my demos for my weekly art class.

hare midnight oi etsyct

I loved painting this grand old corgi as his face and eyes are so full of joy and love.

I used pale watercolour washes of Raw Sienna, Winsor Violet and Cerulean Blue to start and added increasingly darker versions as the painting progressed.

I let each wash dry before adding the next.

I really let loose with the richness in the eyes though as they were the focal point. I used rich Burnt Sienna for the irises and added French Ultramarine Blue plus Burnt Umber for the pupils and eyelines. The a touch of Winsor Violet plus opaque white added the final white highlights.

dog dane

With the spotted Great Dane watercolour I used pale washes of Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue to start then added stronger shadows to start building form in the face.

Facebook banner copyu Graet Dane 1 Graet Dane 2_edited-1

For the midnight hare I used masking fluid to preserve my imaginary weeds and wildflowers and used and inkly blue for the sky – remembering to loft out a frosty moon silhouette with a thirsty brush before that watercolour wash dries.

Then I painted the hare in raw sienna and raw umber and added shadows with a touch of blue.

You can see my step by step watercolour tutorial sheets for the hare and the great dane. Have a try if you like but please do not then list your painting online to sell as that is breaking my copyright. This demo is for your educational purposes only!

If you want to watch my basic YouTube videos on it – click here –

More paintings soon – Alison

Painting Dogs in Watercolour

Just lately I have been commissioned to paint a Chihuahua and an Alsatian (German Shepherd) in watercolour.

I am a professional artist based in Pontypridd, South Wales, UK and take dog portrait commissions.

If you would like more details please contact me – Alison Fennell – via my email –

Prices start at £75 plus p&p for an original dog portrait at size 8×10 inches.

To view one on my online gallery click HERE!

dog chi te

Both are very different subjects as the Chihuahua has very smooth fur while the Alsatian is a lot rougher.

"Beauty" - original watercolour dog portrait by Alison Fennell - 11x14 inches

“Beauty” – original watercolour dog portrait by Alison Fennell – 11×14 inches

They were both a delight and a challenge to paint as I felt a real connection to both dogs.

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I love dogs and want to express that in my paintings. That’s why I always pay a lot of attention to their eyes.

dog chi te copy 2

Painting the eyes for me means looking hard at all the many layers of folds of skin and the shadows and eyelashes and the moist glistening line that surrounds them.

eye dog alsatian eye dog lab eye french bulldog

I try to create a watery orb effect by using a speck of opaque white watercolour mixed with some violet and then let that run.

Here are some of my step by step tutorial sheets if you would like to try painting a dog in watercolour.

Jack demo

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The Alsatian is called Beauty and she was 9 months old and from South Wales, while the Chihuahua is called Charlie and is about 2. He was recently adopted by a lovely family at the Tri Valley Animal Rescue in Pleasanton, California.

To view their site click HERE!

My watercolour dog tutorials have featured in this month’s issue of Leisure Painter magazine and the demo is quite simple to follow along!


My watercolour dog tutorial as seen in August 2015 edition of Leisure Painter Magazine


My watercolour dog tutorial as seen in August 2015 edition of Leisure Painter Magazine


If you live in the Pontypridd or Cardiff area I have two classes – one in Tongwynlais and one in Tonteg.

Please email me for all the details! of find me on Facebook –

Both are drop in classes for all levels – see you there!

Creativity Course – Deep Seeing & Personal Perception – Dates out now!

NEW CREATIVITY COURSE – 4 Week Deep Seeing & Personal Perception Course dates and full details now out! Each week is a 4 hour session in my home studio in Ynysybwl, Pontypridd (fuller details below)
Week 1 – 17th Sept
Week 2 – 24th Sept
Week 3 – 1st October
Week 4 – 8th October
Read below – MAX 3 spaces – All materials included – £45 per person per week. Total course cost £180
Get down to the fundamentals of seeing deeply in order to create confidently and personally! Skills are transferrable across many media including drawing, oils, pastels watercolour etc
This is an intense and exploratory course for all who want to express themselves decisively and joyfully in art. The 4 weeks of theory and artistic play will set on your creative path with the practical tools and personal vision and conviction you need.
BOOK NOW – message me (Alison) here or email me at

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