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.

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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.

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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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Watercolour Painting Classes South Wales

Ever fancied really getting to grips with watercolour? Then come along to my weekly drop-in class!


Every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm in Ainon Baptist Church Hall, Market St, Tongwynlais, near Cardiff.


LUSCIOUS magical watercolour – come and learn:)!


The church hall is around the back!

WHO DO I TEACH and What’s the class size?

I cater for all levels in watercolour and am very patient with beginners and advanced alike.

My class is a friendly group of approx. 8-13 adults of all ages and abilities who pay as they go and bring their own painting gear.




Demonstrating at the Tongwynlais class last month

Demonstrating at the Tongwynlais class last month

I have been painting in watercolour for over 20 years and earning a living as an artist for 4 years via my website

I’m a teacher at heart (BSc. Modern Languages, PGCE Primary, Trinity Cert. TESOL)

Spent years teaching supply in primary and special ed schools and taught adults in various situations and countries including basic skills in Wales and English as a foreign language in Spain)

Being self-taught I understand the learning process very well and can empathise with and explain to students on all levels.

My art tutorials feature regularly in Leisure Painter Magazine – the UK’s most popular painting publication

Am energetic, very patient, clear and thorough

I love to set people on their way with watercolour

My work has been licensed by

John Lewis,


The Museums & Galleries Collection (My own range was launched in March 2014 and is called “Alison’s Ark“),

Paperlink Cards,

Quitting Hollywood Cards in the UK

and several publishing companies in the USA

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My art on Museums & Galleries Collection cards! - I did it!

My art with The Museums & Galleries Collection


1) ‘Alison has done watercolour demonstrations at our group- Pentyrch Art Group- for several years.
We always thoroughly enjoy her visits.
She is organised, well prepared and will happily answer questions and share her expertise with members. I have no hesitation in recommending her as an excellent, really friendly and approachable demonstrator. 
Anne Peebles, Pentyrch Art Group.’
2) ” Alison is a very talented and inspirational artist and teacher. I have been lucky enough to attend a workshop at her studio and attend workshops and demonstrations when she visited our art group.
Her teaching style is relaxed and friendly but also very clear and practical.
Alison’s excellent preparation for the sessions and encouragement, enables everyone to achieve and produce a piece of art work they can be proud of.
Finally, whether working one to one or working with a group, Alison’s workshops are both fun and enjoyable.”
Christine Webb – Secretary – Kestrel Art Society, Bridgend
3) I have learned more from Alison in 3 weeks than with other classes that I have taken for over a year!
Art Spirit Master flyer (FB) b

Sessions are just £10 for 3 hours in a lovely spacious church hall in Tongwynlais, near Cardiff.


I paint a demo in stages and STOP at each stage to come around and give INDIVIDUAL guidance and help.

The demo is also being filmed and shown on a large TV screen so you get a really brilliant view of what I am doing.

Later in the day I put the video on Youtube for you to look at again!


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Free refreshments are available and we stop for a break and chat.

I am always on hand in person or via email, facebook to answer any watercolour technique questions and critique your work.




Give me (Alison Fennell) a toot on 0790 992 0763 or email me at for full details – see you there!

Be prepared to get messy!

Be prepared to get messy!

Jude thrashing out her tonal study bEFOR launching into a watercolour of the same subject

Jude thrashing out her tonal study bEFOR launching into a watercolour of the same subject


Viridian and I are not friends.

Viridian and I are not friends.

This is a spare palette I took as I picked one of the ladies as my shadow painter for each demo - they painted along with me as the others watched us both

This is a spare palette I took as I picked one of the ladies as my shadow painter for each demo – they painted along with me as the others watched us both

Jayne - in her oils - or should that be watercolours?:)!

Jayne – in her oils – or should that be watercolours?:)!

Watercolour Classes Cardiff

Want to learn WATERCOLOUR?

Come and join my weekly Tuesday drop-in watercolour class! We are called ART SPIRIT PAINTERS11707628_10153022140907947_109499519401244548_n We meet in the church hall at the back of Ainon Baptist Church on Market Street in Tongwynlais, near Cardiff. 11647419_10152982269107947_2087060278_n church directions Suitable for all levels and only £10 per person for a session (3 hours approx.) Please bring your own materials and equipment and you will get 3 hours of watercolour and free biccies/tea and coffee! 11652040_10153004198667947_2070018481_n I do two watercolour demos which are videoed and later made available on Youtube for you to watch again if you want. We do landscapes, florals, still life, buildings and animals etc 11667226_10153004198567947_728258098_n I go around the class and help individuals with technique. 11668252_10153004198387947_1579044092_n We’re a lovely relaxed group of about 10 people all loving painting. Art2 P1160114 In Ainon Baptist Church Hall where we are based there are settees dotted around our ample and light filled hall so you can relax in break times and there are toilets and easy parking on the roads outside.

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For any further info please email me at or call 0790 992 0763 Pop over to my animal art gallery here – I look forward to meeting you. Don’t forget – this is a drop in so you can come as and when suits you!

Writing Thrillers – by Author K. D. Kinchen – My Guest Blogger

Creative Inspiration

Author Kate Kinchen

Author K. D. Kinchen

When Alison offered me the opportunity to write a guest-blog for her blog I was, of course, very touched and flattered and immediately jumped at the chance. However, as I sat down to begin penning the piece, I was struck by a bit of a quandary. What do I write? Alison is an artist, I am a writer. What common ground is there? What could I write about that would interest her readers? Writing and art, although creative, are very different worlds.

Buy Darkest Hour by Kate Kinchen!

Buy “Darkest Hour” by K. D. Kinchen!

But it was as I was contemplating their differences that I begin to notice more and more similarities also. Both are creative mediums. Alison paints with watercolour, I paint with words. Both myself and Alison’s job is to inspire and capture the imagination of those to whom our work appeals. Alison will evoke emotions and memories with her beautiful prints, perhaps even create a daydream in the mind of her viewers. I spirit my readers away to a different locale, a different viewpoint and entertain them with the exploits of my characters.

“Evil Brewing” by K.D. Kinchen – available in one click here!

At this point I would like to thank Alison for her role in where I am now. She has been a massive inspiration to me; a friend first and foremost, but also a huge inspiration and, one could say, my creative guru. She followed her heart into painting full time and through tribulations which would have seen most mere mortals give up and admit defeat, she has emerged triumphant time and time again. Every time I went to see her for a cuppa and a chat I would come home recharged with creative go-get-‘em, chomping at the bit to get on with my latest novel, and also hankering after yet another one of her paintings… It is comforting to have found a kindred creative spirit.

Me stomping around the grounds at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival!

Me stomping around the grounds at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival!

When I was five I fell in love with stories and by eight I was writing my own, albeit on folded A4 paper with crayons, but still, the impetus was there. At seventeen I began my first full length novel, but somewhere along the way I ended up thinking that I couldn’t write for a living, that I would need a ‘proper’ job. My writing fell by the wayside and it wasn’t until I lost my ‘Uncle’ Harry to prostate cancer, he was only fifty nine, did my writing bug return. For the last nine years I have been writing in my spare time and working towards getting published. I came close, frustratingly close, with my fourth novel. But, I did receive some wonderful feedback from a top London agent, so I have not given up hope. What I have done though, is to self publish my early works. They were just sitting on my hard drive, gathering cyber-dust, so I have released them into the world to earn their keep. My novels have picked up some great comments and praise from professionals in the industry along the way, so why not publish them myself?

Evil Brewing is my first self-published release and centres around Alexis Holton, a young Brewing Supervisor who moves to London and unintentionally places herself on the radar of a serial killer in the capital. It is a woman-in-jeopardy crime/suspense novel.

Darkest Hour is again a woman-in-jeopardy crime thriller, which follows Eva Rivera as her world is turned upside-down when she witnesses an assassination. Walking her dog, she is unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and is soon running for her life as those who orchestrated the hit try to remove the sole witness to their crime.

Taking a leaf out of Alison’s book, I have left full-time work to dedicate myself to my writing and pursuing my dream. It is a bit of a leap of faith, but I think after sixteen years of ‘proper’ jobs I can now allow myself to follow my heart. I am a published writer, yes I am self-published, but my work is out there. This may not be entirely the path I had envisaged, but I am excited to see where it leads and I know that regardless of what happens, Alison will be there with a cuppa, biscuit and sympathetic ear and I will no doubt walk away from our meet with a bounce in my step and my writing mojo buoyed by her effervescent love of all things creative.

Note from Alison – well this post is such an inspiration and a breath of fresh air! I hope it motivates all you would be writers to get pen to paper!

Thank you Kate. For more information, please do check out K.D.’s website. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Original Watercolour Sale – This Weekend!

Art sale this weekend! All prices reduced.

Grab an original now to enhance your space – direct from me, the artist:)

10 of my original watercolours are up for sale – to view more images of each one or to buy click on any of the paintings below.

Easy to frame! Most of my paintings are standard photo size so you just buy a supermarket frame and you’re set!

Here’s the first –

1) original otter painting – 8×10 inches and ready to frame!

otter walk copy

2) Luscious Cherries – a rustic kitchen art piece.

cherries etsy

3) Majestic Magpie – fab gift for the bird lover.

bird magpie twig

4) Summer Poppies – big reduction from $85 to $65!

poppies July COPYRIGHT

5) Vibrant Beetroots – garden lover art gift – painted in gouache for an arty look.


6) Sunflower Original! Eternally popular – this would make a lovely gift for her.

sunflowers dainty 1200

7) Galloping Horse – make a horse lover’s day

horse paint

8) Desert Dream – a mystical vision of West Mitten Butte in Arizona for the traveller

west mitten small

9) Watercolour Discus painting – a vibrant nautical for the seaside home

fish dashing ETSY DARK copy

10) Enchanting Emerald seahorse painting – for the mermaid in you…

seahorse emerelad etsy

Want more!? To view my entire watercolour collection click here –

I can also paint any requests you might have – just email me (Alison) at to proceed!