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Valentine’s Cards

Beach set inside a square card with a heart aperture

A new product line that is proving successful are Valentine’s Cards. These cards feature my watercolour paintings, set inside a plain white card (6 x 6 inch) with a heart aperture.

I tried it last year with one card on Etsy. I was so surprised, and very pleased, when it sold really quickly. In this painting I was experimenting with a vivid sky over a sandy beach. It looked really good inside the heart aperture and made a great Valentine Card. I was delighted to get this feedback from my customer.

Beautiful original card , it was the best valentine card that I have ever bought


I didn’t have time to make anymore last year but I put a few paintings to one side as possibilities for this year.

During the course of the year I have also painted some small paintings that I realised would be perfect for a Valentine’s Card.

The main consideration is finding a painting that fits inside the heart shape neatly, without losing anything important. For example – I wouldn’t want to “cut off” the top of St Michael’s Mount!

Generic paintings

A generic painting is the best choice. This one is a watercolour painting of the sun setting over the sea. The sunlight is glistening on the water. This could be anywhere.

I have other paintings, that have been painted whilst sat looking at the scene in Cornwall, however they could be anywhere. Her are a few examples.

This scene I painted whilst sat on Castle Beach at Falmouth looking towards the entrance to the Helford River. It was a gloriously sunny day. The sun was glistening on the sea and many boats were on the water making the most of the weather. Set inside the heart aperture it could be anywhere where boats are sailing on the sea.

Beach set inside a square card with a heart aperture

This one is very generic and similar to the card that sold last year. It is of a white sandy beach, with turquoise waters and white sand. This was inspired by the beach at Sennen and also on the Isles of Scilly. Again, this beach could be anywhere in the world that has the same turquoise sea colour and white sand. I am thinking of the Caribbean and the Maldives.

Cornish Coast

West Pentire Headland, set inside a square card with a heart aperture

This painting is a typical scene from along north Cornish coast of the beach and surf, with the cliffs and island in the background. The scene is is low tide at West Pentire, painted looking across from Pentire Headland, Newquay. However it could be any coastal scene in Cornwall, Devon or anywhere along the north coast.

This painting is a different view of Crantock beach, with West Pentire in the background. Crantock is a vast beach, and low tide reveals a big expanse of beach. However in this little painting, painted last January, whilst I was sat looking across from Pentire Headland, Newquay. It shows the tide slowly going out and the beach revealing itself. However it could be any coastal scene in Cornwall, Devon or anywhere along the north coast.

Godrevy Beach

We had a particularly warm June in 2023 and I visited Godrevy beach on a couple of occasions.

This was painted on a glorious sunny June day early on a Sunday morning. I had just been for a swim and was chilling, enjoying the view. It was very quiet and I had to get my paints out.

On another visit during this sunny June day I was visiting the beach with friends. We had enjoyed a lovely swim and we were sat chatting afterwards, enjoying the view. Again I had to get my paints out and capture the scene.

These cards have proved very popular and I will definitely have to start thinking about next year. If interested have a look at my Etsy page, but be quick because they are selling fast.

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St Mawes commission painting from photo

Painting St Mawes Harbour from Falmouth

I was recently asked if I had any paintings of St Mawes for sale. My potential customer was looking for the view of the harbour and the Ships and Castle Hotel. As I didn’t have that particular scene she asked if she could commission a painting from a photo.

I do love St Mawes, it is a stunning location, but there are a lot of buildings. The imposter syndrome kicked in again and I wasn’t sure if I could!

I had previously done a very loose sketch of St Mawes, which had been sold. My customer was delighted as it reminded her of many happy holidays in St Mawes.

The first step was to visit St Mawes and do some test sketches. Luckily the day I visited was a glorious sunny day with beautiful blue skies. Perfect sketching weather.

Tredenham Road has a couple of locations where they have wooden benches, just right to sit down and sketch. The view across the water towards the harbour and both castles is just lovely.

I choose two different places for my sketches but to be honest I was totally overwhelmed! There were just so many buildings …

My prospective client very kind sent through the photograph she had taken of this complex scene. I decided the only way I could tackle all those buildings would be to work from a grid.

Adding the grid made it more manageable and finally I felt happy to send to my client to see if it would do.

I am delighted, and more that a bit relieved, to report my client was very pleased. Even better it was an anniversary present for her parents as they honeymooned at St Mawes and they were overjoyed.

My working paintings are currently available for sale on my Etsy shop.

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Sketches from Glasgow

Sketches from Glasgow

I have recently got back from a couple of days away, so here are my sketches from Glasgow. Click on any of the images to see larger versions.

Actually I felt a bit overwhelmed / intimidated to sketch. It wasn’t just the buildings, and there is great architecture in Scotland. It was also the murals that are scattered about the city.


These vibrant street murals are helping to rejuvenate tired streets and buildings and vacant sites with these stunning pieces of public street art. The project started in 2008 and has increased ever since. I loved them and it certainly is great to stumble upon them.

My sketches

I did do some sketching, although it is not my best work.

I visited Glasgow University where I was surprised to be able to walk freely around the buildings. I tried to capture the essence of the West Quadrangle, with its turrets, spiral staircases and quite beautiful.

I also tried to capture St George’s Tron Church of Scotland in Nelson Mandela Place. I sketched this from our Hotel room to try and reflect the church spires that rise up from the main buildings around.

Lastly, is one of the red buildings that dominate this city. Again trying to capture the beauty of these old buildings.

Eye problems

I am still waiting to have further treatment on my eyes and sketching is hard. I am trying not to sound like I am making excuses but I don’t have the right glasses. In order to view what I am hoping to sketch I need my long distance glasses, but to sketch I should wear my close vision glasses, but I can’t wear both! So I am using a very loose style wearing my long distance glasses. Sometimes it works ok, sometimes not.

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Sketches in July

Sketches in July

The weather in Cornwall in July has not been good – but I have a few sketches to show you.

Praa Sands sketch

We visited Praa Sands in early July. It was one of the days when we knew we would be shower dodging!

We sat and enjoy a lovely cup of coffee, overlooking the beach. Out came the paints to capture the scene.

Click on the image to see the full size version.

This was lovely I was really enjoying sketching the scene, however the weather had other plans! At Praa Sands you have the most amazing view of Mounts Bay and I could see a very dark cloud approaching from the Mousehole/Newlyn area! It was time to quickly finish my coffee and painting and take cover.

St Mawes Sketches

Now this was a treasure of a day, making the most of Cornwall before the main summer season starts. The forecast was mainly sunshine so a day trip out was the order of the day. I love St Mawes, so I went with a couple of friends for a “girls day out”.

We started our day by having coffee outside enjoying the sunshine on the quay. We then walked along the promenade, luckily my friends are more than happy to sit and enjoy the view whilst I get my paints out. I couldn’t believe how warm it was, and after strolling back towards the Quay I persuaded them to stop again. I have to be honest I did struggle a bit to sketch both of these views. There are so many different shaped buildings along the waterfront, not to mention all the cars on the quayside. It was very hard to capture the scene with a quick sketch.

Again, click on the image to see the full size version.

Gunwharf Quays Sketch

Now I am definitely out of Cornwall on this one! Whilst visiting my daughter in Southampton, we decided to get the train to Portsmouth. I was last year nearly 45 years ago whilst serving in the Navy, and it has certainly changed!

Again I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer size of the wonderful vista in front of me. I decided to focus on the entrance to the harbour. Another challenge, was the amount of boats there were coming in and out of the harbour. I would like to have included one of the ferries, but I just couldn’t paint fast enough!

Again, click on the image to see the full size version.

I got some great photos of Portsmouth harbour that I would like to paint at home. It made me think perhaps I should sell paintings from other areas, as well as Cornwall. Depending on when you are reading this you might like to see what is currently for sale – there may be a painting that you like.

So limited sketches in July – lets hope the weather for August improves and I can get out and sketch more often!

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Sketches in June

Jane painting on the beach

Since my return from holiday in Croatia, Cornwall has been absolutely glorious! So I have been out and about swimming and here are a selection of my sketches in June.

Sketch of Godrevy beach

To set the scene … it was a sunny Sunday morning and we were down on Godrevy beach just after 9am. In fact so early the fields hadn’t been opened but we managed to get parked close to the beach.

My swim was absolutely glorious, sheer bliss. Afterwards I sat on the beach, drinking a coffee, appreciating the peace and quiet. Out came my paints and here is my sketch.

Sketch of St Michaels Mount

Another swim location – this time at Long Rock, looking towards St MIchaels Mount. Whilst it was sunny, there was a stiff breeze and cross-shore winds, that gave some great waves to capture. Luckily I found a sheltered spot to capture the scene.

Another sketch of Godrevy beach

Back to Godrevy beach – I am definitely visiting my favourite spots in this lovely weather!

This time the tide was not out as far, but still quite flat and perfect swimming conditions.

These sketches for sale as either a painting or greeting card, on this website or on my Etsy shop. I am frequently adding new products so keep an eye out, as most of my work as originals, once a particular painting as gone, it’s gone.

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Sketches of Dubrovnik: Exploring coastline and old Town

Jane sat painting along promenade

I recently enjoyed a week’s holiday in Dubrovnik, a city on the southern coast of Croatia that is renowned for its stunning coastline and rich history. I really enjoyed the challenge of sketching the beauty of this ancient city and its surroundings. Despite the heat, I managed to find some shady spots to capture the idyllic and natural landscapes. So here are my sketches of Dubrovnik, which I hope capture the essence of Dubrovnik’s natural beauty. I have included photographs to give additional context.

Sketch of Dubrovnik Old Town

The Old Town is just stunning, and everywhere I went, I could have sat down and got my paints out! However, the downside was partly that there was nowhere to set up my paints, it was blazing hot, but mainly I was a bit overwhelmed with all the buildings, it also felt quite vast, I just didn’t know where to start!

However, I did manage to find a shady spot and sketch one of the entrances – the Ploce Gate.

Sketches of the view from our hotel room

The view from our hotel room was absolutely stunning! The island of Kolocep and the variety of boats passing by made for a captivating and ever-changing scene. It was a wonderful experience to wake up to that view every day of our holiday. It was also a great spot to watch the sunset behind the islands every evening. I did try and capture that but it didn’t pass muster and so not included!

I loved the view so much that, on the day we were leaving, as we had a late flight, I just had to paint it one more time. This time it had a lovely blue sky.

Sketches of the hotel beach area

The hotel had its own beach area, which was also open to the public. It was a stony/pebbly beach, with large rocks on the seabed – quite different from Cornwall! However I did enjoy swimming at least once a day, although it was a steep drop into the sea. The advice encourages you to wear swim shoes, in case of sea urchins – which was useful on that pebbly beach. It was very peaceful, except when motorboats went roaring past, creating a large swell. The turquoise was was incredibly clear, I cannot use the right words to describe, but it didremind me of the waters on the Isles of Scilly.

The Hotel had a small dock area for a diving school to launch their boats from. It had the ubiquitous palm trees planted around to hide all the concrete! The photograph and the painting doesn’t correspond but hopefully you get the idea. It also had steps that some people preferred to use for getting into the water. Walking into the sea from the beach, with its steep sides, was always tricky!

Sketches from Babin Kuk to Lapad

We walked from Babin Kuk (where our Hotel was) to nearby Lapad. There is a lovely paved promenade that provides an enjoyable walk along the coastline. We stopped at the Sunset Bar Cafe that overlooked the bay and beach for a delicious coffee. Time to get the paints out, then I had to decide what scene to paint, again it was vast. Luckily there was a boat moored up in the water, so it was an obvious choice.

Along the promenade were small quiet areas leading off from the main path. You go down some steps to a delightful area for either sunbathing, swimming off the rocks or, in my case, sit in the shade and paint!

This sketch is of the Grebeni Islands and Lighthouse. I was fascinated by this rocky output and the unusually shaped lighthouse. Apparently you can stay in the lighthouse if you want accommodation with total privacy. There are tree Grebeni Islands – Zapadni, Srednji and Juzni Greben (meaning West, Middle and South Greben) situated one next to another, with a reef called Jabuka.

The Grebeni Islands and Lighthouse fascinated me. Our Hotel had a different view of them, where you can see the turquoise sea. So I just had to paint it again, trying to get a closer view of the Hotel, whilst also trying to show the shimmering colour of the sea.

Sketches from Babin Kuk to Gruz Harbour

Daksa Island, which overlooks the Hotel President beach, has a rather dark history. It is the smallest island in the Elaphite archipelago, where there was a massacre of collaborators when Partisans liberated Dubrovnik at the end of 1944. It is an island that no-one visits and it is certainly is the antithesis from everyone enjoying the sunshine and beach.

The main port of Dubrovnik – Gruz was close to Babin Kuk, where we our Hotel was situated. Again there was a promenade, this time more natural. It passed several beaches, including the Coral Beach Club and Copacabana Beach, with other small beaches appearing as you turn a corner. There was even a special beach just for dogs – Plaza Za Pse. I really liked the Beach bar Ponat – a bar set amongst the forest, it had a real relaxed vibe overlooking the waters. Another pretty spot was the Ronilački klub Dubrovnik, another diving area – however on our first walk it started to spit with rain, so the paints didn’t come out.

On another day I walked back to sketch the area with all the boats but someone was sitting on a bench that had the view I wanted to sketch. So I went around the corner, where there is an amazing view of Dr. Franjo Tuđman Bridge. I decided to have a go at capturing this scene instead.

I had a great holiday and I hope you have enjoyed looking at these sketches, and also some insights into my holiday in Dubrovnik.

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May sketches

Me painting at Carbis Bay

It is May and the weather is warming up. Yay! I have been on some lovely walks and here are some sketches I did during May.

Sketching at Carbis Bay

It was a glorious May day and we walked along the south west coast path from Lanner to Carbis Bay. The sea was a gorgeous colour and I don’t think my photos or sketch capture the beauty. It was just like being in the Caribbean – only easier to get to!

I looked across to Godrevy, this time a different angle from that I normally see and paint.

Watercolour painting of the view of Godrevy lighthouse from Carbis Bay

It was bliss and I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy this view. The walk was also excellent and would recommend for anyone able, but it is a little steep in places.

Sketching at Lizard Point

Another walk we did was around Lizard Point. This was a mixed day, some glorious sunshine, some mist coming in. We had packed our pasties and found the perfect spot to sit and eat them on Old Lizard Head.

This looks towards Kynance Cove, again a slightly different view to normal. After I had eaten my pasty out came my paints to sketch the scene.

Watercolour painting of the view from The Old Lizard Point towards Kynance Cove

The biggest difficulty was getting the depth of field correct, but hopefully you like it.

Sketching at Long Rock

The weather hasn’t all been wall to wall sunshine and when we visited Long Rock it was definitely a day to dodge the showers!

However Long Rock is a gem to sit and look at St Michael’s Mount in Mounts Bay. And of course I got my paints out!

Sketch of St Michaels Mount

I spent longer that I normally do on the surf area and I am quite pleased with how it came out. There is more definition that I normally have in a sketch.

Sketching at Trelissick

Talking of changeable weather – Friday was a corker! It was wall to wall sunshine. So we packed up our lunch and headed to Trelissick Gardens for a walk around the woodland walk.

I found the perfect spot to get my paints out overlooking the beach. It was high tide and made a nice vista. However dark clouds gathered overhead and it became quite gloomy. In the images below I have included a photo of my initial sketch so you can see how my sketch comes together.

Sketch of Trelissick Beach

You will see I adopted a little “poetic” licence! I decided not to include the telescope, although on reflection perhaps I should have! Also the clouds could have been darker.

My sketches quite often get turned into cards, so have a look at my Greeting Cards page to see what is currently available. If you want to see what larger paintings I currently have for sale visit my Original Watercolours page.

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Sketching at the Helford

Jane sketching at the Helford

We enjoyed a glorious sunny but cold February but sadly March has been very mixed. On this day the forecast promised sunshine so I headed out to do sketching at the Helford.

Glendurgan Gardens

I do love it down around the Helford River but with its narrow lanes I prefer to visit out of season. First stop was Glendurgan Gardens, with its beautiful blooms, the rhododendron in all their glory, the magnolia trees in bloom. It was so peaceful and it was great to be out and appreciate nature at its best.

View of the River

After walking through the gardens, we ventured out of the gates at the bottom of the garden and on to Durgan beach. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I found a lovely spot to capture the scene looking towards the beach at Trebah Gardens (Polgwidden Cove). Helford village is in the background and out came my paints and sketchbook.

Sketch of view of Trebah Beach on Helford River

Grebe Beach

Venturing further I then followed the path down to Grebe Beach. There was a few people making the most of the weather and enjoying a swim. I wish I had my swimming kit with me, but as I didn’t I sat down to capture the scene instead.

Grebe beach

Back to Glendurgan Gardens

As well as enjoying sketching on the Helford River, I also took some photos, mainly of Glendurgan Gardens. My photos of this glorious day are below, click on any image to see an enlarged version.

At the time of writing this blog post I have a couple of paintings of the Helford River for sale. One is of the tree-lined banks of the Helford River. The other is Grebe Beach , but a slightly different scene from the one I sketched today. If these have sold then have a look at what paintings for sale are currently available.

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Sketches from Scotland

Illustration: Edinburgh Castle

Recently I was lucky enough to spend time in Scotland, mainly in Edinburgh and Oban, and as always I took my Moleskine Sketchbook, Pens and Paints so that I could capture the scenery, so here are my sketches from Scotland.


We started our holiday in Scotland, and it turned out to be quite a different experience from what we had been expecting as it coincided with the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The whole country then observed a period of mourning but as Her Majesty passed away whilst staying at Balmoral, Edinburgh led the way. This meant we were able to pass our respects in person when she came to Lie in State at St Giles Cathedral, something that living in Cornwall is not usually possible due to the distance in travelling to London. However it did mean that access to a lot of Buildings and Places were closed or restricted.

The weather was lovely during our stay, with a lot of blue skies and here are my sketches from Edinburgh.


We left Edinburgh and transferred to Oban, via Glasgow and the West Highland Railway. Our Flat had the most amazing view of Oban Harbour and Bay, looking towards the island of Kerrara, with the islands of Lismore and Mull in the distance. I could have just stayed in the flat and looked (and sketched) the wonderful view all the time.

Sadly the weather was not as good as Edinburgh, and although we avoided heavy rain it was mostly grey, so my sketches will include a lot of grey clouds. However I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Oban.

We flew from Newquay Airport to Edinburgh Airport with Loganair, which was highly recommended. We decided to travel around Scotland using local transport, mainly trains and because of the risk of train strikes we did restrict where we visited. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Scotland and I can’t wait to visit again visiting other places.

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Sketches of Norway

Fjorydhutter close-up

If was about this time 5 years ago that we visited Norway and luckily I was able to do some sketching. I wasn’t sure if the weather would be warm enough to sit outside and paint, but here are my sketches of Norway. Click on the images to see a larger version.

We were doing a train tour and flew from Gatwick to Bergen, where we stayed for a few days. The first day was very much what we were expected from Bergen i.e. wet! However in the afternoon of the second day the sun came out and it was glorious. We sat outside close to the Bryggen, where I tried to capture the Wharf houses, which are the iconic buildings that are associated with Bergen.

The next day we were off to Flam, where luckily the glorious weather continued and it was just magical to sit alongside the Sognefjord and get my paints out. Even better was in the evening, where I sat on the beach at past 10 o’clock at night and was able to do another sketch. I loved the four small fishermen houses, or Fjordhytter, that sat below the dramatic mountain above it with their reflection in the water.

We had two days in Flam then we were off on the train for our final stop – Oslo. Oslo is a vibrant and relatively small city and we had another glorious day, so we grabbed a coffee and cake from a local shop (very cost effective) and I sat and sketched the University building. Then later in the afternoon we sat alongside Oslo Fjord looking across to the Oslo Opera House, I just couldn’t capture this building, with the sun shining on all the glass and white walls. Yesterday evening we had visited it, not long after arriving, and climbed on the roof (along with everyone else!) to watch the sunset, quite magical.

Norwegian airlines
Time to go home

All too soon it was time to go home. A wonderful holiday and I am delighted to have captured the scenery with my little sketches as a permanent memory of my time in Norway, including a quick sketch of our plane getting roead to take us home.