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Watercolour Gift Tags

lots of watercolour gift tags

I have been experimenting with a new product – Watercolour Gift Tags. On my Etsy Shop a customer has the option to mark their purchase as a gift.

I had great fun creating various tags using old paintings. These are paintings that for various reasons, I wasn’t that happy with as a final product. As I love card making, and similar activities, I experimented with using sections of these paintings as a gift tag. Another idea was create tags that relate them to my products or brand. Above are my initial experiments, which were great fun.

Using small sections of paintings

Sometimes I can paint a picture that includes a little gem – perhaps a boat, but the overall painting just doesn’t work. So I decided that I could use these little gems and turn them into gift tags.

Two watercolour gift tags

My initial test was using a lovely a “Miss P Loves” long die, with a narrow image. This is set against a coloured background and stamping a sentiment “Just for You”.

Three watercolour gift tags of seascapes

I was delighted with how they looked so I proceeded to make more. Using matt and layers allowed me to use some quite small paintings. I also added a faux reinforcement where the hole for the ribbon goes.

Using a painting for the whole tag

Three watercolour gift tags of seascapes

I love to paint, or sketch, outdoors but I find end up with so many paintings. These are perfect for using as a whole tag – these above use my Sizzix die for the shape. This die has a lovely faux stitching effect on the outside edge that I like.

On this gift tag I was using up a small piece of paper, the perfect space for a little painting to become a tag. It is quite simple but I did enjoy painting it. It would probably match one of my paintings of Logan Rock / Pedn Vounder beach.

The third option uses a small tag die from Crafters Companion. Some of my paintings are of iconic Cornish scenes, such as Godrevy Lighthouse, St Michaels Mount, to perfectly match with a painting. This could make a really nice gift offering for a special present. On some of the gift tags, where there is suitable space, I have stamped the words “Just for You”. I will monitor interest and feedback to see if people like this.

Back of gift tags

I frequently use A6 watercolour postcards whilst out and about for my sketches and these lines already printed on the reverse. In this instance the backs may either be blank or stamped “For” and “From”. Again I will monitor feedback to see if people prefer them blank or with words.

Finished with twine

Three watercolour gift tags of seascapes

I have used a natural jute twine to attach the gift tag to the present. This is in keeping with the scenes from nature that I have painted.

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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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Sketching again

Sketch of Pentire Headland

In a previous post I talked about my recent eye surgery however I am delighted to report that I am sketching again!

A few weeks ago it was a gloriously sunny day, Mark had made pasties so we packed them up and headed up to West Pentire. The view from the car park was just stunning – gosh I do love Cornwall.

I decided to have a go at a quick sketch looking across to Pentire Headland. The tide was coming in and there were great surfing conditions. I did struggle a bit using my one good eye, which made it quite hard to work out the exactly how far away the paper was! We also had a walk around where I was able to get some good reference photos for future sketches.

Looking towards Crantock beach

As the car park was rather expensive, we only stayed for an hour and drove up to Pentire Headland. Thanks to Cornwall Council offering free car parking during the winter in some places, we could stay as long as we liked.

The tide had been coming in fast and looking across to Crantock beach, the sand was almost covered.

Sketch of Crantock beach with tide coming in

I didn’t think I did too bad a job until I realised I forgot to paint the sky! 

Not sure how the sketching went, painting with one eye is not easy but I did enjoy our beautiful scenery. 

Sketching at home

Back at home I decided more practice needed and as I had been asked if I had any small paintings of the Newquay area, so I some more sketching from my ol photos.

I started with my little sketches of Holywell Bay, Newquay Harbour and the views across Fistral Bay.

This was very successful annd I am pleased with the results. Even better I turned 5 of them into cards and 3 were sold within a few days! I definitely will be sketching more locations around Newquay.

Chapel Porth

Drawing of Wheal Coates

I know feel inspired to get sketching again and Chapel Porth is next on the list! This and I love this scene.

I have lots more ideas for future cards, mainly painting scenes like Chapel Porth above that are always popular. Also on my list are Kynance Cove, St Michaels Mount, as well as different locations like Porthgwarra, Housel Bay, Lands End … to mention but a few!

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Turning sketches into cards

making greeting cards from my sketches

Looking around this website it may be apparent that I love sketching however it does mean that I end up with too many sketches. So I decided that I would turn my sketches into cards that people can buy.

Jane sketching at The Lizard

My sketches can include being in a beautiful spot in Cornwall, perhaps visiting Portreath or Godrevy. I love to sit down and capture the day with a little sketch.

It could be taken from one of my photographs, I love walking and taking photographs so I have a vast library of images that I would like to paint. Doing a little sketch also helps me decide whether to paint a full scale version of it.

wheal francis drawing

Sketch using pen and ink

Style wise, I have two different styles. One style uses a stippling effect, where the image is drawn using lots of dots. The other uses a free, quick sketch approach. The difference in these two techniques will depend on the subject matter is stippling tends to be a more accurate representation, wheras the free, quick sketch can be more dynamic, capturing the essence of a place.

The Crowns at Botallack Mine

The initial sketches can be when watching TV, as I find it a great way to unwind. I find stippling very relaxing. Then I will add the watercolour at a later date, perhaps sat in the garden or my summerhouse, which I particularly enjoy on a summers evening.

Low Tide at St Ives greeting card

I always like to revisit these sketches at a later date and decide which of these sketches other people may enjoy and I cut them down to size, around 90–100mm square and attach them to a blank card stock, usually a 6×6 inch card.

An inexpensive gift idea

Clear waters at Logan Rock-framed

The cards, which are blank inside for your own greeting, all have matching envelopes. Alternatively why not put them into a square frame. Most high street, and online retailers, have square frames that a 6×6 card will fit in. This creates an affordable framed painting to either have in your own home or give as a gift.

This is a Win Win situation, I love my sketching and you can enjoy owning an original piece of art – without breaking the bank. Have a look at the greeting cards that I currently have for sale.

Remember these cards are all originals and once they are gone I may never paint that scene again.

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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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Quick easy watercolours

acrylic images on easel

I have a variety of styles, some are quick easy watercolours – these are watercolours that I can paint in 10–30 minutes. This is usually when I am outside trying to capture the scene quickly. Other watercolours take me a lot longer and these are my larger paintings, and are not usually painted in one session – an idea for another blog post I think!

Acrylic paintings

Sometimes I paint using Acrylic paint and I have to be quick with these because they dry so quickly. Never has that been more evident than this summer when it has been so hot! I have been painting my little easels but also drinks mats.

4 drinks mats of Godrevy beach

I did a few more but using different colours this time.

more drinks mats of Godrevy beach

I have been visiting the beach on quite a few occasions and after taking a dip I got my paints out. Here is my attempt to capture how busy Godrevy beach was, with so many people swimming, on paddle boards and inflatables. Everyone was really enjoying the lovely weather.

skethc of a busy Godrevy beach

Greeting cards

I like to convert my quick skethces and make them into cards. As mentioned I I love painting outside, so afterwards I cut them up into squares and turn them into greeting cards that hopefully people enjoy. They are purposely put on to 6×6 square cards so that they fit a standard square frame that can be purchased from a variety of supermarkets and other shops.

making greeting cards from my sketches

Visit my Greeting Cards page for what is currently available for sale, although as they are original paintings, once they have gone there is no guarantee I will paint the same scene again.

Lastly, this sketch is of Noto Cathedral, which I haven’t personally visited but was for an anniversary card for a special couple who got married there.

Sketche of Noto Cathedral

I hope you have enjoyed an insight into what I have been working on during August, don’t forget to find out my latest paintings that are availble to purhcase.

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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.

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Memories of my holiday in Sennen

Gwenver Beach

Recently I enjoyed a weeks holiday in Sennen with lots of walking and painting. Now you might be surprised why I would want to holiday in Sennen, when I live so close to it, and the reason is two-fold. One relates to Covid and the potential problems of travelling, and the other is, by staying somewhere I can have one week to enjoy the sunshine, the sunset and everything in-between. I don’t have a sea view from where I live and it is an absolute joy to experience such a beautiful view for one week.

On the Saturday the weather was glorious so we walked along the south west coast path, which involved walking past the glorious Gwenver Beach, where I sat and sketched the painting above. However I just haven’t manage to capture the stunning white sands and the total peace and tranquality that you feel when you sit on the beach. I have taken photographs so I will have another attempt.

On the rest of the days the weather was quite cloudy but on the day we walked across to Nanjizal bay the sun came out and it was simply glorious! The tide was coming in but we ventured down on to the beach for a short while, and I just don’t have enough adjectives to describe this beautiful place. I should mention it isn’t an easy walk, and there is nowhere to park close by to park, not to mention scrambling across the large boulders on the beach to reach the sand – but it was well worth it!

The above are sketches of the view from our accommodation where I tried to capture the fog rolling in and the waves rolling on to the shore.

As you can imagine I love Sennen and I have taken loads of photographs so I can’t wait to get my paints out at home!

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Sketching at The Lizard

Old Lizard Head

We have recently had a wonderful spell of weather here in Cornwall and so I was delighted to be able find a nice comfy seat, get my paints out and enjoy sketching at The Lizard in the glorious sunshine.

Jane sketching at Old Lizard Head

Parking at The Lizard we walked down Lizard Head Lane and joined the coast path from Kynance Cove to The Lizard, stopping at a lovely sheltered spot by Old Lizard Point to capture the scene and sketch the rocks that were exposed as it was low tide.

Rocks off old Lizard Head

Heading on further we stopped for a lunch at Polpeor Cafe, where we were able to sit outside and I had a great spot to capture another view of The Lizard.

What a great day, walking and painting in the sunshine! Bring on more spring days.