Practicing eyes


This is just a watercolour practice on painting eyes, roughly size A4. I was trying out highlights on the eyes to make them look more 3D. I’ve not been painting much this month, as I’ve been sketching ideas and testing out different mediums. By Artist Sophie Appleton.


Squirrel Watercolour


First time using wax resist. I find masking fluid a bit too ridged so instead I experimented with loose scribble strokes of wax on the squirrels tail for a sketchier colour blocking method. The only thing to keep in mind is that no paint can be added on the waxed area, which remains permanently blocked, unlike masking fluid which can be painted after removed. Watercolour and pen painting of a squirrel by Artist Sophie Appleton.

Brad Pitt Portrait

Brad Pitt painting.

This is the 2nd time I’ve tried painting someones face. The finished watercolour portrait of Brad Pitt. I tried to capture the thoughtful look in his eyes, and I hope it has a likeness to him. I think his good looks go against him when it comes to his acting, as his skills are often overlooked, although I must admit it’s been quite an enjoyable subject to paint :-) by Sophie Appleton.

Celebrity Portrait


My little one went to sleep early tonight, rare treat for me to have 4 hours painting time. Come September she will be at school and I can paint more often. This is my second ever painting of a person. Still lots to do on it. My friend James Pauburgh was a bodyguard for this guy a few years ago, lucky man! Brad Pitt Watercolour by Sophie Appleton.

Portrait Artist of the year 2018

Frank Skinner

Watching sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2018 on catch up. Attempted my first watercolour portrait. It’s David Tennant (with a couple of blokes in the way)! By Sophie Appleton. Frank Skinner is so funny, every time he walks up to an artist I’m in stitches, he makes an interesting program entertaining. Very witty banter between him and Tai-Shan Schierenberg.

Pencil Portrait Child

Child Portrait

My first pencil portrait, I’ve been painting watercolour animals in a contemporary colourful style for several years and always avoided humans. I watched several YouTube videos on drawing eyes, noses and mouths then decided to have a go. I only had a 0.3 HB pencil pen – no blending tool or thin highlight rubber, so if I practice more in future I’d need to go shopping.

Rabbit watercolour


This hare art was looking muddy due to to much colour watercolour with the ‘wet in wet’ technique. To remedy this I layered watercolour pencils over the top which brought back texture to the fur. I also added pen work in blue, white and black for definition and a modern twist. By Artist Sophie Appleton.

Red Flowers Painting


I have painted some red flowers. Added that bit of glitzy glam again with small areas of gold paint, among the watercolour and ink, just for that extra passion and drama. By Sophie Appleton. It is now for sale on eBay, simply search eBay for ‘by Sophie Appleton’ or the SHOP section on the ‘Swirly Soph Art’ app.

Wild Flowers painting


Painted in watercolour, with pen and gold details. This photo is a zoomed in area showing about a third of the painting. It started off as just the large pink flowers, but then I decided to add lavender and buttercups making the art a more busy scene of wild flowers. The finished painting size is 12″X9″. Thanks for viewing. By Artist Sophie Appleton.

Horse watercolour


NOW COMPLETED. A zoomed in section on shows the highlights and lowlights of the mane I’d been working on. Afterwards I added small areas of ink detail to complete the entire artwork. May take a trip to the hairdressers to get the same colour done on my own barnet. This horse, in earlier progress, was used on the finished update for ‘Swirly Soph Art’ app, displaying on the App Store and Google Play. By Artist Sophie Appleton.

Whippet dog Watercolour 


I thought I’d add this photo from a while ago, as it gives an example of painting a lively watercolour from a mainly white and tan dog. Leaving the paper without any colour for white areas can give a starchy look, so by adding unexpected colours it brings more interest and a contemporary look. By Sophie Appleton.

Dog, black sausage dog.


Painting black dogs don’t have to be bland, add lots of unusual colours. This watercolour painting has a cute angle of looking upwards, the painting is based on a photo of my own dog when calling her for a dog treat to put her lead back on after a long walk. By Sophie Appleton.

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear

I took my time painting this one and was pleased with the end result. I hope you enjoy looking at it to. This teddy bear was painted with a lot of water to allow the colours to blend on there own accord with more detail added once dry. Watercolour size 12″x9″ by Sophie Appleton.

Miniature Iris Painting


ACEO size of 3.5″x2.5″. Delicately hand painted miniature watercolour. This size of painting look great in all those little nooks and crannies in your home like on the mantelpiece or windowsill. It is also a great size for adding ideas to a sketch book. ACEO stands for ‘Art, Cards, Editions and Originals’. Watercolour and pen iris painting by Sophie Appleton.

New Art above, info below.


Thats the end of the list for the latest New Art that I’ve been working on.The articles that follow below are some saved older articles with miscellaneous info. Some weeks I paint several watercolours, other weeks my paint brushes just collect dust. The ‘Added Info’ icon on the SWIRLY SOPH ART phone app has more detailed information about online purchasing.

Eye Shape practice


Before attempting my first pencil portrait I’ve decided to practice on individual features, which I found quite useful. This shows the basic shape of an eye to begin with. Notice how this eye is not an oval shape but instead it has more of a curved shape, like drawing a fish. The slope’s more gradual top left than it is top right. Bottom of the eye has a deeper curve. Iris slightly covered by eye lid. By Sophie Appleton.

Tell me what to paint


Have a go on the ‘Poll’ icon on the phone app SWIRLY SOPH ART. The next time I pick up a paint brush you might see your choice painted for you to view. Other poll questions are on there to. Your opinion is and interaction with this app is important. Plus the Poll is anonymous and you can re vote every day.

Keep it yours


If you’ve created an artwork or you have purchased one of mine, and you’d like to send friends a photo of it, please make sure that you obstruct it in some way with writing edited over the photo or lay something over the image, it helps to prevent a clear printable image from floating around the internet. You could also email yourself with your artwork which gives proof of the date it was created. Copyright Sophie Appleton.

Distractions Overworking


I’ve added so much color to this horse it will be difficult to paint its mane as it could end up being to distracting. Paintings work best with an area of focus to draw in the viewers attention either to one area or to allow the eyes to flow across the image with ease. Paintings with too much going on at once can become distracting. By Sophie Appleton Watercolour Artist.

Adding Colour Contrast


I have used the opposite colours of purple and orange to add a zesty focal point. When choosing the colours to add in a painting, it’s handy to have a basic idea which colours gently sit side by side and which give a shocker of a contrast. By Sophie Appleton

Happy Accidents Watercolour


With watercolour it is very unpredictable how the paint will mix and blend on the paper, due to the different pigments each colour holds. Even happy accidents can turn out well. This ‘Captivating Cat’ painting blended with bubbles of white paper showing through, ideal for fur. By Sophie Appleton.

Using Masking Fluid


Masking fluid isn’t something I usually use, partly due to its pong but mainly because my style of paintings don’t usually require it. As this bunny will have a background sky I have masked off the moon and stars and the bunny outline.When masking fluid dried I painted the sky, once that dried I gently used a putty rubber to remove the masking fluid. Love you to the moon and back – by Sophie Appleton.

Painting Fur


When painting fur or hair I find it easier to tackle it in patches or clumps. Take into account the different direction of the fur to add interest and texture. This one shows just the first watercolour layers which when dry has layering and layering of colours added on top for greater contrast. Owl Wisdom’ by Sophie Appleton.

Wet on Wet painting


Some paintings I have painted in a looser style, wet on wet as it is called in watercolour techniques. Wetting the page first then when the sheen of water sinks in looking damp, I add the paint. It lets the paint flow and soften at the edges. ‘Fluffy’ size 12″x9″ By Sophie Appleton.

How to Start a Painting


There is no right or wrong way to start a painting. When I’m painting a commission painting from a photo I pencil draw first, unlike when I’m making up a painting. Also I start with the eyes because this feature must get the animals character or I get the dustbin. By Sophie Appleton Watercolour Artist.

Wording on a painting


when adding special names or dates to a commission painting you can make the wording as subtle or bold as you desire. These zoomed in areas of 4 paintings show examples. The love heart was over a teddy bear Anniversary painting, ‘Digby’ lettering was big above a dog commission, Alexis was tiny on a roses leaf, the date 17.10.08 was on the bottom of a dodos handbag (see other article for dodo painting). By Sophie Appleton.

Theme of a Painting 


Try unusual themes for painting. This Dodo painting was created at a customers request, I’d never painted one before so it was a challenge. The customer also wanted feminine accessories on the Dodo like hair flowers, necklace, handbag, makeup. Adding personal words to the on the letters on the handbag pattern as well as a special date in tiny white paint on the handbag trim. By Sophie Appleton.

Painting a Print


This painting has been made into a print. When painting a watercolour which will be then produced as prints, I added lots of strong colours and interesting textures. This keeps the image looking interesting and fresh. I occasionally draw a basic pencil outline before painting but more often than not I paint directly on to a blank sheet.

Giggle Mindfulness


If your creative why not give writing a go. If you fancy a chuckle read my Amoeba Fox blog which is this link which is random mind swirls to make you smile, think and encourage an active mind. There can be great health and wellness gained through creating art and writing, I hope you give it a go, or if you already do then try to squeeze in even more time for it.

Writing a Novel


Being dyslexic, and having Irlen Syndrome, creative writing is not the easiest of tasks but I’m enjoying the challenge. This painting I did has been used as the image for this supernatural verses mental health fictional novel called ‘Sectioned Alien’. It could be years and years until it is a finished novel, but this is the link to all 8 chapters so far

Bipolar and Painting 


Occasionally instead of fluffy cute animals or flowers I have a go at an artsy fine art style painting, especially if my bipolar is making emotions more intense than usual, I find it a productive way to use my bipolar, so having this illness is not a disability to me but an asset when it comes to magnifying my creativity. The Big Bang by Artist Sophie Appleton. I used this painting on one of my articles on Amoeba Fox.

Size 12″ x 9″ Paintings


This photo should give you a visual idea of the scale of my paintings, which are usually size 12″x9″. Sometimes I paint 14″ or 16″ size paintings. If you have bought from me in the past you will recognise my standard business card :-)

Size of an ACEO painting 


ACEO stands for ‘Art Cards, Editions and Originals’. The size is 2.5″ X 3.5″ or 89mm X 64mm. The ACEO that I create are hand painted in watercolour & pen. This photo gives you a visual idea of scale with my standard size business card on the mini easel stand (which I bought on eBay for £2).

Email Reminders


Free email reminder when each freshly painted new artwork is added by Artist Sophie Appleton. Details on the app inside the ADDED INFO icon (paint set and question mark) or visit my website on its email reminders page. Each new Art article that is emailed to you is then removed at my end after a while, so please view your ‘Sophie Art Originals’ email as soon as it swirls towards you.