Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, Using Masking Fluid, Colossal, Creative Sketchbooks

Our Newsletter – 9th January 2020

I thought we’d start this newsletter with this beautiful painting by Rosetti that’s presently on display as part of the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, London, until 26th January.
She is Prosperpine (Persephone), which seemed appropriate: it was Proserpine who was queen of the underworld but who returned to the surface once a year heralding spring. I have already spotted lots of bulbs springing up in the garden and in the woods as I walk. Lovely to see those first new shoots.
I would love to see this exhibition at the NPG, but I know I won’t make it before it closes, if you’re in the same position, you might enjoy following the NPG on Instagram, they post paintings frequently and I always enjoy spotting something new I’ve not seen before in my feed. You can also enjoy this painting (and lots more) via Google Arts and Culture.

New on DesignMatters this week…

Video Workshop – Using Masking Fluid

We’ve made a new workshop work you, now over on the website you’ll find Linda demonstrating how to use masking fluid. This versatile product can be so useful for your watercolour paintings and when using watercolour in your sketchbook. Linda will show you different methods to apply it for great effect.

Ways to watch:

If you have a DesignMatters TV Membership you’ll find this workshop is automatically available to you, just click on the link above.
If you don’t have a Membership, you can purchase this workshop as a one-off for £1.50. You might like to use Classroom Credits to do this. As you know we are gradually phasing memberships out and a couple of months ago we introduced the Classroom Credit option. Many thanks to those of you who have already added credit to your accounts – we hope you find redeeming them against any of the new videos or any title in the Classrooms is really straightforward. And don’t forget, any purchased videos stay in your account for unlimited viewing!

Art and Embroidery Inspiration


I’m sure we must have told you about Colossal before, it’s a great website that showcases all sorts of art and design work by artists and makers from all over the world. If you’ve not checked it out recently, we’re sure you’ll find something of interest there, maybe this recent article about embroidery.

Creative Sketchbooks

We let you know recently that Linda’s working through our Creative Sketchbooks course as though she were a student. Well, I’m pleased to report that she’s a good student and has already done quite a bit of work!
If you’re also one of our Creative Sketchbooks students then you’ll find Linda posting in the new blog section within the course pages. There are just a few posts there at the moment, but please check back often and you’ll find more coming very soon.
We hope you’ll enjoy seeing how Linda’s approaching the activities and of course, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop us a line as you work too.

Keeping it Simple

In the course Modules, we suggest that you look close to home for your inspiration. Even the most mundane objects in your kitchen drawers or draining by the sink can become exciting and challenging subjects to draw and paint.
If you are in any doubt, why not take a look at the watercolour paintings by Diana Boanas. We discovered her work via Painters Online and instantly loved her painted studies of jam jars, cutlery and scissors. They are beautifully painted and a fine example of how magic can happen even with the simplest and most domestic of subjects.
Thank you for reading our news this week. We will be back next week with more! In the meantime please follow along with us via social media (the links are below) and if you have any questions about anything please feel free to email.
Love Laura