Falling In Love With Watercolour
The simplicity of watercolour!
I’ve recently fallen in love with my watercolours again. As you will know if you follow my work, I do like to experiment with different drawing and painting mediums and rarely stick to using just one. My studio is brim full of art materials and I love them all. There’s probably room for more though…
Watercolours are fun to work with, mainly because they are rather unpredictable – you must trust the paint and enjoy a few ‘happy little accidents’!
As detailed in my previous post, I keep a sketchbook for regular drawing and painting, and watercolour is a useful medium for the sketchbook. I find it covers the surface quickly, adds a lovely depth of colour and works beautifully with ink pens, as with this little bothy sketch.
When painting this beautiful hare, I first sketched the outline with graphite pencil. I used watercolour board (a heavyweight watercolour paper mounted on card) which stops the paper ‘buckling’ which can happen when water soaks into the paper.
I chose a palette of Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Windsor Yellow, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Indian Deep Red, Ultrramrine Blue and Black. I use the Windsor and Newton Professional watercolours in tubes.
I must admit, I lost the way a little bit in the middle of the painting, mainly because I realised my initial drawing was ‘off’ and I wasn’t happy with where I had placed the eyes. I successfully lifted off most of the pigment which enabled me to make the necessary corrections. It’s not always easy to do this with watercolour though!
I ended up being pleased with the result. I chose to leave the background plain white, and he is now with my framer for mounting and framing. I can’t wait to to see what he looks like in his smart new frame!
Some of my previous watercolour sketches have been created in a rather more illustrative style, such as ‘Blossom Hare‘ and ‘Autumn Hare‘. These really show off the simplicity of the watercolour medium; again, I have used ink fine-liner pen to outline some of the paint. Prints of these paintings are some of my bestsellers.
The other lovely thing about watercolour is you can get splashy. It’s fun to load the brush with lots of pigment and flick the brush across the page. This can create a sense of movement to the painting, in addition to making the artwork loose and colourful.
Another way to create interesting shapes and effects with the paint is to blow it with a straw when wet, and maybe try tipping the paper to let the paint drip.
You can also use kitchen paper towel and bubble wrap to blot the paper and create interesting effects.
See, watercolour is fun!
17 January - 21 January 2024 Gallery@oxo, Barge House Street, London, UK View the 50 shortlised artworks and the winning pieces from this year's British Art Prize. The British Art Prize is a prestigious open art competition run by Artists and Illustrators Magazine,...