Category Archives: Watercolours

Watercolour painting practice

Today’s watercolour painting practice. A4 size on watercolour paper.

Watercolour painting practice of a camel

I have decided I need to do more watercolour practice!

It is strange, but when I work in acrylics I think acrylics are my favourite medium. And then when I work in watercolours I think no, watercolours are my favourite medium! And vice versa.

But I do know that watercolours take a lot more practice. If only there was more time!

Cubist Painting

A new idea just popped into my head yesterday. I decided I would take a look at trying to create a cubist painting. Cubist painting is something I really like but I really had no idea how to go about it but this is what I came up with. Not sure that I like it but it was an interesting exercise.

My process was as follows:

First of all I found myself three items that I thought had interesting shapes.

Then I made a quick sketch of them on to tracing paper just using outline shapes.

I used the tracing paper to transfer three groups of the same images in what I felt were a pleasing arrangement and decided to paint them with watercolour. That was trickier than I expected. I still need to try and refine my watercolour skills.

At this point I didn’t know what to do, so I took a picture of it and imported it into Procreate on my iPad. This gave me the freedom to play with ideas. Then I came up with something I was happy with.

I took these ideas back to the painting and replicated them in a similar fashion using fine line markers in black and white. And voila!

Well, now that I have worked on that little impulse I am not sure that I want to explore it any further. But that’s not a problem. I still have endless other ideas buzzing around in my head.

Watercolour Play

I have been spending a long time organising and playing with my watercolour paints recently.

I think I spend more time playing and practicing with my paints than I do finishing pieces of art, but I do believe this is the best way to learn.

Daniel Smith Watercolours

First of all I prepared my own little travel set. I purchased this tiny empty metal watercolour box which would hold 12 half pans.

Empty metal watercolour box

But I removed the metal insert trays inside which gave me so much more room. I then re configured the layout so that it would take 24 half pans. I glued in my own half pans and filled them with my preferred colours to create my unique palette. I finished off the paint palette by painting and inserting a reference chart of the colours and Voila!

Travel Watercolour Set

This is such a portable size 5″ x 3″ and perfect for travelling. Plus of course I now have a larger choice of colours for such a small tin.

Then I spent a great deal of time preparing and loading my paints into my large watercolour carousel which I keep in my art room.

Watercolour Carousel Palette

I purchased this carousel online from Robax. It spins around so it is easy to access all the colours. It is probably a little larger than I needed (15″ diameter) and maybe the next size down would have been more practical and taken up less room.

Now it was time to play.

I often spot colours that accidentally fall together on my art table and I suddenly notice what a great colour combination they are and they inspire me, so I decided that when I notice these I would paint the colours together on a piece of watercolour paper as a reminder reference. So I painted a few that I liked and then threaded them on a chain to hang up in my art room.

Watercolour combinations

I can look at these when I need inspiration. But of course this is just a beginning and I will add to the colour chain as I find more great colour combinations. I think I will also paint some three colour combinations too.

Finally, I decided to make myself a reference book of watercolour techniques that I have discovered. So I painted out the ideas and made notes with each technique.

Watercolour Techniques

I then got out my Cinch Binder for the first time.

Cinch Binder

It was incredibly fast and easy to use. I used it to put together this little book. I left some spare blank pages at the end for me to add techniques as I discover more.

Watercolour Techniques

Once again this makes a good reference for inspiration.

So all in all I thought my play days were an excellent way of learning more about watercolours.

I wonder if you have got any great watercolour techniques, video links or website pages with ideas for me to add to my techniques book? If so I would love it if you could share them in the comments.


Making Good Use of my Watercolour Practice

I love to play/practice with my watercolour paints. It helps me to understand how the colours react with each other and to discover exciting colour combinations. It also helps me to get into the flow of painting with watercolour again, especially if I have been recently working with acrylics.

Watercolour practice swatches

I paint these little rectangular colour swatches. It is very relaxing to do.

But these little swatches are never wasted because I then use them in my watercolour art. Today I have used them to add decoration and interest to some greetings cards I have painted. The little animals and bears were also practice pieces from Danielle Donaldon’s class. But nothing goes to waste and they do make great original greetings cards.

Watercolour greetings cards

And the extra bonus is that they are great fun to do!

I hope I have inspired you to make some greetings cards of your own. If so, do let me know how you got on and whether you enjoyed making use of your scrap pieces too. I would love to hear from you.