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Watercolour Workshops To inspire your Creativity

I will be presenting a series of Watercolour Demonstrations of my most popular works at my studio in Marlay Courtyard.

 My Studio at Marlay Courtyard

My Studio at Marlay Courtyard

I will be hosting special demonstration mornings where I get together will a small group of artists who would like to learn how to do the watercolour techniques that I have developed in my 30 years as a working artist. 

The morning will take us through the process of a painting from start to finish. 

Creative techniques include:

*Working into semi-wet paper,

*Variegated washes,

*Using water-blend-able materials like crayons and pencils,

*Spattering into wet and on dry paper,

*Loose Watercolour Techniques and using drips,

*Exploring the differences with working on wet and dry areas,

*I will be touching on the use of collage and how I make my hand-painted papers for use in collage.

*You will also take away a complete list of my watercolour toolkit

*A List of how I use the various techniques and how to do them

*And a Goodie bag with some watercolour materials so you can try them out for yourself!

I have a special demonstration morning coming up this 11 August 2018, Saturday at my studio in Marlay Park Courtyard.

 

In essence, this will be like an intensive, exclusive front row seat where I share EVERYTHING I KNOW with you!

 

Please click on the link below if you'd like to book for September Classes.

Tea and Coffee - Free Parking IN Marlay Park Carpark

 Sun Goddess 19 x 15 inches Watercolour and Collage

Sun Goddess 19 x 15 inches Watercolour and Collage

 

Download my Watercolour Toolkit here

 

 

I'm looking forward to meeting you!

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Download my Essential Watercolour Toolkit here

Essential Art Materials for Creative Watercolour Painting

MATERIALS I USE

For Watercolour and Mixed Media Collage

PAINTS

Winsor and Newton Artist’s Watercolours

 I use the tubes and squeeze them into my enamel palette.  It is my favourite palette to use over plastic or ceramic which is heavy and can break.  With this palette I can fold it up and take it outside....or anywhere!

I use the tubes and squeeze them into my enamel palette.  It is my favourite palette to use over plastic or ceramic which is heavy and can break.  With this palette I can fold it up and take it outside....or anywhere!

I mainly use W&N Artists Watercolours as well as some other colours from brands such as Daniel Smith. I have found that the Quinacridone colours are very strong but wonderfully translucent. For example, Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Violet, and French Ultramarine make a wonderfully rich and translucent brown. Antwerp blue which is dark and inky, is also a transparent colour, making terrific darks if added to Alizarin Crimson and a touch of Venetian Red. I take advantage of colours that granulate like French Ultramarine which makes lovely textures in the washes. A pigment with sediment, such as Raw Umber is what I use if I want to bring out muted textures in dying leaves or petals. Sepia gives a grainy effect for small stones in large areas of foreground. I use cobalt blue (a semi-transparent blue) to glaze over dark areas. When it dries it just leaves a faint mist of its blueness as it is not really heavy enough to obliterate the underlying colour. While working with a general palette, I use the transparent reds like Winsor Red or Quinacridone Red, as it keeps the washes translucent. I have substituted gold ochre for yellow ochre as it is richer. Also, Burnt Sienna is replaced by Quinacridone Sienna by Daniel Smith.

PAPER

Saunders Watercolour paper 140lb NOT surface.  I like to use the 'high white' when I'm doing flowers and still life, but the regular off white works beautifully for landscapes.

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BRUSHES

Pro Arte Connoisseur Brushes sizes 6 to 16

These brushes are made up of a mixture of sable and nylon. They are long lasting and have a good spring to them. The sable holds more water/pigment than the nylon brushes do which affords a streak-free wash. However, the combination of sable and nylon together gives the brush more spring and longevity.

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EXTRA MATERIALS

Caran Dache “Neoart Aquarelle” Watercolour Crayons

These crayons dissolve with water and make a lovely texture on the paper. I use them mainly for drawing in the design at the beginning of the painting as the lines bleed into the watercolour washes making an interesting effect. Sometimes I use them in the wet for creating more texture during the middle stage of the painting. Drawing in the sketch with these crayons will help you to loosen up your technique. (Paler crayons have white pigment in them and will go muddy in the early stages so avoid using too much. However these crayons are great working over dark colours when the painting has dried.)

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Daniel Smith Watercolour Sticks

More expensive than the watercolour crayons but the pigment is much stronger and purer. They work best on wet paper and have vibrant and intense colours.

 Daniel Smith Watercolour Pigment in a stick

Daniel Smith Watercolour Pigment in a stick

 

Watercolour Pencils

These pencils are designed to dissolve with water on paper. They are also great to draw with while they are wet. They will score the paper slightly if drawn into wet areas and this adds graphic linear marks which is a good contrast to blocks of colour. The paler colours have white in them so avoid these in the first few layers as they will make the work go a bit muddy.

 A mixture of watercolour pencils

A mixture of watercolour pencils

 

Derwent Inktense Watercolour Sticks

These are sticks the same size as conte chalk but are soluble with water (as above). They are strong and staining and cannot easily be erased once used. Although strong, the colours are slightly dull.

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Derwent Drawing Pencil – White

This is a white opaque drawing pencil generally used on tinted paper. I find it really nice for creating highlights around white flowers which give them a shimmering effect. Apply the pencil over dry areas only.

Albrecht Durer Schwarz Black Watercolour Pencil

This is a wonderful thick black pencil, which dissolves with water. It is great for giving extra texture to white areas, especially for outlining white flowers. Also, I scrape the lead against sandpaper over the painting to make a fine dust which gives a smoky or fine granular effect to wet watercolour washes. It will only stick to the wet areas so it can be removed from dry areas simply by blowing it off.

Sennelier Oil Pastels

I find that these pastels are the softest I have ever used. They can be used over wet or dry watercolour, and give a vibrant shimmering effect, especially if used over a dark background. They can really lift an area if it has gone dull, or add a little bit of “frisson” to liven up the colour. Oil pastels can be smudged in for a smoky wet-in-wet effect for soft edges. As they are opaque I only use these towards the end stage of the painting. They cannot be painted over with watercolour as the oil resists the water.

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Palette Knife

I use my palette knife to flick the paintbrush against, to create a spattering effect…something I use a lot throughout my work. It helps me to apply paint to wet areas and thereby avoid scuffing the paper with the brush to obtain a fresh effect. I also use it for softening hard edges which helps two areas to fuse. The spattering technique comes in handy to obtain the details of the stamen and pollen in the centres of flowers. Another important element of this technique is that I tend to use colours straight from the tube, so the blending occurs on the paper rather than being pre-mixed on the palette.

Wooden stick from the garden

I use a sharpened stick for scoring lines in the watercolour paper and for drawing in wet areas by dragging the paint.

Sandpaper/Emery paper

This is used for sanding the points of watercolour pencils to create a dust which falls onto a wet wash to create a dusty/smoky effect.

Spray Bottle of Water

I have a small bottle that sprays a fine mist of water on to the paper to keep washes from drying too quickly. I also have another larger bottle (which was recycled from the kitchen) that sprays a more uneven mist of larger drops of water. Sprayed onto dry paper, it helps to set up a good base for doing broken shapes suitable for painting small flowers or poppies. If sprayed onto a drying wash, it can add a beautiful mottled effect which is lovely for creating textures. A plant mister from the gardening shop can also be used.

Winsor and Newton Gold Drawing Ink

I use the gold ink for the final touches, either spiral patterns or spattering effects.

Wax Resist

Use a piece of white candle for wax resist or buy some clear wax crayons for achieving more detailed marks.

 

Watercolour Texture medium

This is a liquid that you can use to paint onto your paper which, when dry will give your paint a grainy texture. Colours will not flow when you use this so it does not give a soft wet in wet effect. Rather it enhances the brushstrokes, making them stand out and the texture will be slightly gritty. I find this works well with a black watercolour pencil or a water-soluble graphite pencil if you work into the wet. It gives beautiful textured lines to a graphic area of the painting.

Acrylic Matt Medium

This is what I use as a glue to collage hand-made paper and tissue to the painted surface. It is acid free which means that it won’t go yellow or bleach out the painted surface it is on. Another alternative for this is white glue or PVA glue. Use a nylon brush with this medium and remember to wash your brush out with soap and water at the end of the day as Acrylic paint can be very hard on brushes.