Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A Watercolour Blog

For a change, I thought I would chat about watercolours.

Watercolours have a reputation for being difficult, a reputation that is only semi deserved. If you are a control freak, perhaps they are not the best choice for your artistic endeavours but if you like to go with the flow as it were, you could enjoy them immensely.

The great thing with watercolours is the easy transporting of your materials and the lack of drying space needed - oils are a pain in that respect. For those inclined, watercolours can be just a case of a portable palette and paper.

Neither does it need to be expensive. Paper is your largest expense and if you look out for offers, even that is not too bad. Look for a good heavy paper, mine is cold pressed 300g/m and that is pretty good. If you go to any reputable art shop they will guide you to the beginners stuff.

Paints are a matter of choice. Most of us are happy with student grade paints unless we get really serious but even the dearer ones are not that expensive when you consider how little you use. If you are short of cash, cut back on the number of colours and mix red, blue and yellow to get any you want.

One very good tip is to use a lidded ice cube tray for mixing your colours. Add just a tiny drop of liquid honey to each well and you will be surprised how it makes your paints so much more glossy and easier to mix. These are in a cheap plastic palette. It stops them drying out, I have paints untouched for a year in there and can still use them!

On my lidded ice tray, I labelled all the colours I mixed, for easy reference.   
Don't be afraid to experiment and mix in other mediums too. If you add a touch of metallic acrylic, you can get some very pretty effects.

The beauty of watercolour is that it is not so heavily controlled, happy accidents happen, giving unexpected results sometimes. You don't need costly, smelly cleaners either.

Get the best brushes you can, because those do make a difference. I love water brushes too. Inexpensive plastic brushes with handles that fill with water. There is a controlled flow to the brush tip and they are great fun! You can get filled ones too but if you are trying to keep the cost down, get the empty ones!
For anyone who says that they can't even draw a straight line, who cares? Go look in an art museum and I bet you will see stuff in there that makes you think a monkey could paint better - and you certainly could!
All that matters is that YOU like the results, that you think your paint splodge is interesting.  So go on, indulge your inner artist. It's very relaxing and cheaper than therapy!

 Here are some of mine. Just to inspire you to try.


  1. Love your watercolors, Sandra...especially the dandelions!

    1. Thanks! I love to dabble with paint!