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The mysteries of watercolour!

Although I've been painting for many years there is always more to learn.

I had fun recently finding out more about using watercolours, rather than my usual oils or acrylics.

I took some classes with the wonderful Tim Bennison ( and discovered just how exciting and versatile this medium can be.

Tim's style is so different to my own, but we both often start with a quite random underpainting, which becomes part of the finished work and sometimes introduces unexpected and joyful effects.

I got to play with masking fluid in this one and found I could layer the paint without producing mud!

There was quite heavy use of masking in this view of houseboats on the Vancouver


One piece of advice from Tim was to paint the sky in one sweep and not to go back and 'fiddle' with it.

Lots of wet on wet with final details in dry brush.

I loved painting this one!

Started with a pencil sketch and then waterproof ink using an old fashioned dip pen to promote the cartoon-like feel of the image. Not too detailed, with lost and found edges rather than solid lines.

This was followed by a series of washes across the whole painting, starting with the lightest colour and working through to the final blue for the darkest tones. These were painted wet on wet, but drying thoroughly between each layer. Some of the lighter areas were 'lifted out' with a bit of kitchen roll while the paint was wet, but the final highlights were applied with a little white gouache.

I'm continuing to explore and experiment and hope to share the results soon!

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