As I’m sure you have found already, finding your own style when painting with watercolours takes lots of time, experimentation, patience and practice.
Every Painting is Unique
Recently I realised that painting with watercolours could be great for making small quick pictures. Using them as personalised cards for Birthdays and other special occasions is a lovely idea.
This is one of two cards that I made for sending to friends in December 2019. I scanned the images as Jpeg files into my PC using our printer. these were sent to an online printing company to get a quantity printed. The deal also included environmentally friendly brown recycled paper envelopes.
It’s really nice paint something personal in watercolours to send to family and friends
One of my early attempts at painting with watercolours, in my twenties, of a small country church at Bixley near Norwich.
Sadly this church was burned by vandals and is now a ruin, so I am glad that I painted this back in 1978 as a record of it’s former glory.
A pen and wash watercolour. (I now realise that the tree base on the left should have been further back and the Scots pine trees would have been better moved and the “finger” left out from poking over the roof!)
All good learning for future composition.
I remember at school that the paints we were given to use were not of today’s artists quality. They were always very thick even when diluted, lacked transparency and vibrancy. Do you remember, those flat round 2.5 cm cakes of paint that you may have had as a child? This low quality paint and basic paper lead to rather stiff, dull and over-worked pictures and illustrations.
I did however paint a watercolour still life of some fruit in a bowl on a piece of folded material. That picture was entered into a local exhibition, so some finesse may have been there!
I now recommend that you use student and professional quality watercolour paints for your paintings. These have much better pigment content and light-fastness.
This is my latest quick watercolour painting. Abstract shapes in a limited colour palette over a mixed yellow wash background.
No pre-sketching. Just used ideas out of my head to see how the different shapes could be linked and correlate with each other in location and colour. It took me about an hour to complete and I find this a good way to relax for a while and let my brain freewheel or defrag after a busy day!
After some experimentation, I have come to realise that painting with watercolours can be great fun. The good quality paints and specialist (300 gsm textured) watercolour papers help to create some interesting hues and vibrancy when mixed properly. I need to get some brighter and more intense colours into some landscapes.
The above two small watercolour paintings are quite small . 14 x 18 cm using Winsor & Newton tube colours on Bockingford NOT 300 gsm paper. Some simple outlines in pencil first. Port Isaac in Cornwall. (Note: Amica Manus used here as my pseudonym)