Watercolour

Koala

Koala 1 - NB
Koala in watercolour, 19 cm x 29 cm

This cute little koala is the subject matter of the latest tutorial in Jean Haines Online Art School. This was really fun to do. It’s not something I would have painted normally but it’s good to be challenged to paint something a little different. It is watercolour of course and the colours I used were: Lunar Blue, Indigo, Cobalt Violet Deep, Quinacridone Gold and Goethite (Brown Ochre), all by Daniel Smith. The paper I used was Winsor & Newton Professional paper, 140 lb Rough. This is really lovely paper to paint on.

August is texture month in Jean’s online art school. Whilst lots of members in Jean’s school will be having lots of fun with this, I have decided to pretty much opt out. Why? It’s because texture month involves using “texture products” like crackle mediums and the like. To me, once you start using these products in a watercolour painting it stops being a watercolour painting and becomes a MIXED MEDIA painting of which watercolour is a part. My passion in art is for watercolour – pure and simple. I love watercolour for it’s transparency, beautiful colour fusions and watermarks. Somehow all this is lost with the introduction of texture mediums. Look at my painting below:

Mini Textured Cockerel - NB
Cockerel on a mini canvas with DS Watercolor Ground & watercolours

Does it look like a watercolour? Answer is no… !! Here Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground has been used to prime a canvas and then a create texture, over which I have painted a cockerel with watercolours. But I might just as well have painted this with acrylic paints. With the application of the watercolour ground as a texture, all the lovely qualities of the watercolour medium have been lost. I like the Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground as a means of being able to paint with watercolours on alternative surfaces like canvas or wood. But as a texture medium? NO !! Also, as DS Watercolor Ground is acrylic emulsion, I would personally never use it to recover lost white areas in a watercolour either; to me, doing so also turns a watercolour painting into mixed media.

I have nothing at all against mixed media art but it’s not where I want to be in my art journey right now. I even have some ideas of my own for incorporating some mixed media into my watercolour work at some point in the future. But when I do that I will clearly label it as watercolour with mixed media. I joined Jean’s lovely art school to try and learn some her beautiful watercolour skills. Not to learn mixed media art techniques…

The bottom line here is that I seem to have strong tendencies towards being a watercolour purist. Who knew… ! I’ve learnt something new about myself…

5 thoughts on “Koala

  1. The bear is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. And re your comments re Jean Haines course & mixed media I couldn’t agree with you more. Btw I love your paintings especially your Sweet Peas. Your work inspires me to get better.

    1. Thank you so much Michelle. I’m so happy to know that I’ve inspired someone. I want to keep improving my watercolour painting too. I really hope August is just a “blip” in Jean’s school and we go back to “proper” watercolour painting in September… !

  2. You’ve really caught the texture of the fur. I like the rooster, but I agree, it does not read as a watercolor. But both are lovely. (K)

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