Watercolour

Sunflowers, Sweet Peas & Elephants

Elephant - Mother & Baby - NB
Elephants – Mother & Baby, 28 cm x 19 cm on Arches 140 lb Rough paper

Painting elephants in watercolour was one of the recent tutorials in Jean Haines online watercolour school. Painting these elephants really pushed me out of my comfort zone. This is my first ever attempt at painting a whole elephant – I’d only previously done a head study. I used just three main colours – Raw Sienna Light, Ultramarine Blue and Green Apatite Genuine by Daniel Smith but I did also use just a touch of Winsor & Newton Titanium White for the tusks. I’m quite pleased with my elephants… !

Sunflower 2 - NB
Sunflower in watercolour, 28.5 cm x 19 cm on Arches Rough paper

Sunflowers and Sweet Peas were also on the agenda in “art school” too. I love sunflowers – they’re so bright, sunny and bold. For the yellow petals I used a mixture of Hansa Yellow Medium and Insoindoline Yellow and for the centre I used Rose of Ultramarine, Quinacridone Gold and Transparent Red Oxide – all by Daniel Smith.

Sweet Pea Study 1 - NB
Sweet Peas in watercolour

In direct contrast to the sunflower, Sweet Peas are so much more delicate and need much softer, pastel colours and a light hand. I love these delicate washes of colour. I painted these on Fabriano Artistico Extra White paper, 140 lb Rough. I used an assortment of colours for these but the colour that really made a difference to them was Phthalo Turquoise by Daniel Smith – it’s a stunning colour…

Sweet Peas 2 - NB
Sweet Peas in Watercolour

Lots more happening in my watercolour world. I have lots of roses in my garden, so I would like to be painting some roses over the coming week. And I feel the need to be painting some seascapes. Bye for now…

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Watercolour

Cat Portrait

Yesterday I painted my first ever cat in watercolour…

Cat Portrait - NB
Cat Portrait in watercolour

I painted it without a pencil sketch. I used an assortment of Daniel Smith watercolours: Manganese Blue Hue, French Ultramarine, Flint Grey, Lunar Blue, Sepia, Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Rose. It was painted on Saunders Waterford NOT paper, 200 lb.

I did do a pencil drawing of the cat in my sketchbook first:

Cat Drawing - NB
Simple cat portrait pencil sketch

It’s not a detailed drawing but has just enough information to recognize that it’s a cat. If I can draw a cat in my sketchbook with a pencil then I should be able to “draw” a cat with a paintbrush on watercolour paper. However, if I can’t draw a simple cat with pencil in my sketchbook then I don’t stand a chance of being able to paint a cat on watercolour paper…

Also I practiced painting cat’s eyes on small pieces of watercolour paper first. If the eyes are not right then the whole cat will not look right…

Cats Eyes - NB
Cats eyes practice

I did make a note of what colours I used for my cats eyes by each one for future reference. The potential colour combinations are endless…

My cat portrait is my interpretation of a tutorial by Jean Haines. It was fun painting a cat and it’s something completely different for me. What new watercolour challenges will there be next?