step by step watercolour

Saturday, March 4, 2017

11 x 5.5 watercolour - Winsor & Newton watercolours, Dr. Ph Martin bleed proof white, No. 2 & 10 round brushes 
(from the top) 1). finished study 2). my first step is always to begin by painting several bold large shapes using all the colours in my palette (a golden yellow, aqua blue and an orange red), starting bold really helps get over the fear of the blank page, at this stage and through most of the study I use the larger No. 10 brush and save the No. 2 for only the fine details 3). I added leaves with branches purposely creating areas of negative space throughout the page 4).  I begin adding layers of watercolour (adding a new layer of colour on top of dry paint) and adding white details. Each new mark or shape leads to the next. These designs are intuitive and random and never sketched out first, which is actually really fun as you never know how they'll end 5). I rotate my page often so that I'm seeing the design from a different perspective as I continue to fill in negative spaces with colour, adding more shapes, details and marks.  6). the final repeated 7). a second study in the same palette

 I'd be happy to answer any questions in the comments, Susan


  1. I love seeing your work on Instagram each day. Thanks for sharing the info, on how you do them.

  2. Beautiful piece and I enjoyed your step-by-step. It's amazing that you sketch nothing in advance. I'd LOVE to have that artistic confidence! ;)

    So, question 1....not sure what you mean by Dr. Ph Martin bleed proof white?

    question 2, what's your watercolor paper choice?

    Thank you!

  3. Thank you Debbie, Denise and Alexandra. I always have large (11x14) pad or two of relatively inexpensive watercolour paper that I pick up when I'm in the city and at the art supply store. A brand I seem to pick up often (and love) is Fabriano cold-press currently, though I went through a phase when I really loved the non-textured surface of hot press. Here's a link to the Dr. Ph Martins bleed proof opaque white (great for adding white on top of colour). Keep those questions coming ;-)


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