That first wash

Sometimes I think that 60% of a painting is done in the very first wash. Here you set the base colour for your picture, establish the major forms and (if you remember) reserve a few bits of white paper for highlights.

After you have worked the first wash over the paper and dropped in any stronger colours, you have to let it dry completely. (In the picture below , this was just as well, as I was late for work…)

Saint Augustin From Boulevard des Malesherbes.

Love/hate watercolour?

I have a love-hate relationship with watercolour.  It’s a medium that offers beautiful, vibrant colour – and makes me want to scream.  It can look effortless – yet nothing is further from the truth. It’s rapid to use and slow to master. And there is nothing like it for capturing atmosphere.

So this is a WATERCOLOUR blog for people who think they hate painting in watercolour.  Or have seen too many washed-out pictures of flowers to take it seriously as a medium.  Or have felt self-conscious sketching from cafe tables.

I’ll be demonstrating techniques that I have perfected – and having a go at those I haven’t!  I’ll be sharing thoughts on exhibitions – and what you can learn from masters old and new. Most of all, I’ll be posting lots of work-in progress pictures, and hopefully letting you learn from my (frequent) mistakes.  Let me know how you get on.

I’m a part-time artist, selling in a couple of galleries in London – but my painting time is very much stolen from the day job. I’m currently living in Paris, which helps!  I love travelling and painting new places – and watercolour is of course perfect for this.  Seriously, have you tried travelling far with an oil-painting set-up?