Thursday, 18 May 2017

Warm and Cool tones in paintings

The balance of a painting....

This is part of a blog post I added a couple of years ago to my main blog (, but I thought it would be helpful here too.

Warm and Cool tones in paintings. 

My example is this sketch of Barnstaple bridge.

Pen + watercolour 
plus I added a small amount of detail with
my Sailor Calligraphy pen

Note:   The majority of this painting is in cool tones:

So to balance that out I added the warm red stripe on the boat.

Equally, if a painting is mainly warm tones,
then offset it with some COOL colours

It all helps the BALANCE of a painting.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Making waves the simple way

First some watercolour...

Let this dry.  Then add a slightly Darker tone of the same colour, basically less water more pigment...

If you want more obvious Waves, then just emphasise the shape, 
as seen in the bottom part of the next example.

When completely dry 
add White GOUCHE -
I used a flat brush for this

There you go
Simple Waves


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Derwent Inktense Blocks

Quick intro to Derwent Inktense Blocks

...I've had these for some time but only just got around to doing a colour swatch! 

These are INK in a block but can be used like watercolours - the best of both worlds if you ask me.

 (Inktense - Ink - intense colour = Inktense).

I've obviously got the tin with 12 colours, but do come in bigger packs with more colour choice.

The only thing I would say, they don't appear to have the colours named.
I have found a number on them though, so perhaps that's how Derwent deal with it.

I intend to do a demo using them soon.

Monday, 13 February 2017

French Ultramarine Blue .v. Ultramarine Blue

Ever noticed that some paint manufacturers have

FRENCH Ultramarine Blue and also Ultramarine Blue

ever wondered what the difference is.

Well it's simple.  

FRENCH Ultramarine Blue is a purer, higher quality pigment paint


Ultramarine Blue 

it is more student grade (just as good but if you want to sell your artwork
then you should be using the better quality paints)

Friday, 10 February 2017

Mixing New Colours from those you already have

So you have a few colours in your collection, most of us have.  Some colours may be missing like SEPIA or VANDYKE BROWN, even BURNT UMBER.

Well, if you have Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna....these will give you those missing colours.

Here's how...




Go on, give this a try and see the outcome, 
so easy to add to your collection of paints this way.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

When watercolour and sketchbooks don't mix

Graphite sketch - "William"

This sketchbook doesn't like watercolour.
Quite simply the watercolour seems to
disappear on the pages

Solution: use graphite or pen.

You see, when something doesn't pan out,
you just alter the way you use it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

When your graphite has become a stub

You know how it is, you keep sharpening your pencils and they end up as a little itty bitty stub - what do you usually do - Yes, you give up and throw them away.  Well, hang on and check this out.

SAVE those plastic covers that come with brand new brushes...most people chuck them,

 need to save them,
they are useful...

(some of you will have seen this clip already on