May 28, 2022

The Fourthny

Art is beauty

The Magic & Myths of Watercolour Painting

6 min read

Internationally acclaimed artist and writer of ‘Painting Expressive Watercolour‘, Bridget Woods, shares with us her enthusiasm for watercolour, dispels some myths associated with this medium and provides some functional information for portray on the go.

My enthusiasm for watercolour started off with Ralph Thompson portray on the tv. A hand and brush would show up and with a handful of serene strokes, magically depict a wild animal.  Mesmerised by the power of a one moist brush mark to express so a great deal, I was, aged 8, pushed to help you save my pocket dollars and acquire a bamboo-taken care of brush and realistic guide on Chinese brush portray. 

My motives for picking watercolour

Objectively and basically, watercolour is rapidly to use in transforming weather situations and to seize motion e.g. clouds, people, animals, water.  The paint (only a few colors are absolutely important), the palette, brushes, paper and h2o are compact and gentle to have. No mess. No fumes. Minimal cleaning up. 

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Subjectively, I believe watercolour is an straightforward medium – each and every layer of paint has a semi-clear high quality that reveals preceding marks.  It is a time witness – its lucidity provides a idea of recording time.  It allows the speed to express a feeling, assumed, style, idea, ambiance, dream, invented tale in advance of it slips absent.  For me watercolour can specific not just the challenging facts but the understated nuances that touch the heart. 

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Right after 63 several years, I nonetheless have the want to even further investigate the potential of watercolour. I really like looking at paints operating with each other in h2o and love the visceral experience of employing my fingers and nails instantly into damp paint.

It’s fun enjoying with water – looking at the h2o do what YOU want it to although it is undertaking what IT needs to do.

There are numerous myths about painting watercolour

“It’s quite difficult” though the weather conditions, environmental ailments and the painter’s mood can unpredictably have an affect on the final result, performing with earth – pigment, drinking water – vehicle, air – drying, fire – evaporation, fuses the artist with the basic aspects of our existence. So, if the normal conduct of water is respected and noticed, it does not only do what you want, but will inevitably specific those elements. ie the atmospheric situations of temperature and your temper!

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

“It’s wishy washy and considerably less impressive than other media” – expression is the decision of the artist!

“It’s an easy medium to learn” – everyone can do it, but only the potent-minded thrive with this fulfilling pursuit!  If, like King Canute, you have an expectation of complete manage, water will really encourage, even oblige, you to respectfully walk alongside…

“It’s difficult mainly because you just can’t paint white in excess of the top of paint” – you don’t even have to paint the white areas simply because the white paper has already produced them! I have produced methods to paint all around ‘white, vivid and pale’ subjects that can explain wonderful depth and are fun to use. For the image, beneath remaining, ‘Sparkling Nile’, I damp the paper, leaving only the sun, making and water-sparkle designs dry. Then, operating soaked into wet, the painting was finished in a couple minutes.

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

“It’s hard mainly because the h2o operates out of my control” – use this high-quality for rapidly covering massive places with various colours or  tones of paint and to study to are living in the moment and have fun!

“It’s as well heavy or major to carry” – a Winsor and Newton Industry box, 3 x major colors, 2 x  crammed aqua brush brushes and a tiny watercolour e book or postcards in a sealable plastic bag is light. Utilizing a home made zigzag of Arches paper this kit only weighs only 6ozs/175g and can in good shape in a jacket pocket or dangle on a belt or coat button though I’m walking.

“My portray will fade, unlike oil paint” – artist grade watercolour paints are designed with a range of the natural way happening or artificial steady pigments. Artists in all media can conveniently pick out a palette of particularly lightfast colours which will not fade above time. 

My important supplies for plein air

I never ever resist obtaining enjoyable distinctive and new colors but, outdoors, I carry the the very least (measurement and fat) to reach the most. My package is composed of

  • 6 x artist’s high quality watercolour paint colors: two blues, two yellows and two reds.
    • both Ultramarine (PB29), Cobalt Blue Deep (PB73) or Cobalt Blue (PB28)
    • either Winsor Blue (inexperienced shade) (PB15), Phthalo Blue (PB15) or Powerful Blue (PB15)
    • either Transparent Yellow (PY150), New Gamboge (PY153) or Winsor Yellow (PY154)
    • Winsor Lemon (PY175)
    • possibly Scarlet Lake (PR188) or Winsor Crimson (PR254)
    • Everlasting Rose (PV19)
  • Watercolour Paper 
  • Watercolour Paintbox
  • Tender, natural hair brushes 
  • Lightweight board  
  • Two clips
  • Waterpot
  • Drinking water
  • Kitchen roll
  • Transformed picnic rucksack
  • Steel easel
Bridget Woods Plein Air Paintng with Watercolour Box

There are two primary solutions of paint software

To stay away from the distraction of color, I have utilized monochromatic illustrations.

Soaked on Dry layered washes.

JS Cotman was an exponent of this technique which is particularly suitable for controlled and detailed painting e.g. properties, townscapes, botanical subjects, necessitating smoother paper for cleaner-edged marks. ‘Sultry Day’ down below left, has experienced 4 purposes (thoroughly dried in between every single) of the same wash combination to gradually intensify the tone.

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Textural mixtures of soaked, damp and dry brush and paper. 

Historically, JMW Turner was a excellent exponent of this expressive and quicker process. Utilized, when driven by a unexpected desire to document events on his travels or, like the Impressionists, a distinctive second of weather, gentle and time. Making use of a rough, cotton rag paper extends the array of texture. The impression on the correct previously mentioned, ‘Snow in Graffham’ was painted to start with utilizing wet on moist, then dry on damp for the sky, snow and distant trees. I added sharp soaked on dry and speckled dry on dry trees to complete after the underpainting was dry.

The Benefits of ‘Playing attention’

Watercolour teaches me that – however I simply cannot master it – I can, by viewing how water in a natural way behaves, work with it as my respected buddy. Experimental enjoy is the only route to skill. As a result, the open up-minded artist develops a feeling of acceptance and childlike joy. 

Dynamically describing sights, feelings and thoughts with the perception that inner and outer observation nourishes, delivers a perception of being in the second – a portion of the universe.


Watercolour is not only a medium of self-expression but, in my belief, THE medium of Self-Expression 

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Bridget Woods, an internationally acclaimed artist, is acknowledged for her approachable instructing design and style. Acquiring taught herself the two oil and watercolour portray, she chose to specialise in clear watercolour which, alongside one another with her enthusiasm for lifestyle drawing, encouraged her to publish ‘Life drawing – a journey to Self-expression’ and ‘Painting Expressive Watercolour’ (The Crowood Press) believing that men and women generate principally to express their own particular person ‘voice’. Watercolour is now her trainer!

Invest in her new e book ‘Painting Expressive Watercolour by Bridget Woods‘ on our web-site.

Painting Expressive Watercolour by Bridget Woods OUT NOW 192 pages of inspiring expressive watercolour paintings.

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