step by step

Learn about watercolour pigments – speed date your paints – 7 things to look for

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get to know how your paints are going to behave, without just having to experiment and try them out? Could you find out what pigments are in them and instead of getting to know them over time you could see if you are compatible right from the beginning. …

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Painting realistic dew drops in watercolour – 5 different simple ways

Sometimes a little detail turns a painting from good to WOW! and adding water drops, rain drops or dew drops to your work can be just such a detail. The other thing is that they are a brilliant way of practicing tone and shadow control, which was the subject of last week’s tip. They are …

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How to paint tone and shadows in watercolour – simply and effectively

Our challenge is to represent our 3D world on 2D paper, and we do this by varying the light and the dark of our paints to try and mimic the light and shadows of our world. But watercolour is a transparent medium and we generally do not have recourse to white paint, so how can …

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Edges in watercolour – 4 edges to take your work to the next level!

The quality and variety of your edges in watercolour make a huge difference. Getting control of your edges will take your work to the next level. We are taking about lost/found and hard/soft. If we are being thorough we might talk about broken edges too, but I will leave that for another day! Looking at …

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How to make a concertina sketchbook from a single sheet of paper

I love teaching workshops, as I end up learning lots too. The ‘Painting birds in Watercolour’ workshop I did last week was no exception. One of the students showed me a little folded concertina sketchbook she had made to keep all her samples in. Genius! Usually, I suggest sheets of samples, but this is so …

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Masterclass – free on YouTube 12 July – plus discount for online courses

Why not join me on Monday 12 July at 2pm BST for an hour or so live on YouTube to learn about different watercolour techniques and how to put them together to capture a horse portrait? This is my first YouTube live, so it would be great if you fancied joining me… Starting at 2pm …

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How to make a mini watercolour set

The sun is shining and your thoughts turn to painting outdoors or maybe a spot of urban sketching, but by the time you get all your supplies together you have given up. Wouldn’t it be great to have a mini watercolour pocket set with all the essentials? Of course you can buy commercial pocket watercolour …

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Providing a diversion – beginners’ watercolour course

Here we are in the middle of the third lockdown (if you are in England – different in Scotland and Wales) and it’s a toughie. The first we had the gorgeous spring weather, the second we had Christmas to look forward to, but this one is grey and cold and damp. Well, I need to …

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Online masterclass 23 July 2020

On Thursday I did something new…. an online class with over 200 people. Shopkeeparty.com run free sessions twice a week, so I did I did one all about painting animal eyes in watercolour. It was not without drama. Having done the tech test on Weds, I woke up to find that the telephone wire which …

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Exercises to stretch your portrait drawing muscles

I’ve been busy writing a series of articles for The Leisure Painter about watercolour portraits. After all if I can paint a cow I can paint a person. Right? The challenge is to train your hand to do what your eye wants and secondly, to learn to believe what you see. We all have so …

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