The Magic & Myths of Watercolour Painting


Internationally acclaimed artist and creator of ‘Painting Expressive Watercolour‘, Bridget Woods, shares with us her passion for watercolour, dispels some myths connected with this medium and offers some practical suggestions for painting on the go.

My enthusiasm for watercolour begun with Ralph Thompson portray on the tv. A hand and brush would show up and with a couple quiet strokes, magically depict a wild animal.  Mesmerised by the electrical power of a single moist brush mark to convey so considerably, I was, aged 8, driven to help save my pocket money and buy a bamboo-handled brush and practical ebook on Chinese brush painting. 

My explanations for deciding on watercolour

Objectively and almost, watercolour is quickly to use in modifying weather conditions situations and to seize motion e.g. clouds, persons, animals, drinking water.  The paint (only 3 colours are completely essential), the palette, brushes, paper and water are compact and light-weight to carry. No mess. No fumes. Tiny cleaning up. 

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Subjectively, I feel watercolour is an honest medium – each and every layer of paint has a semi-clear good quality that reveals prior marks.  It is a time witness – its lucidity offers a idea of recording time.  It enables the speed to categorical a sensation, assumed, style, idea, atmosphere, aspiration, invented tale just before it slips absent.  For me watercolour can express not just the hard specifics but the understated nuances that touch the coronary heart. 

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Following 63 decades, I even now have the wish to even further take a look at the potential of watercolour. I love observing paints working collectively in h2o and love the visceral experience of applying my fingers and nails straight into moist paint.

It’s enjoyable participating in with drinking water – viewing the drinking water do what YOU want it to although it is doing what IT would like to do.

There are several myths about portray watercolour

“It’s really difficult” though the climate, environmental conditions and the painter’s mood can unpredictably have an impact on the result, doing the job with earth – pigment, h2o – car or truck, air – drying, fire – evaporation, fuses the artist with the basic elements of our existence. So, if the all-natural conduct of drinking water is respected and noticed, it does not only do what you want, but will inevitably specific those things. ie the atmospheric ailments of climate and your mood!

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

“It’s wishy washy and significantly less highly effective than other media” – expression is the option of the artist!

“It’s an effortless medium to learn” – anyone can do it, but only the solid-minded triumph with this worthwhile pursuit!  If, like King Canute, you have an expectation of total control, h2o will encourage, even oblige, you to respectfully wander alongside…

“It’s tricky since you cannot paint white about the prime of paint” – you really do not even have to paint the white areas since the white paper has previously made them! I have designed procedures to paint close to ‘white, dazzling and pale’ topics that can explain wonderful element and are enjoyable to use. For the impression, down below left, ‘Sparkling Nile’, I wet the paper, leaving only the sunshine, building and drinking water-sparkle designs dry. Then, doing the job damp into moist, the portray was concluded in a several minutes.

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

“It’s challenging mainly because the h2o runs out of my control” – use this top quality for rapidly masking substantial parts with distinct colours or  tones of paint and to find out to stay in the second and have pleasurable!

“It’s as well weighty or large to carry” – a Winsor and Newton Area box, 3 x key colors, 2 x  stuffed aqua brush brushes and a small watercolour e book or postcards in a sealable plastic bag is gentle. Employing a do-it-yourself zigzag of Arches paper this package only weighs only 6ozs/175g and can suit in a jacket pocket or cling on a belt or coat button although I’m strolling.

“My portray will fade, as opposed to oil paint” – artist grade watercolour paints are created with a wide variety of in a natural way taking place or synthetic stable pigments. Artists in all media can very easily select a palette of really lightfast colors which will not fade around time. 

My vital elements for plein air

I in no way resist getting fascinating distinctive and new colors but, outdoor, I carry the minimum (sizing and pounds) to obtain the most. My package consists of

  • 6 x artist’s top quality watercolour paint colors: two blues, two yellows and two reds.
    • either Ultramarine (PB29), Cobalt Blue Deep (PB73) or Cobalt Blue (PB28)
    • either Winsor Blue (eco-friendly shade) (PB15), Phthalo Blue (PB15) or Extreme Blue (PB15)
    • both Clear Yellow (PY150), New Gamboge (PY153) or Winsor Yellow (PY154)
    • Winsor Lemon (PY175)
    • either Scarlet Lake (PR188) or Winsor Crimson (PR254)
    • Lasting Rose (PV19)
  • Watercolour Paper 
  • Watercolour Paintbox
  • Soft, normal hair brushes 
  • Light-weight board  
  • Two clips
  • Waterpot
  • Water
  • Kitchen roll
  • Converted picnic rucksack
  • Steel easel
Bridget Woods Plein Air Paintng with Watercolour Box

There are two fundamental techniques of paint software

To prevent the distraction of colour, I have utilised monochromatic illustrations.

Damp on Dry layered washes.

JS Cotman was an exponent of this procedure which is specifically appropriate for controlled and thorough portray e.g. buildings, townscapes, botanical subjects, requiring smoother paper for cleaner-edged marks. ‘Sultry Day’ beneath remaining, has experienced 4 programs (comprehensively dried in between each individual) of the exact clean mixture to steadily intensify the tone.

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Textural combinations of moist, damp and dry brush and paper. 

Traditionally, JMW Turner was a good exponent of this expressive and quicker process. Used, when pushed by a unexpected desire to file activities on his travels or, like the Impressionists, a special instant of weather conditions, light-weight and time. Using a rough, cotton rag paper extends the vary of texture. The image on the proper earlier mentioned, ‘Snow in Graffham’ was painted very first working with soaked on wet, then dry on soaked for the sky, snow and distant trees. I included sharp moist on dry and speckled dry on dry trees to complete at the time the underpainting was dry.

The Rewards of ‘Playing attention’

Watercolour teaches me that – while I can not master it – I can, by observing how drinking water obviously behaves, do the job with it as my respected friend. Experimental enjoy is the only route to skill. As a result, the open-minded artist develops a feeling of acceptance and childlike joy. 

Dynamically describing sights, thoughts and emotions with the insight that inner and outer observation nourishes, provides a feeling of remaining in the moment – a element of the universe.


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

Expressive Watercolour Paintings by Bridget Woods

Bridget Woods, an internationally acclaimed artist, is acknowledged for her approachable teaching design and style. Having taught herself both equally oil and watercolour painting, she selected to specialise in clear watercolour which, jointly with her enthusiasm for life drawing, motivated her to generate ‘Life drawing – a journey to Self-expression’ and ‘Painting Expressive Watercolour’ (The Crowood Press) believing that persons make generally to categorical their very own individual ‘voice’. Watercolour is now her teacher!

Obtain her new guide ‘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.


Source url