Category Archives: 1.4 Making marks

Surfaces and Textures


Watercolour exercise 10(7)

A4 Watercolour NOT 300 gsm, Purple Lake mixed with Viridian, sable brush 10, clingfilm. Really enjoyed the outcome of this.

Salt crystals

Watercolour exercise 10(7d)

A4 as the other two, this is Alizarin Crimson mixed with Viridian and all three textures are applied to the one painting. Salt is in the foreground, the trees and the fence are made using a craft knife and the trees in the back are scraped and also made with cling film. The tonality is not right, I feel the fence should be lighter and the back darker in areas, I may yet try to alter those, but this shows the different techniques to good effect, I think.

Watercolour exercise 10(7d.)

Image as above with changes: washed off some of the fence and the trees in the foreground, added another layer of clingfilm effect to the background and when dry, picked out some of the detail.


Scarifying, scraping and texturing

Watercolour exercise 10(7c)

A4 Watercolour NOT 300gsm, Alizarin Crimson and Viridian, sable brush 10, sand paper and craft knife. This technique seems to add movement to a painting.

Other tools for watercolour

Blotting and wiping

Covered a sheet of A4 watercolour NOT 300g paper in an even layer of blue paint, still using the mixture of Purple Lake and Viridian which can blend to a phthalo-like shade of blue.

Then, while the paint was still wet and using a dry sponge I tried to make a cloud effect in the top half, as instructed… to not much effect, it has to be said, so I soaked the sponge in water and that had the desired effect.

Watercolour exercise 10(6)

After the paint had dried I added another layer of blue, having added more of the same two pigments to my prepared mixture, to create a kind of seascape. We are advised to continue in this manner, adding more layers to create, eventually, a dark blue seascape with ‘drammatic clouds’.

Watercolour exercise 10(7)

To my mind, this is very satisfying! The above image is with two layers, I will add more in due course.

Watercolour exercise 10(6c)

Watercolour exercise 10(6d)

And a final deep coat of blue…

Watercolour exercise 10(6e)

Making marks in different ways

Exercise: Unusual brush marks

Trying a few marks with a toothbrush, a dish washing brush, and a size 30 decorator brush on a piece of A4 NOT watercolour paper, the marks took quite well, though I had to try and work out how to hold the brushes, as obviously they were not being used in the usual way, in order to make a mark that was different but felt authentic with regard to the brush I was using.

Watercolour exercise 10(1) Watercolour exercise 10(2)

I wanted a quick refernce to the marks I had made in my sketchbook but found that the smoother paper did not have the same result at all! (see sketchbook 1; 19) So it is not only the choice of brush but even a small change in the grain of the paper makes a big difference.

(edit – image removed)

Exercise: Using various brushes

First covered a sheet of A4 watercolour paper with marks made by toothbrush and using up the old paint I had mixed for the previous project, Purple Lake and Viridian, mixed to various degrees.

Watercolour exercise 10(4)

We are asked to lift off half the paint with a dry paper towel, that creates some nice variation. Here the lower half has been treated that way.

Then I soaked an A4 watercolour NOT 300 g paper in water for a few minutes until it was totally soaked through, dried it a little and, using the same colours again but this time with a dish washing brush made marks all across the page.

Watercolour exercise 10(3)

I then lifted off the paint over half the page with a dry towel. It can be clearly seen that the effect of this is drastically different when the paper was wet to begin with!