View Full Version : Watercolour Journal A5

09-12-2010, 05:10 AM
I bought myself a new A5 watercolour journal to play with. It has 30 sheets of 190gsm paper. It is pretty cheap but good to play with... I hope. I bought myself the W&N Cotmans sketchers kit a couple of weeks ago too, as it was on special for only $20. So am using that paint kit in this book. Well that's the theory to start with :)

I started with a colour chart of the 12 paints. Not sure they are ones I would have picked, esp white but a challenge to use.


Here is a very poor interpretation of a chicken. It has no depth but was a first try here. (Just realised I didn't take a photo of it... will have to add it in tomorrow when its daylight again). The other 3 are wash with pen added later. The paper gets very wet and bleeds and runs a lot. Will be nice once I get used to that.




Thanks for looking.

09-12-2010, 07:18 AM
Hello Jacqui,

3 watercolors in a row ! Very good start. I like your crabs very much because of the different stokes of watercolor on them. The beginning of achieving depth and defining volume.

You've probably read this a thousand times, but if you want to depict depth in your sketches/paintings, you need to be aware of values. I suggest that you paint with only a few colors to begin with, for example yellow ochre, burnt umber and a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. You should then have three different values quite easy to use. Some examples on this blog (http://jeanmariedrouet.blogspot.com/), I learnt a lot studying Jean-Marie's sketches.

Hope you post new pages soon.:wave:

09-12-2010, 09:24 AM
Jacqui, these are great. I like your light, delicate penwork. That first one looks nothing like a chicken though. It reminds me of two beautifully shaped blue crabs and a bit of seaweed on a beach. Chicken of the Sea?

OK, I'm teasing, you did mention you didn't get a photo of the chicken that was your first painting. Please do post it when you do. All three of these are so cool. I recognize the barn scene from the Pen and Ink challenge, just did that last night in pen only - your penwork is very delicate and that makes the watercolor carry a lot of the work, it's gorgeous. Beautiful frangipani. And of course the crabs are splendid. I like the composition on the crabs too, excellent.

You just ran into my first reaction to my first Cotman kit, which was the Field Box but basically had the same colors.

"No black? How am I supposed to darken stuff?"

"White? What do you use white for, the paper's already white?"

If you reserve all your whites and lights, the white half pan will sit there unused and sad for a long time. But, if you work on tinted paper or ever do anything on black paper, wow, the white will let you do very cool things on it. You can mix it with any of the colors to create light opaque accents.

Those will let you put light accents over dark areas without lifting them out, or light accents that need to have a very fine touch that lifting won't give. White is great for my cat's whiskers. White mixed with Yellow Ochre is excellent for the pale little dots of pollen inside a flower. There are often very tiny details that need white.

White can also be used as a glaze to mute colors while lightening them, something that can be spectacular in the distance on a landscape.

Experiment with the white. A few of the Transparent Watercolor societies don't allow the use of white or "body colour" anywhere in a painting to qualify, but many famous watercolorists used it throughout art history. It's a fun color. It just takes a little skill to use it well.

I would probably have added Winsor Blue Green Shade rather than the Cobalt Blue, a colder, greener blue instead of a mid-blue. But Cobalt is a useful blue and the blues get used up fast. I would probably have put Permanent Rose instead of Alizarin Crimson too, but Alizarin is the staple cold red of many sets and works out all right.

Black - that's why you have Alizarin for your cold red, because Alizarin and Ultramarine make a spectacular cold red, also Alizarin and Viridian make a good dark, so does Burnt Umber and Ultramarine. The last is what I mostly used when I had that set. Alizarin doesn't do as bright a violet with Ultramarine as you can get with Permanent Rose, but it's still recognizably violet instead of some grayed color like you'd get with the Cadmium Red Pale hue.

Colors were set up to give you warm and cold primaries, warm and cold green, the essential earths trio (yellow ochre, reddish brown, dark brown) and body color for details and corrections. Black is left out to make sure you learn how to mix black or gray. If you upgrade to Artist grade watercolor, they add in black but take away your Sap Green. Can't have everything in a 12 color set, though I was so used to this lineup I wound up annoyed that the black bumped my favorite green on the upgrade.

Also, please forgive my long essay answer, you probably know this about color anyway from hundreds of other posts but I just got up. My pills aren't working yet, so I really run off at the keyboard till they do. Get that endorphin high from writing and writing and writing... lol

Love the paintings. This is going to be a spectacular journal! Keep going - and please do snap a photo of the chicken.

And please paint your cat. You draw your cat so beautifully, I can't wait to see what you do!

Cotman paints are non toxic so if you paint your cat, it won't hurt her when she washes off.

09-12-2010, 10:28 PM
Great start. The ink work is just wonderful with these.

09-13-2010, 03:07 AM
Hi Jacqui - boy did you confuse me with the crabs, had to go back and re-read your intro :lol:

I like these painitings - the colour appears quite translucent or luminous - something that makes watercolour unique. I also like the way you have got some "blooms" in the flower study (where your colour blends wet in wet on the paper). Experiment lots and have fun with the watercolours, I hope you don't lose that lovely lightness of touch you seem to have :)

09-13-2010, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback and encouragement on my new sketchbook Debby, Jackie, Sizun and Robert. Robert I don't mind the essay at all, in fact feel honoured you would spend so much time on a response. Thanks for the info on the colours, now I understand the combo better hopefully I'll make better use of it. I will paint one or more of the cats soon... and yes they often get a patch of colour on their fur when they come to watch.

09-14-2010, 12:19 AM
Nice sketches, Jacqui! My favorite is the crabs, but maybe that'll change when the chicken decides to cross the page...:) .

09-14-2010, 07:39 PM
Finally the long awaited psycho chicken. He looks like a truck ran him over and he's squashed flat. But I will show the good the bad and the very ugly in this sketchbook. Can only go up from here, hey :)


09-14-2010, 08:59 PM
hehehehehe! You could name it "Why did the Chicken cross the road...."

It really isn't that bad, all you need is some extra darks to give the illusion of form, or you could go back with a pen and add some details maybe...?! Have you got some small, fine brushes? It is really handy to have a couple so you can lay down some broad strokes of colour, wait for it to dry and then go back with the smaller brush and add some darks. All part of the experimentation, you will find your own style and method of working :) Looking forward to seeing more ;)

09-14-2010, 11:46 PM
That's a very colorful broody hen. I think Jackie is right with some shading this could be even better.