Fun sketch using Daniel Smith watercolour paints directly into a handmade mini sketchbook with Saunders and Waterford cold press 90lb paper.
These dried orchids were too beautiful to throw away without capturing their beautiful forms. This is a quick watercolour sketch that took about 13 minutes. To really study the intricacies I’d really need to spend a few hours.
I’m using Khadi handmade watercolour paper A4 size, that is heavy weight with an uneven rough texture. Daniel Smith watercolours and lots of water, make this super fun. My favourite part is the end where I just add water and let all the pigment disperse however it wants.
Watercolour can paint itself with the right tools.
For this painting I used heavy weight, rough Khadi watercolour paper, Daniel Smith watercolours and lots of water.
As long as your paper is sized, the water will pool where you want it to and allow the paint to disperse.
Learn more about water control here.
This is a time-lapse of a sketch that took about 25 minutes in real life.
It was much easier to start with the Zebra Fude Brush pigment ink than other direct sketches I’ve done without the guiding lines.
I started with too much water, so it took a longer time to build the darks. I normally like to start with heavy pigment and wash it out to create form. This resulted in a sketch that took a lot longer than normal, but was still such fun.
A quick direct sketch in watercolour of my son’s swimming finish. 20 minutes real life. Small format 3.5″x2.5″ handmade sketchbook with Saunders and Waterford CP paper.
This is a direct painting of a pomegranate I cracked open, hoping to capture some of it’s intense red colour. I also had to fight off the kids who kept wanting to eat my still-life set up.
I started quite deliberate and tight on the front seeds to make sure I captured the intricate light. As I progress to the back of the painting, it gets looser with less definition.
It’s a challenge to leave whites, and if you lose them, you can always go over with some titanium white or gouache to regain your highlights. Fine brushes help to keep paint away from the whites too.
This is still a work in progress and I continue to add darks to make it really pop.
Daniel Smith watercolours on Saunders and Waterford High White paper.
This is a time-lapse of a fun sketch I did of a rose that looked more like a tulip. It was so intriguing that I couldn’t wait to paint it. Apparently, it wasn’t the healthiest of roses, hence the lack of petals, but it’s now immortalised and enjoyed, nonetheless. Loving sketching these moments that will remind me of the love and care that my mother-in-law puts into her rose garden, and how fleeting the beauty of a flower is.
Here’s a demonstration showing how you can keep your paint where you want it on the paper by working with the properties of sized paper.
In this video, I demonstrate the making of one of my miniature travel watercolour palettes from beginning to end using
- a plastic pill box
- empty half pans
- Daniel Smith Watercolor Sticks
These are easy to carry for sketching on location. They will also satisfy that compulsive need to have your watercolours on-hand for those creative outbursts of energy, when you just need to splash some paint on paper.
For a complete minimalist sketch kit, add a water brush, sponge, and sketchbook.