Jaguar

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I wanted to create more of a greeny piece, and as I’m not too hot on felines I thought I’d practice painting a Jaguar. I’m not happy with the results (again!), but there are certain elements I like, the big eyes in particular.

I also wanted to create this jaguar in response to the jaguar attempt five years ago when I just started out with watercolour in 2012.

The novice jaguar was painted using the same brand and materials I use today. Though painful and embarrassing to post —  interesting to see how much improvement I’ve made since the start of my website. I hope other budding creatives reflect on this and take heart!

Grey Fox

I’m not happy with any of these grey fox paintings but again, they were colourful enough that they would make a nice addition to the site. Grey foxes are found in the Americas and are like our red foxes carnivorous and nocturnal, but unlike red foxes are agile tree climbers!

These foxes were painted on cold pressed watercolour paper and in Brusho, watercolour and ink.

Simple Squirrel

A simple Brusho, watercolour and ink painting just sneaking in before the first month of 2017 is over! This squirrel was part of a trio of squirrels I created for a commission. I’m quite happy with this one, I concentrated on my favourite colour to use  —  orange! Because grey squirrels feature orange so why not abuse it?

This little guy wasn’t chosen and another squirrel I painted was rehomed instead, this piece now is available in my shop to purchase!

Tissue Tufted Robin

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I’ve been experimenting with watercolour ground, gesso, bindex and tissue paper, and I found that watercolour ground is mostly terrible but the combination of tissue paper and bindex gives some very interesting textures to a painting.

I glued on the tissue paper with the bindex over an inked picture, I let it dry then painted on the surface using watercolour paint and Brusho. The paint which has absorbed into the tissue dries as a dull hazy blur, which I really like!

This little A5 robin can be found in my shop and consists of masking fluid, tissue paper, Brusho, fineliner and Indian ink.

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Flora Rabbit & Ask Laura

I’ve had quite a few enquiries from other budding artists generally asking about the creative process and any tips I could offer. I’m more than happy to oblige, sharing arty knowledge helps us all develop and progress!

I made this bushy green rabbit (on Bockingford rough watercolour block) in homage to a similar rabbit painting I created back in 2013, I wanted to really graft a lush environment onto an animal. In my recent piece I wanted be be less literal, Brusho pigment was the star of the show, providing me with rich greeny goodness.

My 2013 ‘Flora Rabbit’ in watercolour and ink.

I broke down my process visually, so you can get a good handle on how a piece comes together and I also wanted to summarise and address a few of the questions I have sent to me:

Victoria asks: Do you pen or paint first, and why?

I’ve always found it more comfortable and natural to pen first and paint second, it gives me a structure to work from, one which I cannot easily manipulate which means design and drawing quality is very important.

Bridin asks: How exactly do you use ink and watercolour when you are making work?

After establishing a drawing in pen and Indian ink, I apply faint layers of watercolour slowly and build them up when dry. After I’m happy with the applied colour, I identify areas I want to highlight and draw attention to by making large puddles or flecks of water on the paper which I then inject with strong ink colour.

Charlotte-Rose asks: What tools/mediums do you use?

I have found that watercolour, Brusho pigment, ink and Indian ink are my favoured media at the moment, something about the spontaneity and the risk of these mediums really appeal. I use paintbrushes, spray bottles, pipettes, straws and ink quills in my artwork, sometimes I may use a ruler to scrape off some pastel dust onto a piece if it’s screaming for a dusting  —  particularly if my work features insects.

Q: What is your best advice?

As boring as it might sound, don’t stress, be patient and PRACTICE! I can’t really save anyone any time. As long as you are enjoying the process, over time you’ll definitely improve, unimaginably so if you put the time and effort in.

The aim of my website was to share the progress of my artwork through the years with all the naivety and embarrassment to help illustrate to other budding artists that no one is great overnight — we all start rather crap.

Every mistake is a lesson, it used to take me 5-7 terrible pieces to make one I was somewhat happy with. But with three years of practice and perseverance I’ve been able to produce work of a reasonable and even good quality without wasting a single sheet of watercolour paper.

(And in spite of me religiously telling my art teachers at college I couldn’t paint!)

Mischievous Raccoon

Raccoons are found more commonly in North America, but thanks to deliberate introductions and escapees can also be found in places such as Japan and even Europe!

Common raccoons are black, grey and white from a distance, but I really ran with the browns and yellows which also exist in the raccoons fluffy coat, but I’ve manipulated the colours in photo editing software and produced a monochrome version.

I still prefer the original, I’ve painted my finger tips with white, brown and grey ink and pressed them into the painting to keep that thieving, sticky, grubby raccoon stereotype alive, as they are excellent opportunists!