March was the month of the magpies according to my garden activity, so I painted a couple taking obvious liberties with colour and people eyes, the Brusho came out again! My favourite one is the bluey magpie as I messed with him the least and it’s just a really pretty image in person.
On odd scraps of watercolour paper I decided to paint a few simple insects, mostly in Brusho. As Brusho is pigmented colour dust it doesn’t take very much to make your eyes hurt, in a good way. I’ve used Montval Canson 100lb paper here, it’s pretty thin so buckling and creases sadly is a thing, but I found you can just massage most of them out with your fingers if you have a spare half an hour — it’s a brilliant practice paper otherwise.
I’ve always struggled with badgers, as I felt there wasn’t anything interesting I could do colour-wise with them, but I braved the badger again, this time armed pastels and charcoal alongside my watercolour and Brusho underpainting.
The last and only time I created a badger piece was in 2013, when I had a bit of a problem with circles …
Luckily 2013’s badger found a home so it wasn’t all bad, and I still think he’s interesting to compare against, I guess now I have an orange problem - but it is a nice colour!
I haven’t played with pastels much, I usually only use them to dust over insect paintings and never really took them seriously.
But I recently brought them out after feeling in a bit of a rut and discovered I really enjoy them! I particularly like the sculptural aspect of them, scoring the paper erratically but also knowing you can remove the colour instantly with a dry paintbrush or rubber. I really love pigeons, they are my favourite animal, so I thought they could spur me onto make something interesting.
These are tiny little watercolours I’ve done on bits of otherwise unusable watercolour paper. So glad I kept the odds and sods about to paint on, the big head problem is especially noticeable when working on such a small scale which gives me a laugh.
Another squirrel with a slight charcoal twist, I liked the fuzziness, especially on the snowy textured watercolour paper which I only use when I’m feeling a bit fancy. I especially love the eyes again, I do spend a lot of time on eyes. The eyes of a painting alone can easily take me 3 hours, probably isn’t all that necessary but I feel like it needs to look right as it is the heart of every painting I do. This squirrel is now available my shop.