The Seagull and the Swallow

The struggle for good white ink continues, a toothpastey nightmare. On the Seagull I used Pebeo Colorex a French ink and for the swallow just Winsor & Newton white gouache, since my Dr. Ph. Martin’s ink dried up through neglect - and I found it difficult to swallow the price since it doesn’t seem to be very shelf stable.

The search for good white ink seems endless! These two birds in addition to sad white pigment were made from Brusho, watercolour and ink with a smidge of charcoal on the gull on 100lb Montval Canson watercolour paper.

March Magpies


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.

Scrappy Insects


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.


Charcoal & Pastel Badger


2013’s Blue Badger attempt using watercolour and Indian Ink only.

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!


Pastel Pigeons


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.