I feel like I'm blowng the dust off this blog, polishing my spectacles, and thumbing through its pages to see where I last posted... December 2020?!!! Oh dear. In explanation I use this blog to post my thoughts and process on painting, and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for promotion. Over the last year and a half I've been so busy, I've barely been able to look around and post something meaningful, until now.
As part of my Kickstarter campaign to gather pre-orders for my fully illustrated edition of 'The Wind in the Willows' (take a look), I have been creating 15 small watercolours for those lucky backers who snapped them up in the first few days of the Kickstarter launch. I also managed to make a time lapse video painting Ratty, start to finish.
Many people ask me about my technique, hopefully this video will give you some pointers. At the beginning I start with my basic linework (which has been slightly erased with a putty rubber). Then I add an underpainting of cobalt blue and cadmium red mixed together. Those colours create a dull violet, perfect for cast shadows on a warm day (complimentary to yellow ochre). Once the underpainting is dry enough, I add local colours and then start to build up deeper tones and details all over. Lots of work is required on the fur to give Ratty a nice texture, but I have to be careful not to overwork his shirt and trousers, which is easy to do with transparent watercolour. The red chequer for the basket liner is left until last, because I want to build up all the tonal values first and then let it influence the layer of red watercolour. I do this with all patterned fabrics.
Here are the other character paintings, all taken from scenes in the book: