Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Wild Wood

Wild Wood 3
Mixed Media on Paper
18.5cm x 12cm (7.25" x 4.75")

Recently I bought Watercolour Textures by Ann Blockley because of a recommendation on Jane Minter’s blog (

The book is about creating textural effects using watercolour paint and a variety of other materials. Some of the techniques create actual physical texture by using gesso, texture paste or collage. Other techniques create the illusion of texture by manipulation of the paint.

The pictures on this post are the result of experimenting with some of the ideas.

Wild Wood 2
Mixed Media on Paper
19cm x 13.5cm (7.5" x 5.5")

I started the first picture by covering the paper with gesso and then with washes of blue and various greens. While they were wet, I added some sepia acrylic ink.

I dropped in more ink than I intended and it spread out wildly, so I used a colour shaper to tease it into the tree shapes. (What is a colour shaper? - A paintbrush with a rubber tip instead of a brush. Why did I buy one? - I can’t remember, but they are quire handy for jobs like this.)

Colour Shapers

The result was unexpectedly satisfying, so I messed around with the technique in the second and third paintings.

Wild Wood 1
Mixed Media on Paper
17cm x 13cm (6.75" x 5")

Once the initial washes were dry, I added some blue pastel and gouache to reinforce the skyholes and finished the pictures by suggesting a foreground.


  1. These are really nice, Mark. I use colour shapers often in my acrylic and oil work. Never thought about using them for wiping out watercolour!

    1. Maggie, Thank you. I enjoyed the paintings on your “Going Home” post. Your course at Marlborough looks excellent.