I’ve been using watercolours in my work for some time now. I don’t remember ever being formally taught how to paint with them but have always enjoyed experimenting and using them in my own way to capture what I see. However, a recent project called for lots of watercolour work and I realised I was keen to learn more about the medium and how to use it ‘properly’.
For some reason I’d convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to find the ‘right’ sort of watercolour tutorial for me, so had almost given up before trying. I wanted something that would show the paints being used in a more illustrative and unusual way. Then, one YouTube search for ‘watercolour illustration tutorial’ later, I discovered Kelogsloops videos…
Apart from being a crazily talented Illustrator, Kelogsloops aka Hieu Nguyen is a brilliant teacher. I started by watching his 6 minute introduction to watercolour and picked up several ideas and set-up techniques that had never occurred to me before! I then went on to watch one of his process videos (for his illustration below) and his techniques for ‘Wet on Dry’ painting (shown above). He teaches at a steady pace, carefully explaining what he is doing and why, with lots of useful summaries and tips.
It’s been humbling to watch these and remember that there is always more to learn and explore with any medium. Taking the time to look around for the right tutorial or ask for help and recommendations when you need them is really worth doing. And finally, that there isn’t really a ‘proper’ way to paint with watercolours – anything goes!
All artwork and videos created by Kelogsloops and used here without the artist’s permission.
I made this drawing about a month ago, shortly before this year’s drawing adventure to the Isle of Skye. I wanted to loosen up, get experimental and indulge in drawing some of my favourite subject matter; animals, trees and mountains – before heading to the Highlands. I began with watercolour, then worked back in over the top with a fuzzy dark pencil and a few bright splashes of coloured chalk.
I’m VERY excited to share pictures, photos and hopefully a video or two of the Skye trip as soon as possible, so do stay tuned! The first pictures should make their way to my Instagram soon and i’ll follow those up with a more detailed blogpost after.
I’m continuing my exercise of drawing every pin on my Pinterest board ‘Stylish Beings’. This is a place where I collect images of icons, celebrities and well dressed folk that I think are especially cool! I did lose momentum recently as life got a little busy, but i’m getting back into the flow of it now.
I’m enjoying working my way through the board, remembering the people and outfits that I had pinned and getting excited about how I could draw them. It’s pleasing when I discover that a particular medium fits a celebrity well. For example scratchy, black ink is perfect for rendering Alison Mosshart’s mussy bed hair!
Each pin provides its own little challenge, with some that I expected to be easy turning out to be very complicated and vice versa. *Spoilers* upcoming pins on my radar include rocker Brody Dalle, actress Winona Rider and the iconic Elizabeth Taylor.
I set myself an exercise to draw every pin on my Pinterest board ‘Stylish Beings’. This is a board where I’ve been pinning people I think are particularly cool, glam or fascinating. So far it has about 200 pins and I thought it would be good drawing practice to have a crack at sketching each and every one.
I’m forcing myself not to get too precious about it…so far I’ve drawn 39 and it’s safe to say that a good number of those will never see the light of day, but the more I draw the more i’m creating drawings that i’m really happy with and enjoying playing about with media and style. If I do a bad one, I drop it and move on to the next.
Capturing the likenesses is something I want to work on too, but hopefully by the time I get to pin #200 that will start to improve! Here’s a little selection of some of my faves so far:
I’ve been wanting to have a crack at making some patterns for a while now. Today’s trip to a French style cafe in Clapham with jars of intriguing tea stacked on the counter gave me the idea for this one. I suspect there are a few tricks to making patterns that I am yet to learn, I shall have to do some research. These are a mix of watercolour, pen and messy ink for the typography…it is good fun making a mess sometimes!
I got to draw in some really spectacular spots while I was away and have some lovely memories of times sat sketching. A rainy day at a Chinese pearl market sheltering in a restaurant doorway. Hiding in the shade on a sandy New Zealand beach not realising my ankles were being eaten alive by sand flies. Losing my tour group in the mountains of Longji after staying behind too long to finish a drawing…actually the last two don’t sound that great but they really were good experiences!
Some pages are just super quick sketches but there are a few studies in there that took a couple of hours or more to finish. Plenty of pencil, some oil pastel and a fair bit of watercolour which is fast becoming one of my favourite mediums.