Life in the freezer ! Painting Penguins

Life in the freezer ! Painting Penguins


 I was listening to someone offer advice help for living a happy life, it all seemed to to make sense, enjoy the moment, act happy and happiness will become a habit but for me most importantly he said have a hobby that you are passionate about.

Wow I thought I have nailed that one, painting takes me away from the crazy world and into whatever world I can conjure up. I hope you can all find something to take you to happier places, reading, walking, boxsets, painting, sewing , cooking.....the list is long and I hope at least one of them brings you joy.



I hope my blogs are helpful whether you paint or not, having a peep into someone else's world can be fun. I love the process, have a go you might  find some mindfulness in the process too, and you may find a new hobby


Baby it's cold outside.


I thought it was time to show you this fun painting of penguins. It's relatively easy and may take you away for everything for an hour or two

Ok, enough of my ramblings , here is the painting, first I sketched 3 penguins.

Some times it is good not to pit them slap bang in the middle of the paper so I popped them on the left 

Nest I paint the body of the penguin ( the white bit) , but it's not white. I paint it first with water.....

Then I drop colour into it, this is know in watercolour as wet in wet, 

You can see it all runs into the wet paper and forms it's own patterns, this is why I love watercolour so much, you are in control, but not of's fun!

Now I add some darker tones 

I hope you can see how wet that is.

He also needs his bright yellow/orange collar.

Now leave it alone to dry.

Once dry you can add the black bits, really look and see where the colour needs to go. I use paynes grey not black, and some cerulean blue to add highlights.


I use small brushes so I can first paint the orange parts on the head then the back ones

Phew he's done now repeat that process for each penguin, there is no need to rush, you can leave this for a day or 2 and come back to it.


Keep going , seeing what works and letting bits dry that need to.


Now penguin number 3

Finally when all 3 are finished, I need to decide if I want to do any more, I decide to add tome cool tones behind them to suggest the cold, and sprinkle some salt on to look like ice crystals, I also add some rocky icy land for them to stand on and some dark shadows to ground them.


And my 3 amigos are done, a lot of fun, a new world for me to inhabit for a day and to forget about everything, except penguins, ice and how do I turn my heating up?

Back to blog


I am having so much pleasure on my watercolour journey by following your blog! Your style, for me, is just the best ever mix of realism and looseness. The barn owl was a delight to try and I was delighted with how he turned out. I’m about to try these gorgeous penguins. Colours? Maybe a warm yellow and warm red to get the vibrant orange/yellows and a cool blue for balance? I’m only learning about colour combos and temperature, I e a long way to go but learnt so much from Hazel Soans Limited Palette book! Thank you Rachel, your work is inspirational. 💕

Margaret Burns

Love your work, it encourages me to continue with watercolourlessons

Jolanda Verhulst

Love the penguins! I’d love to try this as they are one of my favorites. Can you mention what the colors are that you have used? Thank you for sharing your process!


Leave a comment