Mark making

Mark making

I realised recently as I was trying to explain to someone how to paint something ( very vague I know) that I rarely just paint ( as you would when painting a wall for example) . I instead , like so many painters make marks and the more different types of marks I can make the more weapons I have in my painting armoury so here are some of the marks I make and I shall try to describe how I make them and what I use them for , but as you can probably guess the possibilities are endless.....



This is just 'normal' painting, used to lay down flat washes and a round brush.



I use this a  lot . I make a puddle of water and drop paint into it the edges of the puddle act as a boundary to the paint. You can drop new colours in too and see what happens, leave it to dry naturally and the magic just happens.



I use the brush horizontally letting the bristles fan out to create irregular patterns. It is really good for foliage shapes here I turned my little doodle into a tree. It could be a bush or the edge of a wave. You get the idea....



This is dry brushing, a dry-ish brush with some paint on, used horizontally again on dry paper. Used a lot when painting water , trying to get that sparkle or for fur...or what ever it looks like to you



Here I use the edge of my thumb to pull the colour out of the circle. i use this a lot when painting fur or bumble bees, you don't have to just use a brush, try whatever you have to hand



Splatters I love a splatter, I think they add movement especially to a foreground or to a living breathing animal. You have to practice though, they are not as easy as thy look. And use in moderation, less is probably more, I do tend to go overboard with them as I love them so much. Hold the bristles of the brush with one finger and then let go pointing the brush in the direction you want the splatter to go.



Here I have tried to show me tapping drops of waster into pain as wells drops around the paint. These again create movement, puddles of water, crashing waves or just interest in a background.





Finally for today scratching wet-ish paint with a pallet knife, to create grasses, or whatever you want really. This only works first time and thre paint has to be not too wet or too dry, 

experiment, have fun and create new dynamic marks with your watercolours.

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Lockdown has given me time to learn something new, and as a newbie I am so grateful to you for sharing some watercolour techniques. I know now to try using the water and the colour but not necessarily on the brush at the same time! Loving the peacock.


Thank you for being generous with your knowledge – your peacock is gorgeous!


Just read how you make your marks, very helpful, I am new to watercolour and I love loose watercolour but find It hard to achieve the look I want. I love your peacock.


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