Splishy Splashy Fox

Splishy Splashy Fox

Easing myself back to painting after a week's holiday i wanted to return to familiar territory. I love foxes, they have wonderful amber eyes and a rich colour to work with, I can have fun while trying to capture their essence in a painting.

I started with a relatively easy sketch , 


Then I can begin on the eye, these profile poses are great as there is just one eye to concentrate on , I use a small good quality brush, and I treat the eye like a small painting in itself



Look very carefully and see where the light and dark is. I have tried to paint the sky in the corner of his eye, as well as leaving another light highlight on the right of the pupil. I have used yellow ochre as the eye colour but added some darker tones at the top, where the lid forms the shaow



Keep looking and keep working. I sort of drop colour into the wet areas so I don't create lines , look for colour changes , the pupil isn't a flat black colour there is blue in there too


It is also important that the eye sits in it's socket. Look for colour around the eye and add the fur so it all looks like it belongs together. If you can leave little highlights and subtle changes of colour around the eye then it all adds to the reality of the piece and the creature begins to come to life


Now I want to let watercolour do it's thing. Loose the tightness and go a bit mad. I spray the paper with a spray bottle and drop my colours in 

This is a difficult process to describe, and a tricky thing to get right. I use a lot of colours, yellow ochre is my base, but there are reddy browns, burnt sienna, oranges, cadmium red, I like to see what happens, I like texture and blooms on the page, don't be frightened of it ....that is the beauty ( in my opinion ) of watercolour, and wildlife painting 

I took this picture to show how wet the paper is, this is just my work, it isn't anything I have been taught , just what I like to do.


Now I need to gain back control. I need to paint the nose and the the ears more carefully . I use cadmium red and cobalt blue to create a purple for the dark colour in the ears, make sue they connect to the fur, and I paint the nose carefully with a highlight on the end.


I also use the same colours to add the mouth and shadows in the white fur, my shadow colours are usually cadmium red and cobalt blue.


When it is all dry I add some whiskers with an artists pen , and I like to rub out the pencil lines so he looks like he emerges from the white paper

Have fun with your watercolour , and hopefully that reflects in the finished piece




  • Prarthana

    That’s so beautiful, love his eye. Thank you so much for such a detailed explanation.After reading I had to try it out.Will post my picture as soon as I’m done with him. Would love to know what you think of it.

  • Linda

    I love your work and learn so much from your blog. Thank you!

  • Pat

    I love your work. Try as I may, I can’t do what you can do with wc!

  • Helena

    Beautiful. Thank you, this is so much help for a beginner.

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