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 Cold Harbour Marsh Watercolour Pencils


First of all, I use hardback sketch books and I stress hardback sketch books because when your sketch books get battered about like mine do, they still donít lose any pages. This is because a hardback sketch book is properly string bound.

Sharpen your watercolour pencils with a knife or a blade of some kind, donít use a pencil sharpener because this will make the points sharp and brittle, a knife will also give you lots of different angles.

I always use cool grey for my outline drawing because this just looks like a normal pencil line, but also, because it's a watercolour pencil, as soon as I stroke over with a wet brush, it's going to disappear if I want it to.

Essential Supplies

The items you will need to complete this scene are as follows:-

Watercolour Paint
Watercolour Pencil x24

No.8 Round



This first little drawing is an area of the country that I am particularly fond of, Norfolk. This particular place, Cold Harbour Marsh near Luddon, is the haunt and indeed home of my greatest painting hero Edward Seago.

Now look at this drawing. Not a lot there, now it's time for the colouring in.
And it is simply that, colouring in like a kid's drawing.



So simple and so much fun. For the far distance I have used purple grey, coming slightly further forward with a bit of yellow ochre, and then adding a touch of Vandyke brown and light red into the nearer areas.

Now as I come further forward into the bushy bits in the middle distance, I have used mixtures of Hooker's green dark, light red and Vandyke brown. Literally just scribble them all in together, not taking any time to fill any particular areas in. This is just scribbly experimentation playtime to see what kind of array of colours you can get out of this tin of pencils. For the gate, I used Vandyke brown and stroked into the base areas of it with a little bit of mars black.




Now for the foreground, this really is just bash it on time. Look at the way Iím just scribbling with yellow ochre, big scribbly scribbly strokes, then a few touches of Vandyke brown here and there, get it all mixed in.
A few touches of light red mixed in amongst it. A few touches of Hooker's green dark here and there. And look it really is a mess. But now it's time for the magic and that of course is water.



Now you may be wondering what has happened to the sky in all of this, because if you were to try and scribble on your sky wash like all the other colours you are liable to end up with some scratchy lines in your sky, which of course you donít want.

So instead, take your watercolour pencil in one hand, wet brush in the other and stroke the paint off the pencil. And then simply stroke on and paint your sky wash.

Now for the rest of it, simply tap onto your drawing and stroke with a wet brush which melts the paint turning it into a lovely little watercolour painting, as opposed to a drawing.



At this stage, when you are putting the water on, you can decide whether you want to melt all of your squiggly bits with the water or leave some sharper bits showing here and there.

Now taking a little bit of my cool grey off the pencil with my round No.8 brush, just enhance some of the darker areas and the bushy bits here and there.
For the little bit of dyke showing in the foreground, itís the same treatment as the sky. Picking the paint off the pencil with my No.8 round brush and simply filling it in. Notice incidentally that the dyke is wider in the foreground than it is near the gate, make it work like a path, this is your recession. Whilst the water is still wet Iím adding a few strokes with my Vandyke brown with a dry pencil to represent a little bit of reflection. And there we go, as promised, that wasnít too complex was it?