‘Creative Watercolour Techniques’ Workshop

If you have ever fancied being more creative with your watercolours, then this workshop is a must for you.

Enjoy a Fun Day Experimenting with Texture in Watercolour.  A chance to discover a more expressive style, exploring a variety of materials and equipment to create texture in your watercolours or simply just have fun!

Sun Highlight

Tutor: Yvette Wiltshire

Date: Saturday 8th July 2017

Time: 10am to 4pm.

Price: £30 (£5 Deposit)

Venue: Bodmin. Unit 4, Woods Browning Industrial Estate, Respryn Road.  Cornwall. PL31 1DQ.

You will need to bring some minor materials and equipment; a list will be available on booking.

Refreshments:  Please bring a packed lunch.

Contact me to book your space by email: yvettewiltshire@sky.com

Via my websiteArt with Yvette

or Phone: 07886 343621





Salt Techniques with Watercolour

In the last session of term (March 2017) at Menheniot we practiced Salt techniques.   (See Salt Techniques below)  This is always a fun session, as its always a surprise to see just how the salt works on different stages of the wet paint as its drying.   One very new learner to painting, shows it does work and its a joy to see a learner smile and go home pleased with their work.

It really is great to see how an absolute new beginner to watercolour, improve in just a short time.  ‘Pat’ has only been painting for 1 term (10 Weeks), and has had a steep ladder to climb as she paints alongside learners that have been coming to class for many years.


Winter Wonderland by ‘Pat Brunskill’

Salt Techniques:

  • Make sure your ‘salt’ is dry, if necessary warm it in an oven or stand next to a heater for a while, alternatively, store in an airing cupboard.  This will help to make the salt work at its best.
  • Salt absorbs the moisture but repels the pigment of the watercolour to create ‘blooms’
  • The watercolour wash has to be still wet but not too shiny.
  • The effect varies depending on the wetness of the wash and the size of the salt grains.  The wetter the watercolour surface the larger the reactions will be.
  • Add sprinkles of salt, but don’t mound the salt as this wont give you very good results.  Less is more.
  • When its dry, which can take a while, brush it off.
  • If it has not worked, it could because the was on the paper was too dry, the salt was damp, or the watercolour wash was overworked into the paper allowing little movement of the colour.
  • Practice beforehand to get the actual results you want.

Here are a few other paintings from learners at the Bodmin Watercolour Class.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year to You All.

New Years Resolutions are always hard to keep, from eating less chocolate or drinking less alcohol to getting fitter and eating more healthier.  Mine, as I am sure many of yours, flounder after a few weeks of good intentions.

We should be more realistic and make a resolution for something that we enjoy doing, like…

Painting more between classes, sketch each day or every other day perhaps, or just to try to slow down when we start painting, and think more about the process, and not trying to get to the finish too quickly and become disappointed with the end result.  Trying to understand why things happen and allow yourself time to practice it again to improve it.

One of the things that is asked many times in class, is how do I mix this colour?  Why is my colour mucky? why are my colours different to the ones you mix? and so on.

Colour Mixing is an art in itself, and one not to be dismissed too quickly. Knowing your colours and how to create glowing, clean watercolours, are an essential part of painting and making your work stand out proud.

I enjoy colour mixing, the challenge of getting the colour right by mixing with a limited palette from blue, red and yellow, the 3 primary colours rather than from a pre-mixed colour that you can buy.

Greens are particularly difficult to get just so, some pre mixed greens are not natural at all, and many greens that are more natural have only been made from the colours you have in your everyday colour palette.

If you are struggling with colours and want to create better mixes and understand your colour palette better why not attend my ‘Colour Mixing Skills in Watercolour’ Workshop on the 17th January at Cartwheels Craft Centre, Merrymeet.

Start the New Year Off getting to grips with colour mixing and enjoy the rest of the year producing better results and have a better understanding of colour.

Spaces are limited so please contact me, or Julia at Cartwheels soon.

Email: cartwheelscraftcentre@hotmail.co.uk
Tel: 01579 343675P1100864

Dry Brush Technique

In this weeks classes we have been working on Boats, and some of the images used to work from have been on Water or on Sand or Low Tidal Mud either in a harbour or river.  The following Step by Step Guide to achieving Dry Brush Effects for Water will be useful for Boats on Water as per the following Painting:


A Boat named ‘Me-an-der’ on Water by Yvette Wiltshire

Dry Brush Step by Step Guide

  1. Mix your paint Different Directional Strokes (8)
  2. Dab off excess paint onto kitchen roll
  3. Dab offLay the Brush flat on the paper and drag sideways, if you have too much paint in your brush you won’t have gaps in paper like thisRough Paper (1)
  4. Dab off your brush and try again, see how the second row is much drier lookingRough Paper (2)
  5. The next row is even drierRough Paper (3)
  6. Different Paper will also play a part in getting good effects, it works very well on a rough surface and you can achieve a good dry brush result on a less textured paper but you will need to vary the amount of paint left in the brush.  Always test first on a scrap of paper making sure you use the same texture as the paper you are working on.   The following images show different examples of varying surface textures:
  7. Khadi Paper – Heavy Texture
  8. Different Directional Strokes (10)Khadi Paper – Heavy TextureDifferent Directional Strokes (12)
  9. A ‘Not’ Surface – Medium Texture with 2 layers of different Blue appliedDifferent Directional Strokes (15)
  10. Semi Smooth PaperSmoother Paper  (3)
  11. The 3 different surfaces compared Different Directional Strokes (7)
  12. Using a more vertical stroke of Dry Brush to get different effects, like grass.   Different Directional Strokes (4)
  13. Different Directional Strokes (2)A Further Layer of a darker Green added and I have some brown that could be earth using a sideways brush stroke.Different Directional Strokes (5)
  14. Or Water?
  15. Different Directional Strokes (1)Dry Brush Work was used to achieve the textures on the mountains in the following image.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
  16. And the textures of the rocks in the following image.Moorland View
  17. Hopefully, you are now ready to have a go yourselves.

Granulating Colours – Class Demo

Wednesday 12th at St Ive Village Hall,

Class Schedule: Granulating Colours


Granulation is the separation of pigments, you can encourage clumps of pigment to settle into the rough texture of the paper, giving an interesting and easily achieved visual effect.  French Ultramarine Blue is a great granulating colour.

Mix up a very watery wash and lay it on your paper, then holding it horizontally, rock it back and forth to encourage the pigments to settle in the hollows of the paper, rough paper is great for this.  Test out various mixes of granulating colours from your palette to see the effects for yourself.  (check the manufacturers colour chart to see which of the colours you have are Granulating, a letter ‘g’ is what you are looking for)

Granulating colours will separate whilst you are mixing them in your palette, try Cerulean Blue and Light Red this is great to mix and see them separate, it’s really hard to keep them together.

A wet misty day in the Alps

Stage 1 Demo.

Colours used in the Sky: French Ultramarine (Winsor & Newton, my prefered make) and Burnt Sienna

Foreground colours: French Ultramarine and Winsor Yellow plus the Sky Mix

Sky and Foreground Demo using Granulating Colours

Demo: I mixed up the colours for the sky and applied it to the top area, adding plenty of water as I went, adding extra colour to the areas throughout the sky, fiddling as I went (not advisable), Whilst the sky was still wet and I was unable to do the distant mountain range and the class was eager to see more painting, I started the foreground.  I really like to wait for sections to dry before I move on and contemplate my next move, but time in a class is limited, so I painted on, I did not want to use the hairdryer as the force of air when the shine on the paint is still there would have pushed the pigments around changing the overall finish.  Its better to let it naturally dry if you have time.

Applying a bright mix for a touch of sunlit grass area of French Ultramarine and Winsor Yellow, I quickly weakened it as I went as it was too bright, I then quickly mixed up varying degrees of green with the same colours to keep it flowing well.  Finally adding the sky mix to the front area to suggest shadow along the ground, this tied in the atmosphere of the sky with the foreground.

Stage 2 Demo.

Distant Mountain Range

 The next stage was to insert the distant mountain range,

I mixed French Ultramarine with Winsor Yellow and a touch of Burnt Sienna to produce a darker shade, but still keeping the mix cool for recession.

I allowed water to drip into the top section top add a misty effect.

A little colour ran upwards on the left hand side but this can be lifted out is I feel the need later.

The next stage is to add another mountain area in front of this one when its dry.

You will have noticed that my hut is further in the picture than that of the photograph, this is going to be my focal point, so I used the 1/3 rule when drawing it in.

I mixed up a darker mix of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna with some Winsor Yellow for the middle tree area, dropping some water in as I went to show variations in the tree area so it doesn’t look flat.

Middle area

A  base colour of Raw SIenna was applied to the building followed by a mix of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna in varying mixes.

I  brushed the foreground in using the dry brush technique, with varying mixes of the French Ultramarine, Winsor Yellow and adding Burnt Sienna to it.

Foreground Dry Brush

Further addition of dry brush and some softening off with water so it’s not too harsh.

Nearly Finished

I finally added a few posts to help your eyes to wander around to the building.


Always experiment with your colours watch how they react with each other, its fascinating to see granulation work in your palette.

Have fun!

Mixed Colours Granulating and separating in my Palette

I hope that you have enjoyed the first of my Demonstrations unfold on this Blog please return and see more, and spread the word.

Thank you and please add your comments.  


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