More Bees – Breaking Out The Watercolour Paper

watercolour bumble bee

Hi there, how are you?

I had drawn quite a few bees in my sketch book recently(you can see them here) so I decided to break out the scary paper again and see if I could do something that looked a little more finished.

I keep saying I’m going to use watercolour paper more often but I don’t, how will I learn to use it if I don’t use it?

So here is a nicely painted bumble bee, on watercolour paper, It’s not perfect but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

Ok so that was the good, now gird yourself for scary bee. I wanted to paint one of those lovely splodgy painterly bees that you see around the internet, after putting down the colours all I had was a splodge!

3 watercolour bees
Three little watercolour bee studies.

I was going to throw it away in disgust and then thought “eh, if it’s going in the bin any way I can play with it some more”. I did the thing where you take a damp brush and pick the colour off to highlight the legs and eyes. It’s not beautiful but it was effective and it does look like a bee so I decided not to throw it out after all.
The other two bees were me getting in some valuable practice, as we can see I need it.

My favourite quote this week was from a book by Carl Purcell – Painting with your artist’s brain.
“Use plenty of water and paint, the purpose of painting is not paint conservation.” I think that applies to paper too.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x


13 thoughts on “More Bees – Breaking Out The Watercolour Paper

  1. I think both are lovely!

    I’m experimenting with watercolour paper at the moment and I’ve realised that painting on good quality watercolour paper (100% cotton) is easier and I get better results than when I paint on inferior watercolour paper or other papers. The experts always recommend 100% cotton watercolour paper and it wasn’t until I tried it that I realised they were right, of course…. !!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Evelyn. Yes I’ve been coming to that conclusion myself. I think I will have to invest in something with a better quality next time I go shopping for paper. I suppose it’s like everything else, you get what you pay for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve bought several lots of cheap watercolour paper and regretted it! I’ll used it up for other stuff but stick to the good stuff for my watercolour work. I’m currently using Arches cold pressed which is always 100% cotton, very lovely paper. But I have also ordered some Fabriano and some Saunders Waterford, making sure I ordered the 100% cotton stuff… ! 100% cotton paper is lovely to paint on and it’s quite tough too… !

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve heard good things about Arches, definitely someting I will look into. When starting out we have no idea what equipment is going to be needed, Hopefully the more mistakes I make the more I learn from them.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. IMO-Paper is the most important tool we watercolorist use…some folks’ think they cannot paint and it may be just bad paper. I use Arches all most exclusively. Paint quality is also important especially for the longevity of your art but paper is so key for learning and getting good results! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rsbense, I think you’re right. I’ve been doing some reading and 100% cotton paper seems to be the key. Arches also does seem to be one of the most popular brands, I’ll have to look out for some on m travels x


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