May Blossom in the Rain

Monday, 22nd May 2006

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hawthorn blossomI drew this hawthorn blossom at Barbara's mum's. It's about at its best, unfortunately it will be on its way out by the time the skies clear.

hawthorn blossomAt the weekend, when we were travelling to Whitby over the North Yorks Moors, I noticed the hawthorn blossom there was still in bud.

I drew quickly (for me) with a Staedtler 0.5 mm pigment liner drawing & writing pen then, using my Pentel waterbrush and my tiny box of Winsor & Newton watercolours, added the colour. The pigment liner ink dries almost instantly and is waterproof and lightfast.

mugWorking in this quick, pared down way, I was able to complete the drawing in the time it took Barbara and her mum to make a cup of coffee and even managed another drawing (right) after we'd drunk the coffee.

Not the kind of drawings I'd do if I was in the Peak District and had all morning to spare, but much better than doing nothing.


Working with a Waterbrush

Daisy Hill, DewsburyThe way I'm finding I'm using the waterbrush is that I squeeze just a dab of water onto my left hand then slightly dip the brush in the resulting droplet.

I tend to dip the brush into the little finger end of fold-line that runs across my palm; the one known as the heartline in palmistry (if you're sowing small seeds you can put some on your palm and, by shaking gently, use this little gully of a line to guide the seeds with some precision to where you want them sowing).

To equalise the pressure inside the brush I gently press the sides again; a few tiny bubbles usually travel up inside the brush. If you don't equalise the pressure in this way you can get the annoying effect of the brush sucking up your watercolour wash and you can find yourself painting with a dry brush.

If you simply squeeze the brush firmly and hope for the best you can end up with too much water on the brush.

A paper towel is useful.

It sounds terribly complicated but it isn't really.

Daisy Hill from Netto

I drew the trees on Daisy Hill, Dewsbury, as I sat by the check-outs in Netto, waiting for Barbara and her mum to come through. I drew the outlines of the trees with my regular drawing pen the Parker Reflex (I say drawing pen but Parker designed it for writing) and dabbed them with the waterbrush. I'd stippled in a few dots and dashes to indicate foliage on the trees and these were the basis of the blotty wash. I tried to avoid wetting the outlines of the trees to keep some definition in the drawing. After all, trees aren't shapeless blobs of cotton wool. Next Page



Heartline in palmistry at

Richard Bell,

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