MY APPROACH TO WATERCOLOUR…

Watercolour is my medium of choice. I have been painting in the ‘pure watercolour’ tradition for about 15 years. This means that I use the whiteness of the paper to shine through transparent washes of watercolour. I do not use body colour in my paintings, so the position of any highlights needs to be worked out from the start and then avoided throughout the painting process.

I work from light to dark, meaning that I establish the light tonal values first, then the medium tones and then finally, the darkest tones. In my view, design and sound drawing are the foundations of a good painting. Some time is spent on thinking about the end result, and planning my next move, before putting brush to paper as, unlike with oils, once you've made some decisive marks it is not easy to make drastic alterations.

Having spent over 20 years as an illustrator, drawing is important to me. I begin with an outline, but not overly detailed. Pencil work is used mainly to create a good design and establish proportions. I prefer to do as much as I can with the brush, aiming for a lively impression of my subject as opposed to achieving a photographic result.