Arty tip of the month – The Crucial Art of Planning in Watercolour Painting (Feb 24)

Watercolour painting is a captivating and expressive medium that, in my opinion, requires a delicate touch and a strategic approach. While spontaneity is often celebrated in art, planning plays a pivotal role in creating a successful watercolour painting. In this blog, we will explore the significance of planning your watercolour paintings and how it contributes to the overall success of the final piece.

Understanding the Medium:

Watercolour is known for its fluidity and transparency, and it can be unpredictable in its behaviour. Unlike other painting mediums, where layers can be easily corrected, watercolour demands a thoughtful and strategic approach from the beginning.


Composition and Design:

One of the key aspects of planning in watercolour painting is the development of a strong composition. A good habit to get into, before diving into the final piece, is to complete thumbnail sketches of a chosen design, considering the balance and any focal points. This preliminary work ensures that the final painting will have a visually appealing and harmonious arrangement.


Colour Palette Selection:

Watercolour’s brilliance lies in its rich and vibrant colours. Effective planning involves selecting a suitable palette that complements the design and evokes the desired mood. Artists can experiment with colour combinations on a separate design sheet before committing to the final painting, allowing them to make informed decisions about which colour mixes will best convey their artistic vision.



No artistic process is without challenges, and watercolour is no exception. Planning provides artists with the opportunity to foresee potential issues and develop strategies for overcoming them. Whether it’s preserving whites, creating texture, or achieving a specific effect, having a plan in place equips artists with the tools they need to address challenges as they arise.



While watercolour painting encourages a certain level of spontaneity, a well-thought-out plan is the foundation for a successful work of art. Through careful consideration of composition, colour, and possible techniques, artists can navigate the unpredictable nature of watercolour with confidence. So, the next time you embark on a watercolour painting journey, take the time to plan—it may just be the key to unlocking the true potential of your artistic expression.




If you’ve liked my hints and tips this month and you’d like to learn more, why not take a look at my online courses



🎨✨ Exciting News Alert!

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve been accepted again to the prestigious art event, Springfling 24, Scotland’s Premier Art and Craft Open Studios event, taking place across Dumfries and Galloway from 25 to 27 May 2024.

Join me at my temporary weekend studio located in the beautiful Annandale Parish Church, Moffat, Dumfriesshire. I’ll be sharing my weekend studio with the talented printmaker Richard Foster. and nearby, the fantastic ceramic artist Rebecca J Woods will be showcasing her work in her own studio.

We’d love to meet you.