Watercolour painting of Dale Head in the Newslands Valley, Cumbria.
Dale Head, Newlands Valley, Derwentwater. Watercolour and pen on watercolour paper.

I don’t often paint in watercolour. I’ve no idea why, perhaps I have enough difficulty painting in oils and acrylics that I don’t want to complicate life unduly. But here’s today’s painting, a watercolour and pen drawing of Dale Head. Watercolour is a transparent medium and can create beautiful, translucent washes of colour, which I tried to achieve here. The scene was suffused with a low spring sun and glows with the pure yellow-green light that seems typical at this time of year.

Using a combination of watercolour and pen allows me to slosh in plenty of liquid colour with a big brush and allow the colours to mix in interesting way, then I add detail using the pen. I think this plays to the strengths of both media – allowing the watercolours to mix in random ways and produce happy accidents, then I can provide ‘tight’ details using the pen, which is the ideal medium to suggest distant rocks and sharp edges at the tops of the mountains.