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.

Loughrigg Tarn Painting by Lake District artist David Pott

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