Creativity Corner Sketchbook Explorations

The Joy of Watercolours

March 3, 2014

Happy Monday everyone! Some of you would have noticed me mentioning on Social Media how much I miss drawing, sketching and generally making art. Of course, there’s my monthly Vive la Différence that keeps me ‘creating’. Ever since I began blogging, it’s my camera that gets all the attention. Don’t get me wrong, I love photography and taking photos but there’s something special about putting visual marks on paper, at least for me.

I finally made a first attempt just over a week ago. I’ve been wanting to experiment more with different watercolours. While in the South of France I came across these incredible Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese watercolours. The art shop I saw them in only had a set of 12 colours and after a quick Google I saw they came in a box of 36 colours. So instead of having my instant art materials fix, I had to order them online and wait for the delivery from Japan.

The pigment is incredibly rich, rather creamy and I’m in love!


Everyone can start with and afford a Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour set. I use one but am also pining for a set by Schmincke. I’m not going to list all my art materials today, but another favourite of mine is the range of concentrated watercolour by Dr. Martins.


Ok, here below are some of my watercolours done in the past couple of weeks and inspired by flowers. You’ll see that I like to embellish and create texture. I hope you enjoy!

Inspired by a Hydrangea.

Inspired by Anemones.


Inspired by Anemones.


Inspired by a Hydrangea.


I hope you get some inspirations from these, not such for the brushstrokes and painting, but maybe you’ll find ideas for colour combinations, patterns and for layering and texture. From time to time I’ll be posting more of my work.

I’ve been guest posting over at Armoire, Pegs and Casserole. Thank you Mel for having me! Also don’t forget that the Book of Everyone giveaway is still open till Friday.

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  • Reply Igor March 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Wonderful paintings, Tina, and so rich in colours and structure. Love to imagine that our Urban Jungle Bloggers post inspired you to buy hydrangeas and this consequently inspired you to paint them with watercolours:-) Well, I like to think that way…happy Monday!

    • Reply tina March 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you Igor… always a little shy to show my own art. Seems to be easier and more popular to show flowers bought from florists…

      Of course it all started with my trip to Petersham Nurseries, where I bought Magda for my UJB post. And then, a few days later you took part in the Elodies 2 flower series and I just LOVED one of your photographs, in terms of colour and composition so there’s another inspiration.

      So, dear Igor, thank you for setting me off on this road….:-))

  • Reply Shona Lockhart March 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    These are beautiful Tina – I love the vibrant colours.

    • Reply tina March 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you Shona, glad you like them…:-)

  • Reply Michaela March 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Tina these are so amazing! I don’t know why I’m so surprised that such a creative friend can produce such lovely watercolours but I genuinely think they are wonderful!

    I do know what you mean about trying to find the time to be creative – I really struggle. Always making purchases in the little art shop down the road, but never quite managing to have my ‘creative weekend’ I keep promising myself – lol! Michaela xx

    • Reply tina March 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Aww, thanks Pargy:-) Haha, you know me, I dabble a little in everything.. but you must not forget I studied Graphic Design and have been a designer for 30 years… I’m just a little rusty but I so enjoy it…

      Hahaha, oh boy, do I know it..but all in good time. Now I’ve caught the bug!
      Thanks lovely xx

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey March 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    You are indeed a dabbler and I love this about you. I see in your comment to Michaela that you feel a little rusty, but that only adds to the fun and experimentation I’m sure.

    The paintings above are wonderful and I especially like the first Anemones inspired pic. Your embellishments are very you 🙂

    And I love the Japanese writing on the Japanese watercolours.

    Thank you for sharing your bodacious art work here xx

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Ha. A dabbler indeed. I’ve always been like this. I enjoy it tremendously.

      Thank you Gerard, I’m glad you like them. The one you like best was the first one I did and it’s funny how using different papers and pigments give you different results.
      The Japanese writing is so cool.. I love that too and best of all I found a company here who sells the individual refills. Anything Japanese is amazing, right?

      Oh and thank you for the word ‘bodacious’. It’s such a cool word and not often used. Love it.
      Thanks Gerard xx

  • Reply Jocelyn Casey March 4, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Tina, I love that you share this part of your creative journey with all of us. I would love to have one of your paintings in my home! I love all the layers and the textures you create with such a natural “feel”. Really looking forward to meeting you! Jocelyn xx

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Eek, I think I’m getting more comfortable with it… when I first did it, I literally crinched:-))
      Ha. Thank you darling but they would have to be far more accomplished before I would release them to adorn someone else’s walls:-)

      Thank you for saying that about the layers and textures. I work hard to create those and sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t!

      Yes, very looking forward to hanging out with you xx

  • Reply Peter March 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Great effort, I love the colour mixes and you’ve inspired me to try water colour again! I recently picked up a pencil after a good few years of not drawing and it’s very satisfying.

    Great site, will keep following you now



    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Hello Peter, thank you for stopping by.

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed them. Ha. I love that I’ve inspired you to try it again…. result!!
      It’s so satisfying, isn’t it?
      Here are some books for inspiration:
      1. Sketch Your World – James Hobbs
      2. Anything by Danny Gregory
      3. One Drawing a Day – Veronica Lawlor

      Glad to have you on board:-)

  • Reply Elodie (madame love) March 4, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Your anemones are so lovely Tina! Have a great day!

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you Elodie.. you see how it’s all connected? Fun!

  • Reply Catherine Bedson March 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Tina these watercolours are just gorgeous, I LOVE the colour combinations you’ve used. Keep drawing, sketching & exploring. Look forward to seeing what else you create. X

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Aww, thanks Catherine… you know that colour is my thing and probably comes easiest to me:-)
      Yes, will do.. and no doubt you’ll gibe me further feedback> Hope you’re enjoying your new ‘home from home’ x

  • Reply Parisbreakfast March 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Terrific paintings Tina.
    I have no idea how they can price the paints so cheaply.
    The names given are not true pigment names so they could be blended.
    You reallt should try Kremer Pigments watercolors sometime just to see.
    You can find them at Atlantsc and another place I think.
    Your work is lovely. Dont hide it anymore!!!

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Oh, hello miss watercolour queen:-)

      Well, I think they’re really quite expensive but the shops have cut prices. Ha. Interesting. All I can tell you is that they feel more like gouache. They are very creamy and don’t behave like watercolours BUT I love them and they add yet a different texture..

      I don’t know Kremer pigment watercolours but will look them up. Have you ever mixed your own pigments? That must be fun too.
      I do really want to try Mijella Mission tubes but can’t get them in the UK. Will maybe have them sent from Germany. They’re expensive but I’ve heard they are brilliant.
      Another revelation was to discover Arches Watercolour paper.. I bought the hotpress satin finish and boy is it amazing.

      Thank you Carol for your encouragement… promise not to hide it x

  • Reply Heather @ Canal Notes March 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Tina, long time! I have been following your blog though I’ve been a bit silent lately (lots going on!). But I just had to comment on this post – I love your watercolours! I’ve always been a fan of watercolour though I haven’t done much lately. Your post inspired me to dig out my art supplies and have a go. And I’m thinking about splurging for a set of Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolours. I’ve never been serious about my own creating but I find watercolour painting so relaxing. Thanks for the inspiration – hope you’re well!

    • Reply tina March 5, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Hey Heather… how nice to hear from you. Wow, it’s been a long time! Glad to hear lots going on..:-)

      Haha, so you came out of silent blog reading:-) Thank you..really glad you like them.
      How fab you’re having a go and do get the Gansai Tambi watercolours. Be prepared though that they are creamy.. I would maybe supplement with some of the other brands I mentioned… I’m glad to have inspired you and please show us some of your work on the blog.
      I’ll come and visit tomorrow and no doubt will see what you’ve been up to.
      Thanks Heather x

  • Reply Mel March 5, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Tina you really have such a talent for this and I’m so glad that you’re exploring it further. Funny how sometimes the universe just has to scream out to you sometimes. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be the Anemones eerie, I love the bold colours mixed with the delicate flowers, just beautiful! Thank you so much for being my guest for my On The Wall series and thanks to all of your lovely readers that popped over to say hello too! Mel xx

    • Reply tina March 5, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Oh, thank you Mel! Yes, it literally screamed at me… it is funny, but lately I have been really missing it… and it feels so good.
      I’m really looking forward to exploring, challenging myself and having some fun with it!

      I love those too…

      It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you so much for having me, I really enjoyed it!… I do love my readers:-)) xx

  • Reply Alison Sye March 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I’m lusting after that picture of the Japanese watercolour set.
    Your work is beautiful. Love that clean quality that watercolour gives – especially like the anemones x

    • Reply tina March 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Haha. Know exactly what you mean…
      Thank you Alison. Much appreciated x

  • Reply Doris March 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    So glad that you managed to get the post out! It was worth it. Such lovely beautiful pictures Tina. Keep the creativity going, I can’t wait to see more. xD

    • Reply tina March 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Haha. You know:-))
      Thank you. Have been humbled by all the encouraging comments. Xx

  • Reply Carole Poirot March 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Wow, these are beautiful! The colours, textures and layering make them really interesting and much stronger than the usual watercolour paintings I see. My favourite is the second one, the anemones, just gorgeous 🙂

    • Reply tina March 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I try and work on the layering and texture… some watercolours (suggestive) are still amazing. It really depends.
      Thanks Carole x

  • Reply Alexandra March 6, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I think I’ll have to go and buy some colours. I never really painted, apart from the things I had to do at school, but seeing this makes me want to start painting. Just because the colours make me so happy! 🙂

    • Reply tina March 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Well, go out, buy paints, make a hot drink (you know which one) and have a go… you might surprise yourself:-)

  • Reply Holly March 12, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Tina, I think many of us have said this before, but you must start designing your own textiles!!! These paintings would make beautiful patterns for fabrics …. I can see it – pillows, bed sheets, wall coverings, carpets even!

    Great work! Thanks for sharing with us. Off to pin these now 😀


    • Reply tina March 12, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Haha. You know some years ago I thought about it but then realised my heart wasn’t in it:-) I would, however, see some in print or on textiles, just for fun!
      …..carpets, wow, your imagination is running wild now:-)

      Thanks lovely xx

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