New Toys

New toys in the art studio are SOOO exciting! And this trip to the art store saw me bringing home a set of Winsor and Newton watercolour markers.

Hamilton is a town around the river and so there always seems to be a bridge waiting to be drawn.


As you can see the markers are highly pigmented making for really vivid paintings. I started with a pack of six colours, so the palette is a bit limited. However, they do blend really well when the individual colours are placed next to each other. As the paint tended to dry quite quickly, I found I had to be thinking ahead, have the water ready for immediate application and needed quite a bit of water. In saying that, though, I must clarify that very little ink was actually needed in the first place…a little went a long way… and initially using too much ink was probably my biggest mistake in this sketch. Overall I am reasonably happy with this first attempt.

The next day we crossed yet another bridge which happened to be lined with these beautiful old-fashioned lights. Too much to resist, so I had another go, but this time trying to gain a little more control.


In this sketch I applied a lot less ink which worked well. I did the lamp first and then moved to the surrounds. This led to discovering that the ink lifts very easily even though already dried. Now  my nice crisp edges on the lamp became a little blurred. Going over the edges with the fine nib end (the markers come with a different nib at each end – fine and brush) helped to rectify this. They are still not as crisp as I would like and so next time I will be careful to not let the water touch beyond the line.

Application of the ink was brilliant when the paper was loaded with water. Really fun to watch explode through the water…might have done it a few times just for the enjoyment factor 🙂 For some areas where I wanted only a little colour and a lot of control I wet the end of the nib first which meant the amount of ink being released was greatly reduced. This worked well.

I can see lots of applications where these markers will be brilliant such as over the top of colour already laid down to give definition and ‘pop’ or really quick sketches on the run. This is definitely only the beginning of my journey with watercolour markers. I will keep you posted.

Have you used them? How did you find them? Do leave a comment below so we can all learn from each others experiences. Learning is invaluable.


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