A few lines about freckles in a song inspired me today.

“Your hand fits in mine/Like it’s made just for me/But bear this in mind/It was meant to be/And I’m joining up the dots/With the freckles on your cheeks/And it all makes sense to me. ~Zayn, Little Things. Born in England of English-Pakistani parents, Zayn Malik is a former One Direction singer, one of the most popular boy bands of all time.

This post was first published in February 2017.

watercolour tonal study

"A sprinkling of freckles". Watercolour on 6 x 9 Bee Paper Watercolor Paper. Winsor Newton Cotman watercolour in Burnt Umber.

The freckles are hardly visible. I don’t think she minds them too much. Or has she covered them with a dusting of makeup?

With watercolours, I am learning to soften harsh lines, to be more patient, and to let the paper dry before adding more paint. The looseness I was looking for is more easily achieved with this medium.

The addition of the freckles were a last minute decision after I had worked on her for about an hour. She could use more now that she is dry.

However, for today, here she is with just a sprinkling, a hint really, of freckles.

Only Summer to your Heart is another, more colourful watercolour portrait I enjoyed painting. Watercolours are not the easiest medium to master, but the discoveries along the way are very encouraging. For example, using coloured pencil or pastels over the watercolour portrait can definitely add a whole other dimension of interest to the portrait.

Artists like Katrina Koltes use watercolour as the first layers of their painting and then add pencil work to sharpen and brighten the details.  Others use pastel and watercolours combined.  In Three Sisters, I used watercolours and Pitt Pens.  I have even experimented with watercolours and acrylics.

The possibilities are endless.

What are your favourite ways to mix it up?

I’d love to hear what you have to say...