The Succulent

Succulent - Painting by Kat Skinner

If you aren’t already, it’s a good time to follow me on Instagram: I usually post photos of my paintings as I work on them, long before I get around to writing a blog post or publishing the finial paintings on my website.

Lately I have practiced painting greens; all the variations of hues, tones and saturation. Of course the perfect way to improve upon any skill is to obviously to compete a project. Presenting The Succulent:

My paintings can take a while depending upon size and level of detail. I honestly don’t know how some artists can paint so fast! It’s really a skill to be admired.

The first step for most of my paintings is to add the very lightest of colors. This can be helpful to establish the lightest tones in my paintings – such as highlights – and it is also helpful to reference where colors will be placed without fully establishing such locations permanently.

The next step was to start adding and building the colors. I do this slowly in multiple layers of very thin (almost transparent) paint.

This step is probably the most time-consuming, but it gives you wonderful results. If you take the time, even an absolute beginner to achieve wonderful results as it is very forgiving.

The final stage is to put any finishing details onto the painting, and to neaten up any edges if necessary. I added the pinks last as mixing greens and reds can produce greys if not careful. I essentially made sure I had my greens exactly where I wanted them, and then added the pinks in their ideal locations.

The Robin

The Robin - Painting by Kat Skinner

I’ve been in a bit of a rut, having no real inspiration for painting. Normally I would look at a reference image and feel inspired to recreate its beauty, but lately…. So my husband picked a photo from my reference stash for me to paint in the hopes I got out of this rut. His pick, a lovely Robin sitting on a tree stump.

A close up of my next watercolor painting: a Robbin sitting on a tree stump. 

A photo posted by Kathleen Skinner (@kat_skinner) on


The above image is showing the finished robin. I was frustrated with painting the robin as I was really struggling to get its orange breast as vibrant as I wanted, though you wouldn’t notice in the finished painting!

I was both happy and unhappy with the overall painting. Since I was so uninspired, I think I could constantly see the flaws and not the image.

Overall I am glad I persisted, as I do have a bit more of a want to paint again. The robin actually turned out quite well, despite my focus on the flaws.

Working On The Doorway

You can view and buy a print of the finished painting at The Doorway.

The first step in painting The Doorway was to paint the background. If you remember from some of my previous paintings I fell in love with textures, specifically textures made with salt.

I wanted the windows to vary in color as if they were stained glass or older style glass. I varied mixtures of Daniel Smith Moonglow, Pyrrol Scarlett and Pyrrol Blue.

The next step was fleshing in some of the greenery that was growing around the door. I varied this area of paint as well to keep it interesting.

Finally I painted the doorway and the chair. I deepened contrasts by darkening the shadows.

Working on The Tranquil Cottage Painting

The Cottage - a watercolour painting by Kat Skinner.

For the tranquil cottage painting I used high-quality artist quality paint from the brand Daniel Smith to create a semi-realistic appearance. Daniel Smith paints have a wonderful consistency to them, making painting an absolute pleasure; they are super creamy and can achieve both bright and dark colors and tones.

The colors used in this painting were Indian Red, Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Blue (Green Shade) and Cerulean Blue.

Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Gold, Pyrrol Green (Blue Shade).

I started off with a pen and ink line drawing:

#Sketch in pen for my latest #watercolour #watercolor featuring a country cottage type building.

A post shared by Kathleen Skinner (@kat_skinner) on

I then began to add the clouds in the background. I wanted these fairly ominous and dark to highlight the building in front of it.

The colors I used to paint the sky were Indian Red, Burnt Sienna, Pyrrole Blue (Green Shade) and Cerulean Blue.

Whilst the sky was drying, I began to paint the foreground with Buff Titanium, Quinacridone Gold, Raw Umber, Indian Red, Goethite and Pyrrole Blue (Green Shade).

After allowing the entire painting to dry overnight, I returned to paint the mid ground area (the background trees and the building). The colors I used were Quinacridone Gold, Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrol Green (Blue Shade) and Pyrrol Blue (Green Shade).

I then continued painting towards the foreground foliage. These I warmed up (colors wise) with Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Gold, Indian Red, Pyrrol Green and Pyrrol Blue.


If you liked reading how I went about painting The Tranquil Cottage, please leave me a comment to let me know.

If you want to buy a print of this painting, check out my Etsy Store.