One Of My First Paintings

Terry Harrison Trace and Paint Tutorial Result - a watercolor painting by Kat Skinner.

The other day I was going through my archive of paintings, and came across one of my very first watercolour paintings.

Terry Harrison Trace and Paint Tutorial Result
Terry Harrison Trace and Paint Tutorial Result

To make this finished painting I used a tutorial from the from the book Trace & Paint Watercolour (Ready to Paint) by the authors Terry Harrison, Geoff Kersey and Arnold Lowrey. This particular painting is done by following one of Terry Harrison’s tutorials.

The book Trace & Paint Watercolour (Ready to Paint) is a great book for absolute beginners who don’t want to have to come up with their own compositions or sketches in order to produce a nice painting. That’s a whole different challenge for artists – and when you are just beginning its a great way for you to focus on practicing your painting skills.

[button type=”real” shape=”square” size=”regular” href=”#example” title=”Example”][icon type=”ticket”]Buy This Painting[/button]

Working On The Waterfall

This painting is an older one, before I learnt about negative painting techniques (I think this painting would greatly benefit from using negative rather than positive painting).

Again I used my preferred brand of watercolour tube paints – Daniel Smith. The colors used are Pyrrol Blue (green shade), Burnt Sienna, Pyrrol Green (Blue Shade), and Quinacridone Gold.

The first task was painting the first layer of water and the background. I painted a light wash of Pyrrol Blue for the body of water, and combined Burnt Sienna to change the shade to a more brownish-grey color.

The next step was adding the moss on top of the rocks. I recently discovered that I love how salt textures on watercolour paper, so I used a lot of salt to try and create an interesting appearance. The moss was painted in Pyrrol Green, Quinacridone Gold and Burnt Sienna.

I then focused on painting the grey rocks. I used Pyrrol Green mixed with varying mixtures of Burnt Sienna and Indian Red. Why Pyrrol Green? Because the rocks were quite wet, they often had moss growing on them in very fine layers, thus I was happy for the rocks to have a green tinged color to them.

Here is where I added the background trees. It was at this point that I realised I wasn’t happy with how they turned out. I previously hadn’t practiced negative painting for foliage, however this frustration definitely fuelled more research and practice into the point.

Over all I wasn’t that happy with how this painting turned out, but every time you apply brush to paper, you learn something new.

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.