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Planning Retirement Online

Art Masterclass

Jungle Falls

For the best results, plan all the stages before you start.

If ever in doubt – stop, learn from what you have accomplished then paint something else. Under-painting is always better than overpainting a picture!

This is an experimental, semi-abstract painting.

Again, I used the following materials (below) – but feel free to experiment!


  • Paper
  • 200lb Saunders
  • Waterford Not surface watercolour paper
  • Black non-waterproof pen
  • Coloured inks or concentrated watercolours
  • Acrylic paint

Stage 1

I drew an imaginary scene in pencil using a composition and shapes of trees and leaves that I like and with which I am familiar. I loosely painted some brightly coloured areas – based on the layout – into which I drew using the black nonwaterproof ink.

I then allowed everything to dry. Do not be too exacting at this stage of the painting. It is important to keep the painting loose!

Stage 2

Having placed the basic colours, I pulled the painting together by redrawing into the colours with the pencil and black ink, thus re-establishing the initial design. I then added more colours in a more precise fashion before thinking about painting with acrylics.

Stage 3

It was always my intention to keep this painting loose but I was careful not to get too haphazard. I placed the acrylics in a non-definitive but controlled manner, and tried to define suggestions of shape and form to hold the work together.

Stage 4

The painting was finally pulled together by reusing all the media but, by being selective, all the different stages were allowed to show through. This can’t be achieved if you fiddle with your work.

Jungle Falls, coloured inks with pen and acrylics on watercolour paper
121/2X91/4in (32x23.5cm)

In conclusion

I have tried to show you here some of the various materials and methods I use for mixed-media paintings. The combinations are endless, but you need to experiment and practise to find out which media go together best, and what you particularly enjoy using. I will be back in LP in 2007 with further ideas and possibilities with mixed media.


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