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Planning Retirement Online

Leisure Painter           June 2005


Each month presents a feature from either The Artist or its sister publication, Leisure Painter.

Leisure Painter inspires, guides and encourages beginners and improvers with step-by-step instruction, as well as general advice on ways to develop and progress. Experienced and popular tutors set projects, describe their own working methods and offer helpful tips and ideas



Let's Start with Art

This month:

An Old Chicken Shed in Pen and Wash by Andrew Boult

  • Edding 1800 Profipens 0.1 and 0.5

  • Winsor & Newton Artists' watercolours:

  •  Winsor green (blue shade)

  •  Green gold

  •  Permanent sap green

  •  French ultramarine

  •  New gamboge

  •  Gold ochre

  •  Burnt umber

  •  Winsor & Newton art masking fluid

  •  Saunders Waterford hot-pressed 200lb paper









The initial washes look quite raw once mixed on the palette, but as they are the base colours and shuld be quite watery in consistency they will be fine. It's a good idea to pre-mix the colours in sufficient quantities as this will allow you to work quickly and let some of the paints blend together to create 'happy accidents'. It is also advisable to do a few colour dabs on another sheet of paper if you are unsure.

Time taken = Three hours


Figure 1

Stage 1
Use the 0.1 pen to sketch the basic outlines of the picture: the structure of the shed, the all-important perspective lines, and the essential plants. The secret is to keep the pen moving across the paper at all times and keep the mark-making loose and vigorous to encourage a sketchy style. I like pens that have been well used as the lines are finer and more textured.



Figure 1


Stage 2 Use the art masking fluid to put in the highlights and areas of the picture that need to be protected for a later stage. The aim of this is not only to preserve the white of the flowers, but also those areas that will have pure colour applied to them – for example, the buttercups.



Figure 2

Stage 1 Mix green gold and permanent sap green for the light green areas and apply this liberally to most of the picture. The same mix of colour, but with French ultramarine added, is used to paint the shed. The midground tone is a combination of permanent sap green, French ultramarine and a little Winsor green, but be careful not to add too much Winsor green as it is a potent colour. The initial dark tone in the background is a blend of French ultramarine and Winsor green; this mix is also used on the shed window, but with slightly more of the green added.





Figure 2

Stage 2 When the initial washes are dry, mix the same range of colours, but to a thicker consistency, to add detail to the picture, intimating the grass in the foreground and applying colour to emphasise the leaves.

Figure 3

Stage 1 During this stage darker colours should be added, again using the same mixes of colour, but with strong consistencies. In addition, other variations of the same colours can be applied. The dark areas on the left of the picture and the French ultramarine and Winsor green mix will look very cold, so will need to be warmed up by adding permanent sap green to the mix and green gold to the dark area on the left.




Figure 3


Stage 2 The hazy sunshine in the centre is important to the picture. This is created simply by darkening the areas of grass on the left and right, thus emphasizing the feeling of light in the middle.

Stage 3 At this stage the standing stone on the left needs a light wash of gold ochre to warm it and give it some body. Although not essential to the picture, the stone is still there and needs to look realistic without detracting from the shed. The roof of the shed is painted with a mix of French ultramarine and burnt umber. At the end of this stage and after all the paint has dried it is time to remove all the masking fluid from the picture.


Figure 4

Stage 1 It’s now time to tighten up the picture. Using both pens start to emphasise areas – detailing the planks of wood on the shed is important, as is getting the grain of the wood. Use the pen to define areas of the grass and to sketch in the shapes of the ferns, working vigorously and keeping the pen moving.

Stage 2 The foxgloves can now receive attention. The suggestion of light falling on the leaves is achieved by applying new gamboge and a mix of green gold and permanent sap green. New gamboge can also be used on the right-hand reeds. The shade under the roof of the shed is painted with French ultramarine to give the building a three-dimensional feel.




Figure 4


Stage 3 Finally, add any detailing that’s required, and then create the buttercups by painting in the white paper left by the masking fluid using the new gamboge direct from the palette.

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