Wildlife in Inks & Watercolours


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Snap shots of the centre piece of a new painting I’m working on

Country Garden - A mini watercolour painting
The Glasswinged Butterfly - Greta Oto
Tiger Meadows (Detail)
Tiger Meadows
These four pieces are now available to buy in my Etsy Shop! x
The Moth Snare
The Meadow of Lepidoptera
Peacock Butterfly - Detail from a piece I’m currently working on
This piece titled ‘Surrounded By Butterflies’ has been featured in this months issue of piaui magazine along side some of Matthew Rohrers poetry! I’m so excited about this & can’t wait to receive my copy in the post.  I can’t read Portuguese though… so it looks like google translate is gonna get a hammering pretty soon.

woodlark asked: Hi Colleen. I'm sorry to ask you this when I'm sure you're being bombarded with messages, but I wanted to give a shot at making a poster using watercolors. Do you have any online references/books you would suggest for someone who isn't too familiar with the medium? Thank you so much!


Well, I started using watercolours a few years ago after my Nan bought me a set for my birthday.  I’d never used watercolours before and didn’t really know the correct way to use them (I still don’t to be honest).  But I loved drawing and painting so much that I just started experimenting with them.  I went through a lot of trial & error until I eventually found a style that I felt worked for me.

I don’t really know of any reference books for using watercolours, but what I use for references all the time are nature and wildlife books as well as my own photographs. I look at the patterns, textures and colours in wildlife and then experiment recreating my own versions of the parts that really inspire me.  

I’m not sure if I will be of any help to you, but I suggest lots and lots of experimenting.  Try not to be frightened of making mistakes as sometimes mistakes and imperfections in a painting can turn out to be the best parts!  Using a range of different papers can create some wonderful effects too.  I’d also suggest you to try out painting  by wetting areas of the paper first and then apply the paint, this can lead to some beautiful bleeds & marbling in the paint.  I also find once a painting has dried it is sometimes nice to work back on top of the painting with pens and pencils to add further detail.  

I wouldn’t make a very good teacher lol, but I hope I have answered your question in a way that’ll help you with your painting.

…also, I’d love to see your painting when you’ve finished it! Let me know how it goes! :)

Take care & best wishes,

Colleen xx

Blackberries, Butterflies & Ladybirds
Butterflies & Pansies
Ladybird Poppies (Detail)
Ladybird Poppies