Urban Sketching Kit 1: Watercolours

Urban Sketching Kit 1: Watercolours











(Affiliate links for purchasing paints featured in this article can be found on my YouTube channel, which you’ll see if you play the above video in YouTube.)

The first watercolours I used for urban sketching were by Winsor & Newton, a set of 24 Cotman colours. Since then, a lot of water – and colour – has flowed under the bridge. I have been through many watercolours, and I still get very excited when a new set arrives.

I would like to share with you the watercolours I use at the moment, and how I use them.

An urban sketching set of watercolours is not the same as one meant for “plein air” or landscape painting. As an urban sketcher you’ll find yourself needing psychedelic colours that just don’t occur in nature. I wish I’d known that when I started out.

(Note: If you’re looking for information on how colours behave, their technical properties such as transparency or lightfastness and so on, then I’m not the person to come to. I am less watercolour artist and more colour-in artist…)

I love using lots of pretty colours, and a quick glance through my sketchbooks will tell you that I love areas of pure, clean colour. Red, yellow, pink, lime, turquoise, jade. Intense colour. Art I love is always full of bright colour – vintage posters from the early 20th century, tropical scenes by the post-impressionists, Japanese prints, contemporary illustration.

So let’s get down to it – the watercolours I use today!

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