Rapid watercolour of chicken……

The word ‘mud’ comes up quite a lot when talking about watercolour painting.    This rapid watercolour sketch of a chicken is all about avoiding mud…..


For those who are nervous of using good paper…allow yourself to play on newspaper, inexpensive wall paper lining, or anything else that might be at hand and I always suggest working on at least two pieces at once….four is better:)

Just begin – You will note that all the whites in this image are  dry white paper.     


If you are using a photograph – remember it is simply your ‘jumping off point’  


View the colours and shapes of your subject – as if it were a jigsaw puzzle and remember there are no lines around Mother Nature…    Everything is fluid…which is why watercolour is the perfect medium.

20-11-15-1-486One very important technique I have used in this little demo is to take a clean wet brush – using it to tease paint out which is already on the paper.      This gives an element of control and helps to keep the dry white paper areas.

Remember there are no mistakes in this fluid painting….allow the watercolour to perform its magic – and most importantly allow yourself to Play. 

Watercolour/gouache magical hummingbird….Happy weekend…



A Bientôt.




55 thoughts on “Rapid watercolour of chicken……

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Teagan…just read your blog (it’s Sunday the day I get time to catch up) and am so sad to hear that you have experienced some negativity. As someone, who has had to deal with so much of this throughout my life, although now at last it seems that things have quietened down, maybe because I am older…and people are more kind, but I do know how unkind things said often without any thought or intention can cause set backs. I loved reading the recent episode..and LOVE the Bubble theory and that drink…I want to make that immediately:) So my dear friend, take head, know that I am always here as well as the magical hummingbirds….Remember it is the ‘unseen’ magic in our world that really counts…something you clearly understand very well…Sending lots of hugs and love..janet. xxx

  1. ourfrenchoasis

    This is incredible and so much helpful advice. Sadly despite a line of distant relatives in the past who were quite well known artists the genes have bypassed me altogether, but three of our five children are very artistic. Our 16 year old daughter in particular has inherited her grandmother’s talent, she is an absolute natural, I shall show this to her when she comes home from school, she sketches and paints at every given opportunity. If you come to this part on your travels, I would so love you to come over I would love to meet you. Susan xx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Susan, thank you for this lovely comment. I hope that Susan finds the tips in this post helpful…and yes, when I do come to your part of France, I would love to come and visit. I always travel with my paints and so would be happy to do some painting with Susan:) Hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend. janet.xx

  2. Margaret Parker Brown

    colorful and a wonderful hint of abstract, which I love. I agree, just get in there and don’t be afraid of the white paper. There is nothing like good watercolor paper, I am finicky and must paint on the “good stuff” I know a lot of people use cheaper paper in sketchbooks but I just can’t deal with the quality of paper. At least with failed paintings, you can turn it over. 🙂 wonderful post!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Margaret, So true about good watercolour paper…when I depart this Zone and go to the next…I am hoping that I have an endless supply of watercolour paper/paints brushes, etc.:) I do use cheaper paper in my sketchbooks, which I find very freeing in many ways…and of course when I play, I’ll use anything I can get my hands on. When I give workshops, especially life painting, I always suggest that for the first hour, people work on newspaper…regardless of medium. What’s always so interesting is that their work on the newspaper is often the best of the day, because they were relaxed…no fear of messing up good paper, etc. However, you are a naturally free painter…and so hope you are doing a lot of that this weekend. Janet:)

      1. Margaret Parker Brown

        Hmm…..I might try it out just to see if I can get looser or dynamic but I am wondering if I’ll be disappointed because I am a paint to paper junkie, I love to see the interaction between the two and I might miss it! But it warrants a try.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        If used only for warm up purposes…it doesn’t matter the outcome is…but I do believe that the warm up with then follow through onto the good paper….Happy painting.

  3. First Night Design

    Such helpful suggestions. When I get some time that isn’t a searching for the perfect kitchen bin and the like, I shall follow them digitally. Keep smiling and have a glorious weekend! xx (Actually, I’ve found the perfect bin – a Brabantia that actually works when you put your foot on the pedal and shuts slowly instead of with a clang!)

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Sarah – Your Brabantia bin sounds fantastic, because so often they don’t seem to work. When you get settled, and it will take time, then you can set up a place in your cottage for watercolour painting…and when I get visit we can do some painting together:) Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend…janet. xx

  4. Timi Townsend

    My original comment disappeared: new tablet. Hope it’s not going to keep screwing up! Love this tutorial in mud avoidance! I may actually get out my watercolors and try it! 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Timi…..I would suggest setting up a table (could be a card table) with paper/paints – and allowing yourself to ‘play’ when you have a few moments. The key is to not use the table for anything else:) Enjoy your Monday and week ahead…janet…..

      1. J L Hunt

        You can just click on the link in the comments that will lead you to my blog. Just click on my orange sidebar to follow 🙂

  5. Jet Eliot

    I thoroughly enjoyed this watercolor lesson, Janet. I love seeing the progression of the painting, and hearing the specific techniques that you use. You make water coloring seem easy, and having tried it over the years (because I love how they look) what I know is that you are an incredibly talented artist. This post, your words and art, are much appreciated, my friend~~

  6. davidjrogersftw

    Janet, you know I am no painter, but a writer, but I very much liked your watercolor lesson: “There are no lines around Mother Nature…everything is fluid.” Now that’s profound, that’s full of many meanings and many applications that my mind is beginning to work on. You’re a philosopher. And your work is lovely, as usual.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, Thank you so much for this lovely comment. Actually my next blog will focus on the time when I first had the understanding that – ”There are no lines around Mother Nature – everything is fluid’ – I was on the remote island of Isle au Haut in the Penobscot Bay – Maine….and it was 1982. Hope you are enjoying a creative day….Janet:)

  7. olganm

    I’m utterly useless with art supplies around (they end up all over me and every other surface close enough) but reading your advice makes me want to try. You’re very inspiring and make it sound like a magical game. Thanks, Janet, and thanks for the hummingbird! Love the chickens too!

  8. Mary

    Love your demo Janet. The vibrancy of your work and fluidity of the paint, I can only imagine how fun it would be to see you paint in person. You are an inspiration to me.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Actually I gave a watercolour demo last evening….all very loose and spontaneous. I look forward to the day when you and I are in the same space sharing creative thoughts – now wouldn’t that be lovely:) Janet.

  9. Carol

    Just gorgeous! I love your colors and the movement. I hope that some day I can give up that need to control everything and just let the paint flow. Beautiful work Janet! 🙂

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Carol…thank you so much for this lovely comment. The key to giving up control is allowing yourself to play…and play 🙂 In doing this we often really surprise ourselves…..Hope you have a lovely and creative weekend….janet. 🙂 x


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