Demonstration of Fantasy Watercolour Painting

Sharon Hurst

Sharon enjoying a cuppa before the start of the demonstration

Sharon explained that although she realised she was not talking to an audience comprised entirely of 'fantasy' painters, Many of the techniques she would demonstrate would be of value to all watercolour painters.


Sharon showed us a couple of her earlier works - The one on the left about half completed - and a completed work on the right

To save time, Sharon had prepared a design drawn with pencil on Bockingford paper. Masking fluid (the blue colour) had then been applied over key areas where clean outlines were required.

A close-up of the area around the eyes.


The background color was prepared using a strong mix of prussian blue and burnt sienna. The background are of the painting was then brushed with clear water until the paper had a shiny surface. The background colour was then applied using a large brush and allowing the colour to bleed and drip.

When the background was completely dry (assisted by a hairdryer) the masking fluid was removed from the shoulder area.

A large amount of skin colour wash was then prepared using a mixture of burnt sienna, 10% alizarin crimson and 20% burnt umber. Some of this was transferred to a clean area of the palette and diluted with clean water before applying to the upper body and face areas taking care to avoid the mouth and eyes.

Form was added to the body by applying additional washes of the skin tone mixture to the edges of the arms, neck and shoulders and blending each edge with a cleaned damp brush after each application.


The same glazeing technique was used to develop the face by applying more tone to identify the cheeks, bridge of the nose, and under the nose and lips. For the stronger shadow areas, ultramarine blue was added to the skin colour wash.


The lips were painted with alizarin crimson, lifting out the highlights on the lower lip with a damp brush. Detailed work was then carried out on the eyes.


A Large quanity of the hair colour mix was made using quinacridone gold and burnt sienna. A dilute wash of this colour was applied over the whole hair area. This was then built up by applying multiple glazes and softening the edge each time with a clean damp brush in the same manner as the skin tones.

The finished demonstration

Close-up of the face showing the subtle detail