Demonstration of painting animals in watercolour

Glynis Barnes-Mellish

Glynis started the demonstration of painting a wolf by lightly drawing with a pencil on a sheet of Whatman watercolour paper. This was lightly brushed to remove any pencil dust from the surface but withought smudging the drawing. Glynis usually paints her watercolours with the surface at a slight angle but for the demonstration the paper was mounted vertically.


Glynis then applied a pale wash of yellow ochre over most of the animal taking care not to paint into the highlight areas. While this was still damp a light wash of cerulean blue was added to the cooler areas.


While painting animal fur Glynis explained it is important to avoid hard edge lines when applying layers so it is important to work quickly before the underlying layer dries out. Here some orange is added to the main fur, a touch of green is added to the ear in shadow, and purple is applied to the nose.


Here the colours are strengthened and some areas lifted out with a damp brush. The painting was now at a stage where it needed to dry before applying the strongest/darkest tones. Conveniently after about 50 minutes work this was also time for the tea break.

Close up at the half way stage


A dark made from ultramarine and burnt umber was the used to put in the detail of the eyes and nose. A slightly weaker mix was used to put in the darker areas of fur. A brush slightly dampened with clean water was used to soften the edges.


The dark background was then added with a flat brush, and using the 'thin' edge to produce the hair effect.

A close up of the finished demonstration

Glynis with her finished demonstration