Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Nora MacPhail of two women having a conversationI am Nora MacPhail, a professional artist from Toronto, Canada (follow me on my Blog, Facebook, and Flickr!). I have been drawing and painting with watercolour for over 20 years. I try to achieve a strong energetic line, by drawing very quickly with a dark instrument, then I add lots of watercolour paint.

I prefer 6B pencils or Micron artist quality pens to start, always drawing first, then I add lots of colour spots, pretty much ignoring the lines I just drew! I want my work to look fresh and poetic, but still realistic. My favourite subject is capturing people in cafes or outdoor patios, enjoying their day and friendly conversation.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Nora MacPhail of people having drinks

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Nora MacPhail of woman portaitI draw from life at figure drawing sessions every week. Drawing from the human figure, usually with charcoal, is a fantastic way to learn to see and draw well. All the shapes are there for me to learn from. Sometimes, I bring some watercolour paint with me for the longer poses, like 20 minutes, because I just can’t resist adding a wash and some splatters.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Nora MacPhail of people sitting at lunch

I also paint still life set ups from my home studio, usually including flowers (as shown above). Flowers  are quite abstract and they present a constant colourful challenge.

Doodlewash and watercolor painting by Nora MacPhail of Spadina HouseFinally, I draw and paint from my paint box while outdoors, often urban sketching with the Toronto Urban Sketchers. It’s wonderful to go out plein-air painting. Here is a picture of a 9×12”box that sits on my lap, with a 6×8”pad in the lid and my Winsor & Newton Cotman Travel Watercolour Palette inside. It’s lighter and much more portable than an easel set up, which makes me more apt to bring it along wherever I go!

As you can see, all subjects interest me! My paintings are original and affordable and available for purchase at my etsy shop called Watercolours by Nora.

Thanks and Enjoy your summer!!

Nora MacPhail
My Etsy shop
My Blog called Nora MacPhail – Artist

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

49 replies on “GUEST DOODLEWASH: Energetic Gestural Lines and lots of Watercolour!

  1. There really is a lot of energy and life in your paintings. I’ve always used the backward method, watercolor first and charcoal or ink on top. But during July World Watercolor Month, I am going to try your way and see if I can achieve some of the energy level you do. Your paintings are fun, bright, and youthful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nora, I love how you make your art your own. So much energy, everything looks alive. (I accidentally typed “alove” instead of “alive.” Maybe I shouldn’t have corrected it.)
    Thank you, Charlie, for inviting Nora to Doodlewash.

    Liked by 1 person

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