GUEST ARTIST: “A Passion For Art & Animals” by Tim Olden

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Polo - horse and rider - Watercolour by Tim Olden - Doodlewash

My name is Tim Olden and I grew up in the Southampton, England. Always a keen artist, I never took the subject up in secondary school having concentrated on other subjects. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I studied art in evening school, gaining an A level grade B in one year. I realised that maybe I was good at something. So, I enrolled in Southampton College of Art on a foundation year, then later specialising in Graphic Design.

I finished a course in 1979 achieving a 2.1 grade HND. I went on to work as a graphic designer and illustrator for many Advertising Agencies and Studios. Eventually, I became a freelance designer and illustrator and carved out a very successful career working in my own business. The business accounts I worked on, ranged from local, national and international clients.#WorldWatercolorGroup - horse jumping - Watercolour by Tim Olden - DoodlewashIn November 2016, I made the decision to go back to my love of painting. I haven’t looked back since and have rediscovered my passion for everything equine and animals. Painting many pet portraits on Instagram has helped me get my confidence back to using watercolours. Working in gouache, I find it rewarding and I’m slowly creating my own style. Going forward in the coming months I will be painting in acrylic on canvas, and seeing how far I can progress.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - border collie - Watercolour by Tim Olden - Doodlewash

Working with gouache paint comes very easy, as I have always preferred watercolour paints. The beauty of gouache is, it can be used as an opaque paint. Blocking out everything underneath for highlights etc. Or it can be used as a diluted flowing transparent colour wash, allowing the white paper colour to show through. This gives me 2x different opportunities by using gouache.

My choice of brand is Winsor & Newton, I particularly enjoy the Burnt Sienna, one of my favourite colours. It just seems to be the right one for me, as I haven’t found any other that matches it. So as not to rock the boat, I stick with what works best for me and paint using the colours I’m comfortable with.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - horse racing - Watercolour by Tim Olden - Doodlewash

Choosing the right paper is important, as there are so many options around. I’ve tried lots of different styles and textures until eventually finding what I’m comfortable with. For many animal paintings I use Daler Rowney 250gsm A4 Mixed Media paper. It’s nice and white not dull in colour as some can be.

I’ll use Daler Rowney A3 300gsm Hot Pressed paper if I want a sharper white. With watercolours, if I use this paper, the finished work can look fresh and sharp as the transparency of the watercolour shines through. Another option is the Langton cold pressed A3 300gsm pad.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - dog illustrations - Watercolour by Tim Olden - Doodlewash

For many years, I have used gouache together with Caran D’ache Prismalo watercolour pencils. They work so well together allowing the artist to place some fine touches and detail to the illustration. The fine detail helps make this style more of a commercial art. These products are what I use to make my work and style successful. I hope that any budding artists take note, to learn from others and take a few short cuts in their progression as artists in their own right.

Tim Olden
Etsy Shop

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Pili Criado 5 years ago

    Gorgeous 😀

    • Tim Olden 5 years ago

      Thanks Pili that is great support, I will try and push for more sales and improve my work.

  2. Ellie 5 years ago

    Wonderful paintings! I appreciate knowing what types of paint and paper you work with, too.

    • Tim Olden 5 years ago

      Thanks Ellie that is great support, I will try and push for more sales and improve my work.

  3. June Hadaway 5 years ago

    Beautiful animal paintings. I enjoyed reading your article. Thank you.

    • Tim Olden 5 years ago

      Thank you June, I’ll try and improve my painting and look forward to more sales

  4. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    Tim, your paintings are full of life, so exciting to see, I feel like I’m right there with the animals. Lots of personality in each image – you’ve definitely found your path. Best wishes in future.

    • Tim Olden 5 years ago

      Thanks Sharon that is great support, I will try and push for more sales and improve my work.

  5. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    Smiling! Dogs!

    (I really do squeal out loud sometimes, and that black and white border collie with the grin? Yep. Squealed.)

    I’m just learning (read: playing with) gouache, and I love seeing the versatility you’ve been able to get with it. <3

  6. Susan Cuss 5 years ago

    Love the action in your equine paintings, and the cute dogs, too. I’m a lab fan. Thanks for ahsring your work.

  7. Mary Roff 5 years ago

    Beautiful paintings! Love the dog portraits.

  8. Jennifer McLean 5 years ago

    well thank god you like painting animals because you’re incredibly good at capturing their spirit.

  9. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Your paintings are amazing! Good luck with your efforts in acrylic.

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