World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - dordogne country road and round bales of straw - Doodlewash

GUEST ARTIST: “How To Paint A Simple Rural Scene In Watercolour” by Tim Wilmot

Hello. I am Tim Wilmot, based in Bristol UK and I’m a semi-professional watercolour artist (full-length video tutorial of how I painted the introductory image can be found below!).  I say semi-professional, in that I do have a full-time job unrelated to painting, which does take up a fair bit of time as you can imagine!

So I’ve painted on and off all my life, and I would say almost exclusively in watercolour.  I love watercolour.   Most people say it’s the most difficult painting medium to use – after all if you make a mistake, that’s it.  Do the same in oils, and you can paint over it.  So it’s the challenge I think with watercolour to pull a painting off, but also it’s about some of the unique things you can do with watercolour that is difficult or impossible with say oils – e.g. try and do what they call ‘wet in wet’ in oils!

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - bristol savages exhibition cretan harbour - Doodlewash

I also love the spontaneity of  watercolour and the speed at which you can work, often being able to complete a painting in under 2 hours.  Also the freshness you can get with watercolour, the attempt to make one brush stroke work just right and it communicates exactly what I want.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - rue_porte_basse_bordeaux - Doodlewash

I have painted more actively since about 2009 and try and do about 4-3 paintings a week.  As regards subjects to paint, I love doing landscapes and seascapes.  Pretty much a scene anywhere in the world as long as there is some strong light.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - bristol savages morning has broken - Doodlewash

Watercolour loves strong light, areas of high contrast, and warm tones up against cool tones.  And ‘contre jour’ as they say – painting into the sun.  I try to get out and about as much as I can to paint, but most of the time I’m indoors (well when you’re in the UK you don’t always have predictable weather), in my studio and painting from a photo.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - truck on dusty roads alexandria - Doodlewash

I am often asked about what materials I use.  I think it’s best to try and buy the best possible materials you can afford.  You will generally end up with mediocre results with cheaper equipment.  Starting with the paper, I mostly use Saunders Waterford watercolour paper.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - bristol savages its in the blood - Doodlewash

This, I buy in large sheets and cut down into smaller sizes as I wish.  With watercolour paper you get a choice of surface textures – Hot pressed is very smooth (great for botanical painting), NOT is medium and then Rough is as it says.  I use mostly Rough and NOT.  You can also order in different weights, and I use 300 gsm or 140 lbs.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - golden bristol savages exhibition 2017 - Doodlewash

I would recommend tube paint rather than ‘pans’. Pans can ruin the point of your brushes and tube paint is easier to work with and mix.  I have a limited range of colours, and I would recommend anyone starting out on watercolour to limit their palette and not have too many colours – it can get confusing!

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - Yeppoon in Queensland - Doodlewash

So my colours are neutral tint, burnt umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, viridian green (I don’t often use this and prefer to mix my own green with a yellow and blue), cobalt green (great for reflections in harbours), cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red, light red, cadmium orange and cadmium yellow.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - Duras shutters - Doodlewash

Sounds like a chemistry set but they work well for me.  As regards brushes, I use mainly synthetic brushes and fairly large ones as well.  I use a big mop brush for much of the painting and have smaller brushes for detail work and a rigger brush for doing fine lines.  Big brush and small size paper is a good thing to keep in mind!

WATERCOLOUR TUTORIAL: How To Paint A Simple Rural Scene

I sell my paintings worldwide, have had many paintings into exhibitions mainly in the UK, and have won a few local competitions.  I also run a few workshops in the UK and Europe.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - old Bergerac streets in shadow - Doodlewash

For those people who can’t travel, I offer online workshops (we paint in an interactive way over the web at a time to suit you), normally on a one-to-one basis covering any subject you want.  I have a fairly active YouTube Channel with over 20,000 subscribers and new videos being posted every few weeks.

World Watercolor Month - Watercolor by Tim Wilmot - queensland sheep - Doodlewash

I am also a member of the Bristol Savages, a Society concerned with the pursuit of the Fine Arts, Painting, Music, Poetry, other Performing Arts since 1904.

Tim Wilmot

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14 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “How To Paint A Simple Rural Scene In Watercolour” by Tim Wilmot

  1. Thank so much for your tutorials on YouTube. I’m new to watercolor and you are who I turned to to learn from! You’re teaching is fun and I’ve learned so much!

  2. Great to see Tim and his work featured here! I’m a huge fan of Tim’s paintings and especially his approach. I find his You Tube tutorials supremely useful and informative as you get an insight into every step the process, from his thinking about the composition etc to seeing it sketched out, and then every step in the painting process too – really brilliant!

  3. Tim, I love the energy in your art and the suggestion of imagery pulled from life. You may be working from photos but the feeling is that you – and therefore we, the viewers – are standing in the middle of the city, at the edge of the harbor, in the wild field, looking over your shoulder as you paint the scene in front of us. Thanks for teaching me the phrase “contre jour” as well as its application for watercolor paintings. You well deserve every accolade.

  4. Very very inspiring for me. Just the style I love – Im a beginner at watercolours.
    Ive often wonderd how artists get the compostion they’re after. For me its knowing how the paint applied will dry — watching this video really showed me to trust the underpainting layer.Its loose wetness and application.
    Then the mixing of colour shading afterwards.
    I look forward to studying more of TIm’s other works and videos. Excellent way of demonstrating his skill, and commentary as he paints. Very relaxing and enjoyable to watch too!
    Thank you for this from a. 70 year young, about to start watercolour painting.
    Brian C

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