GUEST ARTIST: Line & Colour With Jane Blundell

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - larger kit, drawn and painted life-sized in pencil and watercolour in an A4 sketchbook - watercolor urban sketching

My name is Jane Blundell, and I live in Sydney, Australia (follow me on Instagram, Facebook and visit my website!). I am an artist, teacher and urban sketcher with a passion for watercolour and I enjoy capturing and interpreting my world in line and colour.

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - Reference sketch for the large full sheet watercolour painting 'Boyd’s Rock Quartet, Shoalhaven River’ - watercolor

Reference sketch for the large full sheet watercolour painting ‘Boyd’s Rock Quartet, Shoalhaven River’

I’ve been drawing, sketching, painting and playing with colour since I was a child. My first plein air sketch was while visiting an elderly aunt in a nursing home when I was 11. I had my sketchbook and pencil with me and drew the ducks on a pond outside – I don’t have that sketchbook anymore but I can still remember it – that’s the power of sketching on location, and why I still do it today. You create indelible memories. Many of my sketches are just for me. They are not intended for sale and may not be used for subsequent larger scale paintings.

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - Boyd’s Rock Quartet, Shoalhaven River. Watercolour on full sheet Arches 300gsm paper.

Boyd’s Rock Quartet, Shoalhaven River. Watercolour on full sheet Arches 300gsm paper.

My sketchbook is my play zone. I create colour charts, colour wheels and other explorations in some sketchbooks, many of which I have shared on my website. Some I use to do teaching demonstrations. Others I use for watercolour studies on location, like this one at the property of Arthur Boyd, one of Australia’s best loved artists.  It was gorgeous to sit at this spot, with the golden water lapping up to the little beach, and draw rocks I knew from Boyd’s many paintings of them.

I have painted in watercolour since I bought my first little set as a teenager. I loved the ease of getting colour onto the paper with a damp brush, and the neatness compared with the acrylics I had been using. I felt watercolour was a language I understood and have been exploring it ever since. 

Watercolour can be used to colour ink sketches, pencil drawings, etchings, or alone. It is portable and fast to set up and clean up – perfect for travel. I have kept travel journals and sketchbooks for 40 years and carry a very compact sketching kit with me all the time. Here’s my larger kit (shown at the top of this post), drawn and painted life-sized in pencil and watercolour in an A4 sketchbook. As I am a realist, I loved doing this study and trying to capture the look of the different materials including wood, metal, plastic and paint.

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - Waratah, full sheet watercolour painting watercolor, aquarelle of pink flower

Waratah, full sheet watercolour

I usually start with a light pencil layout. I check proportions then work with ink or watercolour depending what I am aiming for. In the Botanical painting ‘Waratah,’ I didn’t want any of the pencil lines to be visible so ‘drew’ the details in a very light watercolour rather than in pencil. This is painted from the live flower, though double life size. I did colour studies while the flower was fresh so I had accurate references as it started to darken and curl up.  

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - Sketch of a mushroom in watercolour and pen watercolor drawing

Sketch of a mushroom. Watercolour and pen.

Mushrooms are a study I love to give to my students. Very few colours are needed but they are a delight to draw and paint. This uses some of my favourite colours – Daniel Smith Buff titanium and raw umber, with a bit of Jane’s Grey for the shadows. It was a demonstration sketch in one of my sketchbooks.

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - The Gas Works, Seattle, watercolour and brown ink in A4 sketchbook

The Gas Works, Seattle, watercolour and brown ink in A4 sketchbook

I paint from life while I am travelling, but I also take a photo as it is not always possible to finish the sketch on location – it may rain or you just may not have the time. This was started on a gorgeous afternoon in Seattle, after a day of teaching. We sketched until the light faded. I enjoyed playing with some very granulating colours to create the look of the rusted metal. I don’t know why I am so drawn to rusty metal and peeling paint, but finding the beauty in ‘ugly’ subjects appeals to me. I had to finish this sketch off from a photo though, once I returned home. Where possible I complete the sketches on location but having a backup photo is essential.

Doodlewash by Jane Blundell - 51 Craig Road, Singapore. Watercolour and black in A5 watercolour sketchbook.

51 Craig Road, Singapore. Watercolour and black in A5 watercolour sketchbook.

Working on location can sometimes take a lot of time. This one was started with the bottom section. A year later, I returned to Singapore and painted in the top section! It is drawn in pen with watercolour over the top.

I’ve had some great experiences travelling and teaching in various places all over the world. I’m looking forward to teaching my 5-day Watercolour bootcamp in Bathurst (Australia) and then again in Bath (UK) in July. Then I’ll be off to the Urban Sketchers’ Symposium in Manchester to run a workshop on mixing the exact colour you want when urban sketching – ‘Watercolour your world one mix at a time’.

Hopefully I’ll get to the US and Canada again this year and Spain and France are on the cards. Wherever I am, I find a sketchbook is a terrific travel companion to help me to capture the world around me in line and colour.

Jane Blundell
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Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in Featured Artists
58 Comments
  1. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    Dear Jane, your water color illustration are magical and exquisite. Thank you for sharing your artwork and a bit of your life. Thank you Charlie.

  2. Teri C 1 year ago

    I love all your work. Your color studies have been such a tremendous help.

  3. Carmel Campbell 1 year ago

    Thank you Charlie for featuring Jane Blundell. Jane is a wonderful online teacher. Her workshop “Mastering Watercolor” is a self paced course covering all aspects of watercolor painting. Her website and blog is invaluable to anyone working in watercolor. I am a fan!

  4. kim881 1 year ago

    Oh I do like these!

  5. littlethoughts489 1 year ago

    Jane your work is absolutely marvellous.

  6. Jessica Seacrest 1 year ago

    Hi again from Arizona Jane :). I have great appreciation for your blog and all of your swatch and color studies. Your work is amazing and inspiring!

  7. Jodi 1 year ago

    beautiful! look forward to following and seeing MORE!

  8. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    I’m just floored by Jane’s beautiful work! Followed her on IG and FB and can’t wait to see more!

  9. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    I have followed you by email and on FB Jane. I look forward to seeing more. Thank you for sharing Jane’s beautiful art Charlie! 🙂

  10. weisserwatercolours 1 year ago

    This is just such wonderful work

  11. babybluesnowflake 1 year ago

    Stunning artwork! Absolutely beautiful!

  12. The Leaf Diary 1 year ago

    those are gorgeous watercolors!

    • Author

      Agreed! Glad you liked Jane’s feature. Definitely check out her blog. It’s packed with great info and more fabulous work! 😃

  13. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Fantastic art, a wonderful and inspiring feature post. Looking forward to

  14. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    learning and following Ms. Blundell’s journeys with watercolor. Thank you Charlie…(note to self, learn when to hit “send”…lol)

    • Author

      Hehe…I loved that…it was like a cliffhanger comment!! What’s next?! I’m glad I’m not the only one who does that. So glad you liked Jane’s feature, Haunani! 😃Her website is wonderful!!

  15. Shari Blaukopf 1 year ago

    It’s great to see Jane’s work here. It site is an invaluable tool for all watercolorists!

    • Author

      Glad you liked this, Shari! 😃It was so wonderful to feature Jane! I agree…her site is fantastic and such a rich resource on watercolor!

  16. Kari 1 year ago

    I have learned so much from your blog about watercolors! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with all of us!

  17. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Amazing. (K)

  18. Jane Blundell 1 year ago

    Thank you for your generous comments. It’s interesting writing a ‘guest feature’ answering someone else’s questions rather than just thinking up my own. I am not as active on Facebook or Instagram as I am on my website, and I hope to get more regular blog posts happening. I have a huge list of ideas but do get in touch if there’s something else you’d like to see 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much for being a guest Jane! Your blog is a goldmine of watercolor information and resources and your work is simply stunning. I’m so happy to have you here on Doodlewash! 😃

  19. Cathe 1 year ago

    What a wonderful guest post! Thank you Jane, your website is so full of good advice and inspiration! And thank you Charlie for featuring Jane!

  20. Jane Cobb 1 year ago

    Such beautiful work!!

  21. Gail Carrick 1 year ago

    Loved your work (again) Jane. Always something to learn from you

  22. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Enchanting work – invites lingering.

  23. YesterdayAfter 1 year ago

    Thank you Charlie for another great feature! Jane you are a wonderful artist! Your watercolors are beautiful same your sketches and studies I enjoyed to visit your website. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Carolina! I’m so happy you liked Jane’s feature. Her website is such a treasure trove of valuable watercolor resources!! 😃

  24. Robin Heller 1 year ago

    Jane, I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – a perfect spot for a watercolour workshop! Your beautiful work is a treasure! Abrazos, Robin

  25. Charlie 1 year ago

    Hi Jane
    I was at a workshop recently and was told by one of the participants that my favourite mixed colour (ultramarine and burnt sienna) was sometimes called Jayne’s grey. Google led me to your website and you led me here.
    Your colour charts are wonderful and go beyond anything I’ve done myself, so thank you very much for those.
    You mention your penchant for painting old decaying and rusting things. I wonder whether you have ever encountered the Japanese concept of wabi sabi. This is the idea that things gain value and elegance through use and age. Many of the photographs and paintings that embody this concept include old and rusted objects…

  26. […] since then, but I’m not sure on that. This site is a great resource! Guest Doodlewasher Jane Blundell also has some pigment info and swatches on her […]

  27. […] threw the wrappers out back when I got the set, but on her blog, Guest Doodlewasher Jane Blundell says that the wrappers contain what the pigments are and lightfast ratings. One star, not so […]

  28. […] Doodlewasher Jane Blundell has swatch samples and observations about the paint on her […]

  29. […] Guest Doodlewasher Jane Blundell has a lightfast test here.  The DS site features Jane’s Ultimate Watercolor Mixing Selection. […]

  30. […] travel carry and other awesome ideas from a few knowledgeable folks- Liz Steele, MagaMerlina, guest Doodlewasher  Jane Blundell, and guest Doodlewasher Marc Taro Holmes. Try Handprint for an abundance of […]

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