GUEST ARTIST: Watercolours by Kate

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Kate Osborne - #doodlewash

My name is Kate Osborne and I’m from Brighton, Sussex, U.K. (follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and visit my website!) My initial training was as a textile designer, and for many years I was the floral designer for various textile agents in the U.K. and textile companies in the USA, (where I lived in L.A and New Mexico for five years, in the early eighties).

When I returned to U.K., I went sideways into illustration and did work for various publishers (gardening books) and advertising agencies (packaging, posters, labels etc). I really started out on watercolour back in my student days and have been very faithful to the wonderful medium that it is. During the early years working in great detail, gradually loosening up considerably over time.

These days I am being less of a purist about it and add watercolour sticks and pencils, collage, monoprinting, and gouache to my list of materials and methods.


Being a slow developer it took me a number of years to drift sideways from flowers and still life into painting animals, natural history subjects, chickens and finally people (though I’m very new to that and keep telling myself to do more life drawing). I also seem to be allergic to straight lines.

I love Arches paper, and Saunders Waterford, usually rough and 140lb, but am getting addicted to Saunders Waterford hardback cold press sketchbooks. They are just great for sketching, and its where I will work out ideas to take on into finished paintings. And Saunders traditionally produce an off-white paper, which I much prefer.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Kate Osborne - #doodlewash

But when it comes to materials, I will use all sorts including Langton sketchbooks and Sennelier concertina books, a current favourite as they look lovely when they’re done and opened out. My paints include Winsor & Newton, QoR, Lukas, Russian White Nights, and Daniel Smith.

Current colour addictions include transparent pyrrole orange (DS), transparent yellow, opera pink, green gold, and perylene green; perennial favourite is the White Nights green which is a gorgeous deep mid green easily cooled or warmed up and perfect for the lazy painter.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Kate Osborne - #doodlewash

I‘m much more of a studio painter than plein air, down to the commercial, studio-based artist in me, and a sensitivity to distraction I think! I have taught watercolour classes and workshops for many years, both privately and in various art colleges in south east England and the emphasis is always on encouraging students to free up with both their use of colour and their technique. Thinking less about the ‘product’ and more about the process and the fun to be had with it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Kate Osborne - #doodlewash

Lately, I have been posting short time-lapse videos on Instagram and other social media sites involving the various techniques I use. In a busy world and life it gives me a discipline to adhere to, as along with being easily distracted I am, as stated earlier, somewhat lazy.

I’ve lived in Brighton on the south coast of the U.K. for the last thirty plus years and love it, sandwiched between the sea and the beautiful Downs. It’s a thriving buzzing place, and within easy reach of London and its galleries, whenever inspiration is needed!

Kate Osborne
Website
Instagram
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube

Profile photo of 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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
36 Comments
  1. em4mighty 6 months ago

    i LOVE your style! who needs straight lines?? your work is beyond beautiful!

  2. Wonderful. I love Kate’s work.

  3. Bill Jackson 6 months ago

    Wonderful paintings. Lovely to see. I confess an avoidance of straight lines myself!
    Thanks for the tip about White Nights Green. I will try to find it.

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks for lovely comment! Re White Nights Green, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure but love it so much more than hookers, it’s nearest equivalent.

  4. Jessica Seacrest 6 months ago

    Enjoyed your feature very much Kate! Your work is wonderful!

  5. Agnès McLaughlin 6 months ago

    Wonderful loose work, it must be great fun to go to your classes !

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks for lovely comment Agnes! I love the teaching and hopefully the students enjoy the classes though painting this way can be a bit of a challenge for them, as it still is for me (I’ve got a drawer full of rejects waiting for a collage project!)

  6. Anne Bonney 6 months ago

    Wonderful paintings – especially the bees!

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks Anne! I love painting the bees and originally got inspired by sketching at our local natural history museum where there are drawers full of inspiring bugs, including locusts, which turn out to be rather beautiful, who would have thought!

  7. Louise De Masi 6 months ago

    I was drawn to your watercolours the first time I saw them. They are beautiful. I love your loose, uninhibited style. I am following along on Instagram now. Thank you for sharing Kate.

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks Louise, for lovely comments! The plan is to post those videos on Instagram every other day for a year, it keeps me in the studio and leaves less time for housework, so that’s what I’d call a result!

  8. Dorothy 6 months ago

    Your work is delightful and inspiring!! What lucky ladies are they who can take classes and learn from you!!

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks Dorothy for lovely comments, and I do hope you are right about my students!

  9. Laura (PA Pict) 6 months ago

    Your paintings are absolutely beautiful and very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Hi Laura, and thank you for your lovely comment!

  10. Phil Cooper 6 months ago

    beautiful, you make it look effortless!

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks Phil for the lovely comment! As a fellow watercolourist you’ll know the work that goes in to (and work that gets chucked out) in the sometimes elusive hunt for that spontaneous appearance!

  11. memadtwo 6 months ago

    These are really special. Thanks, Charlie and Kate. (K)

  12. Curious to the Max 6 months ago

    You are a fabulous artist. Love love love your work.

  13. Teri C 5 months ago

    Beautiful paintings. Thank you.

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks Teri, all down to Charlie, and I’m delighted to have been asked to feature here!

  14. jmnowak 5 months ago

    Love the insects, esp the bees, and florals. Will follow on IG. 🎈

    • kateosborne 5 months ago

      Thanks for lovely comment and yes please do follow on Instagram where I’ll be posting very regularly!

  15. Beautiful work Kate!

  16. Sarah Mitchener 5 months ago

    I am lucky to have been taught by Kate. She is so talented and such a great teacher.. Always happy to pass on her wealth of knowledge. It’s definitely worth checking out her recent series of five minute watercolours. Thanks for the inspiration Kate!

  17. jeanmackayart 5 months ago

    Thanks for sharing — I love the freshness and spontaneity of your artwork, combined with careful observation and vibrant colors. Lovely!

  18. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 months ago

    Kate, you are an incredible artist. I love your emphasis on process, not product. I feel the same – it’s the journey that counts most. Your paintings are alive with light, movement, and color. The way you allow the paint its own expression is wondrous. You seem to splash a bit of water onto your paintings – am I right about this? The result is amazing, a bit of mystery in each image. Just a complete delight to view.

  19. Zdenka Haskova 5 months ago

    Hi Kate,
    these are fantastic paintings! Amazing what you can do with watercolors. I love the animation on the title image! How is it done?
    I have a friend whose original training is also a textile designer from England, but now she is a stay at home mom.. after moving from England to Texas and now California..it sounds similar to your experience! You two even share the same last name!
    Great work!
    Zdenka

  20. hellodays 5 months ago

    Very nice painting

  21. Noémie 4 months ago

    I can’t believe that somehow I missed that post when it was published last month! I’m normally quite good at keeping an eye on doodlewash activities 🙂
    Im a big fan of Kate, I have been following her blog for a few years, her paintings are gorgeous and I have learned a great deal from her tutorials. I’ll even admit that I have attempted to copy her paintings a few times… 😀

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