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Behind the canvas: Where I find inspiration and the mediums I use

Artist painting on a canvas

It was during the pandemic of 2020 that I started getting serious about my art again. Since then, I have been practising and honing my skills. And during the lockdowns I discovered Skillshare. I paid for a full year's subscription and started doing several classes on subjects I wanted to learn. These were mainly watercolour and business classes. I loved the fact that you can search for a specific class and hundreds of options come up in the search. I have learnt so much from Skillshare that I encourage anyone who wants to learn a new skill to try it out.


My favourite medium has got to be watercolour paints. I love the unpredictability of the paint when dropped onto wet paper. The paints flow across the pages to create beautiful effects. I also love the way watercolour looks when it is dry. It has a softness to it with no shine.


Where I find Inspiration and the mediums I use


My favourite things to paint are urban landscapes and close-up portraits of faces.

Inspiration for my paintings come from royalty free photo sites such as, Pixabay, Unsplash and Canva. I can spend hours scrawling through the pages looking for an image that speaks to me.


Magazines are another source of inspiration for me. I often cut out images and save them for a day when I can't think of anything to paint.


Getting out and about and going for walks helps me to find inspiration from nature and things around me. I always have my camera phone ready to take snaps of things I find interesting, whether it be a building or a landscape.




I am trying out different papers to find the one that is my all-time favourite. I have tried many brands, but the Cass Art brand is one that I am using a lot of lately. I am lucky that I have a Cass Art store near me in Liverpool. I recently bought a pack of Khadi papers and I have fallen in love with them. These papers are handmade, from India and are 100% long fibred cotton rag. This might be the best paper I have used in a long time, but we will see after I have used them enough to review them properly.


Watercolour paper pack

 Mediums I'm trying


A medium I have been trying lately is gouache. They are in the middle of being a watercolour and an acrylic type of paint and they are so versatile. I love that they dry matte with no shine at all and my paintings look so much different than when done in watercolour. They also have a chalky feel to them when dry on the paper. I am having a lot of fun playing with them and seeing what I can create with them.


What I’ve been working on lately


Over the past few weeks, I have been painting female faces in watercolour and gouache. This is something that I want to perfect because it is a favourite subject for me to paint at the present time.


I am learning something new each time I paint, such as: how to improve on my blending techniques and the colour mixes for skin tone. I have also discovered that I need to practise painting noses and eyes. This is something that I will be doing in my sketchbook. I also want to use different types of watercolour paper to see the different effects.


In my face-painting experience, I have found that gouache gives a completely different look to my portraits. Where watercolour looks softer, gouache is more matte and has a chalky feel when dry.


Another thing I have been working on is mixed media abstracts. I am constantly trying out new styles and techniques to enable me to get to a stage where I can sell them via my eBay shop. I have a lot to learn about abstract art in general and I am having fun learning all I can about it.


I have bought two books recently, to read about art history, which is something that fascinates me. The books are:


1 Visual History – edited by Norman Bryson, Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey


2 The Story of Art – E.H. Gombrich


I will write more on these when I have read them.




Most of my paintings are sold via eBay, and you can find my shop by clicking on the relevant tab at the top of this website.


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