Line & Wash

June 10, 2020

Here Jane shows the steps she used to create a line and wash painting.

Jane doesn’t believe watercolours are her strength, but really enjoys experimenting with the different media occassionally.

What you’ll need

First of all you need to decide what it is you want to create a line and wash of. Here, Jane picked a picture of Leap Castle.

She started by doing a HB pencil sketch on to watercolour paper 300gsm smooth surface (HP).

Jane recommends Uni PIN fine line pens (made by Uni-Ball). These are water and fade proof so when you add the watercolour they will stay put on the paper and not run.

These pens come in a selection of nib sizes: 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7 and 0.8

They cost:

  • £3.65 each
  • A set of 5 £14.95
  • A set of 12 £17.95

There are other pens available but Jane definitely prefers these.

Jane used Winsor and Newton students quality watercolour paints.

HB pencil sketch of Leap Castle
Uni PIN fine line pens

Using the Uni Pin pens

Jane used a 0.05 for the really fine lines and 0.1 for a slightly darker line and a 0.8 for the thicker and much darker lines.

Using my selection of pens I have gone over all the pencil lines and also added some indication of stone detail in the building, and some cross hatching for shadow. 

adding some detail with the pens

Adding watercolour

Now is the time to start adding watercolour.

First of all Jane wet the leaves with some clean water then using watercolour pans she wet the pan in sap green and went over the leaves that have already been wet.

Doing this lets the paint merge with the water and gently spread.

She started with the leaves. You can keep building up the colour by adding more watercolour.

colouring the leaves
the leaves in close-up

On to the sky

Do the same for the sky, so wet area first and then add colour here Jane used cobalt blue.

Just a light wash at the moment you can always add more later.



cobalt blue for the sky

Filling the green

Using sap green again Jane filled in the other green areas. Again wet the area first then add your colour.



fill in all of the green

Mixing colours

Jane used yellow ochre and vendyke brown for the building using the same process as before – wetting the building first and adding colour as you go.

Jane also mixed sap green with a small amount of vandyke brown for the shrubs and climbing greenery and also bit of chrome yellow for the lighter areas.

yellow ochre and vendyke brown for the building

Knowing when to stop

With watercolour you have to know when to stop as it can be over worked.

Jane said

“I’m not great with watercolour but it’s been fun having a go. As you can also see the pens I used didn’t run when they are covered in the watercolour.

So I’m leaving this as it is – I could do more but I think it’s okay for now.”


knowing when to stop with watercolours

Gadsby’s sell all of the art materials and supplies necessary for creating pieces of art like those created by Jane.

You have to supply the artistic talent and dedication to make the pieces you love. It is hard work, but it is amazing fun too.

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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