Watercolours Wild and Wonderful

watercolor lilies, abstract flowers, Watercolours Wild Floral fast and loose painting debiriley.com

Watercolours wild, fast and loose. Yes, watercolours are out again!  Fast paced,  ‘timed’ challenges were quite exciting.  With wonderful colourful hints of light and shadow,  20 minute timed exercises provide a feeling of spontaneity and immediacy.

Watercolours Wild Floral fast and loose painting debiriley.com
Watercolour Wild Floral fast and loose! debiriley.com

This painting was timed 20 minutes, so there would be  no fiddling.

The paper was a non watercolour paper, without sizing and with definite Quirks!   It  forced me to ‘hurry.’   I chose this type of paper, to help me speed along, not dawdle and get bogged down with all the sharp detail that was there.

I wanted wild, fast and loose. The colours are strong, but with a harmonious and wonderful flow. The power of permanent alizarin crimson mixed with ultramarine creates a vibrant purply dark, which I’ve balanced with the flickers of yellow greens throughout.

Once my allotted  20 minutes was up, I paused, thought a bit, then grabbed charcoal and made big sweeping marks to finish it.      The size of this painting is 1000×700 mm  or  roughly  39.3 x 27.5 inches,  which is rather large.


Just load the brush and GO!

Watercolours Pond’s Edge A Bit of Wild Colour Splashed In  (below)   is also in the same style and approach:   wild, fast and loose

Watercolours Pond's Edge wild colours fast and loose debiriley.com
Watercolours Pond’s Edge A bit of Wild Colour Splashed In – debiriley.com

Watercolours Pond’s Edge is a full sheet watercolour 22 x 30 inches on Hot Press Arches.

Painted on dry paper, it created streaks and cauliflowers and quite a few areas of texture. I was after a sense of immediacy in the painting, so there was no pre-wetting the paper to soften edges like I’d usually do with Hot Press paper. Just “load the brush and GO.”

Its very challenging to work that fast, trying to convey the right ‘feeling’, trying to make sure there’s enough tonal values,   while  my subconscious is trying to rapidly assess the painting as I go. This image was finished with bold black ink accents.

Definitely need a cup of tea after the 20 minutes, that’s for sure. It is a fun, challenging approach that I find helps me to loosen up and be bolder with my brushstrokes when I discover that I’ve gotten ‘tight and detailed’ again.


My steps for the Watercolours Wild and Wonderful exercise usually involve:

  • limit my paints to 3-5 colours
  • paints out and Ready for use
  • think in advance about light tone, mid tone, dark tones
  • put timer on
  • just Go!


Tomorrow I must “work”.     I’ll sit myself down and study up on the new camera lens.  Then go take photos documenting what is working or not. Crossing my fingers that I’ll see some improvements from my old kit lens.     Otherwise, I’ll be forced to think…. its not the camera, its not the lens,  its me!!

I will share my ‘educational photos’  in the upcoming  week.  Hope you enjoy!


Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

15 thoughts on “Watercolours Wild and Wonderful

  1. Thanks Debi, ‘Appreciate your last two posts. Very helpful. Happy picture taking tomorrow! Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Karen 🙂 had a look…. hmmm… drool, over at your site. Awesome Inspiring Macros- Gorgeous!! makes me wish for a macro lens 🙂


  2. I love how you put the ink lines in. This contrasts nicely with the softness and indistinctness of watercolor.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: