Zen.  The brushstrokes filled with rich pure color slid across the paper’s surface with beautiful intent and purpose.  Each stroke a calm, measured, purposeful action.

Zen Drawing with a brush, watercolors, debiriley.com
Watercolor Zen


Zen of Watercolor



The rich, rich blues were created with french ultramarine, melting cad red light and snippets of cobalt teal blue.

Normally,  I don’t advocate cad red with ultramarine as its just too easy to get mud.

But, the student was very adamant he really wanted these specific colors. It was their artistic choice.  I was nervous for them, but didn’t let on…..   good thing!


I love the way he allowed the brush to dance and move on the paper. No nervous nellie, but big and bold and brave.  Maybe,  its easy to be that way, when you’re still a child and haven’t yet been conditioned otherwise.

The ‘drips’ that occurred,  he disregarded. I was secretly pleased.



Watercolor Paints

french ultramarine is a great color,  rich, warm and deep.  granulates.   mixes well with most colors.

cobalt teal blue.  I think we all might be just a bit in love with this one!   I’m going to have to develop a new love soon,  else bore you readers with more cobalt teal paintings.   This color is just gorgeous, perfect for foliage, water, buildings,  nearly anything my mind says.

cadminium red light.  An Opaque.  Scary paint for beginners in that it can make mud at the drop of a hat.  That the student above, didn’t is a true feat of fabulous sure brush work. This color is quite a bright and lovely color by itself;  mixing – is the real problem.   Opaques do not take kindly to willy nilly scrubbing and stirring and mixing!    They just go muddy.

If you’re judicious,  though,   a lovely purple grey can be obtained with cad red and ultramarine.  Use less paint.  Much more water.


Fiddling with watercolours might be a great post to review;  Watercolour Tips for the materials and mixing posts.   Ultramarine Blue  could be handy as well.


UWA  extension  Zen of Drawing  course coming soon March 2016 in Perth will emphasize the zen approach of using calm, measured, purposeful brush and markmaking strokes in inks, pastels, inktense pencils, graphite,  conte and charcoal.  Should be fun!