Demonstrations, Everyday Sketching, Learn to Sketch

Satsuma Watercolour Study on Painted Background

I filmed a short video to show how I painted the illustrations for my September daily drawing challenge. Here is a demonstration of a satsuma watercolour study on a painted background.

Satsuma watercolour study step by step

Background watercolour wash

I started with a watercolour wash to create a background. I laid the paint down lightly with lots of water.

Watercolour wash background / underpainting

I put brighter touches and dropped in a few other colours. I find that painting backgrounds is fun to play and experiment with watercolour.

Watercolour background - finishing touches

Draw a pencil outline

I normally only draw a pencil outline on more complex subjects. You might find it helpful to draw a quick pencil outline. If you do, draw quickly and don’t use a rubber to correct any ‘mistakes’.  The lines showing through the final sketch will document your process and give the drawing more character.

Quick pencil outline

Draw a pen outline

I went over the pencil drawing with a waterproof pen. I thickened lines in shadow areas and used line weight to convey a sense of depth.

Drawing the pen line

Watercolour paint

For this satsuma watercolour study,  I mixed a bright orange and started painting the dark areas. I pulled the paint with a clean wet brush into the lighter areas.

First watercolour wash

I painted the shadows with a dark cool grey and softened the edges with a clean wet brush. I added a little green to my orange to create a darker colour and paint a new layer in the darker areas of the satsuma. Here I used the paint to show the texture of the fruit.

Adding shadows and darks

I finished off with a few splashes of green watercolour and left the painting to dry. To make splashes – load your brush with paint and tap it on your hand above your painting.

A few paint splashes to complete my Satsuma Watercolour Study

Finishing touches

After the paint dried, I added a few highlights with a white gel pen.

White gel pen outlines

And here is the finished paintingSatsuma Watercolour demonstration on painted background

Satsuma Watercolour Study Demonstration

2 Comments to “Satsuma Watercolour Study on Painted Background”

  1. Isabel Patchett

    Hello Sophie,
    thank you for sharing this with us, I appreciate it very much. I am really enjoying your website and have spent the last hour reading through and looking at your lovely paintings. Thank you also for the “how to do” areas . I am new to this and I cannot wait to get started, I am doing lots of reading first, taking notes and advice from people such as yourself. Thanks again.


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