Art by Barbara Ridehalgh

My Painting Process

Watercolour is my primary medium, especially because I enjoy the happy surprises that wet-into-wet washes create.  I have also come to appreciate the wonderful textures I can achieve when I layer my acrylics over mixed media.  As a watercolour artist transitioning into acrylics a few years ago, I discovered the fluidity and vibrancy of Golden Fluid Acrylics™.  Over the years, I have also painted with oils, soft pastels and gouache. I've also used Photoshop and Painter on my Mac, but no digital medium is as enjoyable to me as the spring of a good brush and the smell of fresh paint on canvas.

Sakura palette/small




I prefer to sketch and paint my initial ideas on location in order to preserve the light or the gesture which first caught my attention.  Whether on our travels abroad or closer to home, I carry a small sketchbook and watercolour palette, a couple of brushes, a little water container and my compact digital camera as backup to record ideas for future paintings.
    When I'm really limited by time and space, I only take a small  notepad, a pencil and a black marker or aquarelle pencil so that I can sketch quick value studies before people move or the light changes too much.  Once home, I work up larger value studies, colour swatches and compositions in my studio.   Cook's Bay, Moorea sketch 
  For watercolour sketches on site, I like to paint in a small watercolour sketchbook or on  Strathmore™ watercolour cards. The cards take paint beautifully, and they are great to mail home to family and friends or to leave behind for the folks we have stayed with.
   Wc cards/small