Guest Bloggers

“Always on my pallet are burnt siena, sap green and indigo” -A step-by-step process by Ruth Randall

I tend to use photos for my reference. This one was taken on Bradgate Park.

If working with pen and ink, or coloured pencil, I work on Bristol Board. This doesn’t bleed the ink like watercolour paper would do. It does behave very differently with watercolour.

I draw up my picture, very faintly, with a sharp, soft pencil. I don’t put in much detail at this point, just indicating where the main things go – and ensuring they all fit. I then start in with the pen (I use 0.05 Uni pin fine line, as I know they are water and fade proof). This is where I add the finer detail.

I know I should complete the whole picture, in pen, before going on to the paint, but I get impatient and will start to bring in the colour – not too dark at this point, as I can always darken later.

I tend to wet an area with the palest colour and then dot in other darker colours and allow them to merge as they will. It seems to work for me.

I also work in a limited pallet. Always on my pallet are burnt Siena, sap green and indigo, plus a few gentle mixers.

I work outwards with the pen and then gradually follow on with the paint. Building up and balancing the tones as I go. I’m not afraid to leave small areas of white paper, as these seem to bring light into the painting.

The final part is just touching up here and there, I may even leave it for a few days before doing that, as I find it’s good to go over it with fresh eyes.


Words and Art: Ruth Randall (Facebook Page:

Article Commissioned by: Rebecca Nickolls (@becknickolls @artistscribbles)

Read another great article by Ruth Randall: “I’m looking forward to trying new mediums – I love that sense of adventure”

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