The joy of Pen and Wash watercolours!


San Gimignano in Tuscany from one of my sketchbooks

Hi Everybody

I love to paint watercolours, and I have always been fascinated by this medium.

Whilst I get great pleasure  trying to paint big and bold watercolours I often find myself returning to where I started , using a pen and wash technique.

The sheer pleasure of the pen marks casually laid on the paper which may or may not be important later on is such fun and then applying washes of watercolour over it in a not too rigorous edgy manner is very exhilarating.

Maybe I am easily pleased but this process, which has to be pretty speedy, has been the backbone of my watercolours for many years and I hope will continue to be so.

Pen and wash can be in my sketch books, or slightly more formally on  Watercolour paper, I particularly like Arches watercolour blocks which are so great for use when travelling!

Let’s hope we can travel again soon though!

So here are some older and more recent Pen and Wash watercolours which I hope you will enjoy.

These first three were painted just this week from photos of previous visits and that is often how they happen.  When I can in love to sketch on the spot but that is a luxury which I can’t do at present of course.

Two scenes for Yorkshire first

Staithes on the Yorkshire Coast

The village of Robin Hood’s Bay

And now a recent painting of Mousehole in Cornall and one of the River dart in Devon

Mosehole in Cornwall

Greenway Quay on the River Dart in Devon

A few on place in Provence

In St Paul de Vence

At The heart of Vence




And a quick trip into Spain and Portugal



The Hotel Courtyard in Sevilla

Sevilla Cathedral




An finally , for now at least, a few of both Canterbury and York


Canterbury Cathedral from Mercery Lane

York Minster from the City Wall

The Shambles in York

I hope from these you can see the reason why I enjoy Pen and Wash so much. Immediate , Colourfull and fun to do!

Stay safe and well and maybe this year we may all get to travel again.



About brianswatercolours

After spending 40 years in Aerospace I now enjoy painting watercolours of our travels around the world. I also paint for others who would like reminders of there favourite places. Most of my paintings are painted from photos that I have taken, or taken by others. This blog shows some paintings from Yvonne's and my travels together. Have look at my other Blog

Posted on January 11, 2021, in Cornwall, Devon, England, Landscape, Lisboa, Paintings from our travels, Portugal, San Gimignano, Seascapes, South Devon, Travels with a Brush, Watercolours, York, Yorkshire and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.


    Hi Brian, I like 2 of the paintings – reason’s ‘Robin Hood’s bay’ in close to the subject, getting involved with surroundings. ‘St Paul de Vence’ – although a step back from Robin picture.

    Both pictures are more dynamic with elevation of buildings – Hope this OK to em-part from my side –

    stay safe – Keith

  2. I love pen and watercolor, too, and these are wonderful. I especially like the Staithes on the Yorkshire coast (what are staites?) and Robin Hood’s Bay!

    • Hi Kathy
      Thanks for the comments. In fact Staithes is the name of the small fishing town in Yorkshire.apparently the local pronounce it “Steer” a very pretty part of Yorkshire.
      Next post will be about Cornwall which I hope you will also enjoy
      Best regards

  3. Thanks for clearing up my confusion! I also wanted to say that I’ve been to York and seen the minster from the wall like in your painting and meandered through the Shambles. I love your paintings of the minster and the Shambles!

  4. Judith Pattinson

    Hi Brian, really enjoyed your line and washes and the beautiful colours you choose!! (Especially the really vivid ones!) I think I want to “visit” your paintings even more than the places themselves :)) )

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