Watercolour is a popular medium. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment and you can get great results quickly. The paint comes in pans or tubes and you will not need a huge range of colours to get started. Watercolours mix easily with water. Different size brushes give different effects and often can be bought in sets so you can experiment. While you can use any paper, it’s a good idea to use special watercolour paper, which is much thicker than normal. Watercolour paper won't wrinkle as much and will ensure the art you make will be well preserved. In addition to this, you can use everyday materials such as cling film or even salt to produce some wonderful patterns by adding them into the process of painting.

Pat Clarke, Spring Garden. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals collection.

Pat Clarke, Spring Garden


Try using the technique called wet-on-wet. This is good for creating landscapes since the effects are blurry and flow nicely. Get some large pieces of paper and dampen the surface with water. Wipe off any excess. Then use your largest brush to cover the surface with colour. Because the paper is damp, the colour will bleed out and you can then add more colours to create sky, clouds, or hills. Allow the painting to dry and then add in details and more precise outlines.


  • Watercolour paints
  • Water pots
  • Assortment of different size brushes
  • Watercolour paper
  • Drawing pens

David Weston, Sundown

David Weston, Sundown


Paint a large area with paint and then press some cling film onto the surface, move it around to crease it up. Leave it to dry and then remove the film. The surface will be marked with white lines. Or before your paint dries on the paper, sprinkle some salt on top. Leave to dry and brush off the salt. You’ll be left with a crystal effect.

Artist Inspiration: JMW Turner, Paul Klee, Edward Hopper