Watercolour and Pen Suffolk Garden

pen, Step-by-Step, watercolour
full garden

During lockdown I’ve been taking inspiration from what’s around me, namely the garden since that’s the only thing I can see. The weather has also been so nice that sitting outside over the Easter weekend felt like such a treat. The garden was a big part of why we left our London flat before the lockdown (I was self-isolating beforehand with suspected Covid-19 – very mild symptoms though!) I honestly feel so grateful that we have this. I feel for those without green spaces and in confined spaces. Just under 2 weeks in our small London flat was plenty.

So I’ve decided to do a series. My mum adores her garden and has worked really hard on it over the years so I wanted to do it justice. I’m planning on selling the prints (if not now then when?) but couldn’t resist another step-by-step post first.


I wanted to work on getting the proportions right since there are lots of element to the garden that all fit together. The idea was to get the symmetry inspired by the gardens of the Alhambra Palace. Starting with a rough sketch really helped.

Suffolk Garden Watercolour and Pen - pencil sketch

This was the first in a series that I’ll post another day. With each one I’ve learnt things along the way – investing time in the prep work really helps. 

I really wanted to create a slightly geometric abstract feel with plenty of negative space. I like that it’s realistic but with a stylised look, so I want to keep developing this look.

watercolour and pen Suffolk garden first watercolour wash

I’ve done several posts (like this one) mixing watercolour with pen. Since we’re in lockdown I don’t have most of my art supplies with me, so this time it’s just plain black for the outlines. I think that works best overall.

watercolour and pen suffolk garden second watercolour wash

I really enjoy gradually adding the watercolour washes. It’s satisfying to see it gradually come to life and see the colours become more vibrant. I must admit, I also like how forgiving it is, though I suppose when adding the pen and working out the angles at the initial planning stage it’s the complete opposite. I guess the watercolour is the more free stage between the rigour.

watercolour and pen garden in Suffolk - watercolour before

The most satisfying bit is definitely adding the pen, it definitely brings it all together. 

full garden framed

You can see this piece listed here.

As always, I hope that you’re all well and staying safe!

3 thoughts on “Watercolour and Pen Suffolk Garden

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