Red rose (demo wet on wet) 

The artificial roses are a very strong red Fifteen minute A3 painting demo showing how to work wet into wet in watercolour. The paper was stretched as you can see from the brown tape, the picture on the right was taken when it was still wet on the board. Here’s the dry version:  Great fun to do something quick and experimental every now and again.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel", Watercolour Pencil on Canvas, 2015, 92 x122cm, Charlie Kirkham.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel…

Every so often it’s good to refer back to fairytale a for a bit of inspiration. I came across this version of Rapunzel Rather than following it verbatim I wanted to create a piece that reflected different elements of the story. As a child I always imagined Rapunzel to have black hair, so I have kept her a brunette for this painting.  To give a time lapse feel I connected her hair to her final rescue where her tears restore the Prince’s sight and they have twins. To begin I used quite a range of coloured Watercolour pencils. I…

Bermondsey Street Festival, Tanner & Co. Exhibition 

From the 16 – 30 September, as part of the Beemondsey Street Festival, Tanner & Co. will be displaying works by members of Southwark Studios. I’ve submitted the following three canvases:       For more information on Southwark Studios click here. For more information on events and exhibition at the Bermonsdey Steeet Festival click here.


This sketch was done using: Wilko gel pens Cass Art Jumbo A4 Pad Watercolours & Brushes What I love about these brightly coloured gel pens (apart from the 80p for five price!) is that they instantly make you smile. I doodled out some squares and rectangles floating in space, then just put a wash over the top. The pens are not waterproof so there was so bleeding. I think this added to the harmony of colours and I would like to develop the gel pen – watercolour combination further.


#MakeASplash #Watercolour3 This was done using a masking out method. I used: One sheet of Cass Art Jumbo watercolour pad paper, A4 size Masking fluid pen Watercolour travel box set (Windosr & Newton) Watercolour brushes I started by quickly drawing the train as it pulled away from Kingston station. I used the masking fluid pen to get the lines down. The only trouble drawing with masking fluid on the go is that it takes a while to dry. If you’ve got ten minutes until your train is due though, it works perfectly. Once the masking fluid was dry I used…


#MakeASplash #Watercolour2 This is my second watercolour sketch from the Cass Art watercolour challenge. It was done using the desk biro and watercolour washes.  I did a quick pen sketch while I was invigilating at RK Burt Gallery, London. Sometimes a simple biro can open up new ideas. I used a quick wash of watercolour to brighten this up a bit.    


The first of 50 watercolour challenge paintings. This paperclip inspired piece was created using some nifty masking techniques. Materials list:  1 sheet of Cass Art Jumbo Watercolour Pad (I used A4) Masking tape Masking fluid Watercolour paints Decorators brush / large watercolour brush     Method: Mask off the edges of the paper using your masking tape. A nice tip here is to use very thick masking tape and tape the sheet down to a board to prevent buckling and frame the image. Using masking fluid draw out the shape of a paper clip. If you’re using masking fluid from…

Cass Art Jumbo Watercolour Pad A4

Watercolour Challenge: Cass Jumbo Pad 

Cass Art are currently running their #MakeASplash challenge. I really love a challenge! I think this is a great way to motivate yourself to use watercolours  everyday. As one who often spends months on a piece a quick shake up should do me good. So, armed with my jumbo A4 pad I’m going to create 50 watercolours before the 31st of May. Here we go!!!

Rock View, Saint Cast

When things get hectic it’s nice to take a break from it all. I did just that this Easter with a sailing trip to Brittany. One of the best things about sailing is the view, you see things from a totally different perspective. Using my watercolour notebook to record colours and ideas was a great way to exploit the limited time available when not tacking or helming. There were chances to paint from the land as well, which was fantastic! Here, I wanted to capture the sense of the yellow lichen against the blue sky. Sitting on the rock for…

"White Rose", watercolour on paper, 21x25cm, Charlie Kirkham 2015.

Watercolour White Rose: Demo 

As part of the watercolour course I teach I like to show students how to tackle difficult subjects. One of those is how to deal with white when painting with watercolour. I encourage students not to draw out in pencil. This isn’t because I have a problem with pencil, but because once a graphite line is in students tend to treat it as gospel and be unwilling to rub out. The first step is to make a quick sketch on rough paper or your sketchbook. Use this as a guide for composition and tone. Then, using a neutral, light coloured…

Single Vanishing Point

As part of the Drawing & Watercolour course I teach at Merton Adult Education, I’ve been explaining perspective basics to my students. This has not only given me the chance to brush up my creeky perspective skills, but also to tackle subjects I would normally avoid. In this small watercolour I worked from a photograph of a canal in Venice, courtesy of Pinterest. As the original photo shows there’s a basic sense of one vanishing point. However, trying to literally copy this following the vanishing point is a big lesson 1 challenge. That’s why the painting was simplified.

After Veronese, The Vision of St Helene

At the moment room 9 of the National Gallery is even more of a treat than usual. With a host of Veronese pictures hung together, including the four ceiling paintings, it’s worth a lingering visit. Captured by Veronese’s use of anatomical exaggeration to lend theatre to his work, I began sketching “The Vision of Saint Helene”. It’s been a difficult learning curb. Helene’s tilted chin, so artfully painted by the master utterly confounded this student.

The 21st Century Minotaur

“The Minotaur makes a Phone Call”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “Minotaurs do the Can Can”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “Lunchbreak (Minotaur)”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “In the Ring with the Minotaur”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “Playing with Minotaurs”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “The Minotaur sits Under a Leafy Tree”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie Kirkham, 2012. “Minotaur studies Descartes”, Ink and watercolour on paper, 6×4 “, Charlie…