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Colour & Flow: "Cathedral Windows"


Enjoy the diversity of watercolour, and the many ways it can look and be drawing inspiration from the Cathedral's glorious stained glass windows

Warm Up Exercises

"Getting out of your head & into your hand"


-  Use the A3 paper & pencil provided

- Feel free to overlap each different exercise on the same page

- Approx. 3 mins on each...

  • Contour LinesThink kids colouring-in book, the outside lines of an object.  Look around at the unique architecture of the Cathedral, in particular, those features that define it as 'Cathedral', different from any other building.  Draw the outlines of the features that most interest you...

  • Continuous Lines -  continue as above, but don't lift your pencil from the page...

  • Blind Drawing:  "Explore Draw" using senses other than sight.  Take 30 seconds to focus on something else...  Close your eyes, draw what you see in your minds eye without expectation of the outcome!  Feel the edge of the paper with your hands. 



Exercise One:

Indicative Drawing - Stained Glass Window # 1 - with Indian Ink & Bamboo Skewer

  1. Refer the Reference Sheet & select the "window" you'd like to draw.

  2. Dip the skewer (either end) into the ink & begin to draw on an A4 page.

  3. Use either the contour or continuous line approach (per the warm ups)

  4. Draw only 70-85% of what you see in the window   ie. not every detail.

  5. INDICATE, try not to replicate. Use your own creative licence, make small changes to it eg. straight lines wobbly; only draw key features, or parts of key features.  


Cathedral Window.heif

Water Colour Techniques


Exercise Two:

'Dry on Wet' Technique with Shell & Stone

ie. Paint with a slightly damp brush on a wet surface


From macro to micr...  

  • Select one of the shells or stones in front of you, hold it, feel it, interpret it through your hand.

  • With your eyes pay close attention to it's intricate detail, it's outer edge/line, shadows, light & dark areas

  • Dampen your larger paint brush with water, then slowly mindfully paint 70% of the object on your page with water.  Try to 'indicate the object', rather than trying perfectly replicate it.

  • Lightly dampen your brush & add your selected colour.  Paint this onto 70% of the watery area.

  • Push the paint around both the wet & dry area, play using either large or small paintbrush.

  • Keep referencing back to the object, noting it's features, indicate these in the painting.

  • Swap your object with someone else & repeat x 3 (to achieve a total of 4)

  • FOR FUN - On one of your more brightly coloured, still wet painted shells (stones) try adding SALT & watch the interesting effect this makes...

Exercise Three:

Water & Colour Window # 2: With Fluid Acrylic Droplets

Cathedral Window.heif

Artist:  Shane Cotton


Artist:  Natalie Knight


  • Apply masking tape to create a border on your page

  • Select the 1st part you want to paint from your Window (per your ref sheet), then paint this in water @ 70%, on your page.

  • Apply a drop of fluid acrylic colour to this watery patch, watch the pigment shoot across the water...

  • Gently stretch & coerce the colour pigment around 70-80% of the watery shape (as per the shells & stones exercise).

  • Repeat with other parts of your window, within your masked frame.

  • Add detail using either the fine paintbrush, or the indian ink & skewer.


  • Continue in this way to build up your art piece.  PLAY, INDICATE, SUGGEST...

  • Remember to leave plenty of white (blank) space for dramatic affect...

  • Watch the colours compliment and mingle with each other upon your page when they connect.

Exercise Four:

Water & Colour Window # 3: Free Play Finale



  • FREE PLAY!  Utilise all the techniques you've learnt, using the different materials & tools, to create your finale piece.

  • Apply masking tape to create your border

  • Select a new "Window" to paint from the ref sheet,

  • Aim to paint only 70-80% so it's indicative

  • Paint using water colour paint, fluid acrylic & indian inks onto pre-wettened watery patches (dry on wet etc).

  • Perhaps add a grind of salt to wet fairly heavily coloured areas for shimmery effect.

  • Leave white (blank) space for dramatic affect...


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