Decisions, decisions!

One thing I can never decide on is whether to pen the outlines of my paintings.

To start with, I loved adding the pen; it would hide all the edges that had smudged across or bled into the neighbouring colours. I could add a strong bold edge and exaggerate the shadows. With the pen I could also add fine details and definition that I couldn’t seem to achieve with just the watercolours.

Now though, I’m less keen to add the pen. As I keep my colours quite pale (more out of habit than a conscious choice!), I quite like the smudged lines and subtle changes between the different parts of the painting. The look that little bit dreamier (more dreamy/more like a dream?) and softer, which I really like.

More often than not, I’m adding in a pencil line afterwards for any extra definition. Which hopefully stops me from trying to hide my watercolour mistakes with the outlines. Also, once the pen is there, it’s not going anywhere, it’s irreversible… this makes me nervous!

Here is one of the first times I added pen to my painting and over a year later, I still can’t decide which one I prefer!

What do you think – strong definition with pen or sketchy and light with a pencil? Let me know in the comments box below.


walking pencil

(apologies for the dodgy shadows on the photo!)

walking pen