An Ant – watercolour pencil


This week I did a bit of a challenge.  I painted an ant using a single watercolour pencil.  The idea of this kind of exercise is to try to use the full tonal range of one colour or shade.  I chose black because it’s traditional for ants and has the strongest tonal range.

I began, as usual, with a basic sketch…


Then I worked on getting a detailed outline which was fairly accurate to my reference…


Then I began painting with my single black watercolour pencil.  I used a water brush to activate the pencil I laid down.  Here’s how it looked when I was a little way into it…


After some very pleasurable concentration I finally got it finished.  Here is the finished piece…


I have to give some credit for this to my cat, Leia.  She helped me rely less on looking at reference since, in her eyes, the reference photo was more of a cat toy which she felt the need to own…





21 thoughts on “An Ant – watercolour pencil

  1. Thanks! Looking back on your paintings, you do seem to have a real artistic flair so rather than give up completely maybe just have a break from painting and come back to it when you feel like it?


  2. what a challenge Jo, and one you have well met. And I struggle to paint treelines on a mountain along a river, on a small canvas. I think i need to give up painting for a while, but I have a number of canvases half finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for flagging this up to me. While I was writing it I had some “help” from my kitten who thought walking across my keyboard and then trying to sit on it was what I really needed. I thought I’d corrected her accidental changes – clearly I didn’t catch them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do appreciate your work even more when you show your processes, Jo, but of course the finished article is always a thing of joy regardless of the working out!

    Liked by 1 person

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