The wonderful thing about being able to mix your own granulating color combinations is that you have a wide variety available to you without a large investment.

Granulating colors can help to add texture to objects such as wood, rocks, landscapes  or abstract paintings, but if you are looking for clean clear washes for skies or flowers, then you may want to avoid it.

The real key here is to use Mars black as your foundation, then blend it with any one to two earth or cobalt colors, and apply color to a wet surface, let it sit, or run down the paper, and leave it alone, try not to over-brush it or you will loose the effect.

Find it at your local art store, or favorite art supplier.

Amazon link


Today Ann told us today about Ranger inks, and how much she is enjoying them, especially the distressed inks. Then our conversation took a turn into what's the difference of inks, alcohol inks and water color pigments and can alcohol inks be used in watercolor competitions. Personally, I found this fascinating information, I hope you will too.

Birgit's online watercolor courses

Ranger inks

When I first started painting years ago, the art store where I did my first demonstration gifted me with the largest brush that I had ever seen, a #30.

I had no idea what to do with it, or how to use it, it wasn't terribly comfortable in my hand, I thought the brush they gave me was nice, so I just put it to the side, because most of my brushes that I worked with at that time, were the smaller #3, #8, #10 and maybe the largest brush being a #12. 

Then one day, I was a little tired of being fiddly with my strokes and I wanted to simplify my painting style and expand the size of my paintings. I found it challenging to get the results that I wanted with most of my brushes and I learned quite a bit just by testing different brands and types of brushes.

Most were either be too soft and wimpy or stiff, so, I gave the brush from the demonstration a try, and it worked beautifully, I was not only able to expand the size of my paintings but grew as an artist. 

View on YouTube

If you have seen any of my earlier videos or demonstrations then you would have noticed my white handled brush, and over the years the ferrule loosened, and I wanted to share this great brush with my students, so I searched and it was nowhere to be found. I found an alternative that worked almost as well but I still loved my original white handle brush, and since I was not able to direct my students to this brush I put it to the side and focused on other ones. 

The funny thing is after 20 years or so, one day I found myself struggling with a piece of paper for a demonstration where the sizing just wasn't working for me, I grabbed that old brush, and it felt like an old friend, the comfort and ease of how well it worked, I thought just take another look around, and I found it, I was stunned.

In the video you will be able to see the brush as I tested it again for the first time and it may be something that you might like to explore for yourself.

You will now be able to find them in my store. am now carrying the brushes in my store on my website

Visit my store  Cats Tongue Wash Brush 


Online courses

Today I will give you a glimpse inside my process as I discuss an article by Cherie Dawn Hass from Realism live and how my work has changed over the last decade. Click here to see the full online article 

For online courses and workshops visit my website

Today we discuss how to get focused after being distracted with summer, and should you use black in a painting?

If you use a black, should you use it from the tube or mix your own? will it look harmonious, like a black hole and what happens to the surrounding colors.

When it comes to figures should you outline them or work with values, and what do you do when you see someone on the street that you want to paint?

Try a Free online course at

Today we discuss backgrounds and ideas of how to approach them. More problem solving, what do is the masking sticks to paper and what about the magic eraser.



Many people think that watercolor is weak and wimpy, let’s look at how to bring up the color, lift highlights and make smooth washes. For workshops and online courses go to

Today we visit Ingrid in her home studio, and discuss what art projects she has been up to during Covid. You can find out more about Ingrid in one of our past inteviews, or on my Podcast The World of Watercolor Painting with Birgit O'Connor

Past interview #041

Guest interview with Ingrid Butler / The Business of Art Oct 6th, 2019 by Birgit O'Connor Watercolors Join me as I sit down with Ingrid Butler of Moth Mablers and discuss a little about the business of art. Even though she isn't a watercolor artist her papers and designs are internationally recognized. Her work has been included in many museums and collections throughout the world.

View some of her Youtube videos


Ingrid Burler Artist

Birgit O'Connor

Wet into wet how to paint a fluffy cat, discussing paper, drying time.

Do you attach paper to a board?

Painting with one color, values, dampness of the paper.

Working on a full sheet painting

Discussing how to separate from the analytical mind into more of the creative mind

Why highlights make a difference

Review of handmade Indian paper

What about the judging process in shows

Where to get art supplies during the Covid shortage.

Painting with a piece of paper 

The best way to experience this method is either by enrolling in the independent course on Seascapes or you can always join the interactive course later. Interactive courses run in sessions.


How to handle painting in dry enviornments

Humidifier:  TAOTRONIS model:  TT-AH043  Tao Tronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier  from Amazon  about  $60.00

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