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Tea, Milk and Honey

The paintings below are selections from a body of work created between 2010-2012. They demonstrate an approach to tinting drawings that I call Tea, Milk and Honey.

I talk at length about it in my book The Urban Sketcher – but also – in this self-printable one page download that summarizes the method in a short ‘cheat sheet’.



I should mention, this is not something I’ve invented from whole cloth – like any artist, I borrow from painters before me. Most prominently here from the early instruction of painter Joseph Zbukvic.

Though you might be hard pressed to see the influence. His work as a whole is softer, wetter, and carried out with far greater skill and subtlety than my works from this time period.

I think my small contribution in this is to simplify watercolors for the purpose of sketching quickly on location. That, and a kind of cross-pollination with classical academic drawing. The use of a sharp division between what is in the light, and what is shadow shape.

As I continue to work with watercolor I’m always thinking about new ways to paint. Keep watching the blog for updates on my progress. As always, I’ll be sharing whatever I discover.

12July02_Sketchcrawl_Centre d'histoire de Montréal

This method remains what I recommend to beginners. It’s the way I learned to move from drawing to painting with the minimum of frustration. There are as many ways to paint as there are painters, but this is what worked for me.

I think everyone is more adept at drawing that painting – most use a pen for years before we pick up a brush after all. This kind of ‘tinting’ approach lets you create paintings that leverage your drawing skills. It’s a great way to see some early success with watercolor. I hope the notes linked above, and the tips in my book will help you get started with skeching on location!


Sketch of my lunch of Grilled Sardines

One Comment


  1. Paintings | Citizen Sketcher | Jackie Braden's Artist Page

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