Using watercolour in design

I love using watercolour paints for producing fabric designs. I like the fact that you can be quite spontaneous, that you have to be quick, that the colours mix so nicely and that the results can be unexpected. For me it’s the exact opposite of a computer-drawn design where the colours are in solid blocks and the elements are very controlled.

I do use the computer for developing a design, but the starting-point is usually hand-drawn with a pencil and painted, as you can see in the photo below.

Here, I’m working on a background for a calendar, in which I wanted to depict a stylised version of the twin villages of Kingsand-Cawsand in Cornwall.


The villages are just like the one in the UK television series called ‘Doc Martin’: clusters of white houses with slate roofs, framing a beach and the sea. My husband grew up in Cawsand. My daughter was married here three years ago (if you search on this website for the post about how the wedding dress was made, you see a photo or two of the wedding).

As I mentioned in the last post, there is a process of editing in the development of a final design and in this case when the proof arrived from Spoonflower, I knew that there needed to be more houses in the design.

Here’s the finished design, a 2017 calendar tea towel, available from, in my studio: Amanda_Jane_Textiles.