Painting a teacup in watercolor and ink

sketchbook and ink and watercolors


How 30,000 youtube viewers taught me something

Hello! How’s it going? Today I am going to tell you about a recent lesson I learned. Some years ago, I did a painting in my sketchbook and while I was doing it, I took some pictures and made a video. But I never made a blog post about it because I didn’t think it came out very well. I thought it didn’t have any value. But how wrong could I be? For some reason that I don’t understand, this video has reached over 30 000 viewers on youtube.

So now I think now it is time to make a blog post and share it with you.
what I learned from this, is that work that you don’t like can have value for others. So don’t hide it or throw it away. Show it to others and don’t be afraid to hear what people think.

How I painted the picture

My sketchbooks are a place to experiment. I allow them to include lots of awkward attempts and experiences. I didn’t care too much if I failed. If you take it too seriously you will only get nice, safe and stiff drawings. What you want is to learn more, to experiment and bring life into your work. So I didn’t plan it. I just started drawing with the ink, without a pencil.

In many ways, watercolors have their own life and you just have to go along with the painting as it progresses.

In the video, you can see that I draw lines over and over and it looks a little messy, as if I don’t have total control, and I don’t.

The painting technique I used was to apply the watercolors and then to lift water from the paper. You will see I use tissues a lot for this. I also use the brush to do the same thing.

What people found interesting was to watch the techniques of applying and removing colors and applying more color to see how the painting grows and evolves as it progresses.


  • any kind of watercolor or gouache paint (so you get the transparency)
  • a watercolor sketchbook
  • a dip pen and India ink. (you can use several pens with different nibs)

  • I found this teacup in a second-hand shop. It was lovely, so I bought it just to paint it. It was as simple as that.

I used a nib and a nib holder. What exactly is that? A nib is a pointed piece of metal like stainless steel, titanium, gold, or bronze. It holds some ink and deposits it onto the paper. You need to mount it onto the nib holder to create a dip pen. You can easily change the nib to a different kind to make the lines thicker or thinner.

I like the more flexible nibs. They can produce more line variation than a stiff nib. You may find that too much flexibility can be difficult to control, so experiment and see what you like. I find that the flexibility is best for drawing, the stiff ones are typically used for writing on smooth paper.



In the video, I am using a waterproof India ink from Pedeo. It is very good but I don’t think you can get it everywhere.  As an alternative, my very favorite ink comes from Senellier and this is the best ink I have ever used. I like it for the deepness of the black color and because it is a very rich ink with a warm tone. It is a good, professional grade ink that I have been using for years, particularly for all the artwork that I exhibit in galleries. It is waterproof and a little goes a long, long way, But you really don’t want to get it on your clothes or furniture!

It is also very important to wash the nib very well afterward.

I love Senellier watercolors which are easy to find in Europe (and a bit cheaper than in the USA). Senellier watercolors are rich and good like Daniel Smith watercolors which we don’t find easily in Europe. You can read more about the watercolor here; Senellier watercolor review.

Winsor & Newton hand-crafted Squirrel Brushes are ideal for watercolors and inks washes. The fibers may be natural or synthetic, and if the synthetic brush is a high-quality brush you can not tell the difference. The brushes have a very fine point with a thick belly which holds a large amount of color. The Squirrel brush has very little “snap” because the hair is not very resilient. But still, the fine point gives you control with details and the washes. The soft hair ensures their responsiveness. O la La! It is a LOVELY brush.

And now it is time for a big cup of tea.


Why do people like this video? Feel free to share the video with your friends on Facebook.  I would love to know what you and your friends think!!!!


These 4 products contain affiliate links, so if you click on the photo and buy something I will get a small percentage to help pay the blogging bills and keep my site ad free. But don’t worry, it’s absolutely no extra cost to you. Thanks!


pedeo ink encre de chine


I hope you found it useful and like to try it out. Did you know that you get a printable digital artwork,  and a calendar and more if you sign up for the free color course  Free color course  If you are on a mobile phone and have problems signing up you can go here and If you like this post, feel free to share with your family and friends on Facebook.



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Drawing and painting with ink and watercolors