Slow And Loose – Guest Of The Month – Jenny Oldknow

Jenny Oldknow spent most of her formative years in a small Lincolnshire village on the backs of various ponies, roaming the countryside and seeking out the local wildlife… and drawing it.

I have loved the countryside all my life, and drawing and painting it remains my passion. My studio is surrounded by stunning Derbyshire countryside, 
which continually provides a great source of inspiration for my work.

You have probably heard the phrase ‘fast and loose’ when painting in watercolour. However, painting ‘slow’ suits me far better, and also helps those new to watercolour get to grips with what is often regarded as a difficult medium.

Looseness to me is far more about the artists’ mental approach to painting, than actual specific techniques. It requires a delicate approach to brushwork, using the tip of the brush most of the time.

Rosemary’s new Series 8 range of Kolinsky Sables have extra long tips, which helps me keep control, yet with the unique water-carrying capacity of sable, in order to make expressive marks.

Looseness to me is far more about the 
artists’ mental approach to painting…

I have adapted the traditional wet-in-wet technique by applying colour to dry paper, then applying water directly to the wet paint, softening off some of the edges, then adding further pigment to the wet 
areas created. This gives far more control of where the paint goes, yet still giving a beautiful soft, wet effect, retaining the vibrant transparency 
of the medium.

When people watch me paint, they are usually surprised at how slowly I work. Every mark and splatter has to add something to the painting, not detract 
or overwork it.

See more of Jenny’s work at:

‘‘Art doesn’t always have to be about the 
prettiest, most visually appealing subjects.’’