Tuesday, 7 April 2015

My Secret Garden Colouring book, The Well part 2

I've come to the realisation that I love drawings with architectural elements in it, such as doors, bridges, sheds and also a well.
I think it has something to do with my former profession: architectural engineering. Although the job wasn't a very satisfying one to me, drawing and colouring buildings, doors, windows, etc. give me great pleasure!
When it comes to colouring the well in Johanna Basford's amazing colouring book 'Secret Garden', I particularly like colouring the stones.
I love giving them texture and shading.

When I started colouring this page I first tried to imagine what the weather would be like in this drawing and whether the well is situated in a sunny spot in this garden or a shady area.
I love blue skies so I decided to make it a sunny day.
For colouring the sky, I use 10 different blue pencils to build a blue sky that has a certain depth:

Royal Blue
Prussian Blue
Cobalt Blue
Oriental Blue
Ceruleum Blue
Smyrna Blue
Light Blue
Light Ultramarine
Sky Blue

As you may know, a blue sky looks darker high in the sky. So the darker blue pencils are mainly used in the areas high in the sky,

I also decided that it would be much more interesting to make the well look like it is situated in a shady part of the garden and that a sunny, open spot, is behind the well.
So the background will have light and bright colours and I will shade the well heavily.

This idea of placing the well in a shaded area is quite a challenge for me.
In the past I always lacked the confidence to build enough contrast in a drawing. I used to be afraid that I would ruin the drawing by using too much dark colours. Because of that my drawing were always a bit dull and lacked depth.

With colouring the 'Secret Door' I already gained some confidence and now I'm taking it a step further.

As you can see I'm preparing the shingles above the well for some shading as well. I want it to look like a large tree is shading this roof.
The first layers of shading are blue, and I add more dark colours afterwards.

My favourite greens for the leaves are Dark Green, Moss Green, Olive Green, Sap Green and Yellow Green.With these 5 pencils I can build many different colours by layering different colours on top of each other.
For colouring leaves, I also use yellows and browns and sometimes reds.

Look at the difference between the two stages of colouring.
The stones in the photo 2 look very dark but I'm quite sure this will eventually blend in pretty well. Because I'm adding colour very gently, I can erase almost an entire layer of colour. So if the stones turn out to be too dark I can always erase and tone it down.

Photo 1

Photo 2

I have to say I'm pretty happy with the shading of the construction that holds the roof. 
The next phase is colouring the roof, adding more colour to the flowers and plants and deciding what to do with the pebbles. Should I they be white or should I colour them darker?

To be continued!

If you want to purchase Johanna Basford's wonderful colouring book, you can use one of the affiliate links below:



  1. Thank you for posting this. It looks beautiful! I'm applying some of your tips with my own coloring. Keep posting your progress ��

  2. I went to watch your Secret Garden playlist and half the videos say private. Did you take them down? Just wondering. I enjoy your coloring and have been trying to learn more are shading. Love your backgrounds. Working on the wishing well now. thanks as always for sharing.

    1. That is strange...you mean the playlist that is called "colouring secret garden"?
      I will check it out immediately!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. how can I find you on youtube?


Featured post

Snippets from the Colour Along Project - Part 2 - The Door

Join the Colour Along Instruction Project for Coloured Pencil and learn how I layer, blend, add details and shadows, and a lot m...