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If you fancy creating a lovely, little, vintage style painting - take at look at the new ‘Station Suitcases’ tutorial.

Read on to find out what inspired this project and what techniques and processes you will use.


If you have ever read some of my other blog or Instagram posts you may well have noticed that I do love a steam train!! But did you know it’s not just the trains I love? It’s the station platforms too! They’re always crammed full of beautifully curated vintage props, from enamel advertising plaques, to milk churns, rusty buckets and battered, old luggage. All of these elements come together to bring the era of steam back to life.


I love a bit of nostalgia and these suitcases which I spotted at Totnes station in Devon, certainly have the ability to whisk you back in time. As ever, I was busy snapping away at anything that stood still, whilst most of the passengers were looking at the actual train! But I was so captivated by this set of suitcases as they have such a lovely narrative about them - one which I knew would make for a super little painting.


In this tutorial we are going to start with an ink pen drawing - but you need to make sure it is water soluble ie. Not labeled ‘permanent’, ‘waterproof’ or ‘water resistant’ as these just won’t work!

Water soluble pen is a great medium to use in this painting as your drawn ink lines will start to dissolve as you add the watery paint. This will make the line appear uneven and blurred in places and it will even allow the released ink to mix with your paint to create darker areas of colour. This is how you will achieve that vintage vibe.

When you are ready to add colour to your line drawing I’m going to encourage you to work directly from your paint pans with very little colour mixing. This technique will give your painting the feel of sponteneity and it's also a great technique which you can use for quick sketches or painting en plein air.


To complete the painting we can add more texture and age to the suitcases by using a sharp tool like a scalpel blade to scratch out the surface and to add details. We can also use the dry brush technique to create uneven colour on the suitcases to enhance that well-travelled look.


Once the main subject is complete, you might also like to add a background. You could decide to add just a simple line drawing as I have here, or perhaps a bit more tone by activating the ink pen with a little water for a Monochrome look.












For more information on this project, take a look at the short video below.




Next time you’re off on your holidays remember to keep an eye open for lovely little still life scenes such as these as they’re a great way to record your memories and special days out.


Don’t forget, if you would like to share any photos which you think will inspire other members to paint, you can do this over on the forum.


Happy Painting!

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