food colouring

This last section  (nearly the last post) I experimented with … food colouring.


food colouring

This is the way they sold them in the supermarket (in the baking section) I visited in Spain.

In London you find single bottles of 38ml, so you only buy the colour you plan to use -they last a long time, though, so I rarely have to buy them. Still, the little bottles (more like droppers) are rather useful so you can add one drop at a  time without having to use separate droppers.

(By the way, any attempt at refilling them from the larger bottles may leave you with food colouring dripping all over your fingers. Better wear gloves.)


This is the beginning of a love story with food colouring.

The story didn’t start out too promising.

I had experimented with food colouring previously, mostly to splash it on paper or to mix it with PVA glue and get dripping effects.

I had also used it, many years ago, to add touches of colour to black and white photographs. I loved the effect, and the colour is still vibrant… over 20 years later.

I digress…



This time I wanted to use the colours to paint a shell.

I mixed the colours one drop at a time in some pill boxes (handy from the discount store).

I couldn’t get the colours right. Also, my fingers got covered in paint and it didn’t wash out easily (doing dishes helped).

I became frustrated. It seems to be part of the learning process in my case.

food colouring


For the above drawing I tried this again with food colouring. I revisited a subject I’d painted before in different media.

I started to enjoy the challenge.


pen and food colouring

However, I felt that there could be better ways of using the food colouring.

This time I tried on my small sketchbook. I started with a biro pen drawing, adding the food colouring on top of it. I left the brighter areas untouched.

I also changed my pill boxes for an ice-cube tray for the mixing. The paint was contained better and I didn’t  have to handle any lids. I didn’t get any messy fingers. Well, only a little.

I felt quite chuffed at the possibilities I was uncovering…

The next blog post will show my last few drawings with pen and food colouring.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you liked it.