An Interview with our Make A Splash Watercolour Competition Winner: Rosie Vohra

by Cass Art

You may remember that during our Watercolour Revolution season, we challenged artists to make up to 50 watercolours in 50 days, as part of our Make A Splash Watercolour Challenge.

We had a huge variety of fantastic entries, from those new to the medium and from professional artists, so thank you so much to all who entered. You really all did make a splash, but as we all know there could only be one winner... 

So we would like to say a big congratulations to Rosie Vohra, who wins £500 of art materials! She was randomly selected from all the wonderful watercolour entries we received on social media.

Rosie submitted 16 painting creations for the challenge, and we wanted to find out more about her work and what inspires her dream-like imagery.

Rosie Vohra: Watercolour Artist

Congratulations on winning the Make A Splash Watercolour Challenge, Rosie! What made you take part in the challenge?

Thank you! I saw the challenge on Twitter and thought it was a great opportunity to post some of my work and enter with the chance to win lots of new materials! Posting my work online via social media and my blog is something I do quite regularly anyway, I see it as a different viewing point and it helps me to remove myself from the physical piece and view it more as an image.

Watercolour and mixed media artist Rosie Vohra 

Did anything surprise you about the watercolour medium?

Watercolour is a medium that I am familiar with but still have a lot to learn from. When using watercolour I have a habit of adding white when I want something to become lighter. However, what always surprises me about watercolour is the white of the paper can be used due to medium’s transparency.

Do you normally work with watercolours or do you dabble in other art materials too?

I tend to use all sorts of materials in my work depending on what I am creating. I use charcoal, collage, clay, gouache, found objects such as gas canisters, colouring pencils, oils, house paint and fabric. Anything I can get my hands out that I feel may be useful!

Mixed media collage: Rosie Vohra 

What’s your most favourite art material and why? 

Something that I always seem to have in my pencil case are Stabilo Woody colouring pencils. They are perfect for directing my energy onto a page because they are so chunky and waxy. It feels as if they are halfway between an oil pastel and a water-soluble colouring pencil.

What’s the inspiration behind your work? A lot of your watercolours seemed quite dream-like, very colourful and with the hint of aboriginal patterns?

I see my work as a way of thinking onto a surface with reference to my imagination and observation. I find it really exciting to expand on observational drawings using my imagination, essentially creating my own world that exists on paper where pots become people and life models turn into pharaohs, which is where the dream-like quality may come from.

I have drawn a lot from Sienese paintings in the National Gallery and Indian Minatures in the British Museum over the past year and I feel really inspired by their use of colour, form and pattern. A few artists I am constantly gaining inspiration from are Matisse, Tal R, Emil Nolde, Sara Fanelli and Chagall.

Rosie Vohra Make A Splash Winner 

Did you always want to be painter, and did you train as an artist or do you paint just for fun?

I have always wanted to be an artist, although I do remember a time when I was younger I wanted to be many different things! I studied Fine Art BA at Leeds College of Art (2010-13) and then went on to study on the Drawing year at The Royal Drawing School (2013-14). I also paint for fun, it is really important for me that I feel excited and engaged with what I am making.

Finally, what would your advice be for someone who may never have used watercolour before?

I would advise to jump in and play with the medium in order to discover its possibilities! Stretching your paper using gum strip and a board can be useful if you don’t want your paper to crinkle or you could use a watercolour pad. As I mentioned before, remembering the white of the paper contributes to lighter colours and if you do add white the colour may turn opaque.
Make A Splash Watercolour Challenge Winner
Feeling inspired?

You can visit Rosie Vohra's website to find out more about her work.

You can shop for watercolour materials both online and in-store at Cass Art.

Search for the hashtag #MakeASplash on Twitter or Instagram to search for all of the wonderful entries we had to our Make A Splash Watercolour Challenge this year.

A huge thank you to everyone who enterered - we hope you keep painting and that it's inspired you to embrace the medium of watercolour. 

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