Sit Down With Our #090 Featured Artist

Robbert Dutton

We sent Robbert Dutton the 098 ScrawlrBox to see what he thinks. 

 About Robert

Robert Dutton (SGFA)
Society of Graphic Fine ArtArtist Ambassador - Unison Colour pastels Associate Artist Derwent Art Materials

Robert is a professional artist and lives in Nunnington, Ryedale, North Yorkshire, with his inspirational painting and expressive drawing subject matter of the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, and the East Yorkshire Coast within easy reach.

Having qualified with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Honours), Robert worked as a professional Graphic Designer and Illustrator for over 30 years in the commercial sector to include in-house positions with financial clients KPMG and PwC

Robert exhibits his unique style of painting at The Mall Galleries in London with the prestigious Pastel Society and the Society of Graphic Fine Art, with whom he is now elected with full membership having attained a consistent high standard of excellence in his fine art paintings and drawings over several years.

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The #098 ScrawlrBox

ScrawlrBox Inspiring Watercolours 

As a professional artist I use many different types of pigments and colours in my expressive mixed media landscape paintings. The reasons behind such choices is in my continuous pursuit of creative advancement - not just with one specific and limiting type of media but with many. There’s a great big creative world out there to explore and a mass of media choices to use so, dive in!

I’m a big fan of watercolours and used many different types and brands over four decades so I was keen to find out just what Jackman’s powdered watercolours were capable of and what made them so different.

ScrawlrBox provided me with the perfect opportunity recently to try them by sending me a complimentary box #098 complete with three inspiring colour choices from the Jackman’s Watercolour range - Grey Violet, Turquoise and Midnight Violet.

Jackman’s Art Materials have 17 different powdered colours to choose from in their present range. Based in the UK and a company that ships worldwide, so no artist will be restricted in getting them to try for themselves.

Although just three of the Jackman’s watercolours are contained in ScrawlrBox #098 these colours (Grey Violet, Turquoise and Midnight Violet), have been selected very carefully as they work brilliantly together and separately in their own right.

Jackman’s powdered watercolours are unlike any other media I’ve tried. They are particles of colour contained in small plastic screw top labeled containers (6gsm)which are highly pigmented. Don’t be deceived in thinking there is ‘not a lot’, in the small pigment containers - believe me, a little goes a long way and the colours are really strong and most importantly are lightfast!


This ensures longevity with your work. Being lightfast Jackman’s watercolours inspire creative confidence in use however they are used.

All three colours create bright eye catching tints, washes and glazes and heavily saturated colours and are totally harmonious with one another, interact beautifully with other media and are a joy to use.

With any new media trial are essential before launching into using them in a ‘serious’ painting. Getting to understand any media, it’s handling abilities, it’s characters and subtle nuances is a worthwhile and essential creative exercise.

My creative exploration with the pigments revealed many different and impressive results. I discovered that they were really effective to use on their own each time or indeed together to create some really interesting and unique colour mixes, tints and glazes.

Featured artist Emily Wassell for ScrawlrBox #098 has several lovely featured examples and creative tips and insights to help you explore the medias capabilities even more.

As a Derwent associate Artist who represents the brand, I was pleased to see the Derwent ‘Push it’ watercolour brush (which controls the amount of water you use while painting with the handy push button ) and the Derwent ‘Spritz Spritz’ handy spray bottle which helps create some great textures just by using pure water sprayed onto a semi dry wash for example. Just one of the creative tips for the brush!

The handy little A5 cold pressed watercolour 10 sheet sketchbook (great paper quality as 300gsm 140lb) contained in the Scrawlrbox set was indeed very helpful to get to understand more creatively what the pigments were capable off and I have featured a few of my own trials here.

A generous plastic mixing well is also contained in the box with 8 outer separate shallow mixing wells and two central ones. Being plastic its lightweight and a handy size to keep all the colours you mix in one handy place.

Once I started to use the Jackman’s Watercolours I quickly noticed that there was little shift in colour tint to become lighter in colour saturation once each wash had dried. Other watercolour brands are notorious for this and have to be worked around or conscious of drying lighter - not so with Jackman’s Watercolours. This inspires creative confidence when painting with the media.

I was particularly impressed how easily the Jackman’s Watercolours worked so well with other painting and drawing media too such as graphite, charcoal and pastel either intermixed, glazed or overlayed. This helps with a series of paintings I am working on for exhibition at the moment.

Winter Monoliths - Working Practice.

When working ‘large scale’ it is important to prepare large volumes of pigments beforehand so the creative process isn’t slowed down stopping to make new mixes thwarting the need to keep working. Larger containers don’t have to be expensive. Most of what you see are recycling of food packaging used to hold the Jackman’s pigments in large volume for large brush work. In stage one I chose to work flat to keep the colour mixes under control.

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Presently I am working on a series of semi abstract and abstract paintings that revolve around ancient stone circles, monoliths and exposed rocks in the landscape. There is great scope for expression, interpretation and creative exploration within the genre of this chosen subject and building a collection for exhibition is really exciting

Expressing the historic elements in our landscape in a modern contemporary way with an unfamiliar media (Jackman’s watercolours) was exciting and rewarding. The Jackman’s Watercolours are a joy to use. The lovely pigments created really exciting effects on my chosen support 300gsm (140lb) ‘not’ Somerset Velvet watercolour paper. The glazes areas you can see, beautifully transparent, remain highly pigmented and are really eye catching.

There are no adverse effects at all in using any of the colours with other drawing or painting media, quite the contrary in fact!

In the featured painting I created a multitude of both drawn, painted and intermixed expressive layers to create the abstract painting. Graphite powder, Graphite sticks and pencils (diluted options with all three), Compressed Charcoal, Conte, Pastel, Wolff Carbon Pencils and Acrylic Inks with a little watercolour (Yellow Ochre) and Derwent XL Charcoal and Graphite Blocks were all used in successive layers with the Jackman’s watercolours to create this dynamic painting.


In these close ups of the painting you can see how effective the Jackman’s Watercolour pigments are when used with my chosen drawing media. Turquoise colour was particularly effective when mixed with white acrylic ink to express the ice on the stones, whilst Deep Violet maintained an effective deeper tone through the process in many different chosen areas.

When painting it’s all about refining, overlaying, changing and altering whilst keeping in mind how the end game finished result will look to express your creative intentions. This means letting go or reworking areas in the painting you really like. Confidence comes from experience and my confidence was growing the more I used the Jackman’s Watercolours.

The shapes of the overlapping stones are deliberate ambiguous in many areas yet cleanly defined in others. In the minds eye as you look at the stone monoliths overlayed one over the other, their shapes come and go in an almost transient way. This is an expression of the ‘journey’ one would take circling the stones and looking at them from different angles and points of view in three dimensions with solid objects (certain stones) being in front first then ‘pushed to the back’ as new ones entered the field of vision and took centre stage in the front. The actual painting therefore expresses the short moments in time in experienced as overlaps one over the other to make up the whole.

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Impressive results with the amazing versatile Jackman’s watercolour pigments. The colours stayed bright and fresh throughout the creative process with a multitude of drawn and painted marks. A really impressive SCRAWLRBOX REVIEW watercolour!


The pigments are really impressive. The possibilities of using them for all sorts of creative painting subjects large and small and on different supports I most certainly will be engaging with in the immediate and long term future. Watch this space!

Finished Painting

Winter Monoliths

22 x 22 inches (56 x 56cm)Mixed media and Jackman’s watercolours onSomerset Velvet 300gsm (not) watercolour paper