Dabbling in Watercolor

This is kind of a placeholder post…bigger things are on the horizon! But I do like to post weekly and also keep a record of what I’ve been up to.

Is it true that the best way to learn something is to just do it? I think the jury’s still out on that one, but actually doing something is definitely an important part of getting better at it.

I was supposed to take a watercolor class, but it ended up being sold out. However, I realized that for less than the cost of the class, I could purchase all the materials I needed to get started and take multiple online courses. An in-person class would have been nice, but there was no guarantee that that particular class would have been a good one anyway. I learned a lot about using colored pencils through websites and online tutorials, but because that involves drawing it was a bit less of a stretch. So I do wish I had a little more guidance here, since I basically have no idea what I’m doing…

I always hated painting in art class, and just never really “got it.” But seeing beautiful paintings, particularly watercolors, has always made me wish that I could do that, too. (Check out Brushes with Watercolour and Graham McQuade Fine Art if you want to be inspired.) One of the things I hope to accomplish with trying out watercolors is to “loosen up” my art style. I have always been super controlled and precise, but I think there’s only so far that will take me, in the end.

So, tomorrow is the day that I will be going out and buying some basic professional supplies. But because I happened to have some amateur watercolor materials around, here is a cute little 5×7 of some fruit. I can tell there are so many things wrong with it, (for example, what even is that muddy brown object on the left?) but I still like it. This was truly my first attempt with watercolors, and technically I did learn a few things from doing it. Mostly that I have a lot more to learn—I pretty much need to figure out how to work a paintbrush…And that, as with colored pencil, you have to preserve your highlights!

So there you have it. Be on the lookout for more watercolor posts coming your way. (But of course I will continue with sketching, colored pencil drawings, reflecting on art things, etc.)

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16 Comments

  1. Good luck with your watercolour journey. Looking forward to seeing the results. I can totally relate to your just not ‘getting it’ with painting. It’s something I wish I was good at but it just does not come naturally for me. 😕

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  2. Hi Anna and many thanks for the name check! much appreciated and apologies for the haste of this email, but thought I’d strike while the iron’s hot! There’s a book by an artist called Gerald Green ‘the Artist’s Essential Guide to Watercolour: paint with Freedom, Expression and Vitality’ – I’ve bought copies for a few pounds on ebay and I think it’s available from Amazon too. I think it’s a hidden gem of watercolour guidance books (and I’ve looked at A LOT of them!) – That’s all for now – must dash – but I really hope you keep up with the painting!

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      1. Ah Anna – I’m so pleased! I still refer to this book often – it’s so nice to dip in and out of. I really hope it serves you well!

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  3. I’m so excited for you! I’ve been wanting to get higher quality watercolors and take classes for it for forever and now I get to live vicariously through you XD

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    1. I’m excited too (and scared)! I bought decent paints but ending up cheaping out on brushes because they were just too expensive for something I may not even like…was that backwards thinking? Haha, I got a really nice airtight palette, too, not to mention a few other things, such as the entire store 😉

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      1. Haha, if only I could buy the entire store. One day, one day XD
        I’ve never had really expensive brushes, but I have heard from experienced artists that brushes are easier to get away with as far as quality. So it looks like you’re good XD

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  4. Thanks for the mention, Anna. I think getting a book is a good start. If you know of a watercolour artist you like, see if they have a book out. Some artists who have books out are : Alvaro Castsganet, Joe Dowden (who also has a good website with teaching help) Ann Blockley, David Curtis and Janet Whittle. Have a look at their work and see if it floats your boat. There are others, so if you want more suggestions let me know.

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