Swimming with Watercolors

aka Drowning with Watercolors

One thing I have discovered this year is that I am not very good with a paintbrush or any tool used for painting. Place one in my hand and it is the major ingredient for making a wet mess. 

My friend knew that I wanted to learn about watercolors, so for my birthday, she purchased an online class for me.I approached watercolors excitedly. I watched each lesson twice. I made sure I understood how the paint will flow into the water to create blooms that could result in desirable effects and when to use this to my advantage. I learned how to apply a wash of color. Watercolor paints are a transparent medium, much like my colored pencils. Layering colors should be similar, possibly easy for me since I have an understanding of working from light to dark. I can hold a pencil and a brush is similar to a pencil, this should be easy. 

Water quenches your thirst. Cleans your body. Gives life to plants. Maintains life in animals. Fish swim in it, as do humans and dogs. It is a major ingredient in almost every beverage, a lot of foods, some medication. Our bodies are made up of the stuff. Yup. The human body contains on the average 57-60% water. Yes, that precious liquid that is in shortage in some areas of the world but can be found for a $1+ a bottle on supermarket shelves. The one thing that you might not know is that water is the devil in disguise. Well, it is when you are using watercolor paints and don't know what you are doing. What looks pretty easy and is explained so simply by many artists, can cause a catastrophe. 

hot mess

That is the result of all of my research. I think the slash marks give it a little character. I will admit, I wasn't very patient. I honestly believe I might need more practice. I'm sure others will agree with me.

Out of my frustration with my first watercolor came the realization that I might be pretty good at using a watercolor wash as a light underlayer in my colored pencil drawings. I could make really bright highlights with them. This made me extremely happy because all hope was not lost. 

sunflower cba web
Sunflower by Carol Bond Art
Highlights created with an underlayer Wash of watercolor paint

I will revisit watercolor paints again sometime in the future. For now, I am happy with what I can do with them.

  • Share on: