Water Coloring Madness

IMG_0256For those of you who exist in the world of art and/or paper crafting, I don’t know if you have noticed, but everywhere you turn this year there is talk and teaching of watercolor.  Apparently this style of medium has come back in fad, and everyone is jumping at the chance to teach this medium.  Now I like watercolor.  I always have.  And the reason, I think I like it the most is because you really just can’t control watercolor.  Sure you can try, but it sort of can run off on it’s own direction if you are not extremely careful.  Let us start with the fact that it dries lighter then it paints, so you have to adjust to that.  Then there is the water factor, which if you have too much or too little causes different reactions in the paint.  Watercolor is just as fun as it is frustrating.  But for me, the first thing I ever really painted that was good was something in watercolor (see above).  Sure there are a lot of things wrong with that old 12×9 painting, but it is my youngest daughter as a baby, and it was the first thing I painted that I wanted to show other people.

So since watercolor is everywhere, I am back dipping into my pallets, embracing the fad.  Actually, it is nice watercoloring again.  It is very different then my preferred art style, mix media.  It is softer and a little more light.  But I am still a novice and love when the chance to learn something new about watercoloring is presented to me.

9×12 Barn painting

So all last week one of my favorite (whether she knows it or not) teachers, Sandy Allnock, (a person who is a perfect stranger to me, but I follow on social media) the colorist and medium guru, offered a free online (thank you youtube) painting series.  Each day from her website you were able to print out a sketch and trace it onto your watercolor paper.

Monday was a barn scene where we were encouraged to work with just the primary colors red, yellow and blue to really practice out color mixing skills.  I like how the barn came out, but the sky and grass were not great.  I’ll

4.25×5.5 lighthouse

probably go back this week and try it again when I have a little spare time to see if I can come up with a better background.

Tuesday was my favorite image from the week, the lighthouse. I like that we were encouraged to paint the sky and rocks in oranges, golds, and pinks, and the ocean in a purplish blue.  Again I just used the primary paint colors, and learned a ton trying to come up with different shades of peach.  My only pet-peeve of the picture was that I was

9×12 lighthouse

too heavy handed with my pencil and it left a thick line all over the paper.

I liked this painting so much that I did a second one, but this time pulled out my Daniel Smith Primatek paints.  I am a grungy artist, lets all agree on that little fact.  Thus the primatek line of paints from Daniel Smith truly fit my style of art.  These watercolors are created from natural rocks and minerals, leaving a bunch of granulation in the paint.  And this granulation for me, is everything.  It fits so much of my style of paint.  So I painted the second lighthouse out of solely primatek paints.  Because these watercolors are made from natural ground rocks and minerals, there is a limited (not really since there are 35 different primatek colors) palette of colors.  There is no natural yellow, and very few red options.  However, there is a great pink color, and the browns are incredible.  I love how

the ugly one

the second painting came out, and you can see the great difference in the two different style of paints.

On Wednesday, we painted another nature scene, but this one being one that focused on tree and mountains.  I won’t lie.  This was hands

4.25×5.5 mountain scene

down the hardest sketch of the week for me.  This was too much light and airy for me.  However, I like a good challenge so away I went.  And went, wrong, it did.  It was so bad in my opinion, that I pulled out another piece of paper and did it again.  The second one was better, but still not an image that was my cup of tea.  This painted was done with the primary color watercolors, but in the end I pulled out some green primatek and finished off the pines in the foreground.  I’m still not crazy about it, but I

4.25×5.5 forest

like the shades of green are better and the sky isn’t ugly.  Apparently grass and sky are not my thing. 🙂

Thursday was more tree, but a scene without sky.  It was a forest path with nothing but trees around.  This time I only used my primatek, knowing that these shades of paint would be perfect for this scene.  I guess I like it, but I lost my patience in the end and didn’t add the detail to the trees I should have.  I don’t think trees are my thing.

4.25×5.5 night sky

Finally, Friday’s watercolor was done with a loose night sky and a tight silhouette of (you guessed it) more trees.  However, since these trees were more controlled, they were easier for me to work with.  I wasn’t able to get to this painting done till the weekend, but I love doing washes, and I worked only with again my primatek, so I had lots of fun painting out everything.  Mine came out much darker and less blue then the original example, but I like the darkness in it.

If you have ever been curious about learning about watercolor, these videos are an excellent way to jump into the art.  If you watercolor and want to be challenged, these videos are an excellent way to improve.  Regardless, this week of paint alongs have rejuvenated my desire to watercolor more and challenge myself regularly.

Thought I would just take a moment to share what I worked on all week (please note, there are five canvases growling at me since I worked on them too).  Anyway, I hope my little pieces inspire you to do something that inspires others to work.

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