I have not worked with watercolors nearly enough in my life. I find the medium a little scary, perhaps because it can be hard to control. The books on watercolor technique are also intimidating with their first chapters on all the supplies you have to accumulate – brushes, hot and cold press paper, and those expensive tubes of artist quality paint – plus extras like masking fluid and tilting boards. About three years ago I took a six-week watercolor class at a local art center, and enjoyed it very much. I accumulated some starter supplies for the class and dived in, but was underwhelmed by the results of my efforts. Then I did not do watercolor painting again until….TODAY!
I was feeling like I was getting into a bit of a rut with my Prismacolor markers and pencils. There are still lots of directions I can go with these wonderful tools, but sometimes we artists need to challenge ourselves and open up new doors to new avenues of creativity. Recently I ran across my stash of watercolor supplies and today I took a deep breath and did inventory. I have been taking lots of photos of the stunning skies and beautiful foliage in my area and I first tried to do a sky with scene with fluffy clouds. The results were less than impressive. I don’t have a lot of experience with landscapes anyway, so I decided to warm up to watercolor by doing a more familiar subject – a person.
I enjoyed painting “Girl in a polka dot dress.” She is inspired by a Facebook profile picture of a young woman I am very fond of. Watercolor is a fun and versatile medium and I think I will be exploring it more. I even pulled out one of my many art technique books this afternoon: Watercolor: All the techniques and inspiration you need to begin painiting (HarperCollins Publishers , 2005). My sister gave it to me for my birthday years ago. This book truly does live up to its title. It gave me some clues on better ways to go about that sky with fluffy clouds, and will give it another try.