Adventures In Watercolor 6

It’s been a while since I posted my watercolor paintings, and the truth is that it’s been a while since I painted too – it’s the end of the semester, so I’ve been too busy with work. Luckily, I still have some paintings that I haven’t posted, so here goes.

These paintings are a little special – the story is, before I moved home from LA, I bought a pad of watercolor paper from Michael’s with the intention of practicing on it. Flash forward 6 years, the pad has been forgotten in the back of my desk drawer until I started taking watercolor classes and finally remembered it. However, by this time, it has gone moldy and absorbed water too quickly, so the paint can’t spread like it should. Being the cheapskate that I am, I refused to give them up, so I looked up ways to salvage them. I didn’t find any straight answers, but I did find some instructions for making your own watercolor paper, in which you can use gelatin to “size” the paper (i.e. coat it to make it less absorbent). I decided to give it a try.

The result was… OK. I didn’t get my paper back to how it was, but at least I can paint with it now. It doesn’t take well to wet-on-wet, so I mostly use it for still life and food painting. It allows me to understand watercolor a bit more (I never knew about sizing paper before) and gives me a chance to practice different techniques, which is fun.

These are supposed to be eggs but I got impatient with shading each individual one…


Adventures In Watercolor 5

Here are some more paintings I’ve finished over the past few weeks. Most of them are copied from existing paintings, and a few are from photos.

These first two are from photos, while the ones below them are copies of existing paintings

I find it easier to copy a painting than to work from a photo, because with a painting, I can see the techniques used, while with a photo, I still have troubles figuring out how to achieve a certain look. And that’s why I’m taking another class, starting later this month. Hopefully it can help me to improve.

Adventures In Watercolor 4

As promised, here is my final piece from my watercolor class:

For our finals, we had to pick a photo (NOT a painting!) and reproduce it on 18 x 24 paper. Mine was based on this photo of the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland. As you may have noticed from my previous paintings, trees are kinda my specialty, so this seemed like a good choice. I’m pretty satisfied with the end result; I only wish it could look more transparent, more like a watercolor painting – here, I added so many layers that it looks more like a gouache/acrylic piece. I guess I just need to practice more…

And here are some more paintings that I’ve been working on since the class ended:

There is still a lot I need to learn though, so once my schedule slows down a bit, I’m going to see if there is another class I can take.

Adventures In Watercolor 3

So here is the next batch of my watercolors. After tackling flowers and still life, we were on to landscapes, which I prefer, because it doesn’t require drawing precise shapes. We started with monochromatic landscapes first:

Then we moved on to full color:

Stay tuned, because it’s our “graduation ceremony” this weekend and I’ll get to pick up my final piece to show you guys. And I’ve been painting regularly (now that school has started again, I try to complete one painting per week) so there will be more to come!

Adventures In Watercolor 2

In the second week of class, we moved on to still life and flowers from real life. I was still struggling a bit with the shapes and how to create light/shadow, but I did improve slightly.

My painting and the real-life setup, for comparison

We also tried our hands at portraits – humans or animals (again, by copying from existing paintings or photos.) I’m completely hopeless when it comes to drawing people, so I chose a rooster. He turned out… OK-ish, I guess? I can’t get the face and the eyes right, so it looks like he’s in shock 😛

Adventures In Watercolor 1

As promised last week, here are some of the watercolor paintings I did over the course of my class (it’s a 5-week class, and we’re in our last week now). I put this in chronological order – as you can see, my earlier attempts were pretty clumsy…

Anyway, the themes of our first few weeks are still life – flowers, fruits, and food. We only copy from existing paintings, since we weren’t good enough to paint from photos and real life yet (that would be later.)

This is a cake, in case you can’t tell…

This I did at home, based on a photo I took of our fairy lilies. I wanted to try the wet-on-wet technique, but I wasn’t quite there yet:

More to come soon!

Adventures In Sketching III

It’s been a while since I touched my watercolor set, but here is the last batch of sketches that I did a couple of months ago. They’re of a looser style than my previous ones, which I prefer – I’m not great at drawing, so with this style, I can just lightly sketch the outline and go right in with the watercolors. As usual, they’re based upon my photos.

A flower stall in Amsterdam

Singapore’s Chinatown

A beach in Batam, Indonesia

A house in the Cotswolds and the path in front of our house (what it used to be, anyway. Now there are apartment blocks on both sides)

I’ve been wanting to get back to sketching for a while now, because work has been so busy that I want something to relieve the stress. The problem is, because I’m so busy, I just can’t seem to find the time to actually sit down and sketch. I guess I have to make the time instead of just telling myself “Next weekend…”