I have been struggling with finding time to practice my watercolor painting. I have been self teaching for s few years now and still feel that I have much to learn about the media. It is not easy and leaves you with little control over the end results, which both excites and frustrated me. But I have learned to embrace this beautiful chaos.
Last week I sat down with the intentions to paint something. My go to is always floral because I feel it is the most forgiving for me to attempt while still learning. So first I needed an image of course. I have been admiring some floral tattoos on instagram and Pinterest lately so I decided to try my hand at a wild and peculiar and ambiguous flower. I would say it looks most like a peony, but in reality it was just a center with a bunch of wild petals so I can’t really give it a name.
It didn’t take me long to have an image I liked and soon had the image sketched onto my Canson velum finished mixed media paper. I choose this type of paper because I like the smooth finish instead of the typical textured finish of watercolor paper. It is easier for me to draw on once the painting is complete. I also use a higher GSM count paper as well so that it easily withstands the moisture without buckling too much.
At this point I basically paint by number! I am using a combination of paint brands (see below list of supplies). With this image I do not want the wet areas to combine so I have to plan my painting areas accordingly. I have to paint sections that do not share a border in order to avoid the paint blending into one another. So I divide the petals and areas up this way until I have them all filled. Nothing fancy, just filling the area with one color. After this I go in and create depth by adding darker colors and shading.
After the petals are complete I worked on the leaves which were straightforward green. I used my favorite paint color, Serpentine Genuine, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor for the leaves because it creates a multi dimensional color unlike typical colors. I highly recommend Daniel Smith paints! They are easy to use and create depth and textures I haven’t seen in the other brands I have used. For a novice like me, I will take all of the extra help I can get! The “genuine” line of paints is EXTRA cool because they are created by grinding up minerals and rocks and crystals to create paint pigment! Paints formulated from amethysts and tiger’s eye and bloodstone and even turquoise to name a few! They are incredible!!
At this point, after I have painted all sections of the design, I have gone in with my Sakura, Pigma Micron black pens to outline and define the image. Then with my Sakura Gelly Roll pens I add some flare and fun and color and more dimension by using dot work and some little details to make the over all image unique.
I am trying to improve my skills as well as build my confidence and creativity in this media. This will go into my portfolio and I might even tackle the same image again to see if I can improve it!
Princeton Art & Brush Co. Watercolor brushes
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor paints; Quinacridone Coral, Serpentine Genuine
M. Graham & Co.; Quinacridone Violet, Sepia
Grumbacher Watercolor paints; Thalo Crimson, Green Earth Hue
Sakura Gelly Roll colored and metalic pens
Sakura, Pigma Micron black ink pens