We’ve all heard it said. Watercolor often leads to happy accidents, those unplanned things that take us by surprise when we’re painting.
That’s how this scene came about. For starters, I’d had a rather frustrating day, so every time I walked past the table where my watercolors are sitting, I would just look the other way. After my disappointing painting yesterday, I wasn’t sure I wanted to set myself up for more discouragement.
But, it’s World Watercolor Month, and I’ve agreed to paint every day. Maybe it would actually make me feel better, I decided. I’d forget about barns and farmhouses and paint a very simple scene. I actually had a seascape in mind. What would be more relaxing and soothing than a few ocean waves rolling in to shore? I might add in a few rocks, I thought.
I decided I wanted a yellowish, greyish sky — maybe that was a reflection of my mood — and then, being in a perverse mood, I grabbed more Payne’s gray while the sky was still wet. I didn’t want to wait. I knew I couldn’t paint rocks while everything was wet, but I didn’t care. I did it anyway.
And something very different then emerged. Instead of ocean and rocks, I saw a misty morning scene, one that reminded me a lot of going out on the lake very early in the morning. I liked what I saw, so I touched it up a bit, added a few birds in the sky, and called it done.
It was, indeed, a happy accident.
It might not look like much to other viewers, but all things considered, I was very pleased with this misty morning scene — unplanned though it was.