Doodling with watercolor and ink has been fun. Lots of fun. It’s also given me an opportunity to learn a little more about watercolors — how to use them, and how not to use them. Sometimes it seems I’m learning more of the latter than the former.
Watercolors are tricky, especially in comparison to oils. I recently read an article written by another watercolor novice. She lamented that “oil paints stay where I put them; watercolors don’t!” Oh, I can identify!
At the same time, it’s the simple fact that watercolors don’t stay where we put them that makes them so beautiful, so fascinating, so unpredictable.
In the last couple of weeks since I started playing with watercolors, I’ve made every possible mistake. I don’t know how much water to use. I don’t know how much paint to squeeze out onto my palette. Should I wet my paper? How wet is too wet?
I face each of these questions every time I come into the studio to play with my watercolors.
Mixing colors has proved to be far beyond my abilities. So much to think about! I’ve gone through my paints color by color, looking at all the different reds, the various blues, the greens, the yellows, the earth tones. I spent one afternoon putting reds and yellows together to come up with lots of oranges, but how do I really know how much of each color to use? I doubt that I could ever exactly duplicate any of the oranges I made.
So, I’ve doodled, I’ve drawn, I’ve practiced, and I’ve played. And now, today, I’ve actually painted. I’m pleased with this Spring Florals painting. It’s small, and it’s simple. I like it. I think it’s quite lovely.
I’m getting a little better on my stems. I’m keeping my flowers light and loose. Maybe I’m learning a bit about how to use these paints that don’t stay where we put them. I was happy that today I had something more to show than just another watercolor doodle. I hope you like it!