Slowly But Surely

One of the reasons why I want to learn watercolors is because I love seeing those soft, misty-looking, loose, suggestive watercolor paintings that other artists create. You know the kind I’m talking about, I’m sure. Quiet little scenes with gentle colors, vague images, and whispers of stories to tell. There’s a soft, barely-there feeling about these paintings, and they always leave me breathless.

Each time I see such a painting, I think, “This is the kind of art I want to create,” but my previous attempts at watercolor left me shaking my head. I’d come to the conclusion that I could never learn to loosen up and paint the way I truly wanted. I told myself I just didn’t have that artistic vision required to see and know how to create such quiet scenes.

I’m still not there. I have a long way to go, but step by step, I think I’m finding my way.  I know my colors are still heavy-handed, my brushstrokes still too bold, my finished painting still too noisy and rough, but if you look, maybe you’ll be able to tell where I wanted to go with this, maybe you’ll get a sense of what I was trying to do with this watercolor painting.

Slowly But Surely (2)
Looking over the Water

No, it’s not a breath-taking thing of beauty and wonder, but it is, I think, a hopeful sign of things to come. Slowly but surely, I’m learning how to put these unpredictable paints on the paper, how to guide them toward the images I want them to become, how to use them to create illusions.

I’ve got a long way to go, but I think I’m moving in the right direction.


    1. Thanks. Sometimes things seem to work out. At other times… well, there’s a most coming up soon about the times when things don’t work out. It seems to be one step forward, and two steps back with watercolors. Whenever I think I’m making progress, along comes a real fiasco. LOL Maybe that’s part of the unpredictability of the medium.

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  1. Looks misty and full of light and mystery. Have you heard of Frank Clarke and his Simply Painting watercolor instruction? Clarke’s show is on PBS. He uses something he calls “Have Some More Fun”. That stands for horizon, sky, middle ground and foreground… if I remember rightly. Watching him is sort of like watching Bob Ross. I always wonder where he is going with his process, and then whall-la, he’s there. It is fun to try, even if you only have kid watercolors, or even experimenting with watercolor pencils. I only have air tv, so catching any show on a regular basis is hard, but I stop and watch whenever Ross, Clarke and others like them are on.

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    1. I hadn’t heard of Frank Clark’s program, so when I read your comment I did a quick Google search. He has lots of tutorials online. I will have to check them out. I was hoping for a little mist and mystery in my painting, and it turned out better than some I’ve done. I’m still working on getting the effects I want. Sometimes I think I’m getting closer, and then other times, my watercolors just turn out awful! Thanks for the tip on Clark.

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