Small Figurative Watercolor Studies
I promised a segue from the gel plate monoprint marathon, so here we are, painting small (quick) figurative watercolor studies at the kitchen counter.
But there are more gel plate prints coming, so be warned… I’m adding colored pencil to them this week. It’s noteworthy – to me – that one process informs the other.
Playing with watercolor yesterday conjured thoughts I had about light-to-dark and dark-to-light color play with monoprints. All art-making methods are intertwined with overlapping lessons.
Watercolor Links for You
- Do you know about watercolor dot cards? You can purchase tube watercolor pigment dot samples from various manufacturers, to “test” the colors with your paper, brushes, and existing palette. Here is an article from Daniel Smith about watercolor dot cards.
- Strathmore posted this essay listing seven tips for beginner watercolor artists, and I especially agree with tip #1 and #5.
- If you’re more inclined to paint little faces, rather than the entire figure, this post has some tips and tools for you.
- Joanna Barnam painted a colorful and expressive step-by-step figurative watercolor portrait for Daniel Smith.
- While pondering the unique challenges of drawing and painting the human form, I shared some of the things I struggle with in this post about arranging compositions in Figurative Watercolors.
Summertime in this part of the globe means more adventuring outdoors, more social time, and travel, which can bite into art-making. The projects I started over the past few weeks have been in small, episodic fits and starts, so my studio and tote bag are both stuffed with unfinished work. A lot of unfinished work.
I ardently prefer to finish each art project I start. Leaving things unfinished usually turns into months or years till I pick up that half-done painting or partially carved block. I usually swerve towards starting something new before tackling a partially started idea. I know this about myself, so I prefer to complete each project in one long creative pursuit. But that rarely works.
If I waited to find several open days to create something – with enough time and quiet to wrestle it all the way to finished, I’d rarely pick up a brush.
Wrapping my arms around barely-started art projects is a necessity for me in this life. People ask how I get so much done. I don’t. I work (very deliberately) in the small spaces tucked around dates and times on my weekly schedule. If life is tiled together, I’m making art in the grout lines around it.
All that to say, don’t wait for wide-open meadows of time to make your stuff. Squeeze your art in.
Draw at the kitchen counter during lunch. Sketch something on the couch after dinner. Paint a little watercolor from a scene through your window. If you don’t finish it in 18 months, so be it. You will have lassoed 30 minutes of arting for yourself, and that’s worth something.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S. Christine Nishiyama of Might Could Studios posted this thought-provoking essay about making time for art here.
I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.Frederick Franck