Practicing Watercolor Painting

Between going through torture at the physical therapist’s for my frozen shoulder, yoga, doing laundry and sight seeing, I’ve been practicing painting. So much to learn about the play of color with water over the paper. I’ve just jumped right in with painting from photos I took.

Here is one based on a photo that I took in Annapolis, MD. I thought the flowers looked so lovely coming through the railing.DSC_0854 2DSC_0839 3

Although I was happy with my sketch, the colors seemed to compete with each other. Hmmmm, I must make sure to keep whatever is the main object to stand out more. Next, I worked from a photo of a butterfly in my garden.

Such a gorgeous butterfly and flower! So fun that they were in my garden. I’m wishing I had left more white paper on the page. Also, I want to learn to add more depth. But all that will come with practice! I may try painting from this photo again.DSC_0846 4

One of the classes here at the RV park was teaching about mixing colors. It only took part of a page, so I practiced some continuous line drawing. Without lifting my pencil, I drew the tulips, leaves and bottle that they were in. I was surprised that they turned out that well! Hand lettering is a challenge for me. I am so used to typing on the computer. Maybe if I slow down when I write and think of each letter as art too.DSC_0853 3

I thought I had purchased good watercolor paint, but at the art class, the teacher told me that I had student quality paint. They seemed good to me, but I decided that I wanted to experience some artist quality paint. After pricing tubes of paint at Michaels, I decided to purchase a small palette of pan paints. These will be great for using while traveling. And who knows how long I’ll stay with painting anyway! I had fun painting my palette and making a color wheel.DSC_0845 3

It seems challenging to find subjects for painting in our camper. I finally put some fruit on a plate along with our weird blue knife. I had it laid out just right and someone came along and ate some of the slices of orange! Took a bit of rearranging to get the composition the way I wanted again. I used the continuous line drawing method again and as I was drawing it I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to turn out well. But, look! I’m actually pretty pleased with it. I drew a decorative birdie that way too. Practiced a bit more on lettering.DSC_0848 3

I want to work on painting some everyday. But on this particular evening, I was very tired and couldn’t find anything in the camper to draw. I finally just doodled this and painted it. It was a blessing to write things I’m thankful for around the outside.DSC_0842 3

Finally, I’ve always wanted to paint on site or “plein air” as the art community calls it. Since I now have a little palette, I decided to jump in again and give it a go. John Ringling made his home in Sarasota, Florida and I find the mansion intriguing. What better subject to practice on then one with lovely colored windows?! I told Matt that it was quite intimidating to sit out in view of other people and paint. Very vulnerable. But what a way to learn. As I sat soaking in the bright sunshine, I became oblivious to whatever  was going on around me. Total absorption. A few people did come over to see what I was doing and they were sweet about it. Some day, I will be better at it….if I keep practicing!

You may enjoy another post about watercolor painting here and this one too!

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11 thoughts on “Practicing Watercolor Painting

  1. Pingback: Watercolor Journaling | Joyful Wonder

  2. You already have a very distinctive style and “voice” in your painting, so don’t be in too much of a hurry to change it all. Student colours are much better than they were, but my understanding is that they don’t necessarily have as much pigment (so you can’t get really dark darks) or really good lightfastness (so if you hang them on a sunny wall the colours will fade). They are easily good enough for a bit of bravura practising!

  3. Love seeing your paintings and reading your blog. I am enjoying seeing your work with water colors since this is the medium I am working in too. It is definitely different than acrylics or oils. I am learning as I go as well, and I loved reading about your experience with the paints and needing to get better ones. I had the same thing happen to me. I thought I was just really having a hard time getting back into painting, until an artist friend of mine told me it was the paints I was using. Got new paints, and VIOLA! a world of difference!
    Keep practicing (and I will do the same 🙂 )
    Looking forward to seeing what else you do~

    • It does make such a difference to have good quality tools in whatever you do! I was a bit frustrated because the first little palette I had I bought because I had read that Winsor & Newton were good paints. I didn’t realize that they make different qualities. Oh well. Live and learn, right?! I can’t wait to see your next painting!!!

  4. Very nice Janine!! I love the one with the flowers coming through the porch railing and of course, I like the birdie, too. 🙂 Watercolor paint is difficult to work with, but I can see that you are learning to master it. I enjoy seeing your artwork.

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