Water, water

Water and skies are what I’m working on.   Rolling waves are something I’d love to try, but I feel like I need a larger block of time to attempt it…..maybe this weekend.

4 1/4
4 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ Arches 140# CP

Anyway, I’m enjoying the journey! One thing I will say is that Arches 140-lb. cold pressed paper (I’ve not tried the 300 lb. yet) makes the road a LOT smoother and more manageable for this beginner.   I feel like “allowing” myself to paint on good paper really accelerated my progress to the point that it was well worth the cost.   (There are real bargains to be had at Blick.)    We’re worth it! (I’m thinking of that old L’oreal commercial….)  Colors brought to you by M. Graham:  quin rose, cad yellow, alizarin crimson, perm. green, phthalo blue; bit of wn rose madder

I also think that working without a fixed end result in mind really helps with watercolor. I’ve learned to expect happy accidents and twists in the road, instead of being surprised or put off by them.  I think that painting every day is helping my confidence so that when those twists and turns come, I have a better idea how to manage them.    I’ve also learned to really be happy with what the paint decides to do on its own (it’s often much better than whatever I had planned anyhow).    The best part is that I may love watercolor painting now, halfway through my July “challenge” month of painting every day, more than I ever did before.   A nice bonus.   And that’s the last of my pre-torn small pieces of paper!

What’s that Rod Stewart song from the early 90s?   I’m thinking of the line:  “Where the ocean meets the sky, I’ll be sailing….”   Happy Friday Eve, fair skies and refreshing cool breezes to all. Peace.

48 thoughts on “Water, water

    1. Tiny piece of paper plus little time to paint = minimalist painting. I’m starting to think it’s not so good, trying to paint something new every day. I think painting daily is a great habit but if you have less than an hour every day to do it, how good can it be, really? I feel like I need to reevaluate. I appreciate your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It does take lots of energy but now that all the little pieces of paper are used ( other than some of the backs, which I usually use too), I feel like I need to go bigger. It takes time to paint larger (obviously) so maybe what I need to do is work on part of a larger painting daily. I’m also wondering about the wisdom of blogging every day. That in itself takes lots of time. I enjoy it but I wonder if it’s too much time spent there also that could be spent painting.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Laura, your watercolours are really just getting better with each post. Due to unforeseen circumstances I’m closing my blog today. I wish you all the best in your art journey and keep the collaborations going x Inari

    Like

  2. This is so sweet and striking. I love how the sail boat looks like it is bobbing along. I tried a couple landscapes yesterday – harder than they appear, yet really fun and freeing! You are so right about the paper. I am thinking I need to invest in good paints. I only have some beginner stuff. Wondering if it might make a huge difference? Seems like many so it will. I also agree with not really having a specific end game in mind. I know when I try to make something exact, I fail. If I just start blank it let it flow, it usually turns out so much better. Not great mind you – but better. I wish sometimes I could paint all day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t we all? I’m glad you like this one. I’m starting to get frustrated with the amount of time I have to paint, but I guess it’s good to have daily time at all. No end in mind is good, I think it’s great for watercolor. Good for you for trying landscapes! I think having artist quality paint matters but not nearly as much as good paper. I had good paint and was using cheap paper until I saw the results you were getting with the good stuff and decided to actually use the good paper I had already bought. Was dumb to just have it sitting around and not being used anyhow! So I’m glad you inspired me to do that because I’d still be sitting on that paper probably. Good brushes are also key. I think brushes and paper are way more important than paint. Student grade paint is fine, you just have to use more of it. So in the end the artist quality may be less expensive. I highly recommend following the Frugal Crafter’s advice re M Graham paint. Blick has great prices and it is sooooo juicy and vibrant and wonderful and rich. You will love it. But maybe get a tube each of a bunch of different artist quality brands and see what you like best! I think she was dead right on the paint, I just wish I had not taken her advice re the paper. I wasted lots of time trying to get good results on bad paper. I got ok results but then when I switched paper, it was like learning all over again because it behaves totally differently. I didn’t know that going in. I would get sable brushes and good paper and buy artist grade paint as you see colors you love. Maybe start with ultramarine blue, or cobalt blue, azo or lemon yellow and alizarin crimson. That’s my advice. I hope it helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Laura – great advice. I was “chatting” with David Tripp last evening via comments on his blog. He is so talented. He discussed brushes. I looked up the one he LOVES and it is $300! So would love to find a good brush and see what different it makes, but not sure I am ready to invest that kind of money. Any alternate suggestions on brushes that are good, but not quite that pricey? I have two vacations coming up in the next month, so probably not going to be investing until Fall.. 😦 Wish money was unlimited LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sable brushes are expensive. But most beginners don’t start with big paintings. They start with small paper and smaller brushes. Check out isabey kolinsky sable brushes at Blick. I have a 6 round, a 2 round and a 1/2″ flat. I have other brushes too but they are synthetics which means they’re much cheaper. Smaller brushes are not nearly as expensive. The prices change with the availability of the hair but you can always find Blick online coupons to get discounts. He paints very large and so his brush is probably very big and yes that would cost a lot. That’s my two cents.

          Liked by 1 person

                1. I’m no expert but imo you cant go wrong with a 6. And keep in mind it’s Blick so if you dont like anything you order, you can always return it, no questions asked. Make sure you give it a good gentle wash when it arrives to get the sizing out of it. Warm water and gently swish in your palm till its nice and soft. They are wonderful brushes! Good luck!

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the colors. I know I don’t comment everyday, but I soooooo look forward to your surprises each morning. Your artwork gets my day going. You are such a blessing! 😇

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I do draw and paint every day, but not with an added pressure of a time frame. Because other life does get in the way sometimes. Let your passion guide you, added pressures can ruin the fun! I hope that helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not a landscape artist. Maybe one day. I work in sketchbooks with good quality paper each day. So maybe another option would be to find a watercolor sketchbook for daily paintings. I have just recently purchased 2 new brushes – 12 & 16 – Escoda Versatil Synthetic brushes. The 12 is a travel brush. I went big to focus on the shapes and to leave out the details. Both were about $30 US. I agree with you good quality paints, brushes and paper put you ahead and so does daily practice. You are on a good path!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carmel, I think you make great points. I did just place a large paper order and the nice thing is I can tear those big sheets down to any size. I do have a high-quality watercolor sketchbook that I’ve been saving for traveling (and hopefully I’ll be a better painter by then). Good suggestion re the larger brushes too. I did just buy a couple brushes by the same brand, I think. One is a squirrel and the other I believe is a sable synthetic blend. They were recommended by Shari Blaukopf for her Craftsy landscape painting class I signed up for. They did help me loosen up my skies but they’re so large that I’ve not been using them lately. I think they’re really helpful though, for looser work.

      Like

        1. Well, actually painting water would be a start. Not sure why water puts me off. And reflections. And I need to go up in size. But time is limited. And I don’t want to post an “in stages” painting every day. Oh, so many things. Do you struggle with water too, or have you conquered it?

          Like

          1. What’s wrong with posting in stages? How about doing your quickie “every day” pieces and have something set aside that you build up and then show, ta da, when done? This way, you can take your time with it. Experiment with water. Every water painting is different based on what you want to achieve. Learning a basic technique for water to use any time can be helpful if you want to do it that way. I am not a master of anything, I don’t think – always learning!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. A basic technique for water would be good. Do you have any links or books or videos that were helpful for you? I feel like I’ve watched dozens of tutorials and looked at tons of books. I’ve only connected with a couple of the videos, and doing those techniques would mean going up to a larger painting. So I’ve been resisting those. My “seascape sketch” post from several days ago I kinda liked, and that was quick, but the water wasn’t great. And I basically copied that from a painting I saw in a book. I feel like I need to come up with my own compositions and that feels like a leap right now. But I really want to learn how to bring the ocean onto the page. It’s something I’m so passionate about, and it believe that’s where any type of artwork should begin. It just seems like a very challenging subject. Maybe a still lake would be a better starting point? I just don’t know.

              Like

              1. My suggestion is just look at a lot of photos of water. Save the ones that appeal to you that you’d like to paint. Then without looking at them, paint from memory. Do a few small ones – still water, choppy water, water with reflections of sunset, etc. And then you will start to learn and feel more comfortable.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rachel, and there’s no doubt you’re right that it definitely makes me a better painter. I was fighting the other stuff all the time. I’d go one way with my brush, come back and paint was coming right back off. Very frustrating! I appreciate your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Arches 140lb cold-pressed and have stopped using any other paper…it’s very hard to go back to not so good paper…good luck with painting everyday- I did in March and was exhausted but very happy with my progress by the end of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another lovely watercolour painting – I love watercolour paints and wish I had more time to experiment with them. My goal this weekend, I think, is to do some art work – I find it so relaxing and therapeutic…

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you! Constructive criticism is most appreciated. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s