Monday, July 1, 2019

Watercoloring Again and More Art Shenanigans

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've recently become obsessed with watercolor painting again. Back in 2017, I decided to learn to watercolor paint. My biggest achievement and most progress was made during July of 2017 when I participated in the Daily Painting Challenge on Creativebug where we painted a new flower each day with Yao Cheng. I had a lot of fun that month, but shortly after that I kind of fell out of the habit. Maybe I was just all painted out after painting every day for a month? Mostly I know that my old problem of not knowing what to paint without having a prompt caused me to just stop painting. I hadn't really picked it back up since then (so sad), but back in June I started to become a bit obsessed again after discovering the work of Josie Lewis. She paints beautiful geometric designs in watercolor, and she put out a book teaching color theory through her designs, so I bought myself a copy. Then she restocked her limited edition watercolor palette in early June and I just had to grab one for myself since I love her chosen colors. 
 This is what came in my package - look at that awesome painting on the cover of the book! The book includes templates so you can recreate these types of paintings yourself, but before you get there it works you through other projects to build up your ability to mix the colors like she does.
 One of the first projects is to make a color value chart - I seriously always love color charts, so I was right on board. I cut some larger watercolor paper in half and printed out the template (which you can download off her website) on nice watercolor paper. I love the format and evenness the template gives and I love that I can see all the colors I can create with this palette at a glance.
I also had to just mess around with the pretty colors, so I painted these little amoebas. Look how vibrant these are! I just love it. I also love the little tin this set comes in - you can mix in the palette really easily and it all closes up very compact (you could easily fit it in your purse). Just bring along a water brush and paper and you're set.
And about a week later I was just messing around and came up with this little painting. I like it so much I made it the cover on my Facebook page, lol. This was before I got better brushes too, so I'm sure I will be playing around more now :) Princeton Neptunes - check. them. out. For real.
 All this playing around inspired me to pull out some other art supplies - acrylic inks! I grabbed these on major clearance and hadn't really used them at all until now. Their little bottles just look so cool and I thought they might work like watercolor (spoiler, they don't - big surprise, right?)/
Then I decided to keep the amoebas going by mixing my few acrylic inks to see what combinations I could get and test out the different looks I could get. The painting on the right is with acrylic ink. I will say that I was impressed with all the colors I could make with just my primary set and the metallics are fun but more designed for lettering, but they just don't have the zip and glow in the color that watercolor gives. They also dry more streaky unless you even it out completely yourself - I was used to the flow of watercolor evening itself out. So, I will certainly use these, I just won't expect them to be like watercolor now. I also decided to make a color chart for another palette - this is the Windsor & Newton Cotman 14 Pan Travel Set, which I do like, but some of the color choices are a bit odd. They include white, which I will probably never use, and the two reds included are so similar I don't really see what the point was there. But the glory of this set is that I can pop out the ones I don't like and replace them with any other half pans I would use instead, so I will be adding a neutral tint I've filled myself and then I'll have to decide on the other color. I LOVE the case on this though. It has several mixing areas, a tiny dish you could mix in or put a little water in to use as a wash, and it includes the most adorable little brush that also fits inside. I just love that everything is so contained and easily portable - plus it's just cute. This was another thing I got on major clearance, so I'm really happy with it for the money. Now I'm just glad I have the colors painted out in front of me for reference.
So, the Josie Lewis book includes lots of projects that are designed to ease you in to more complex color mixing projects. Having made a goal of working through the whole book, I decided to start with the very first one. It involved smooshing acrylic paint around with a palette knife, and it's definitely something I never thought I'd do, lol. It was pretty fun though, even if my color combo came out kind of Miami Dolphins looking. That pthalo green really takes over.
Another beginning project is a color value collage. I've never been one to do much collage, but again it was pretty fun. I used 2 fishing magazines, a crochet magazine, and some junk mailers because that's what I had on hand and I'm pretty happy with the result.
And just yesterday  decided to make color charts for my most used watercolor set - the Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 pan set. I bought this back in 2017 about halfway through the flower painting challenge and I really liked these for how vibrant they were compared to the total cheapo set I was using before. Since there were so many colors, I never did a proper color chart until now. Thanks to the templates in the book, every palette is my oyster as far as color charts go :) I will confess that as I do more watercolor I am less enamored of this set of colors, but they really are lovely so I'm glad I did this to reignite the spark and make me want to use these again. And just as a reference for anyone else out there that is considering getting this set, I've included some close up shots of each page so you can really see the range of colors included.

The final page does have a few extra colors thrown in because I have them in tubes and needed to see their value somewhere. The are Windor & Newton Artists' in Naples Yellow, Windsor & Newton Professional in Neutral Tint, and Windsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Spectrum Yellow. Anyway, I hope this helps someone out there :)

So thank you for enduring all my random art adventures of late! Seriously who knew making color charts and simple art projects with not much skill involved could be so much fun? I will be progressing through the Josie Lewis book throughout the year, so be forewarned that you will see more posts of my projects some time. I've included a link to the Creativebug class that helped me so much in case anyone is interested. Fall down this hole with me!

*contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!