Month: January 2021
Watercolor 365 – Daily Tips, Tricks & Techniques
Today, I visited my local Art and Craft shop, Eckersleys Art & Craft to spend a gift voucher I received for Christmas.
When I receive a gift voucher I always like to buy something memorable. It would be easy to spend it on more paints etc but those paints get used up and there’s nothing really left to show for spending the voucher.
Whilst surveying the shelves in the Art shop, I came across a book called, “Watercolor 365 – Daily Tips, Tricks & Techniques” by Leslie Redhead.
Buying any sort of ‘How To’ book can sometimes see us buying things we’ve already bought. They are so many books out there about Watercolour, when one buys a book, often the same material is conveyed, albeit sometimes in a different way.
Upon closer inspection I found that the ‘Tips, Tricks & Techniques’ contain:
- 52 Mini step-by-step instructions
- 52 Q & A’s
- 52 Troubleshooting tips
- 52 Bits of creative advice
- 52 General tips
- 52 Definitions
- 52 Exercises
I was impressed enough to buy the book. It looks very interesting and in viewing the book there are a quite a lot of things that I didn’t know (I’m not a full-time Artist). I believe I am going to enjoy using this book to help me in my Watercolour journey. Thank you, Leslie for producing this book. 🙂
Written by David Johnson
24 January 2021
Warmth Of The Sun
Sometimes along a journey you wonder whether you are improving or not. I remember this happened with Toastmasters early on. I was going along to meetings, writing, rehearsing and giving speeches, taking on roles etc and after three months, I wondered it was having an effect?
A colleague I worked with at the time suddenly said one day, ‘David, you are appear to have greater confidence these days, what’s the secret?’ I knew then that going to Toastmasters had started to affect me in a positive way.
With my Watercolour sketches I have wondered the same thing, although it is easier in one way to gauge improvement as I have tangible evidence in the form of previous Watercolour sketches.
During lockdown last year I did 120 YouTube tutorials in a row and occasionally, I do more. One of the ways I am trying to gauge improvement is to go back to a tutorial but not actually ‘do the tutorial.’
Instead, what I do is sketch the image and do the painting without watching the tutorial. This way, I am trying to gauge what I can do without the step-by-step instruction to see how close I can get to the one I did when I did the tutorial.
Today’s Watercolour sketch (Day 727) is an example of that. I did the tutorial (Nil Rocha Art) back on Day 500. I have added a couple of shrubs and there are some other elements which I have changed but I am pretty happy with the result. I would love to reach the skill level of the tutorials. More practice required!
I’m happy with my progress with Watercolour in general and with Line and Wash, however, I am looking forward to the time I can do a face-to-face Watercolour course with a professional. I was due to start a 10 week course like this when Covid hit.
I’ve been using Winsor & Newton Cotman Half-Pans for over two years now. I’m thinking that maybe it is time to jump to Artist quality paints and have purchased a set of Primaries.
Still have so much more to learn. Still having so much fun! 🙂
Written by David Johnson
23 January 2021
Day 706 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day
Back on 26 January 2019 when I started this ‘Daily Art Practice’ I could never have imagined that I would do it for 30 days straight, let alone 706…
I have no ‘lofty number goal’ in mind, I just aim to do ‘a sketch a day.’ Mostly, they are done upon rising, sometimes during the day and, less often at night these days. I believe it’s a great way to start a day.
From very early on it was like a form of meditation for me. I also wanted to learn the Watercolour and the Line and Wash mediums and was frustrated that I was only getting to do a sketch every 1-2 weeks because I thought, ‘that I didn’t have time…’.
We often think that, ‘we don’t have time’ for things. Often, when they become a priority, we do have the time.
I was asked a question recently in one of Art groups I’m on Facebook. ‘What is the one thing that you have learnt so far?’ My answer was that, ‘I have learnt that I have still so much to learn.’
Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about this more and I feel that I could add some more answers to that question for the answer is more than, ‘just one thing’ so here goes…
- It appears that I am in the process of developing a style or two
- Favourite subjects to sketch and paint are starting to appear
- From tutorials (especially) I am learning all sorts of wonderful colour combinations
- Prior to embarking on this daily art practice, painting shadows were a weak point for me (still have a way to go with them but I’m improving)
- The practice is encouraging me to ‘go outside my comfort zone’ in terms of subject matter and technique
On top of this it is building my confidence in sketching and painting. When I was a child I wasn’t very good at sketching, drawing or painting. I’ve dabbled over the years and my last real attempt (at sketching) before now was back in the early 90’s but as ‘Photography was King’ in my life it didn’t get much of a ‘look-in.’
Prior to lockdown I was about to do a 10 week Watercolour course which was, of course cancelled so during lockdown I did a YouTube tutorial for 120 days in a row. I’ve subscribed to two artists, Nil Rocha Art and Peter Sheeler. I would highly recommend both.
Recently, I started going back and re-doing some of the subject matter in the tutorials but without doing the actually tutorials as I want to see how much I’ve learnt and how I am applying it to the subjects.
Below are a few examples from the last 300 days:
Looking forward to Day 707 and beyond!
Written by David Johnson
2 January 2021