Watercolour Practice

Yesterday I mentioned that I’m taking a Domestika course by Ana Victoria Calderon – Modern Watercolor Techniques. Here are some of my first experiments with Watercolour from the lessons and practices in the first couple of units of the course.

I’m having a lot of fun with this, learning more about how watercolours work and what I like about them. It’s also about experimenting with mixing different media with watercolours to get different effects.

The blue flower was my first attempt at the exercise to create a painting in monochrome. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo, but in real-life I wasn’t happy with it; not because of the smudge around a leaf, but because I just didn’t get the range of transparencies and I was also heavy handed in adding the line details.

The sheet of purple-pink flowers was my attempt at retrying the exercise. I think it worked out worse than the blue flower. Seriously heavy handed outlining … not happy.

So, I thought I’d do a small panel of arches and fill them with line patterns. This is the one I’m most happy with, and the one I enjoyed doing the most.

So, I turned my attention to the next section of the course, which is about experimenting with colour and different media with watercolour. You can see the results in the large sheet.

I tried dropping watercolour into a circle of water, or into a circle of watercolour. I added salt or rice while to still wet circles. I tried dropping alcohol and blending solution into a wet area. I dotted metallic acrylic inks, metallic writing inks and indian ink into watercolour. I used metallic watercolour paints in different ways with watercolours too. I even tried some Distress Ink refil ink, both neat and diluted, to see how that would work. I also tried sprinkling Perfect Pearls mica powder onto a wet circle, as well as adding a wet mixture of Perfect Pearls into wet watercolour.

I made sure I noted down what I’d used to make the circles so I can replicate the effects later on – as much as watercolour will let you replicate anything. One thing I’m learning working in this way is that watercolour has a mind of it’s own! The results, while broadly the same, vary each time. I think that’s why it vexxes me so much.

Anyway, I really like the watercolour metallics with watercolour. So, I decided to create a small sheet of monochrome leaves using the same watercolour, but adding different colours to it as well as metallics. I absolutely love the way the metallics work with the wet watercolour! They spread in the wet areas in a most delightful way, and as they dry, the appearance changes, with the metallic becoming more and more visible. It’s quite magical!

I can see myself using watercolour art in the journal I’m making, maybe on cards, maybe in packs of ephemera for sale.

Journal making progress report

Talking of my journal, I found some folders containing gelly printed papers from a number of years ago. I used the PaperArtsy fresco paints, acrylic paints to create the prints. I even had papers I’d used to clean a brayer on in there, which are quite beautiful.

I’m going to make use of them in my journal. Not quite sure how yet. But before I use one, I’m going to scan it in to add to my digital background texture collection. That way I will be able to use them again and again.

This morning, I’ve been working a little on the journal. I’ve affixed some squared paper to the journalling cards on page 3. I’ve also added some little words here and there. I’ve created a journaling booklet that will live in the big pocket on page 4, though I messed up making this somewhat. I can always make another.

I’ve also been collecting together some quotes about art and creativity and I’ve printed them out, ready to add to cards and to the journal pages.

I’ve had quite a creative morning, that’s for sure.

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