Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Let's Paint!

I am a self titled amateur artist. Maybe I shouldn't call myself amateur though because most of my work shows rudimentary skill, but nevertheless, there are moments where I end up impressing myself and that's what counts, right? Anyway, it's been over a year when I sat down and wrote in my to-do-list that I had to go buy myself a sketch book, which I hadn't. To make things more serious, I ended up writing "buy a sketchbook" for one of my 2016 resolutions! So this week, I finally went out to buy a sketch book and try being a little creative.

When I start a project, I treat it like a project. First things come first: gather the materials. For water painting, the materials you need are obvious and not so obvious, like

sketch book
water paints
paint brushes
paint pallet
water cup

Now let me reiterate. While I do call myself an amateur, I am not exactly an amateur. For example, water paints have been my only paint medium and yet I didn't know anything about wetting the paper, taping it to a surface or washing and creating a background. I only found these out very recently (like several hours after filling up the first page of the sketch book). So now the list adds to

hard surface/cardboard
washing brush

My style of work is how I usually go, first I chose my art. For this trial page, I went through my instagram feed and picked the Georgia Aquarium post from the summer of 2015. It was simple enough to draw a clown fish.

Photograph from my instagram: thelunardescent
While I drew the clown fish, I also checked out a couple of water painting videos from Youtube. The most helpful video I found was this one, which talks about types of washes.So I applied the principles of the video to the clown fish. The technique I went for was gradated wash, which involves painting successive strokes down the wet area to create a fade effect. As you can probably see, it worked well for the orange (vermilion) but not that well for the blue.

I also painted in the white stripes with white paint because the paper itself has a yellowish hue. Another thing to be noted is that I painted the clown fish first and the background later, so that could be the reason for the imperfection. Nevertheless, I am really proud of the orange effect. I tried to reproduce it, but it seems like I need more practice, half of my attempts of replication were not satisfactory.

Are any of you interested in watercolors? If you've painted before and have tips for improvement or helpful tips in general, be sure to share! 'Cause sharing is caring. :D Have a nice day!

The pictures I used in this post were taken with my camera. It's really old (8.1 megapixels) so if the pictures don't seem very high quality as compared to the previous iPhone photographs, please let me know in the comments! Thank you!


  1. Watercolours have such a nice effect to them, and that gradation on the orange is really beautiful! It's funny isn't it, that sometimes you can do something really well the first time you try it, and then all the times after that, when you try to do it again, it seems harder and harder to get it right. I wonder why that is? But I love your clownfish!

    1. Thank you! I really love the water paint effect but it does get very frustrating if you can't seem to duplicate it!

  2. Looks good! You kind of guided me through which was awesome. I want to try water Colors too now!

    1. I'd love to see what you do! You're already so talented with painting sea shells!

  3. I now expect a homemade postcard with a watercolor animal on it in my mailbox :P

    x Envy
    Lost in Translation

  4. That's so good. I probably can't even draw a fish with a pencil.

    But I'm still thinking of starting painting, coz its looks fun. Since i have no previous experience with it, do you think I should take classes?

    1. Painting is a lot of fun! The main point of painting should be to relax and to be creative!
      Personally, I say don't take classes. Just experiment with paints and paper and brushes and focus on having fun!


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