30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week three

I’ve been participating in Marc Taro Holmes’ 30×30 direct watercolour challenge. This a round-up of the paintings I did for days 8-14 (you can see 1-7 here and 8-14 here).

This week involved a lot of quick and simple paintings. You can see them and, where applicable, the reference photos on Instagram.

I should note that I have no training in watercolours. I’m using this challenge as a means of learning, practising, and playing with watercolours. And, I feel like I’m finally starting to get a bit more comfortable with the media and a bit better at understanding what went wrong, when mistakes happen.

1. Flowers

I wanted to do something quick, colourful and simple. Also, this is the mid-point and I was pretty impressed that I even made it half way.

2. Misty Mountain

This is based on a picture that Owen Perry shared on Instagram.  His photography is really gorgeous and this picture allowed for playing with monochromatic layers without having to think too hard.

3. Seagull on a roof

I picked this one because I thought it would be a good challenge. The bright sun on the right means that the side of the seagull’s body is bright white (no paint) and the rest of the body was tiny enough to need to practice good control. When I first posted it, I was disappointed in my shading, thinking that it made it hard to understand that the white was the bird’s sunlit body. But, in retrospect, I think a big part of the problem is that my sky is too pale.

4. Wheat and canola field

I mostly did this painting because I’m a bit obsessed with Wanderlust Watercolours’ lemon yellow and I’m always amused and in awe of the vibrant yellow of canola when in bloom. This might be one of my favourite paintings.

5. Anemone field

Oceana Canada is one of many organizations that I follow on Instagram. They’re an indie charity whose focus is restoring the health and abundance of our oceans. They also post lost of really great pictures of our beautiful oceans, including this one, which inspired the painting.

6. Not

Meh. I wasn’t in the mood to paint because of the heat and how tired I was (still am, as I type) of the heat. So, I was scrolling through my photos looking for something completely random, and this image I took with a microscope that attaches to my phone seemed like it could be interesting. Honestly, it’s not awful, but past me would never have shared it because it’s not great either. So, I guess, if nothing else, this challenge is helping me to post/share mediocre work, which is good for my perfectionist self.

7. Path

The first version of this was was awful. Just awful. But, I wanted to try it again, so I decided to throw myself outside of the box and do the green trees in this gorgeous, vibrant teal. I’m really pleased with the outcome!






  1. As someone who is experimenting with water color, I love seeing this. I especially like how you incorporated the white of the paper as a highlight into the seagull, I really need to try something like that.


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