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!

Advertisements

30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week two

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).

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.

8. Feather

This painting ended up being a little overworked because I still wasn’t practiced with determining when the painting is the right level of wet/dry for what you need (I’m still not!). But, I had fun trying and the colour mixing was just about perfect, thanks to Payne’s Grey (a personal favourite).

9. Flowers

I just needed a day of playing with all the beautiful colours in my palette and doing something easy. Bonus gold dots!

10. Somewhat abstract sunsets, 2 versions

I wanted to play with colour fields again. I was also starting to think about ideas for an upcoming beginner rug hooking class with Fern School of Craft (I won’t be using these as they’re bigger and more complex than I wanted).

11. A continuation of the abstract sunsets, 3 versions

More playing with sunsets and colour. I think that this one would make a cool quilt.

12. Aster and forest litter (and close-ups)

I’m in love with the aster, not so much the forest litter painting. But, asters are one of my all time favourite flowers and I love the picture this one was based on.

13. Lemon plants

I started some lemon plants last year, and they’re still alive! On this day, I just felt like doing something simple and cheerful.

14. Rocky edge of Lake Louise, AB, 2 versions plus a practice page

Oh the irony. My practice piece is where I did my favourite rocks. I don’t dislike my final piece, but those rocks were tough. I’m still struggling with finding the perfect wet/dry points wen painting and I don’t know if that’s because I’m impatient/distracted or because it’s dry where I live or because this paper isn’t ideal. But, I still enjoyed the efforts and the turquoise water (Wanderlust Watercolour’s turquoise was perfect – no colour mixing required).

***

I was struggling for a few days, which is why I allowed myself to do some really basic, quick and messy abstract sunset pictures. I’m really bad about sticking to challenges and decided to doing something easy was better than quitting. And, I’m glad I gave myself this freedom because this marks the halfway point and I still have some great ideas and I still want to see this challenge through tot he end.

30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week one

I’ve been participating in Marc Taro Holmes’ 30×30 direct watercolour challenge. This a round-up of the paintings I did in the first seven days.

I started with a few pictures based on or inspired by pictures from my family’s cottage, but I also did a number of abstract style paintings. I’ve had a several days where I’ve completed more than one painting, so there’s more than 7. You can see them and, where applicable, the reference photos on Instagram.

I should note that I have no training in watercolours. So, while some of the paintings are surprisingly good (to me, anyway), I’m using this challenge as a means of learning, practising, and playing with watercolours.

1. The tail end of a sunset in the winter

This challenge started on a high note. While not perfect, I’m really pleased with this painting.

2. The silhouette of grasses with the early evening sky as a backdrop

To be honest, I just wanted to try the clouds I did in the first painting again.

3. The reef at the beach on an overcast day

So far, this is my favourite painting. I love it, love it, love it. I’m so proud of this painting. It’s a sandbar (bottom) and reef (which partially emerges when the tide is low).

4. (a) Pyramids (abstract) and (b) river running through a forest (abstract)

The pyramid started as a completely different idea, but a mistake ruined that plan. I happened to be watching a The Nature of Things episode about pyramids (video), so I changed my plans. The second painting was just an excuse to play with colours and salt (that’s how you get that cool effect).

5. Seaweed and stone

All those little pebbles? They took more patience than I had that day. But, I’m really glad that I persevered because the final piece is exactly what I’d expect to find in between the sandbars at my family’s cottage.

6. Water and sandbar (abstract)Water and sandbar (abstract)

I did this painting as an exercise in colour blocking after watching a video about the colour field art technique by ARTiculations (video).

7. Tulips

Tulips. Bright yellow, delightful tulips. This painting was a bit of a fail (it’s fine, but not what I was hoping for), but it’s still nice. It’s also the first of my paintings done with the Wanderlust Watercolour mixables palette, which has become my primary paints for this challenge.

***

I’ve been enjoying the challenge, especially because I allowed myself a lot of freedom with regards to subjects, techniques, and sharing paintings that aren’t “perfect” (I struggle with accepting imperfect art, which is a big part of why I quite making art for a very long time ).

Water brush pen

I recently discovered the existence of what may well be one of the coolest art tools I’ve seen in a while : the water brush pen (a.k.a. watercolour brush, watercolour pen, etc.). I haven’t done much watercolour, but I plan on taking a class in the new year to learn the basics so I’m always checking out the tools and I think this tool is brilliant. You can take it anywhere and all you need to do it wipe it off in between colours. You can also put water-based inks and paints in the barrel, use it to fix crafts in not-yet-fired clay pieces, etc. So, I bought one (then another and then discovered that one came with the watercolour paint set I bought) and decided to play with it a bit while procrastinating and not doing chores. All of the below projects are done on small pieces of watercolour paper meant to be used as artists trading cards (cute idea, but for the record, it’s cheaper to buy and cut your own paper to size).

Love in progress First I pulled out my watercolour pencils and added various pinks, purples, blues and greens in the background. I then used the water colour pen to write “Love” on the card.

 

 

 

Love

Hello in progress

Next, I used my fountain pen (in which I only use water-based inks) and Parallel pen (see this post) and drew on a card. I then wrote a fancy “hello” on the card.

 

 

 

Hello

Lastly, I used the watercolour pencils to draw a sun and used the water colour pen to soften lines and make a circle patterns along the dark yellow sun rays.

Sun

Sun close-up

It was fun and I look forward to playing with my water colour pens some more.