Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Watercolor Painting

So, due to a recent promotion at work the size of my office has doubled.  I had a little office that was very packed with colorful decorations that now seem dinky on my new, very blank walls.  There's a little corner of the office that is really only visible to me or those who want to come all the way in and across the room.  I wanted something inspirational there and I thought of the perfect thing for it:  a custom piece of art with one of my favorite song lyrics.

A little over a year ago Jenny Simmons came to an event at my church.  She was the lead singer of the band Addison Road and later went solo.  There is a song of hers called "What Faith's About" off of her album The Becoming that poses a great question:  "what if I jump and I find I was always made to fly?"  Good stuff.  That fits my philosophy on life pretty well.  I'm still reasonably cautious but certain events in my life and especially my health have taught me to do the things that scare me.  No regrets, all that jazz.  This line is a great reminder of that.

I've never been much of a painter and realized I didn't actually own any watercolors but that was the vision I had in my head.  I bought a 28 color palette at Michael's and it was the perfect amount for a blended sunset design.

I started by sketching out where I wanted things but my inexperience soon showed me that wet pencil equals smears of gray throughout the watercolored portions.  It was too late for the parts I had painted by I quickly snapped this picture and erased it all. 

I wanted to mimic a sunset in this piece so that's why so many colors came in handy.  I'm not much of a painter so it's hard for me to say, "now step one you will..." because that's not how it works.  Sure, there are some general principles such as "start with the lightest color" and "keep painting blend the colors so it won't look stripe-y" but other than that it's so loosey-goosey and free form.  Go with it.

You can still see the word "find" in the middle of the canvas (that's where I started painting because I remembered enough to know you start with the lightest color first while your water is still fresh and clean!).  With enough layers of paint most of the penciled in portion faded away.

I went back over the paint about an hour later.  I should have waited overnight but I have NO PATIENCE when it comes to finishing projects.  I sketched the words (I liked the earlier placement better but oh well) and the figures.  Then, I used a black paint pen and wrote over all of the words.  I later repeated this step to make them look more even as well as bolder. 

For the drawings I wasn't sure what I was going to do until the moment I picked up the pen and went for it.  I didn't want to paint them in because then they'd look cartoony.  I had more of an abstract version in my head and I was thinking "gray."  I didn't have gray but I did have a Sharpie paint marker.  It fizzled out quickly so I traded it for a silver Sharpie marker.  It worked splendidly. 

I've never been strong in my cursive writing so if I could change anything that would definitely be it.  I'd probably get a little more creative with the placement so it didn't read so jarringly.  My favorite part is how the colors blended together so well.  Love, love, LOVE that! 

Watercolor is a very entry level version of painting that is very forgiving and very relaxing.  What will you create?


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