THE BE PROJECT, v2


watercolour cards / yet to be personalised. 



simple bicycle.  pinterest-inspired. 




frankie mag cover inspired 

Beginning is sometimes the hardest part: what will I paint?  How will I paint it?  What if it doesn’t turn out nicely?  My questions are pressed between ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ — if I do paint, I’ll end up with a half-decent watercolour but if I don’t my hour is likely to be unwisely wasted on social media.  But this morning, filled with sun, hot air, freshly-clipped grass, and silly laughter is a watercolour asking to be painted; it is a morning whispering put me on paper and show me to the world.


  I pull out Windsor and Newton watercolour paints, 5 paint brushes and fill a tea cup with lukewarm water. I store paintings, ideas, and images I find on the web in a folder on my macbook. This time I rummage through my folder and decide to paint a watercolour by Inslee; a few words come to mind when I see the painting are fresh, movement, sunshine, breezy, skirt and white.


I begin by evaluating the art:  what is it that gives life to the painting?   The movement in her dress and the red in her cheeks and her arm, slightly bent back.  The positioning of her feet — one in front of another.


 A few tips on getting started in watercolour:

Where?
  Preferably somewhere stable — your desk, the kitchen table, propped up on a comfy chair or even a bed with a sturdy tray or book to lean on.  Sometimes I watercolour outside, but the bugs and breezes (and occasionally the sun!) get in the way unless the weather is lovely.  Choose an environment you feel most relaxed in. 

When?  
I prefer painting in the morning or mid-afternoon when light is at its peak.  When golden light filters through the window (usually late afternoon), the light appears to change quickly and it is difficult to maintain a steady source of light. If you choose to paint in the evening, I suggest beginning your watercolour using indoor lighting then adding your top coat or finishing touches using natural light. 

What? 
Start simply.  A watercolour set (I suggest using one or both of the small sets by Daler and Rowney or Windsor and Newton) and and a few paintbrushes — small, medium, large.  Ink pens give watercolours a ‘finished’ look - they add dimension.  I recommend using a 0.1 (ultra-fine) and/or 0.3 nib.

How?
-- Study:  What in the scene, image, or object you are copying makes you excited?  What is accentuated?  Pick out those things and prepare to emphasise them in your painting.


-- Start with a rough sketch Mark the top and bottom of your painting, and make correct proportions: Is there any symmetry?  Parallel lines?  Sphere shapes?  Add them in.  Squint your eyes and look at what your copying, evaluating it from a distance.  If you glasses, take them off to get a blurry and basic viewing of the picture without all the details.  Begin broadly then dive into the details.

-- Don’t erase yet!  After you are done your rough sketch, begin erasing mistakes and extra lines.  

-- Before you watercolour, take an eraser and lightly erase everything you’ve drawn — just enough so that there are are faint lines for you to follow as you watercolour.  

-- Base coat:  Paint essential, base colours lightly over the paper’s surface or just inside your pencil marks. If you need to, use a damp Kleenex to blot away any excess paint.  Add shadows with a deeper version of colours you use.


-- Final coat; add extra dimensions using shadows and coats of light and dark paint.


-- Finishing touches; consider outlining in ink and adding any small details with your fine paint brush.  



Sometimes I begin painting rather reluctantly, but once I delve into the world called ‘creating’ I don’t stop.  There’s that constant tension between do and don’t — once I break the barrier and just do it, I’m beautifully at ease.  My tip for you today? The more you just do it, the more you paint, the more talented you become. Talent can be built if there is consistency.    So what are you waiting for?  Be artsy!  Go paint! 

watercolour essentials: Daler and Rowney watercolour, 0.1 ink pen, small, medium, large paintbrushes, and eraser. 



Hello friends!  Hope you enjoyed this week's BE project.  You can find my first post on 'simplicity' here.  I'd love to hear from you -- have you used watercolour before?  X

14 comments

  1. Emma D1.10.14

    LOVE this so much, Acacia!! Thank you for sharing and posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) :) So glad it helped, Emma!

      Delete
  2. Your watercolors are absolutely beautiful! Although I don't think I'd ever get serious with my dabbles in water-coloring, I think I'll use this as a reference whenever I get the urge to paint. ;) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Bethany! You're so kind. Of course -- enjoy, use, and share this post however many times you would like to. :) X

      Delete
  3. Oh, I've been looking forward to this post. I've been doing more with watercolour the last few months and I want to do even more. I've always adored your paintings and now I'm so excited to try out some of your techniques.
    Just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seeing your name (and reading your comment) in the comment section always puts a smile on my face! Thrilled you enjoyed the post -- and if you decide to watercolour, let me know! I'd love to see your work. X

      Delete
  4. This is so helpful.

    (Also, I just wanted to let you know that when I type in the new URL, it doesn't work...? Is it the wrong one?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jenny! So glad it is of help! Yes, I've had some maaaajor difficulties with my URL change :/ so I'm actually leaving the old one up for now. :)

      xxx

      Delete
  5. Thanks so much for this! I have always loved the look of watercolor and really want to get into it, so this post is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Your veryyy welcome, Emily! I'm really glad it inspires you to watercolour. <3 X

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing! I love watercolors and even though I'm not all that good at it, I still like to paint sometimes. I'll definitely be using your tips next time I pull out my paints! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't good at paining when I started, so keep at it and you inevitably will get much, much better. :) Thanks so much for stopping by! X

      Delete
  7. so beautiful! thanks for your comment. Following you on GFC. follow back?
    Follow me here if my GFC doesn't work: https://www.blogger.com/follow-blog.g?blogID=6294077772945374966

    http://juliaspuellaaeterna.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks darling! I followed you back! :) xx

      Delete