For my best friend’s birthday I bought her a Groupon for a watercolor class at Daniel Smith’s Artists Materials in Seattle. I’ve played with watercolors off and on with inconsistent results. What I learned today was the value of drawing out what you want to paint and if you’re not a sketch artist, use a pre-printed form and trace it onto your “canvas” with tracing paper. So today in class we made two daffodil paintings.
I like different things about both of these. I love the sharpness of the color on the left one. On the right I like the darker outline made with pushing the pencil harder on the tracing paper and I love the green that I made by mixing three colors. Most of all, I’m enthralled with artist grade watercolors. I’ve only ever worked with those dry little squares with anemic color (as our instructor called it). Real artists use tubes of watercolor paste that you can dilute and have far more intense colors (see the dark pink I added to the daffodils on the left.
Needless to say, I walked away with their $75 starter kit that includes 7 paint tubes, a book of 21 projects (including the daffodils) to trace and practice with and a card of 54 test colors among other accessories. If I get good enough, you might just see watercolors coming to my Etsy store some day. I have plans and ideas!!! For now I think I’ll make some gift cards (I’ve had pre-cut watercolor cards for years just waiting for something to be painted on them) and just practice my skills. All I need is some free time. I’m so looking forward to summer when I’m not working part-time teaching sewing classes after school and taking a literary fiction writing class. My time should be much more freed up for creative endeavors!