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If you follow me anywhere other than here, you probably already know that I’ve been learning how to watercolor paint. Well, I also decided that I am going to draw or paint something everyday for the next year. 365 whole days. So far I’ve done good. I mean, I am only a week into it, but still. I’ve kept up. I’m so excited about it that I am going to do weekly updates on here. I don’t know for sure how it will evolve and what I will include yet, that may change over time, but I really just want to share what I learn over this project. I also started a new Instagram page so you can follow along with all of my painting journey and future (possible) Etsy shop. To read more on that go alllllll the way to the bottom.
Winsor and Newton Canton Sketchers Pocket Box I love this set, it’s small and great for travel, but has a limited color selection, I have the one with 12 half pans. Some colors are easy to mix, but I can’t get a good purple with it, so i ordered another set with 48 colors for a little more variety. I’ll update on that once I get it.
Canson watercolor paper I like this paper so far. It’s 7×10, so a little smaller than regular paper. Just make sure if you plan on doing a lot of watercolor to get 140 pound paper. If you will be doing a little and more drawing, mix media paper is good, too, that’s I think 90 pound. The heavier the paper the less it will buckle after water has been applied.
Paint mixing palette – I got a cheap one at Michael’s, but the lid of your paint tray would work fine, too. It took a little getting used to mixing the watercolors on the palette, but I finally got the hang of it.
Mason jar – I just use an old one for my water to clean my brush. Any old jar will work.
Artist’s Loft Roma Round Brush – Mine is this brand, but I think a #6. It’s the only one I have and it’s worked well so far. If you plan on doing a lot of large washes (getting a lot of the paper wet to apply color, like for a sky) at once, get a bigger flat brush. Trust me, it would be way easier with one.
Paper towel – This is just to wipe the brush off between color.
Sakura Micron Fine Liner – I just got new fine liner pens and love these. There are 9 sizes, including a brush pen, so you can do all kinds of stuff. I don’t use them on every painting, but I have for a few and for my regular drawing.
Classes I’ve taken
Day one was an easy one and paint free. I did the botanical line drawing class for cactus and succulents. It was fun and easy with lots of wiggle room for creativity on the pot styles which can be pretty fun. I love cactus, so I thought this was a good one to start with. A few of them, especially the aloe vera and zebra plant, were pretty bad, so I did a couple of them and definitely saw improvement.
The second day I decided to tackle the tropical leaves class. I had been eyeing it for a while and finally took the plunge. I was a little worried since I only have two greens, but I did it anyways. I mean. I’m not entirely sure on how to blend and mix colors anyways. The banana leaf turned out pretty good, but some of the others are pretty wonky. I’ve never been great at drawing things symmetrically.
I also did a few practice coffees from the top. Even at day eight (as I write this) I haven’t done a coffee from the from yet.
Today I didn’t do a class, but I used my new found cactus and succulent drawing skills and did a little collection of them that I filled in with my watercolors. I got a little creative and mixed my greens together making the perfect saguaro color. I was also really impressed with how my snake plant turned out. The pots could have been a little better, but I wanted purple and the only one I can mix is a grayish purple, not very vibrant.
When I was doing the tropical leaves class I didn’t have the room for the monstera leaf, so I waited a could days and did a big one. I was surprised at how well it turned out. I’m finally getting the hang of adding and removing color for some variation and texture. I also drew some croissants as part of another class, but saved the cookies for the next day. It was a good day, the croissants were adorable, if a little wonky at first, but they improved with each one.
Today I did some cookie sandwiches with chocolate filling. These went surprisingly well, too! I’m definitely starting to get the hang of blending colors and glazing and all that good stuff. I haven’t finished this class yet, but definitely will be. It includes more complex cookies and croissants. I just got through the basics. I also took a shot at a giant yellow donut with no instruction. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible for my first try. I would have liked it better with pink frosting and more colored sprinkles, but I can’t make pink, so I’ll try again when I get my new set.
I just did some floral element practice today, like different types of flowers, leaves, sticks, vines, that sort of thing. These could definitely use some work and will be more fun with other colors as well. I haven’t really combined elements yet, but will definitely give wreaths and bouquets a shot.
I know, I know. It’s too early for this according to some people, but today I did Christmas element practice. Things like holly berries, more sticks, mistletoe, Christmasy leaves, lights, ornaments, all that good stuff, of course accompanied by Christmas music. Don’t worry, I switched to Halloween shortly after and am now in full spooky mode, skeleton hand hair clips and all!
I’ll be doing weekly updates like this, and hopefully get them out on Sundays (or maybe Mondays, we’ll see.) I’m also thinking of opening up an Etsy shop with some fun little watercolor prints and garlands and things. I would love to hear the sort of things you would be interested in seeing. Individual paintings? Sets of three? Fun garland for the seasons? Seasonal paintings? Halloween stuff? Christmas stuff? I would love to hear some feedback, and don’t worry, what I’ve been thinking of and practicing for this has turned out better than some of these pictures. This was just the first week!