I have always dabbled in all kinds of art and creativity. But several years ago I took a watercolor class from a wonderful instructor in our local art store. I had tried watercolor on my own but never quite got the results I was hoping for. However, in Esther Chang's class we all became empowered to conquer the wash. I really felt I had found my medium and loved every minute of the discovery of color and technique.
While shopping for groceries the other day, I came across the current issue of PaintWorks. The cover feature was a sunflower painting by Debra Henkener done in watercolor. Inside were step-by-step instructions for the painting process and colors used. With my love for sunflowers, I decided this would be a great project to get me back on track and get my brushes wet again.
The instructions called for 'toning' the paper with a wash before painting the flower and leaves. Then the background is painted in deeper tones after the flower is finished. This process intimidates me a bit because I always feel like I am going to mess up that background and ruin the whole painting. But one thing I have discovered with watercolor is that it is not quite as unforgiving as one might think. You can coax and adjust even after the paint is dry. It requires patience and a light touch, but you can add color and blend and lift till you get the results you want. I love the look of watercolor paintings where the artist just lays the color down and goes with whatever 'happy accident' occurs. And I would love to be that free and uninhibited - but that is just not in my genes! :)
It was a good project to renew my enthusiasm for the medium. And I found if I come down to my studio first thing each morning and work at it a little bit each day, I can find the time for what I love. That is one of the wonderful things about watercolor - you can find a stopping point and then come right back to it the next day.
Here is my finished painting:
As always, thanks for stopping!