After taking a long break from watercolor painting, I dove back into it and... well, in some ways it was like being a fish back in water! In other ways, probably more important ways, it has been tough. Whether it's being a little older, or simply being tired from working full-time with young children, I find myself less sure of what I'm doing. Comparing myself to others, or to myself years ago, questioning whether I'm spending my time wisely, whether I have actual skill, etc. Still - I've worked on it every single day. Painting, calligraphy, and experimenting with supplies have filled my evenings and as much of the weekends as I can set aside. Over time, I'm feeling a little more confident and bold, and have been sharing the work on Instagram and with friends and family.
What made the biggest difference, though, was simply sizing down! I remembered how much in college, I loved leaving the campus and painting outside somewhere. A little bit of the joy was the change of scenery, but mostly because I had a great excuse to use smaller paint palettes and little sketchbooks. Everyone around me was working on big canvases, and I loved huddling over something small, and focusing on details or composition. So, I bought a few small watercolor blocks (it's just so much easier than soaking and taping paper - details on what supplies I used are below) and have launched into a series of practice studies! (You can check out my post on 5 ways to get started with watercolor painting, too.)
Some I love, some I don't, they all helped me learn.
If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen a few of these! I'm sharing them as I go along, and have so much enjoyed the feedback and support from others! The artist community on Instagram is large, and very warm and positive.
Most of these are on 6"x9" watercolor paper, with some of them (like the one right below) on even smaller 4"x6" paper. Big enough to comfortably make brush strokes, but small enough there isn't a lot of pressure for things to be perfect.
I'm guessing I'll branch out bigger soon, but for now I'm very much enjoying making these bright and happy little paintings.
It is also a little obvious that purple is my favorite color. This weekend, I have plans to complete some Mon Voir style color studies and get out of my comfort zone a little bit, or at least find some new favorite blended colors.
Watercolor Supply List
Paints: Kuretaki Zig 24-Color Paint Set
A few of the paintings include just a tiny bit of table salt before they dried, to create a unique effect (including the painting below - you can see itmost on the leaves in the top left corner).
(background papers are from a local shop in Ithaca, NY, Mockingbird Paperie).
Photographing the paintings with some paper and little faux flowers I've collected was actually the most fun part, I think!
Thank you to everyone who has followed along and been so supportive as I've been sharing this work!
Is anyone else getting back into painting after some time off? Prefer working small vs. big? Have a secret collection of fake plants and flowers? I'm not ashamed of it!
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this blog!