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New Year, New Art Experiments

watercolour art experiments

It’s 2024 and I’m planning to spend a lot of time on new art experiments this year. I’ve been playing around with watercolour painting for a couple of months just for fun and, although I’m not terribly good at it yet, I’m trying all sorts of things and having a ball with it!

Why watercolours?

When I started designing greeting cards they all started as little doodles in a sketch book, which I scanned in, cleaned up and turned into card designs. Even my early custom cartoon portraits were done this way, which was a bit of a challenge when changes were needed…

Then a few years ago I treated myself to an iPad and started using a drawing app called Procreate and my Apple Pencil to draw digitally instead (which made it all soooooo much easier). Last year I discovered some ‘watercolour brushes’ in Procreate and started experimenting with those and this is what led to me overhauling a lot of my early designs.

This in turn eventually got me curious about actual watercolour painting again. I had dabbled a little with watercolours previously but never really took it seriously or made the effort to get any good at it.

My art experiments

Painting with watercolours is so much fun, but I’ve found it really unpredictable and have had some truly terrible results 🤣

I went to Norway in November, which is just the most beautiful place ever, and tried painting some of the gorgeous seascapes and sunsets I photographed but I am really struggling…

I seem to be ok when I’m following a specific tutorial, like the ones in Emma Block’s The Joy of Watercolour. These are a couple of the projects I’ve done from her book on the right.

The problems start when I try to paint on my own without any guidance…

I can draw an ink outline and ‘colour in’ with watercolour, like in the drawing on the left which I did for friends of their cottage, but whenever I try and use watercolours on their own they end up either looking messy or a bit wishy washy. Flowers are easier but still a bit hit and miss and I haven’t yet created anything I’m really proud of (or brave enough to show you here😆).

That said, I’m enjoying playing around so much anyway that I’m carrying on regardless. I really love the time I spend painting no matter what the end results. I guess an insightful kind of person might say it’s good for me to just enjoy the process regardless of the outcome 😁

Once I get the hang of it and produce a few paintings I’m proud of, I’ll start sharing some of my own watercolour art experiments here on the blog, but for now I’m just going to keep practising and having fun!

I hope you’re also planning to do plenty of something you enjoy this year – let me know on Instagram what you’ll be up to if you are…