Me and watercolour are not really the best of friends. I can use it, but unless I’m making pretty background papers for other projects, I’m rarely completely happy with the results. I know it’s just a matter of practice… one of these days… Which is kind of a long-winded way of saying that this is another one of those lessons that I like more in theory than practice. Or simpler still, the finished piece is not awful but I don’t love it.
It wasn’t helped by the instructor… minor whinge incoming.
This was the first of the Wanderlust lessons where I found myself wanting to skip ahead because of repetition — same instructions, different flower — not really adding anything to the hows and whys. And then there was the instruction to avoid using reference photos and draw or paint from your imagination instead. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, but it was immediately followed by her explaining how she started out by closely working from reference photos, then just had them to hand to check things, and finally disposed of them once she knew how to draw a particular thing. Oh, and explaining how you shouldn’t layer watercolours because they’re not designed for that and you’ll get mud, all while waiting for a layer to dry so she could paint on top of it.
I was tempted to just forget about this lesson and move on to the next one, but if I skip one I’ll be more tempted to skip another and then I’ll just stop doing it all together. And most of the lessons are interesting and worthwhile.
This lesson could be summed up as “two ways to paint flowers: one with neat pen outlines and one just loose watercolour”. And then showed one of the flowers being cut out and used on a journal page.
I decided that if I was going to paint three different flowers each in two different styles then I was going to use them all on a single painting. I chose different flowers: fuchsia, buddleia and chrysanthemum which all remind me of our childhood garden (her examples were lupin, crocus and allium).
I have an Inktense travel palette so I used that for the base layer, painting light versions of the flowers in the looser style. That had the benefit of not having to worry about the colour lifting as Inktense is waterproof once it is dry, which didn’t take long at all. Then I sketched the foreground flowers in pencil, outlined them with a waterproof pen, and painted them with some QoR watercolours that I had picked up to try out. (Just because I’m not very skilled with watercolour doesn’t stop me from wanting all the pretty colours.)
I finished it off by adding the handwritten “floral memories” and some paint splatter. It still feels like it’s missing something and if I ever figure out what it is I shall go back and add it. And now, on to the next lesson.