Painting is a skill which a lot of people really want to be able to do, but they are scared of trying in case they fail.
I’ve always been a creative person. From the day I was born I was singing, writing songs, creating my own worlds, sketching and painting… but it doesn’t mean I was any good at any of those things!
During school I took a GCSE in Art and I was never happy with what I painted because I could never stay between the lines. I’ve never been the best artist, and it will take a long time for me to truly find my style. However today, I wanted to share with you some little tips and tricks which I found helped me get into watercolour painting…
Watercolour paints are one of my favourite mediums to use for art, because they are very affordable, very easy to use and you can easily paint over your work if you don’t like it. My favourite watercolours are the same set I had during my school years which are the Koh-I-Noor round 36 Watercolour set.
They are easy to carry around, great to blend tougher and give me all of the colours I need. You can use any watercolours you find at the store and it doesn’t matter whether they come in a palette or tubes. Just use what you are comfortable with and you’ll get used to playing around with art.
Just be yourself
Art has no rules. You don’t have to draw or paint a certain way to impress other people, if you spend your life trying to make art for others, you won’t enjoy it as much. Draw and paint what comes naturally to you, even if it makes no sense to anyone else. You can have fun with your artwork and just be free. Here are some of the artworks I’ve been doing recently, and you will see a huge change in style depending on the day, on my mood or even on the weather…
Art is about having fun and every piece you make might look nothing like the last, but that’s ok. So get your sketchbook out and do what comes naturally.
Use a reference
If you sit down in front of your sketchbook with no idea of what you want to paint, you’ll find it hard to find inspiration and drive to paint at all. Always look for other artists, reference images and inspiration which you can use in your art. Every time I sit down to paint I have a photograph in front of me. It could be an animal, a person or a landscape, and ill use this to create art and then I’ll add my own spin on it.
Don’t rush your artwork. It might not look anything like you want it to in the beginning, but stick with it and keep working on it. Take your time and make sure to really pay attention to what you are painting. Let the work flow naturally and don’t force things. It will come to you in the end!
Don’t worry about the lines
The thing I love about watercolour is the freeing feeling of it. Unlike acrylic and oil paints, you can take watercolour anywhere and it will spread and blend beautifully. If you want to stay within the lines like this:
You totally can.
But if you want to have some fun…
You can do it without feeling guilty.
Don’t pressure yourself trying to paint like everyone else, just play around and find your own style. It might take some time but you will eventually find a way of painting which you love.
How much water?
As the name suggests, watercolour paint needs water in order for it to spread evenly across your paper. If you add more water the paint will be less vibrant, and less water will allow for vibrant and bold application. It is important to take time figuring out how much water you need for a painting and you can practice with mixing paint and water together on a blank sheet of paper. Really study the paint and the way it moves, and you’ll get used to using it in your work.
The bottom line is, watercolour paint is a great introduction to painting because it is convenient, easy to use and easy to change when you make a mistake. Grab yourself some cheap watercolours this weekend and play around with them to find your flow.