Watercolor Wash Exercise

I am very impatient when it comes to painting, especially watercolor. However I was shown a great exercise for practicing and warming up that helps me slow down and focus; Creating smooth watercolor washes. It’s actually kinda hard to do. My first attempts are not that great. But I think this is a great exercise.

The images below are in the order they were created. I improved by the 3rd and 4th but there is still a long way to go. These should be perfectly smooth solid colors.


Definitely a few things to practice here. First being water control. Gotta get rid of the streaks. I am not using enough water and/or letting the paper dry. Second, brush control. I can see the strokes, and the directions are inconsistent. Finally, the paper warped and the water pooled up. It’s kinda shitty quality paper though. I’ll stretch it out next time.

Started Painting.

I have started painting. I would say again, but I don’t think I can really say I was a painter before. In the past I have half-assedly tried to paint with various levels of success, but it never stuck. It was a frustrating experience because I did not know what I was doing. I either lacked a real desire to learn or maybe assumed that “since I draw gud I should paint gud too”, or both. Definitely both. I would not have admitted this in the past but I need help and guidance. The ego is a real son of a bitch.

Swallowing my pride and searching online I have found some really great painters that I like who offer online courses and instruction. I have just barely dipped my toes into the water here but I already feel empowered to become the artist I have always wanted to be, at least the painter I have always wanted to be. It feels great! I’m not ready to share any paintings just yet, but I will. I have years of sketches and drawings and concepts that are dying to be realized.

So now I am starting to get into it. And reflecting on my attempts to do this in the past. It is pretty silly, but in the past I was hesitant to mix paints to get the color I wanted. I was always super impatient about it and would just go straight from the tube. I’d only ever mix white or straight up black into the paints. It was so damn limiting. And I was missing out on a surprisingly fun part of the process. I have also learned about the joy of stay wet palettes. Super nice so far.

I had read a story many years ago about a man who spent his whole life planning and preparing to create. He built the perfect studio, bought all of the best supplies, organized things perfectly. He spent all of his time building the studio, that he never created a thing. I do not recall where I read this, but the message has stuck with me. I have been doing this to myself for years. I’d buy art supplies all the time, but would never use them. They would sit beautifully on my pristine drafting table, arranged elegantly on my shelves, collecting dust, etc. I feel strongly that the cycle will end. Time to put these supplies to good use.

Well it happened. I tried to use a GIMP shortcut in Photoshop at work today.

The transition from Adobe Photoshop to GIMP is a little rough. It’s like using Photoshop 5.5 again, for better or worse.

Shift Poster 2/6/2016

Poster artwork for the February 6th SHIFT at Tonic.