Watering it all down a bit


I’ve been trying out watercolours for the first time since my age was measured in single digits. I didn’t like it then, as I’m too much of a perfectionist and it annoyed me that watercolour paint didn’t stay where I put it.

But life itself is much more fluid these days. I thought perhaps I’d let loose of some of my control-freak nature and just see what happened.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share my work or not. Again, letting go of the control freak, I decided what the hell. But I still have to give an advance apology/explanation for my efforts. 1. I have NO training on how to paint with watercolours. 2. I’ve not tried to do this in over 30 years. 3. My brain isn’t working quite right.

So. I meant to find hubby’s pastels and play around, because I had some good clean cardboard I didn’t mind wasting. Instead I found his watercolour paints, from… high school era. Black, white, green, red, blue yellow. Not a lot to work with! Also the only proper watercolour paper I have was gifted to my by Socks, and is post-card sized. So I sat down and looked at what she’d sent me. Paintbrushes that hold water in the barrel. Big black pencils that, mysteriously (to me) said watercolour on their sides. Hmm. So I did a quick sketch of the first thing that came into my head, in black, and then filled it in with paint. Here’s the result.

The eye is terrible – but that’s the first thing I drew and the rest didn’t quite follow along those Disney lines. Ah well.

So, next was to find something else to paint. I wanted to do the bell from my local church. While thinking it over, I realised something. I’ve had a small set of expensive Derwent coloured pencils since I was a teen. I recalled that the tin they live in says ‘watercolour’ on it. Holy shit, I’ve had a good set of watercolour pencils for decades and didn’t know what they were for.

So I drew the bell. The perspective is all wrong. I know. I refuse to care.

I thought about it for days before I finally got the nerve up to wet it down.

I actually made the perspective worse! But I learned a lot and it was fast and, dare I say, fun. I’ve another project in mind, way above my skill, but screw it, you have to start somewhere.

27 responses »

  1. yaaaaay! let the color flow! those watercolor pencils are magic! I got a couple in the gray scale range and let loose with lines.

    thanks for deciding to share, Spiders. It R fun to see the inside of your brain! >:-D

  2. Actually, I think the second one is pretty good, gives the illusion of light moving over the metal surface of the bell. The give free art classes sometimes over at the Museum of Country Life,(On the same street as where my husband says I get my HRT…Horkins retail therapy) and of course sometimes they charge, and if a day course they include a lunch from the caf. which can be very good! NOT a comment on your skill, just a thought for a fun time.

    • Oh! Are ye not Shaun yourself? Or am I getting it all wrong? I think I’d like to try those classes. And HRT – well, I’d love to but they are SO expensive! I sometimes go just for a wander (and a bit of drooling). Do you notice they don’t have much in the way of flower seeds? I’ll have to find somewhere to buy gerbera daisies. I need some!

  3. Pingback: Welcome to a new friend| heretherebespiders | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  4. Water colors are really difficult…not going to test those waters.
    I don’t think the bell is all that bad – (hmmm..maybe I’ll look into some of those watercolor pencils)
    and the gator is whimsical.
    Post card size is a great idea – good size to start with – and they store so much easier than big pages!
    Can’t wait to see where you go from here

  5. Hi Spiders,

    I checked the images before I read the text, and I thought you were sharing drawings from a young nephew of yours who visited you lately. I was really surprised as I began reading and realized these were from you lol 🙂

    I’m not sure what made me think these were kid drawings. Maybe because I haven’t heard of water paint since little school? Or maybe because what you picked to try your hand at were simple subjects? Or maybe because I am so wrong with anything graphic that I couldn’t notice the little details the first time.

    I really like the crocodile. It’s only after looking at it for a while that I notice how much little details there are. And the shading (right word? I mean the difference in color which make it appear like there was light and shadow) is just right, couldn’t be better.

    I think the bell looked good… until you’ve wet it.

    In any case, you are a hundred percent better than I am. I suck at everything graphic. I have no talent and no creativity. I don’t know how I ended up lacking the brain cell which is useful to do graphic things, given that I am really a visual person. I remember things I saw, have problems remembering anything I heard or read. When I try to remember a talk I had with someone, I must first visualize the scene, details of the talk come from visual elements that happened at that time.

    Even if you allowed photoshop for your contest, I wouldn’t be able to do anything interesting. I love taking pictures, and I think I’m not to bad at that. I am not able to retouch pictures, the best I can do is cut them to remove anything I didn’t want to be part of it. Even adjusting colors never works. If the picture is not to my taste as is, I pick a different one. The pictures you see on my blog are just like I picked them. Except for one picture, which I photoshoped, and to my surprised ended up well and I allowed it to get on my blog. Remember the series I did about cat food? There was a pictures of my cats eating which I like very much, though the carpet beneath the bowl was quite dirty. Not that you’d expect cats to keep their carpet very clean, but since the dirt was extremely visible and zoomed, I didn’t like it. Took me like half an hour, but eventually was able to make it seem the carpet was perfectly clean. At least clean enough for my taste. You will probably never see anything else photoshoped by me on my blog, and I almost felt guilty to published a retouched picture.

    I’m probably better at writing long, purposeless comments, that I am at drawing lol

    Anyway, don’t give up. I can’t wait to see what masterpiece you will get out of the artist material which you have on hand. Will you sell me the crocodile?

    • Hahah holy shit you’ve again left a comment much longer than my post! I’m sorry I won’t be able to respond at such length. I’ll try!

      My talent level for water colour is about age 9. It would be the last time I tried this medium! So, yes – it’s kiddie stuff. I know this! I don’t care 🙂 I’m just glad I tried, especially knowing I hated it when I was a kiddie. Alligator really COULD be way better! But will never be done again.

      If you liked the bell pre-water, I should scan some of the drawings I did as a teen. I used the same pencils. I used to draw all the time. Teenager stuff of course! I still like the dark and gruesome as subject matter, despite all my purdy flur pictures.

      Interesting to me you mentioned the visual thing – I took a silly online right-brain/left-brain test (Canadian, actually: http://www.wherecreativitygoestoschool.com/vancouver/left_right/rb_test.htm )

      and I got 51% left. I’m doubting it myself! I think perhaps you’d get a higher left result? Visual doesn’t necessarily mean artistic, it seems.

      And if everyone could do it, there would be no need for artists and writers. So… I’m kinda glad it’s not a universal talent. Not saying I have one 🙂

      Now…selling the Alligator? You’ve thrown me there. Send me an email with an offer, I guess? It’s only post-card sized. But the colours are brighter than came out in photos…

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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