Watercolor Learning Curve

  • Note to self: Do splatter last and use less and not so close to the eye. Also have patience and let parts of the painting dry if you are unsure of next move...ie do more planning!! #Learning #GAH 😃


  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan Nice! I like this painting. You did a much better job of preserving your whites. One of the tricky things about watercolor technique is knowing just when to start working an area that is wet. I laughed a little when I read the spatter comment. I have spatter on the walls of the studio. Its easy to get a little "spatter crazy".

  • @Rob-Smith Thanks Rob, I agree about the white and that's funny about your studio. Oh the hazards of the creative life! 😃 I botched the background here and the splattering plus I'm still learning to control soft vs hard edges on the first round. And the feet, grrr 😃 I may go back and darken the background more but perserve the white on the bird and near the foliage and berries.

  • Round two...an attempt to hide the feet a bit and make the eye and chest pop more. Boy this is hard.


  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan The background on this was painted on this last. There is some layering in this piece.

  • @Rob-Smith Wow Rob that is stunning! Great job

  • @Rob-Smith did you let each layer dry completely before moving on to the next on this one?

  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan So that is the tricky part. Some edges were wet when another edge was placed next to them. Other areas were allowed to dry before more paint was applied (glazing). The way I approach a painting is to plan each step before I take it. In my head I think how I want the paint to behave. There are happy accidents but if you look at @Lee-White work you will see lots of wet edges along with sharp edges. He has planned those out. Just keep working with the medium. Controlling the water in your brush is key! Also, check out the Youtube videos of my personal watercolor mentor, Stan Miller. He is a terrific painter. I wish I felt as comfortable with digital work as I do with watercolors. No matter what the medium, there is always a lot to learn. Keep going!!

  • @Rob-Smith Thanks Rob. So the basic idea for controlling the edge is if you want a soft edge lay down clean water first then add color and if you want a hard edge lay down the watercolor on dry paper? I know it is probably not that simple but maybe the overall idea. And you are right, @Lee-White has mentioned before how important planning is with watercolor. With this one I went heavy on the color too quickly I think I need to build it up more slowly.

  • Charlie: my watercolor teacher started us on an ice cube tray filled with water and various drops of black ink.

    After we got the basics of wash done in black and greys down, we moved on to a single monochromatic study, then finally to full color.

    You might want to give that a try before diving feet first into straight watercolor. I find that learning from ink and its different intensities, gives you a better understanding of how water flows on paper. And the various techniques you can use, which are similar to watercolor - stuff like full flat washes,dry brush strokes, splattering, and salt.

    Then when you move on to a single color, you'll know that color by heart by the time you move to full color. My favorite single tube has always been Paynes Gray.

    Here are some examples of my work: in Ink, single Sepia tone and 2 full color watercolors...

    black and white ink.jpg


    harrison ford.jpghorse study.jpg

  • @Bobby-Aquitania beautiful work! Thanks for the info I will give that a try too.

    Here is this mornings work in progress. Trying to build up slowly. I have to run out with my son but I'll finish it this afternoon.Watercolorbluegreenbirdiesketches.jpg

  • the hard part about watercolor is most of the instruction out there REALLY SUCKS! They over complicate it and make it a tedious process. My watercolor class will be done in the spring and it will hopefully offer you some guidance on your process. That said, I think you are doing great!

  • @Bobby-Aquitania Wow--that is awesome work Bobby!

  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan That is it....much better. Preserve your whitest whites and work from light to dark. Don't be in a huge rush to get those darks in there. I like the way some of your edges have turned out on this lasts painting. From your first painting to this one I already see improvement.

  • @Lee-White Thanks so much, Lee. That is good to know, I won't get too tied up in you tube tutorials then. 😃 I'm really looking forward to your class!

    Thanks again @Rob-Smith

    Here is the latest version


  • @Charlie-Eve-Ryan Great! Paint another : )

  • @Rob-Smith thanks!! 😃