I’ve been taking lessons in watercolor. The more I learn, the less I know. There are an infinite number of techniques and images to paint, and like any art, my finished works are limited by my level of understanding and mastery of the techniques I’ve learned so far. I’m a beginner, but feel compelled to continue learning. I see the world differently now. I see a scene or an object like a tree or a barn and wonder how I could transfer the image onto paper using watercolors.
My friend, fellow blogger (Raining Iguanas) and Hubbard Hall Writers Group member, John Greenwood stumbled upon a master watercolor artist and author in a used book store. This man, Jack Lewis, compiled several books of places he visited, and transformed the scenes into beautiful watercolor arts, adding narratives to each painting. This has inspired me to keep learning the craft and to illustrate my own “travels” into impressions of places and scenes that I think are beautiful.
As with learning anything, it’s the successes that keep us going. I joke about trashing the paintings that look like a first grader did. For every one painting I do that is acceptable, there are 3-4 that scare me and have me thinking that I want to quit. I’m a reasonable person and know that learning anything takes time. I know there will be successes and failures. I also know that I may lose interest in this medium and be on to something else. But for now, watercolors have me captivated.
My plan to improve my craft is to illustrate in watercolors a series of places that I visit or see in my travels that look worthy of painting. I will always challenge myself with the idea of advancing in some small way.
Here are a couple paintings I did yesterday while in vacation on Florida visiting my in-laws.
Where: My in-laws front yard.
Why: I chose this scene because I thought it was simple enough to paint and because I love palm trees.
Perspective: There’s an art to landscaping I’ve learned. When planting anchor plants, depending on the space, the anchors should be in odd numbers: 1, 3, 5. The three trees with ascending heights also caught my attention.
Where: Jenson Beach
Why: I chose this umbrella scene to capture the vastness of the ocean and the simplicity of the shade that the umbrella represents.
Perspective: Although I’m not really drawn to spending an entire day on the beach, I could probably do this and enjoy it with a cooler, reading material, sun glasses, and my camera.