Art · My Creations · Sketches · Watercolors

Day 16: A bird watercolor, draft

Bird Watercolor Irene Park An Opus Per Diem
Bird Watercolor, by Irene Park/An Opus Per Diem

Do you recall the cat postcard I was working on on Day 14 and how excited I was to color in my freshly inked sketch?

Well:

Cat Postcard Irene Park An Opus Per Diem
Just look at the sheer levels of fail taking place here.

I was going for textured orange walls and a blue-coated feline on left, a Siamese on the right. Instead all I got was a huge swath of unruly, unappetizing poo brown.

I hated seeing such little improvement (and in this case, total and complete regression) in my painting skills, even if it’s only been less than a year since I first started messing around with watercolors, so I turned to YouTube for some tutorials. Then I assigned myself a practice exercise to test out some tips I’d picked up, using this illustration as a guide:

Some points that were really hammered in to my brain through this:

  • ALWAYS keep a spray bottle on hand.
  • You can’t, can’t, can’t fiddle with the colors too much else everything will become muddied.
  • I knew you had to be willing to relinquish your desire to control in order to let the paint really express itself, but I didn’t realize just how much I was still trying to dictate how the colors flowed around.
  • On a similar note, from here on out, I may start waiting to ink AFTER the painting stage is done, to really account for the variations in color and form from the original pencil work.
  • Work on paintings one wet layer (rather than one section) at a time, to encourage blending in often pleasantly surprising ways AND also to prevent premature drying (which is STUPID hard to fix in any seamless way).
  • On a related note, be patient enough to allow thorough drying between layers, to carefully gauge progress, account for unexpected color phenomena, and achieve maximum color buildup.

I’m gonna be working on this last point today, especially in applying the most intense hues. I may also mess around with the color splattering technique the other artist used.

Will post an update tomorrow.

 

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