Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My First Watercolor Painting!

I finally did my first full watercolor painting! Aside from whatever I might have done as a child, I had otherwise only taken a single watercolor class and learned the basics by adding color to a pre-sketched leaf.

I purchased a small watercolor set and pad of watercolor paper before I went to my family reunion in Northern Alberta but didn't have a chance to paint amid the visiting and playing with my nieces and nephews. After the reunion, I spent a few days in Calgary before heading home. On my first full day in the Calgary area, my partner and his family went on a hike around the Upper Kananaskis Lake. Since I haven't flexed my hiking muscles in a while and still wanted to get some painting in, I drove out with them and brought my paint gear along. 

I was excited and nervous...something about that blank white paper at the top of my new Watercolor Paper Block was intimidating. Even more intimidating than the familiar blank screen on my computer. I know I tend to react to this intimidation with procrastination so instead of letting the paper stay blank while I set up outside where I wanted to paint, I sat in the van and sketched out the general shapes and positions of everything I wanted to include. 
Next I pulled out my bottle of Liquid Frisket to paint in the parts that needed to stay white and my little container of wax to add a different texture to the water. I wanted to play with these new tools to see what they could do. 

Once I was done adding the non-paint aspects, I set down my strange looking piece and set up my chair outside in the wind (and intermittent rain) where I could see the colors and shadows of the landscape without the barrier of the van's windshield.

And then I started to add water and paint. The intimidation was gone at this point, the wax wasn't going to come off the paper anyway so I had nothing to lose...

...I kept adding color until the hikers returned, taking short breaks to chat about art with passers by or smile at those who just wanted to peek. 

It was a great experience I'm very excited to have completed my first full watercolor painting.