Watercolor Exercise: Mark Making

HW-watercolor mark making

Lately I feel like I’ve been in a creative rut. Looking for inspiration, I scrolled through my Instagram feed. Bad idea!  Instagram is just teeming with creative people that instead of being inspired, I sunk into despair. My skills can barely come up to scratch! If I can’t even imitate the techniques they used, how can I come up with a piece that I would like? Fortunately, I was able to look past my feelings and focus on what I can do. And that is to learn the basics.

I’ve been trying out watercolor lettering and a bit of floral painting in my spare time and although I have the mental image of what I want it to look like. It doesn’t translate well on my  paper. Thankfully, we have Google at this day and age. The Internet has made it possible to learn almost anything I’m interested in. Youtube offered me a number of watercolor tutorial hits and I came upon this:

This is the second part of the series of Beginner Watercolor Exercises by Witty Gritty Paper Co. a mother-daughter creative team with their own line of greeting cards and some other things like phone cases and mugs.

I should’ve started at the first exercise, but I felt that I needed this exercise more to explore what I could do with my brushes. The video has given me a few ideas to have interesting strokes, some of them are:

  • Don’t be scared to add pressure to the brush strokes.
  • Flat brushes are good for angles and crisp lines. While round brushes are good
  • Try to paint at an angle, different angles achieve different results.
  • Try to move the paper in different directions. I don’t know why it is ingrained in me to paint with the paper still.
  • Holding the brush close to the hairs gives more controlled strokes perfect for detail work while holding the brush further up the handle will yield looser strokes which I think are good for backgrounds.

I wish I could tell you that my watercolor skills improved greatly, but no, my skills still remain the same but I think with more practice sessions I will be improving. I would love to hear of tips and suggestions for beginner watercolorists like me, please share in the comments!



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