A Self-Prescribed Time Out.

take a time out I've been enjoying my vacation so much. Downtime with my munchkin and husband, it's been great to just have an all around time out and get recharged. Plus I LOVE not having to get up and go all the time when I am 30 weeks along. I waddle with the best of them and I'm just more tired this time around. Could be in part due to the munchkin, the cold weather with barely any sunlight (really don't like) or just me. The shop is closed until January, I've been painting a bit and I also just finished reading this book, Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color. This book had some good watercolor advice, application techniques and just good information if you are starting out with watercolor or have been working with it for awhile.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and the New Year is kind to you!

Just Paint.

My Home It's taken me awhile to get back on the art horse.  Not going to lie.  I have been trying to find my groove again and even though I haven't been painting painting, I've been reading.  To date here are my absolute favorites.  And I mean getting dangerous with the library late fees territory:

Water Paper Paint: Exploring Creativity with Watercolor and Mixed Media  - Heather Smith Jones

Watercolor Painting, A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering the Medium - Tom Hoffmann

And of course I can't forget YouTube:

I have been messing with my process too.  Order of operations is big for me so first I would just dive into the watercolor paper with my sloppy paints.  I didn't get anywhere because I didn't know where I was going.  I am extremely methodical with my digital art but watercolor is a completely different beast to me.  So, I would read and watch other painters I admired and try what they did.  Some sketch, then bring the sketch into photoshop and compose the image, then print out the image, then use a light-box to trace it onto the watercolor paper and then go for it with the paint.

When I follow those steps, by the time I get to the painting phase, I'm paralyzed.  Watercolor paint is so expensive, watercolor paper is not cheap either, then you add in the brushes.....everything I paint better be a masterpiece at this point.  That is what I hear in my brain, that very loud annoying voice.  What I am finding that works for me (knock on wood that doesn't jinx it) is that I sketch out elements I might want to paint on computer paper.  Just scribble and freely draw.  Then when I think I have my elements, I will sketch out a composition.  Then I come to my paper and freely draw my composition but not too much.  Everything doesn't have to be planned in advance, a nice mix is nice.  Lastly, it's time to paint.  Parts can be wet into wet, other parts wet onto dry, etc.  But I eat that elephant one bite at a time.  Oh and chanting that no one is going to see this helps too.  I tell myself I'm painting for me (which I am, it brings me joy) and if it doesn't turn into anything it isn't a big deal.  I think this mind play is working for me.

I am taking in all of these opinions and methods of how other painters work and finding what works for me so I can just paint.  That is by far my favorite part.

The painting above is called My Home and 6x8 prints are available in my shop!