watercolor sketch

4/09/2010 03:51:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 27 Comments »
I've been hungry for watercolor for quite some time.  I think about it, eat,  pace around pondering, eat, read about it, eat, ..... well, I bet you get the idea.  I've been avoiding it.  Why?  Well, the truth is Fear.  Yes, that old voice in the head that keeps saying, "You don't know how to do it.   You can't even think of what to paint.  Just get out a pencil (with a Big Eraser), or maybe do a collage".  It causes great anxiety in me sometimes.  My reasonable self knows what's happening, and also, there's always my mantra (it's only a piece of paper, what's the big deal), and yet, here I am dithering and blithering around. 

So, today I bit the bullet.  I decided to start out small .... just dip a toe in, so to speak.  I got out my jar of shells and my trusty .005 Micron pen and went to work.  It's modest .... small .... tentative.  But, It's Watercolor!!   Hooray for me!!!  I have to go lie down now with a cool cloth on my head to recover.

27 comments:

Lesley Purcell said...

No sign of dithering and blithering here! These are lovely shell studies, you have totally captured the fragility of them.

I so know what you mean about watercolours though, but you've handled them beautifully here. I think you should spend some time on some practice paper and just blob and splash around, making crazy marks with lots of colours, to your hearts content - if you haven't already of course!! Different colours and pigments seem to respond to each other in very different ways, giving amazing effects. Even if you just finish up with a big brown blob though, you'll have fun in the doing! Looking forward to your next watercolour!

Vicki Holdwick said...

Nancy,

Your shells are lovely. And I am so not surprised.

Can't wait to see the next one.

xoxo

7even.shades.of.black said...

love these lil sketches Nancy, love the colors here

Cecelia said...

These are great! Soft, just the way watercolors are supposed to be. If you have a fear of using them, take a class or paint with others somehow and soon you will be brave with watercolors. When I was teaching, I found that people who learned to paint with oils first, feared watercolors. But people who started out with watercolors didn't have that fear when they tried oils. Just what I observed.
Relax and enjoy your painting!

Scrappy Cat said...

Your shells are lovely! Good for you for doing them and not putting it off any longer. They sure look like you know what you're doing.

freebird said...

The shells look wonderful. I'd put off watercolors for years. Well, I've bought them - and brushes, paper and books about them - but doing them? Nope! Not until I signed up for one of Laure Ferlita's watercolor trips. It surprised me what I could do. They are not finished wall paintings but journal entries. Still, they came out better than I would have ever expected and it got me actually using them! They seem so scary but I've seen some of your paintings here on your blog and you do a fine job. We are always our own worst critics aren't we? And that can keep us from doing. I do have that problem you speak of about WHAT to paint. Not quite sure how to solve that one.

Alex said...

I absolutely love them Nancy ^^ Love the softness and looseness and all, very relaxing and I could hear and feel the sea breeze in my face already

Patsy Taylor-Craw said...

I love your shells and the beautiful colors. Cathy Johnson has some great books out on watercoloring (is that a word?). I can't wait to see more.

Cathy Holtom said...

No need to be afraid these are lovely.

alissa4102 said...

lovely little shells- colours are great and I like the shadows too

curiouscrow said...

These are lovely Nancy - well done for beating the demons. I look forward to some more.

E*phi said...

Beautiful watercolor shells, Nancy!
Can't see what you're afraid of!
I *can* relate though. It's the same for me with acrylics. Today I found that the tubes I bought ... err... years ago have almost totally dried up. Embarassing!
I want to try watercoloring myself for ages but never could persuade myself to actually get some...

raena said...

Nancy, these are so good that I would never have guessed you're new to watercolor! I guess you were learning a thing or two with all that thinking and reading!

Socrates said...

Of all the artists around, you should really be the last one to be intimidated by any media. I seem to recall some nursery watercolors that were outstanding. You should really take that inner critique and shoot him or her. They have no place in your art, your work is always excellent, superior, absolute quality. Shoot that critique.

arlene said...

Beautiful...of course!
It takes many of us years to be this good.. I'm still struggling to come even close...
hugs
arlene f

Ramona Davidson said...

Awesome. You have a great eye and ability. Can't wait to see more.

bendelachanal said...

They are exquisite, delicate, you have to show us more!

Dan Kent said...

Hurray for you!! I know just what you mean, and dither sometimes myself. Watercolor is an unforgiving and unpredictable medium, which is part of what makes it so interesting and wonderful to work with. I might have a pen sketch that I like (I love the .005 Micron btw and it is virtually all I am using right now in my small Moleskine), and wait an unforegivable amount of time to color it, because I don't want to ruin it. And I can never feel quite comfortable with watercolors. But I think comfort = boring anyway.

I think you did a great job, and show an enormous amount of control with the medium. The red shell is especially well done and is just like ones I've found on the beach!

Ann said...

This is fabulous!
I know what you mean about watercolor. It looks easy to do but it is actually very very difficult. Your shells are gorgeous! I hope you recover soon and make more wonderful watercolor paintings!

Liberty said...

Nancy I think these are lovely!
I echo Lesley's comment and encourage you to try playing around and letting loose!
When I began using watercolours, I bought some very cheap w/c paper so my inner demons would shut up about me 'wasting' it and just played around and had fun with abstract. I think it can help us get to know the medium better so that we have better control when we try to do something that is more planned.
If this was your first try, I'm looking forward to seeing more! I'm really impressed :-)

suzanne.artist said...

Wonderful whispery-delicate renditions! Lovely work you do! Thank you so much for the kind comment on my blog too!

Suzanne in CT

Ana Goncalves said...

Dear Nancy,
Sounds like you were fighting with yourself over this for quite some time. Have you looked at it in the way that watercolour like many other forms of painting is just another expression of oneself, and that there is no 'right' way of doing it. They key is allowing yourself to just flow in whatever you are feeling.
I feel you flowed wonderfully as your painting is uniquely exquisite.
Thank you for taking us into your world, and sharing with us these pretty shells. They are truly delightful and show you inside and out. :)

Susan Reep said...

Oh I know - watercolor is scary! I can't wait for this move to be done (thank you for your comment by the way) and for my studio to be moved so I can create something again! I like what you did. If you don't mind I'm going to put you on my blog list.

Vee said...

It looks like you're off to a great start! Glad you decided to dip your toe in and share your adventure.

niki said...

I can smell the sea with your drawing!! it's so lovely.

jenine said...

Have no fear! These are beautifully done - love your attention to detail :)

Yevgenia Watts said...

Congratulations! :) Your shells are lovely, and watercolor is not scary at all. Keep it up!

Your story reminded me of my husband's recent first step into painting. One day, he informed me that he wanted to learn how to paint and I was, of course, eager to teach him. I thought I would start with some easy still life and just leave him alone and see what he can and can't do. He made a pretty nice drawing and then it was time for watercolor. He was extremely tense at first and kept expecting me to tell him precisely how to hold the brush, how much water there should be in the brush, what the strokes should be like, etc. I think I also added to his agitation by suggesting a wet-into-wet beginning for his painting. The paint refused to stay within the lines, of course, and I did my best to assure him that it's okay, it's even good :). Anyway, in the end, I think, he got over the fear and had some fun. He stopped asking me what to do next and went pretty crazy with the background. He told me later than I'm a horrible teacher...