Hey! So happy to hear you’re diving in to watercolor. You’re going to have a marvelous time. Here’s a response to this same question I did a couple years ago; it all still holds true:
Advice 1: Start today! Go! Quick march! Pick up some supplies at a craft store (even Walmart carries decent paints and brushes), and start making a mess with them tonight.
Advice 2: Experiment heavily and find different ways to manipulate the watercolor paint. Mix it with coffee instead. Paint it on dry paper and drip alcohol onto it. Sprinkle fresh paint with salt, sugar, or cover it with tissue paper. Try food dye. Mix it with Crayola markers.
Anyone else have suggestions? Throw them in here!
Advice 3: Look at they ways other artists are using the medium. For example, artists like Tony Sandoval, Dave Mckean, or Florian Nicolle use watercolor for vastly different subject matter, but they create new effects through mixing watercolor with inks, graphite, or opaque paint. Take influence from other artists’ work and try out what they’re doing :) It stretches your boundaries!
Typically, I break up subjects into their different shapes completely based on where the lines of the gesture sketch fall. Instead of erasing them, I make them permanent and it often adds a feel of motion to the subject.
Thanks for the Q&A opportunity! Here goes:
- My whole life I have always loved birds, wildlife, and nature. I originally went to college with the intent to become a scientific illustrator, but later broadened to practice all different kinds of work.
Drawing birds began as practice for me, mostly because I’m fascinated with them, their behavior and anatomy. As a self-employed artist, I admire finches and sparrows for their resourcefulness, feistiness, and persistence, even though they’re the smallest on the food chain. I think artists can learn sobering amount by observing a bird feeder for an hour.
- You’ve got my general process down correct. I like drawing in great detail because I love lines and I love seeing detail. I color and paint more abstractly/ messily because I think it makes a good contrast with the hard drawing. I think watercolor paint has a lot of personality when explored.
Hey! I do have an Etsy shop where I sell prints and original paintings:
and a Society6 page where you can find t-shirts, totes, skins and more:
Hope this helps :) Thanks!
Hooray! Go right ahead. When it’s finished, please send a photo or post it to my Facebook page and show it off! Facebook.com/Finchfight :) Good luck!