Posts in Watercolor
Watercolor Tutorial: Herringbone Pattern

When I decided to “doodle” this pattern into my sketchbook last year and record it, I had no idea that it would be so popular. I posted a video of it to Instagram and it has (for some crazy reason) been shared by quite a few of those viral video accounts.

I want to be on the record to say, I am the first person in line to agree that this pattern is by no means a crazy feat or even close to being a masterpiece. I actually came across a hilarious comment from someone responding on one of those video accounts that basically asked: “Why is everyone so amazed by this, it’s not like she’s Picasso.” I laughed and still can’t agree more!

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Why Watercolor Is So Hard (and why you should embrace it)

Watercolor has the reputation of being difficult. It has been know to cause feelings of frustration, defeat, and disappointment. Especially for those who are just starting out and all they want is to paint something they can be proud of.

In the beginning stages of learning, we tend to take things very seriously and put our full concentration into that subject. With painting, this can manifest in the form of control. Control works well with mediums like acrylic - where the paint acts in a predictable way. It goes where you put it and the color you see on your palette is the color you get on your paper. Watercolors don’t act that way, which means that the more you try to control them, the more difficult the experience might feel.

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3 Reasons Watercoloring Is More Than Just Learning to Paint

Watercolor, simply put, is water mixed with pigment which is then applied to paper. But painting with watercolors is something entirely different. It can be complex, confusing, and fun at the same time. 

Learning how to paint with watercolors is more than just watercoloring. Those of us who love it and want to keep getting better aren’t in it just to paint pretty pictures. Have you ever asked yourself why you want to learn, why you want to get better, and why it can be so rewarding? I’ve thought about it and here are 3 reasons why I think watercolors are so much more than just learning to paint.

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3 Watercolor Brush Stroke Exercises to Practice Brush Control

I think of watercolors a little like modern calligraphy. It’s loose, there aren’t hard and fast traditional rules because it’s such an expressive and fluid medium. With watercolors, you can paint anything from a very loose abstract image to a super detailed photorealistic painting. No matter which style, however, there are still basic principles and techniques that we need to understand in order to be able to paint with watercolors.

One foundational skill in watercolors is understanding your brush, the strokes it can make, and how to handle it. In this post, I’m going to share 3 brush stroke exercises that you can do with a round tip brush to practice control get really comfortable with the strokes and shapes your brush is capable of

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Which Watercolor Paints and Colors to Buy?

One of the questions that I get asked the most is what type of paints I use. I have to start by saying that the type of watercolor paints you use come down to personal preference at the end of the day - like most things in life. But, what I can do, is share with you what my experiences have been and what my preferences are.

Now, if you’re looking for someone who has tested out a bunch of paints from a bunch of different brands and is here to lay out all the nitty gritty details and comparison notes for you…you probably should stop reading right now.

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Filming with Brit + Co | Watercolor Painting + Digitization Class

When I received an email in my inbox from Sarah back in September 2017 asking if I’d be interested in teaching an online course for Brit+Co, I wasn't sure if it was real at first! I tend to believe that we all have some degree of imposter syndrome and it certainly is bound to kick in when a company like Brit+Co reaches out to you. I definitely had a few thoughts cross my mind like: 'Are they really asking ME?' and 'Can I really do this?' On top of that, anyone that knows me, knows I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it and don’t prefer being the center of attention. But I gave it some thought and reminded myself that we learn the most when we feel uncomfortable and push our own boundaries - so I agreed. 

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Gradient Watercolor Background Experiments

Hake brushes have been on my mind lately. I’m *this* close to buying one, it’s in my shopping cart on dickblick.com and I just haven’t let myself purchase it yet. If you don’t know what a hake brush is, they are large wash brushes that hold lots of water. In my dreams, I want to use it to prep a big sheet of paper with water so I can paint soft blue watercolor skies with fluffy clouds.

Until that happens I decided I should experiment with some gradient washes because it’s not something that I normally paint. These gradient washes make really nice backgrounds to letter on top of or can be scanned and used as backgrounds for digital designs too.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts: Overview

I know we can find examples of these color charts as visual images all over the internet but without some sort of explanation to accompany them, I found it pretty confusing! In fact, when I began studying them, what I thought was a basic color chart turned out not to be so basic after all.

Now that we’ve got them all sorted out in a blog series, I’ll summarize them each here with a photo, a name, and a sentence about why you’d want to study and paint them for yourself.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 5: Two Color Mixing Chart

If you’ve been reading since the beginning of this watercolor chart series, you may have noticed that each chart type is a little more involved than the last. Each one in the series takes more time to paint and also provides us more insight into our paints.

These last charts are probably the trickiest to paint of the 5 types, but are my favorite because they give you the most information about your color mixes.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 4: Color Mixing Chart

I think of color mixing charts as a combination of the basic color chart and a color wheel. You’re taking the paints in your palette (or a selection of them) and mixing them with each other to see what colors they make.

This is when you really witness the magic that is color mixing. With 6 colors, you can make 36 colors. With 12 colors you can make 144 colors. (In fact, you can actually mix MANY more than shown on the color chart, but we’ll take a look at how in the last part of the series.)

What I love most about these color mixing charts is having an organized sheet with a snap shot of colors your palette is capable of producing.

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 3: Color Wheel

We’re in week 3 of this series, and today is probably one of my favorite (and easily the most photogenic) color chart of the series: the color wheel.

The color wheel is a great starting point to enter into color mixing and color theory - and where I think I first discovered how magical painting was when I was young. There’s nothing like taking two paints and seeing them mix to create a brand new color right before your eyes. It’s really like magic when you’re young. In fact, to be honest, I think I’m still awed by all the different colors I can make with just a few colors even now!

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5 Types of Watercolor Charts - Type 2: Value Scales

Last week, I started a blog post series about 5 different types of watercolor charts beginning with the basic watercolor chart.

Like I mentioned, not all of these will technically be charts - today we're reviewing a type of scale. But whether they are charts or scales, I like to think of them all as part of the same family of exercises that help me understand the colors I'm working with better.

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