Painting with watercolor is very popular right now among mixed-media artists, and although it can be a bit intimidating, I just love the look.
In No Excuses Watercolor, Painting Techniques for Sketching and Journaling author Gina Rossi Armfield, Gina shows how to take control and get the results you want with watercolor paint—even beginners will feel confident.
Gina’s approach is not traditional. She suggests using simple sketches to get started, and then adding watercolor. She says drawing can make all the difference in your results. I was mesmerized by how watercolor brought simple sketches to life. A few simple strokes of color, some blending and bleeding, and a simple subject takes on a whole new look. I decided to give her approach a try. I looked through my photos, and found one of daffodils, one of my favorite flowers.
Using pencil, I sketched my version of the photo on paper.
Next, I used 01 and 02 Sakura® Micron® Pigma® pens in black to trace over my pencil lines, editing as I went along.
After erasing the errant pencil lines, it was time to paint. Gina recommends using one or two dominant colors, which was an easy decision for this piece. I used green, adding more or less water to create different values. I added yellow in the centers of the daffodils and mixed a tiny bit of orange with the yellow in some areas. I left a bunch of white (unpainted) areas in the leaves and flowers, another suggestion from Gina, and decided to add a watered-down gray to show that some of the petals were in shadow.
Gina was right when she said, “drawing can make all the difference” in how your painting turns out, and even a simple sketch becomes so much more when paint is added. This technique made a painting with watercolor a lot less intimidating, and the whole piece took under an hour to do. Time to try out some of the other techniques . . . There really is no excuse not to.