365 Days of Art: Day 26 – The Sea

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Today I figured I would take a little break from my watercolor in four steps book. I did two projects from Mako’s new book, No-Fail Watercolor: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Painting with Confidence. I’ve decided that with this book, I will use 100% cotton paper. I used the Strathmore Ready cut paper. I also used my new Princeton Neptune brushes. Mako had us do layering, and I like the neptunes for layering because they are less likely to take off the color below. I struggled with the first wet on wet wash I did. The paint seemed to dry grainy, and the pigment sank into the crevices. I’m not sure if this happened because I was using a more opaque paint (Winsor Newton Cerulean Blue) or not. I’m going to have to do some more practicing with this paper. I didn’t have any trouble with the second painting, but we didn’t do any wet on wet in that one either.

A few lessons learned tonight.

  • Dry the paint all the way. Even if the only wet paint is on the bottom and you are painting in the middle. “Nothing will happen,” you might say. “I’m working with a dry area,” you might think. Yeah, and the heel of your hand might just land in that wet paint, and that will make you mad.
  • Be sure not to tape one or two dog hairs to the paper. This creates unwanted blooms. Lots of unwanted blooms.
  • Lifting paint is lovely. I totally screwed up the blue boat. (Yes, I know it isn’t crisp and looks a little off, but you should have seen it before when basically my hand was too angled as I tried to paint it, and it looked like it was melting. Salvador Dali would have been proud of the first boat.) Anyway, I lifted half the boat off and repainted it and now it looks “mostly” good. (Dali would not be proud.)
  • I see some “technique” issues I need to work on. You know, like making sure to paint all the way to the tape instead of just kind of falling away because I got lazy. Making my lines straighter, etc.

The projects are below. I’m loving this book. I’m also loving the new Neptune brushes.

Mine is on the left. My boat was a little shaky. I switched to a 2 brush and it worked better.
Mine is on the left. In hindsight, I should have made it a square like hers. The paint blended better here. It didn’t settle as much in the crevices.

Have a great evening folks 🙂

About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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