I spent half the night painting petunias. I have never painted petunias and did not realize how difficult they were. Petunias have a very watery element to them which I find interesting. The pink and purple petals look like pools of colored water. When painting, it’s a good idea to draw the image very lightly. That’s how I started out, but when I gave one of my paintings to someone at a church that I was attending, her remark was, “Oh, you left the pencil marks in?” I vowed never to include pencil marks in my paintings and so I never use a pencil in my watercolors. Many artists begin drawing and then transition to painting. Some never use pencil after they have mastered painting.
II like to paint with water-color pans of color and water-color tubes of paint. I like the pans because I can mix the colors right in the trays. I make sure I get a good set of artist quality colors from the art supply store, not a department store. I can tell the difference between a set of colors purchased from a department store. The quality is not as good because the colors are not as concentrated. They appear washed out on the paper in some instances. I like the watercolor tubes because I can get a variety of colors. They are very expensive, but it is worth the cost. The colors are beautiful. I make sure I have a variety of greens, blues, yellows, reds, purples, orange, brown, and black.
I purchased a variety of round tipped sable brushes, but I end up doing most of the painting with one or two brushes. Watercolor brushes are short stemmed, a little longer than pencils. The longer brushes are for oil and acrylic painting. I have a plastic container that I keep them in. It is really a child’s pencil box that I saw on sale at one of the major office supply stores. The brushes fit perfectly in this box. The cover snaps shut and if I spill water or paint on it, which happens frequently while I am working, I can wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
I always keep a plastic container or glass jar for a water supply to clean the brushes after using the color to keep each of the colors in the tubes or pans clean. Never mix colors in the paint trays or tubes. Of course, paper towels come in handy for spills or in applying or removing color from the painting itself.
I enjoy watercolor painting but may soon change to acrylic to give the designs that I create stronger color. There is nothing like painting and it helps me relax after a very busy day.
I always use watercolor paper which has a rough surface compared to drawing or sketching paper. Since I paint with water and various techniques, like water-color washes, I require a paper which will not soak when you apply the color. If not, it won’t hold the water. Watercolor paper is rather stiff. I like to experiment with the bumpy edges of some paper and have found a brand name that I like to use.
For a drawing surface, I use a cork board type easel with two large clips to hold the paper. The size is 16″ by 20″ to accommodate any larger pieces of work I may do, such as portraits.