This is my first course in level 3 for the AECP, and boy did I learn a lot. Out of all my courses, I think this was the most challenging.
Warning: this is a picture heavy post.
When I got about halfway through this course, I thought I bit off way more than I can chew. But, I went through all the classes and committed myself to giving this a real effort. I knew I was going be putting in a lot of hours of practice.
Before we get into it, I should note that I’ve used watercolor techniques before, but I’ve never been able to properly shade or figure out how to get the paint to do what I wanted it to do. I’ve tried those ‘beginner’ youtube vids but was never able to ‘get it’. This course, especially the leaves video, was a huge help with understanding the techniques.
- Prima Watercolor Confections: Woodlands
- Altenew – Morning Frost Dye Ink
- Altenew – Poppy Garden Stamp Set
- Watercolor brushes – sizes 2, 4, and 8
- Strathmore -140 lb. Hot Press Watercolor Paper – 100% Cotton
- Arteza – Sheets 140lb/300gsm Cold Press Watercolor Paper – Wood Pulp
I took a lot of pictures throughout this class because I wanted to see my progress. It was definitely noticeable during my practice sheet with the leaves.
I numbered each leaf in the order I colored them, as I wanted to see if I got better as I went along and I did. I started to get a better understanding of how much water to use and when to use it. How much pigment to use and how to move it around on the paper. I even mixed my colors from the Woodland pallet and had great results!
After I was done practicing I stamped a (simple) flower and leaves on 2 pieces of (wood pulp – cold press) watercolor paper. This is an inexpensive paper, but I thought it held up well for my flowers.
Below is my first try at a white flower. I looked online and found lots of white poppies but they’re pure white. I found one with a hue of yellow and used that for reference.
I used the same stamp for my next attempt, but tried to create a red flower.
So, I’m somewhat happy with my flowers, and made an honest attempt to watercolor a border around them. I’m not happy with these results… more practice.
All the above work took me about 8hrs to do. I took my time on each project, and I think that was a big part of this lesson – patients. Taking my time to learn and understand the techniques. I’m not going to get it perfect right away, but my failures are part of the learning process.
I decided to try again, but this time I kept it simple.
My goal was to create a white flower, but the first petal I painted I added too much pigment, so it was more of a soft blueish-white.
Something interesting happened during this process; you know when you watch artists and they don’t turn their paper while they work/color? I’ve always noticed this and this was something I was never able to do. My hand didn’t seem to work, or the color didn’t lay they way I wanted it to, and I had to turn the paper while I colored. It didn’t matter what medium I used, but I had to turn the paper depending on the angle I needed to color.
For each project I in this course, I secured my paper with tape and part of me wanted to turn the paper as I worked, but I decided to try moving my hand instead. I have to admit, this worked really well for me. I wonder if it’s perspective, and when you move the paper, that perspective changes? Honestly, I have no idea, but moving forward I will secure my paper and move my hand while coloring instead of moving the paper.
I’m very happy with how this flower turned out. I believe with more practice I can do better, but this is the best watercolor flower I’ve ever painted.
That’s is for this course…see you at the next one.
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