I call my sketchbook a watercolor diary because it has become more than just storage of watercolor sketches. I have recorded many everyday moments and memories into it, and it has become a companion that is always easy to pick up and spend time with.
Watercolor Diary – Watch the Video!
I have included a lot of sample pages in this blog post but watch this recording of a live broadcast to get more out of them!
About 17:30 I talk about daffodils, but I mean dandelions, sorry!
Watercolor Diary – Sample Pages
Here are the pages of my art journal showed in the video.
Story of a Flower
This should read “Dandelion”, not “Daffodil”!
This Place Looks Like That Place
Inner vs. Outer
Souvenirs from the Land of Imagination
Trip to the Museum
Organizing the Order
Flowers in the Wind
Kneeling Down, Looking Up
Focusing on the Air
Making a Pair
Watercolors and Colored Pencils
Take Yourself on a Picturesque Watercolor Journey
My class Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach.
If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!
In 2015, I recorded one of my most popular free videos called Farewell to Summer with Watercolors. At that time, I was practicing basic watercolor techniques and wanted to see how they would fit with the process of following a reference photo.
Now when I am preparing for the new class Watercolor Journey, I went to my archive and looked at that piece again. I was interested in the actual location more than the techniques – how our front garden had changed during the years and seasons, and also: how it’s going to change as we currently have big plans for the garden.
Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an Art Journal
This spring, I have realized that there can be a straight-forward but hooking connection between watercolor painting and memory keeping. I picked up an old Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and started making little watercolor sketches that record either the outer or the inner world. This kind of creative play between the reality and the imagination make the most out of watercolors and their many techniques.
My watercolor diary – as I now call it – is not just a technique sketchbook. It’s a nonlinear expressive journal that is sometimes very grounded, other times more other-worldly. I have a couple of rules that I try to follow on every page:
1) Don’t pencil-sketch the page before painting.
2) Get creative and let loose in one way or another.
Live Broadcast – Keeping a Watercolor Diary
Next week, on June 13, I am showing this small art journal and sharing some ideas on what to put on the pages. Come and join this live broadcast, save your spot here!
Watercolor Journey – Early-Bird Sale Ends on June 10th!
Before we meet, do sign up for my new class Watercolor Journey before the early-bird sale ends on June 10th (midnight, PDT)! Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach. If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!
This watercolor class is especially for you who admires traditional watercolor paintings but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach. If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class! Watch the video and see more information here!
Art Community for July-September Included!
This watercolor class automatically includes the access to my art community Bloom and Fly as well. In addition to the course material, you will also get access to the lively Facebook group with weekly feedback events, and monthly live sessions.
Old paintings are full of nuances and flow that we often don’t see when focusing on the subject only. This week, I am a rebel and use a Gelli plate for bringing up those elements. The Gelli Plate, like any mono-printing tool, is a bit clumsy for adding details. But also full of potential because you can easily produce repeated motifs that are not exactly similar. It enables you to add diversity and uplifting rhythm to your art without extra efforts.
Gelli Plate Meets Fine Art – Watch the Video!
This video is a replay of a live broadcast where I am sharing my secrets about the process.
I also include the images and the summary here in this blog post so that you can more easily refer back to these instructions.
Project 1 – Expressive Portrait on White Background
Supplies: Gelli Plates (mine are 8 x 10 and 3 x 5 inches), watercolor paper, brayer, brushes, any blunt stick, acrylic paints, glazing liquid (or gel medium).
This project started by intuitively adding layers with a Gelli plate on a white watercolor paper.
My only intention was to make a mess that has enough diversity so that I could see something appearing.
The big spot looked like woman’s face to me, so I made a stencil by quickly sketching one on paper.
I added more elements and shadows, so that worked one area at the time.
When the big elements were in their places, I changed to a smaller plate and added more details.
Here’s the monoprint before I changed to painting with brushes.
Using Botticelli’s Madonna of the Book as a loose reference, I painted the face and some details with fine brushes and thin layers.
Here’s the close-up of the face. I realized that the eyes look to a bit different direction, but I didn’t want to change that because this piece is called Nostalgia. I think it’s a mixed feeling because then we are admiring the past, but at the same time, being sad that there’s no way to travel back in time.
This piece started by adding a layer of black gesso on a watercolor paper. I had a clear goal from the very beginning – to create a floral still-life honoring Dutch Golden Age paintings from the 17th century. I also wanted to use Gelli plates only and see if it’s possible to create a detailed piece by mono-printing only.
The first layers were very subtle and translucent. The idea is to build depth by slowly increasing the brightness of the mono printed layers.
Like in the previous project, many layers only had few elements. I like how detailed they look when adding lines with the stick on the plate.
I also made a paper stencil for this project. At this point, I changed to a smaller plate.
I used paler and darker tones of pink to make a flower. It’s also handy to stamp the same flower several times.
Dots and splashes of paint all add up. I also like to use cotton cloth for making a sharp edge to a free-form shape.
When using a little too much paint, it forms “skins” that look like intricate leaves. It was also fun to add a surface pattern to a vase.
I used dark browns and black to tone down some elements, and white to highlight others.
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