Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Pleasures of Watercolor Painting

This week is about watercolor painting and the pleasures that can be found there!

Unelmille avautuneet - Opened to Dreams, a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola.
Unelmille avautuneet – Opened to Dreams, 29,7 x 42 cm, watercolor

Getting Inspiration

Now I’ve been busy with a lot of different things – a new big art project, the new course Freely Grown, commissioned work, etc. Despite that, I stole some time and went to look at old paintings online – skillfully painted portraits of women in fancy dresses. They always make me want to paint, even though I prefer to paint plants and flowers instead of beauties.

Look at this painting of the Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter in 1859!

Inspiration from portraits. Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, oil on canvas, a detail of a larger painting.
Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, oil on canvas.
A detail – only a part of the painting is in this image.

The colors, the brilliant brush strokes, and all the delicate and decorative details are so inspiring!

I used to think that inspirational images must be the same as what I want to paint next. So, if I wanted to paint flowers, then I would only look at flower paintings. But nowadays, I love to be inspired by something different. Then the inspiration doesn’t limit me. It doesn’t depict what I should do and how, but sets an atmosphere that I want to follow.

Love for Good Watercolor Paper

After getting inspired, I opened the closet of my studio, as if secretly from myself, and tore a clean sheet from the watercolor paper pad.

Arches hot press watercolor paper.
Arches Hot Press watercolor paper

One hundred percent cotton, aah! So soft, thick, and ready to receive color. Good paper is expensive, but I paint better when I know in advance that I don’t want to waste a sheet.

Painting and Doing Other Stuff at the Same Time

When I steal time to paint, watercolors are an easy choice. Especially in the beginning, I can do one coat quickly and then let it dry for hours while I do other work.

Pleasures of watercolor painting - starting with a mess.

I can add details little by little, and the pauses often just clarify the idea of ​​the subject of the painting. And when you paint slowly from light to dark, you can always fix it with the next layer.

Pleasures of watercolor painting - proceeding layer by layer.

I often have my iPad nearby and listen and watch something at the same time while I paint.

Watercolor painting in progress.

Luxury Combined with Minimalism

When finishing, it’s pleasurable to take just a little color on the brush, and often near the pan, if it has spilled there. I also check the corners of the palette, where unused paint easily remains. When the color is activated on paper, even a small amount becomes a treasure and an experience!

Painting in progress. Flowers in watercolor without references.

I always buy good artist-quality watercolors one pan and one tube at a time and use them right up to the end. If I buy a tube, I squeeze a small amount into a pan to dry and this way, use the tube in small portions. I love this kind of union of luxury and minimalism – definitely one of the pleasures of watercolor painting to me!

Watercolor painting and supplies.

Finally, I wash the brushes carefully. Washing with water is enough for most brushes, but I often use soap to make sure that all the color has come off. With clean brushes, it’s nice to start a new painting again when I find time.

From Detail to Detail

Here are some pictures of the details.

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by the artist Paivi Eerola.

I like to paint a lot of subtle details, and I love the warmth that yellow has.

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by the artist Paivi Eerola, Finland.

Signing the piece before the final finishing touches makes sure that the signature fits with the rest of the composition.

Pleasures of watercolor painting. A detail of a larger piece painted by Paivi Eerola.

I hope this blog post inspired you to pick watercolors and paint freely!

P.S. Freely Grown – You can still hop in!

Freely Grown - an online art class about painting flowers freely

>> Sign up here!

10 thoughts on “Pleasures of Watercolor Painting

  1. Hello Hello!!
    I am interested in your
    new class Freely Grown! Once I sign up ~ will I be sent VIDEOS for each portion of the class?? Or just printed material?? Printed material is just NOT THE SAME!! And I was really disappointed the last time I took a class that all I got was printed material, no videos in which to watch you paint your magic!!
    Thank You!
    ~Gailie Running-Lynx
    ~xoxo~ 🥰

    1. Hi Gailie, thank you for your comment on my blog!
      All the classes (except the knitting patterns) include videos.

      Freely Grown also has videos – 8 carefully recorded and edited instructional videos. I have contacted you privately to make sure that you have got the videos of my classes.

    2. Paivi’s courses are awesome. Lots of videos take you through step by step. Our Facebook group adds an extra dimension where we encourage each other by posting our work as it progresses. Everything is so positive and encouraging. Paivi posts extra videos to answer our questions and always comments on our endeavours.

  2. I’m not usually attracted to portraits but this one is stunning! I caught myself staring at it.
    I’m loving the course. My painting is getting better and better

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