Monday, 21 May 2018

Let's mess about with watercolours

Don't go mad but I'd always associated watercolours with old ladies sat in a field painting the wildflowers. Nothing against old ladies, like (I'll be one soon enough) fields, or flowers, but it just never appealed to me.
I watched a pattern design course online and the teacher was using watercolours to colour her drawings. Oh my flip, I was hooked. I have been hoarding a stash of pretty much anything you would need for any project, since childhood so I pulled out my dusty old watercolours there and then. They hadn't even been opened since I bought them!

So what will you need?
• Watercolour paints
• Brush(es)
• Something to mix on
• Something to hold your water
• Paper, ideally watercolour paper, but if not available, I just used copy paper
• A pencil & eraser
Ok, so now you've got all your bits together, what are you going to draw? I'm no still life artist so I was a little terrified at the initial thought of the sketching part.
The thing is, you don't know until you start and if you start and it looks like nothing like your subject, please don't scrap it and give up. Just concentrate on getting your first lines down with your pencil and you can fix it later.
I chose a pansy, I just typed pansy into Google and a plethora of choices came up. I sketched out a rough outline, rubbed a few sections out and redid them once I was happy, I was ready for the fun stuff!
WAIT.... DON'T PAINT YET. I was happy with my outline and painted it straight away, but I want you to scan yours into your computer first. This was you have your original outline saved as a template, it's especially useful if you want to replicate your design with more colour options.

Right, now it's time to paint. How cool does your colour palette look? Remember, you don't need to invest in anything fancy, I just used a plate from the kitchen!
First off I'd recommend doing a test on a separate piece of paper, this way you get to know what you're working with; how the paint mixes with the water, how much water do you need, how long it takes to dry etc.

So here we go, here are my pansies. You can see they have a pretty simple shape so it's super easy to draw. The beauty of using watercolours is that the shading pretty much takes care of itself. Once your paint has dried you can rub out your pencil lines.
If you scanned in your original drawing you can now print out a template and trace over another piece of paper. Why not resize a few to make an interesting pattern.

You can always use these in your product designs or personal projects. I painted a bunch of succulents and used them on my wedding invitations.


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