Stepping out…

Watermelon Radish - QuickStudy Composition 1 - watercolor sketch

After over a year of sheltering in from the pandemic, we are gradually emerging back into the open, into a new normal. In the spirit of stepping out, I decided that it was time to take my very first online class. I had never taken an online class and if you can believe it, never had a Zoom meeting before (I have Facetime and had Google Meet-ings but no Zoom-ing). Serendipitously, my watercolor sensei , Kate Weese, announced she was going to hold intermediate watercolor classes over Zoom – a year after she had cancelled her in-studio classes. I signed up along with some friends of mine, ready to learn and step out of my “comfort zone”.

Looking at my website, you probably already have an idea of my watercolor “comfort zone” – lots of small, detailed, and mostly realistic illustrations of twigs, lichen, leaves, and branches painted wet-on-dry with small (some say, “tiny”) brushes (sizes 3/0, 2/0, 0, 1, 2, 4) on cold press paper.

So, how did I do? Here is a sampling of sketches from my inaugural online watercolor classes:

Rock with Lichen.
Watermelon Radishes Study #1
Starfish. watercolor illustration
Pears. Wet-on-Wet vs Wet-on-Dry
Twig with Lichen. Experimenting with salt on watercolor
Landscape – Wet-on-Wet
Watermelon Radish - QuickStudy Composition 1 - watercolor study
Watermelon Radish – Study #2
Buddy – a painting of my parrot Buddy in neutral colors

These sketches demonstrate the skills that challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone:

  • Painting wet-on-wet
  • Mixing neutrals using primary colors
  • Using big (in my world, “ginormous”) brushes (sizes 12, 16)
  • Painting landscapes and animals
  • Painting quick studies of under 10 minutes each – which is particularly challenging because I don’t get the chance to let the watercolor dry between layers

I plan to continue practicing these new skills – they aren’t as scary as they used to be, but they are a challenge! Stay tuned – I’ve signed up for more classes 🙂