Watercolor TV

I don’t remember who on the OCA FB page introduced me to this, but Matthew Palmer’s Watercolor TV series is great fun. He has a nice teaching style, very relaxed.


B.C., Lesson 1

Whenever there’s a point where we have to wait for something to dry, he suggests it’s a nice time to get a brew, my kind of guy! I see the potential for an art class drinking game. One shot each time he calls a color juicy, chug a beer when it’s brew time…


B.C., Lesson 2

Seriously, the videos are well done, and as a complete beginner, I’m learning some much-needed basic techniques.


A.B.C., Lesson 1


Well, that didn’t work…

This idea:

IMG_2073became this:

IMG_2074a bit sloppy, but I don’t see enough potential to pursue.

Then this:

IMG_2073became this:

IMG_2081One exercise calls for a solid colored background, and I decided to create that with watercolor. Then went on to watercolor and cut papers for the mountains and cup. Again, I don’t care for the end result at all, but still think the idea has potential.

Part Two, Ex. 2.2, Block Silhouette

Block Silhouette

I chose the Teatime theme.

Experimenting with shapes:

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

That raised the question, once cut out, does the shape need to stay together?

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I am happy with this one. I felt the prints on the pot, cups, etc., balanced well with the bright orange-red of the ‘tea’ and it has the slightly chaotic feel I wanted. Originally I used more pastel/floral papers for the crockery, but felt the steampunk style paper lent more to the overall tumultuous feeling.

The next one did not work well. I liked the notion of the teapots hunting, but overall it’s too busy, with no real focal point.

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I was thinking about the next exercise, Line, in my journal:

IMG_2025and playing with watercolors:

IMG_2007Which led to another block collage, on a woven newsprint background:

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I wanted to contrast the innocuous teapot and cup, as well as the fading primary colors with the mesh of dark news in the background, and I’m pleased with the result. You might notice that the cups are completely glued down, and the pots are not. I’m not sure which way is better, though since texture is not a part of this exercise, I suppose I will eventually glue them all flat.

I’d still like to try some version of my original journal idea!

Warm Up, Mark Making Ex. 0.4 and Summary

The last warm up exercise calls for larger paper, and marks of our own choosing.

Masking fluid, graphite and ink

Masking fluid, graphite and ink

This page is actually from my sketch book, but I liked the way these three mediums worked together, so I decided to try that again in the larger format:

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

It was interesting to plan out the different layers, and adding some marks after the masking fluid came off.

Back and white ink

Black and white ink

I applied the black ink with a sponge first, then used a drawing stick for both black and white lines. I like the high-contrast feel of this piece, the way the white pops out on top of the black ink. I had played around with it in my sketchbook first:

Balck and white ink

Black and white ink

Warm Up Summary

Trying all the different mediums and techniques has been great at helping me relax, and not be scared of the blank page!

The unconventional tools weren’t nearly as effective as the conventional tools, but some did provide a look that you wouldn’t get with anything else, so always worth trying. It was certainly something I might not have thought to do before this course.

India ink is something I can see using again in the future, I love the boldness of it when used undiluted, and the contrast it provides against some of the softer tools, such as graphite.

The warm up exercises helped me feel more confident about trying different mediums and tools, and not worry about whether or not I draw well, but more about using the different mediums creatively. I also moved from using my sketchbook solely to sketch with pencils, and more to experiment with different ideas and techniques, and I can see this being very important for future projects.