Watercolor has been like a spa or relax activity for me, while Graphic Design has always been my primary line of work. I don’t know why I set it up like that, probably because I started to earn money from Graphic Design back at the beginning and that was that. Art was just a hobby, anyway. Up until recently…
I decided to take one step further and include painting in my daily routine and maybe at some point, start earning from my art.
Few important tips:
- Practice every day!! That’s crucial. At first, I didn’t have time each day, so I did it at least once a week. That’s not nearly enough. Just when I warm up and start to really paint well, I have to focus on my day job and by next time, I’m back at the beginning. After I realized that, I decided to paint every day, at least 30 minutes. If I have time for just one leaf, so be it. Practice makes perfect, they say. So, I practice. There’s so much to learn.
- Artist quality colors and paper. Nothing can be done with student quality materials. I had problem using the quality paper at first, especially for practicing. I noticed that I do better when I use some cheap, crap paper than when I take Arches, 600 gr. That’s simply the pressure – I know that this paper is good and expensive and I am worried that I might ruin it. But, I got used to it, over time. Now, I mainly use Hahnemühle Watercolour Paper. As for the colors, I used White Nights for a long time, as they were the best quality I could easily find. Then I tried German brand Schmincke for a while, but then settled with Winsor & Newton, since they were really the best for me. All before – mentioned are artist quality watercolors and the differences between them are just nuances, but the last one just worked best for me. I still use all three when needed, and mix them often.
- Lower your expectations. Don’t expect masterpieces immediately. Talent has little to do with success in painting. It helps, definitely, but hard work and repeating is what does the trick. I am still not fully satisfied with my work, and I think I’ll never be. That’s how we creative people work, but that’s what pushes us to constantly improve ourselves 🙂
I also got this beautiful book from my husband – it’s called A Garden Eden, published by Taschen. I can’t say enough how wonderful it is, as it displays botanical illustration from the Byzantine to the Baroque.
Anyway, after some time, I realized I can’t work on kitchen table any more.. Or move my computer back and forth each time I paint. It was time for redecorating my office space so that I can paint and work in the same place, with ease and comfort.
First, I bought one of Ikea storage units with drawers, and I found it excellent for keeping papers and finished work safe, since it’s drawers are thin and wide. It’s also great for keeping my scanner and some nice candles for boosting the atmosphere while working.
There’s still one final touch to add – and that’s my new desk for painting. I’ll take the one that can change the angle of the desk top, because it’s so much easier for drawing. I’ll add that photo and the whole office very soon!
Hope you’ll like it and that this post had some useful info for you, too.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!