Lesson 5: Play with your watercolours!

 Take your material and start playing - it's easy and fun!
Start with any piece of watercolour paper and use clean water to wet it with your brush. Check the wetness of the paper by turning it and looking at it from the border : it should be damp all over, without pools!
Now choose 2 or 3 colours  and start dropping colours onto the paper! You can mix some colours, if you want, or just let them mix on the paper. 

Let the colours spread and see how beautiful the result is without  any effort!  This is the basics of wet-in-wet painting and You will enjoy playing like this even if you are a more experienced painter!
This is Wet in wet - It's easy!

 Wet-in-wet is one of the basic watercolour techniques - so now practice!!

This post will be continued...

Paint what you love! Watercolour Lesson 4

A couple of close-ups of a sketch of my orchids!

When you've managed to get the materials that suit you personally, success is only a few steps away, here's the formula 
  1. Do something you love
  2. Learn life long
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2
I found it here, link to Watercolour Painter, where you can get more information and find step to step instructions as well!

A lot of fun just playing with colours, capturing the pattern and colours of my flowers!
Watercolours allow you to play freely and get fresh sketches more than any other medium!

 While this is a more traditional painting from some time ago! Link to my post here.

Painting Endless Summer Nights...

Late evening: Summerhouse in the Archipelago

I'm reposting this painting I made from a photo a while ago. 
I kind of  feel nostalgic about 
Midsummer in the Finnish Archipelago and the long days and sunny nights...

Watercolour Lesson 3: mixing colours!

So let's mix the colours we need! In the last post I said  that you only need a few colours to start - actually with 3 basic colours you can easily mix all colours as this triangle above shows. 
Here I used lemon yellow, alizarin crimson and ultramarin blue.
By varying the quantity of the different colours you vary the tones.
I.e. using more yellow and less blue you get a lighter and brighter green. More blue will give a darker green.

For BROWNS you mix all the 3 colours - but ATTENTION- mixing them in exactly the same proportion might give a dull tone of brown! Excercise by mixing different browns adding more or less of the 3 basic colours.

What about the other colours you have? They will help you to mix different tones: for example the Prussian blue that is a greenish blue will be an excellent base for your greens adding either lemon yellow for spring green or cadmium yellow for moss green. 

If you drop some cadmium red - it is a more orange red, i.e. with some yellow in it - into your green you will get beautiful brown shades.

And so on - mix the colours you have, try them on paper and write down the colours you used. This helps you finding your favourite colour combinations. 
Mixing your own colours you will learn a lot and you will get vivid and interesting colours, not so flat as ready  made colours might be!

Lesson 2: Choosing you watercolours - START PAINTING!

This post was going to be about choosing you watercolours - 
but I really think it's more important to START PAINTING whatever colors you have!

                                                                work in progress...

Anyway this is also a reminder for who has had lessons with me! If you are going to buy your watercolours, I recommend to start just with a basic box, like the one in the image above. You can also use watercolour in tubes. I suggest starting with these basic colors:
Lemon yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Red
Alizarin Crimson
Cobalt Blue
French Ultramarin
Prussian Blue
Yellow Ochra
Burnt Siena

If there's a white pan in the box, put it away - the white is not used in traditional watercolour painting! You only use the white of the paper! (But don't throw it , you can use it for abstract or botanical paintings!)

As you notice, there is no green, purple or orange - because you can mix all the colours you need out of the three basics: yellow, red, blue. If you are not familiar with the mixing of colours, check out this link for the color wheel. The Siena and ochra are additional and good for neutrals or landscape painting as well!
I plan to prepare a post on mixing colours as well, soon.

What else do you need to get started?
- A couple of round brushes - one as large as you dare, and a smaller one -size 12 for example - for the details. They should have a nice point and be capable of holding a full brush load of water (and paint). A synthetic brush will do well for starting.
- 1-2 jars for clean water.
- A plate or palette for mixing colors.
- paper towels

That's all! Now go on painting, mixing and having fun!!

Peony Love - Watercolour painting ready - or not?!

This is my  insta photo from some time ago. I never managed to finish the painting, and now I don't know what to do... I need some suggestions from you!!

Now the painting looks like this, and I'm wondering what I should do: leave i this way, or...?
- what do you think!?
(I planned to add some more darks, some spring green to the leafs and stems, work on the water in the glass... and probably do some shadow/background...)

Because the flowers are gone and working from the photo is not so inspiring. 
AND the risk is always to overwork a watercolour painting...  I'm wandering if  I should just leave it the way it is while waiting for new peonies in my garden next year!? Please let me know your opinion!!