Before I launch into posting my latest painting experience, I want to share a bit more about the type of person I am. When I was a little girl, I was lucky to live very close to immediate family members. My grandmother literally lived in the house behind us and looked after me for the first two years of my life while my parents worked. I am one of about 20 cousins and all of my Aunts and Uncles lived fairly close by. With so many relatives to hand, there was always an adult who would quite happily show you how to do the thing you want to know how to do. I learned how to cook, knit and crochet from my grandmothers. My mother did teach me some practical skills, such as cleaning and ironing. When I went to school, we learned how to cook, sew, and balance a check book! I have a very inquiring mind and I am very practical. I like to know how things work. I can follow directions. I am good with machines.
When it came to art, my father was the artist. He can copy anything, with either hand. He was so good at it that I didn’t need to bother with art. How could I compete? I never asked him to teach me to draw or paint, but he taught me how to ski and play sports. When I moved to where I live now and had some time on my hands, I decided to try my hand at creating art. I didn’t have anyone to show me how to do it, so I bought books. I bought art supplies and had a go. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did it anyway. I knew something was missing, a process. I went to some classes, but something was still missing, a process. I need some structure. I know there are methods and ways of doing things. Whenever I want to learn how to do something, I usually do a bit of research. Sometimes I jump in, but I prefer to have an idea of what to expect. The best way to learn anything is to have someone show you. That is why there used to be Masters and Apprentices. One of the things I liked about the jewellery class I took awhile back was the strict process of making the earrings. You could not skip a step. I know that creating a painting is different, as there are different processes, but I want to learn a process. You have to know your medium and what you can and cannot do with it. Every book I have teaches a different method of laying down a painting, but most of them follow a similar process. You just have to decide which one you like.
Taking the watercolor class was a bit of a fluke, but I am glad I did it as I learned quite a few things. I was inspired to learn more, so I bought more books and started looking at videos on youtube. That is what I do when I get a bug for something. I can spend hours looking at books and videos before I even dare to pick up some paint and have a go. I found this wonderful lady on youtube and her name is Angela Fehr. She has great little videos on youtube about what and what not to do with watercolor paint. I did her tutorial on how to paint a sunflower and this is how it turned out.
Things went a bit pear-shaped in my center, but I am mostly happy with the result. This is the first time I painted a flower from a tutorial. I don’t count the one we worked on in class as I don’t particularly think it was a well-planned exercise. I am going to try this again, but maybe with one of my own photographs. There was a range of techniques used here that I only ever imagined doing. The background is something I am especially pleased with.
I am really grateful for everyone who posts how-to videos. Not everyone has a capable person around who can teach you what you want to know and the internet is a wonderful resource for information.