Home > Painting, Uncategorized > Basic Information: From Coloring Book to Painting, Part 2

Basic Information: From Coloring Book to Painting, Part 2

December 20, 2011

Strength by Shellie Lewis, 8” x 10” on 140 lb. Aquarelle Arches paper.  Except for the salted blue background area, this is almost entirely watercolour pencil. 

From high school age to my early twenties, watercolour paints and I did not get along very well.  Ours was a troubled relationship.  I could not get them to do what I wanted them to do.  I struggled on my own to understand how they worked, how they flowed or by what mysterious physics they operated.  I felt like they were more water than paint, yet they stained the paper and could not be corrected.  At one point, I gave them up entirely as the most worthless and frustrating paint ever invented.  I would have been fine with throwing them all in the ocean or at least sending them back to the British.

Then someone gave me a gift: it was a set of watercolour pencils.  I was suspicious of these having already uttered countless curse words at colorful cakes of the regular stuff.  I hesitated in the quest for a return receipt; I had always been good with regular colored pencils.  I especially loved Berol Prismacolors.  This gave me pause.  I liked my colored pencils sharp and pointy, using them to carefully and slowly layer colors together on a page.  They were easy for me to use.

Coloring with watercolour pencils finally led me to understand regular watercolor paints.  I had the luxury of time to work without having to deal with the paints drying or being absorbed by the paper I was working on.  I did not have to fret about colors running into each other and blending where I wanted them separate.  Think of watercolour pencils as the bicycle training wheels of watercolour paints. 

I would get every part of what I wanted in the painting colored in on the paper.  This was fun and easy.  The pencils were easy to work with for making lines or marks indicating texture due to my experience with colored pencils.  When I had all of the areas colored in how I wanted, I would use a small brush and wet down the page section by section, color by color, until the colored page became a painting.  The pencils gave me the control I needed and an easier introduction in how to manipulate wet watercolour medium.  Having learned how to succeed with the pencils, I went back to watercolour paints – in cakes and tubes- and started over again with some skills I did not have before.

Categories: Painting, Uncategorized
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