Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2008

Watercolor Journaling at the 2008 Retreat

2008 Annual Retreat: Watercolor Journaling

by Judy Rowe

Watercolor by Judy Rowe

It was a beautiful day in Sonoma at the OWA Retreat. Judy Rowe gave us a short lecture, a few exercises and then set us out to enjoy for ourselves and to have fun with watercolor journaling. She emphasized the importance of not spending too much time on either the ink drawing or on the watercolor application.

Here are a few Water Color Tips (Lessons Learned) that Judy gave us:

1. It looks easy, but it's not! Don't get discouraged. The professional watercolorist does not get it right all of the time.

2. If you mix on the palette, mix more paint than you need; It's best to mix colors on the paper and let the water "mix the colors". Remember that you need less paint from darker colors when mixing with lighter colors.

3. Preserve the "white" of the paper. Paint around white shapes. This is what gives watercolor its distinctive appearance.

4. Using "suggestion" in your drawing and painting is much more powerful than being explicit about every detail. The outside of the shape you draw/paint will tell the viewer what the object is.

5. Keep a sketchbook / journal with you always! and use it. Your travel journal will develop your "eye" and the way you see things. Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.

6. Composition is best when you remember the "three bears" (papa, momma and baby bear). Have an odd number of objects and very the sizes in your composition.

7. Keep your watercolor painting out of the sun.

8. All drawing/painting is about the relationships of angles & shapes. The more drawing & painting you do the more you will learn to see the "negative" spaces/shapes between objects. This will allow you to get the "relationships" between objects correct.

9. Use as big a brush as possible. Big brushes help you paint looser.

10. Have fun with your watercolor travel journal and enjoy the journey!

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