I have decided to take a brief two week hiatus from watercolor. I think a small break will help me bump past this plateau I’ve been stuck at for the past few months.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on some other creative endeavors. I think by exploring other media, I’ll improve at watercolor by gaining a more well-rounded understanding of general aesthetics. I spent all weekend gardening, which made me think about form and structure in a totally different way, trying to plan colors, textures, and shapes in four dimensions (including time.) Not I want a garden that is pleasant to look at all year long, so I need some kind of structure for the winter. I also want spring, summer, and fall flowers. And I have to plan moments of varied height. The lobelia I planted is 10 inches tall now, but it can grow to four feet high. So I also have to think in terms of years, not just seasons. It’s a very different and enjoyable artistic puzzle.
I also have been more interested in drawing on my iPad. I recently bought a PaperLike screen protector, and I must say, drawing on the iPad is much more pleasant now. I still don’t like how hot it gets while I draw, but I do like being able to “paint” while sitting on the couch.
So far, most of my digital drawings have been boxes and picket fences – I’m practicing perspective in an attempt to improve my drawing. Tonight, I decided to try to draw something more than just a box.
I’m proud of this. It makes me think of summer, and nothing makes me feel more pleasantly nostalgic than summer. I like the playfulness of the image as well. So much of my watercolor work is heavily forced because I’m trying to make representational art. Doing this drawing on the iPad was very fun because I relied on my imagination and whim.
I learned a lot about painting on the iPad while making this, but the lessons are all about how to use Procreate. I don’t think I discovered anything you wouldn’t find by looking at some of the thousands of YouTube videos out there, so I won’t bore you with a step-by-step analysis. If you should know anything, you should know that 70% of the time I spent on this drawing was spent on elements that I ended up deleting.
That’s always how art goes for me, which is probably why watercolor is such a challenge. I can’t undo in watercolor. I can’t decide that the mark I just laid down should be green instead of brown. These are the kinds of things I can do digitally, and that takes a lot of the pressure off.
At any rate… here’s my painting. I liked it enough to turn it into my phone’s wallpaper. If you want – you can too. Go ahead, download it, do whatever you want to it.