Daily Mindfulness Practice: 10 Days of Creativity & Watercolor | Audrey Ra | Skillshare

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Daily Mindfulness Practice: 10 Days of Creativity & Watercolor

teacher avatar Audrey Ra, Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (1h 51m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. My Mindfulness Journey

    • 3. How to Progress Through This Class

    • 4. Supplies

    • 5. Day 1: Breathing

    • 6. Day 2: Connecting Body and Tools

    • 7. Day 3: Finding Calm and Inspiration Anywhere

    • 8. Day 4: Lines of Negativity

    • 9. Day 5: Circles of Affirmation

    • 10. Day 6: Sparks of Joy

    • 11. Day 7: Waves of Gratitude

    • 12. Day 8: Arches of Dreams

    • 13. Day 9: Leaves

    • 14. Day 10: Motivational Cards

    • 15. Your Project

    • 16. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Is this you?

  • You feel too hurried and busy as an artist or creator
  • You feel disconnected from your craft
  • You feel inadequate or have imposter syndrome

I've been in your shoes, and still have those feelings from time to time. But when I discovered how to practice self-care through mindfulness, I was able to free myself from those feelings.

In this class, I want to take you on your own mindfulness journey, and use watercolor as the medium. We will do that by harnessing peace through breathing exercises. Confronting the negative thoughts you have as an artist. Setting goals and dreams for yourself. And creating a motivational card that will continue to inspire you to practice mindfulness everyday.

This class is for all levels of artists because we can all benefit from slowing down and being more present.

You'll need basic watercolor supplies:

  • Watercolor paint. (any colors you like)
  • Brushes (round size 6; flat brushes optional)
  • Cold-pressed watercolor paper
  • Jars of water
  • Paper towel or cotton rag
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Black permanent ink pen
  • Straw
  • Hair dryer (optional)

My hope is that by the end of the class, you will have a better sense of who you are as an artist, feel more confident, and have the discipline to continue on your mindfulness journey.

I'll see you in class.


Meet Your Teacher

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Audrey Ra

Watercolorist and Modern Calligrapher

Top Teacher

Let's spark creativity!



I'm so glad you're here! Whether you're new or a long-time student, I hope there's something for you in my classes.

My creative journey started with the bullet journal. Since then, I picked up watercoloring and calligraphy. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least! I published my first class on loose florals in September 2017, and have been steadily adding new classes. 

I love meeting new students and making connections. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.

Thank you, and let's make the world a more beautiful place!



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1. Welcome: Do you ever feel hurried or too busy as an artist or a creator, have you felt disconnected from your craft, do you have feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome? I struggled with this in my early on in my years as a water color artist. I thoroughly enjoy creating but there were times when I felt like no one appreciated my work, I wasn't good enough, and that I should give up. But everything changed when I discovered how to practice self-care through mindfulness. Hi there. My name is Audrey, and I'm a watercolor artist. I've been an educator for over 10 years and have been teaching on Skillshare since 2017. You may recognize my loose floral style and wreath paintings. I love to help students let go of their perfectionism and gain confidence through their skills. This class is a 10-day journey of connecting you with your inner artist, your mind and body, and your tools. We're going to do that by harnessing peace through breathing exercises, confronting the negative thoughts you have as an artist, setting goals and dreams for yourself, and finally, create motivational cards that will continue to inspire you and others to practice mindfulness every day. This class is for all levels of artists because we can all benefit from slowing down and being more present. Some will say that to become better artists, we just need more time, more education, more practice. While I agree with that, I believe that it's just as important to know who you are as an artist and create from a place of peace. Let's do that together. I'll see you in class. 2. My Mindfulness Journey: I began my watercolor journey in 2016 after my grandmother passed away. She was a watercolor artist and painted loose florals. She didn't have an Instagram page or fancy supplies, she painted on whatever paper surface she could find and painted every flower she saw. When she passed away, I wasn't able to be there with her and I didn't know how to grieve. I started by renewing my love for journaling. I began writing down every thought that came to my head and processing the emotions that I was going through. After getting the hang of journaling and discovering bullet journaling, I dove further into the creative world and picked up watercolor. It made sense that I would at least try it out because it was a way to honor my grandmother's memory. I taught myself by watching countless hours of YouTube, Instagram videos, and even Skillshare classes. I found myself using watercolor as a way to ease my anxiety, confront my grief, and use it as a fuel to create something beautiful. I want to share three ways in which watercolor helped me grow as a person and become more mindful. I hope these are encouraging to you as you think about learning watercolor, not just to learn a new art form, but as a way of relaxing, de-stressing, and growing. First, watercolor helped me let go of perfection. Jean Haines, a renowned watercolor artist and author, she says, "So many people are worried about painting purely because they put such high expectations on their shoulders of having to achieve a masterpiece. Actually, painting can be such a joy. Just to watch color flowing over paper, to de-stress, and to just literally change your mood." I love what Jean says here; remembering the why of painting. It's not always to create a masterpiece, and if we don't enjoy the process of it, it defeats the purpose and nothing will ever feel like a masterpiece. In other words, the pursuit of perfection will rob you of the joy of painting. Watercolor helps me to let go. Second, watercolor helps me develop my own expressive style. It actually took me a few years to develop that style and then be comfortable with it too. But now I don't try to copy what other people have painted. I can admire and respect it, but I'm confident in my own skills to be inspired by it, and then paint it in my own way. This really happens by first letting go of perfection, honing in on the basic skills, knowing your tools and supplies, and focusing on the present, which leads me to the third way in which watercolor has helped me by being able to focus on the present. Focusing on the present is something that I always struggle to do. Even as a child, I would worry about what the next day would bring, what I would be doing in five-years, what the future would hold. I even obsessed over the past. Maybe I shouldn't have made that mistake. I wish I did things differently. But once I picked up watercolor, all that mattered was the present moment because I didn't always know how things were going to turn out. One wrong stroke or too much water or too much paint, and everything could turn sideways. Maybe water splashed onto my paper, then what do you do? Painting with watercolors helped me lead go of the final product and really focus on what are my hands doing? How my brush is behaving, learning the patterns of my supplies. In a strange way, I was able to allow myself to forgive the past, hope for the future, and be thankful for the present. Now, I do have a disclaimer before I dive deeper into this class because I'm not a licensed therapist, and I'm not a mindfulness expert. I'm only sharing the methods and techniques that have helped me, and then using watercolor as a medium to achieve that. I can't guarantee anything, but I do hope that you will be able to experience some of the same freedom that I have, like letting go of perfection, developing your own style, and focusing on the present. As a watercolor teaching artist, I do enjoy teaching you how to paint specific things, but I hope to also teach you the basic techniques so that you can paint with confidence, intuition, and joy. Through this class I hope you can also paint with mindfulness. Let's embark on your mindfulness watercolor journey now. 3. How to Progress Through This Class: The best way to accomplish this class is chronologically. The first three days will teach you the basics of mindfulness, days four through nine will be watercolor practice for mindfulness, day 10 is a chance for you to reflect and think about how to keep this practice going on in your life, and then we'll close out by talking about your project and final thoughts. I strongly recommend that you take your time with each day. You can stretch each day's practice into a few days, or even a week, and that's okay. Go at your own pace and really take the time to learn and understand the practice and discipline for each day first. Don't rush through the class just to complete it. Be present in the moment. I hope you're excited. Let's talk about the supplies that you're going to need for this class. 4. Supplies: Here are all of the supplies that you're going to need for this class. I wanted to mention that if you don't have watercolors, that's okay. You can still follow along with the 10-day journey. If you have colored pencils, crayons, or markers, all of that is welcome. Your project might just look a little bit different from mine, but that's okay. I think you'll still pick up on the principles of mindfulness. Since we are working with watercolors in this class, you'll need some basic watercolor paints, brushes, and paper. For paints, I'll be using the Lukas 1862 Aquarelle, and you can choose any colors you'd like to work with. For brushes, I'm going to use mostly the size 6 and maybe larger. I'm also going to use a flat brush, but you don't have to use a flat brush. A round brush is more than enough for this class. For paper, I'm using watercolor-specific paper, and it's 140 pounds and 300 GSM, and it's cold-pressed. You can use any brand that you like. The brand that I'm using is Master's Touch. I basically took this larger pad and then I cut them into smaller sizes of five inches by seven inches. This is the size that I'm going to use for all of our practice, and for the motivational cards. You'll need some jars of water to wash out your brushes, a paper towel to blot and dry your brush, a spray bottle with water to keep your paints fresh. You'll also need a few writing utensils. Grab a pencil and your eraser if you want to take notes and a permanent black ink pen, because we're going to be writing over our watercolor paintings. Finally, you're going to need a straw, and we're going to use this for Day 6. If you'd like to speed up the drying process, you can use a hairdryer, but this is completely optional and you can do this class without it. Here's the overlook of all the supplies that you'll need for this class, and let's get started with our 10-day journey. 5. Day 1: Breathing: Welcome to Day 1, where we're going to practice breathing. This day is actually really important because we're going to start each following day with this breathing practice. I like to do this before I start a painting session to center myself and to clear my mind, I also struggle with mild anxiety and have used this exercise to quiet my thoughts and ground myself. Start with a comfortable sitting position. I like to sit in my office chair and I usually use a step stool to rest my feet. I like to set up but then relax slightly and like to place my hands palm up either here on the table or on my thighs. But I'll do it here on this table so you can see and let's do a couple of different breathing exercises. For the first exercise, we're going to breathe in for four seconds and exhale for six seconds. Let's do this for two minutes. You can keep your eyes open or closed and as you breathe in and out, focus on the actual act of breathing, you'll likely notice a calming effect. Let that sink in. Let's begin. Next, we're going to practice circular breathing. For this exercise, again, sit comfortably and breathe with your mouth slightly open, and your tongue touching the ridge behind your front teeth. As you inhale, imagine the breath and energy traveling up your spine and into your head, and then hold it there for a second before you exhale. Then as you exhale, imagine the breath and energy traveling down like a waterfall and settling in your abdomen. Pause there before you inhale again. Are you ready? Let's do that for two minutes. Again, we're breathing in for four and breathing out for six, and then holding in between. Well, that's all for today. Practice this breathing exercise periodically throughout your day. Maybe you'll try it before you start cooking a meal, before you go out to run errands, maybe even after your day is done and you're about to go to bed. Do it a few times, and then record your thoughts about how it went. I'll see you in the next video as we discuss how to connect our body with our tools. 6. Day 2: Connecting Body and Tools: Welcome to Day 2. Let's start with our breathing exercise. Sit in a comfortable position, palms up, and practice your breathing from day one and let's do that for two minutes. Welcome back. One of my favorite phrases to say when I teach workshops is to be one with your brush. Today we're going to focus on connecting with our body and our tools. Let's start by setting up our workspace. Grab one brush, preferably a larger brush. I'm using a round size 10, a jar of water, and some paper towel. We're not going to paint anything so you don't need your paint or paper today. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position. Place your brush in your dominant hand and as you breathe in and out, with your other hand, feel every inch of the brush. Take your time feeling the grooves, the bristles. Now hold the brush in your dominant hand as if you're about to paint and make circular motions in the air. While you're doing that, observe how your fingers, hand, and wrist are bending. Feel the brush as if it's an extension of your fingers. Try going clockwise and counterclockwise, and then switch as you feel like it. Let's do that. You can do this exercise down here where it's more comfortable instead of up here. Now let's incorporate our water and paper towel. We're going to imagine ourselves as the brush, as you inhale submerge your brush in the water. Imagine yourself going underwater and soaking everything up. You can swish your brush around in the water for a little bit if you'd like, and then hold your breath just for a second as you take the brush out. Then as you exhale, blot the brush on the paper towel and feel the water leaving you as it's also leaving the brush. As you blot, you can roll your brush around. The whole point is that whatever you do with the brush, imagine as if it's happening to you. Be gentle and calm in your movements. Let's try it. Inhale and dip your brush for four seconds, hold for one, take it out, exhale as you blot. Let's do that over and over again for two minutes. How is that exercise for you? Remember that part of mindfulness is being connected to the present moment. As we paint with watercolor, I want you to be aware of what your body is doing and what your brushes doing and then connect them. We can do that by imagining ourselves as a brush. Keep this in mind as we start painting in Day 4, you and the brush, are one. Join me and Day 3 as we discussed places and ways that we can find inspiration and calm in our everyday lives. 7. Day 3: Finding Calm and Inspiration Anywhere: Welcome to day 3. Let's begin with our breathing exercise. Being a comfortable sitting position, palms up, lets begin. Today let's talk about finding inspiration and calm anywhere. As artists, we need to make this a regular part of our journey. Let me give you a few ideas that I use. First, a creative retreat. At the end of 2020, I wanted to make it a goal to go on two creative retreats per year, unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic I wasn't able to travel freely. But I still wanted to leave my home for a few days and be refreshed somewhere else. I went to my first one in April 2021, and I plan on going on my second in October 2021. A creative retreat is really whatever you make of it. Go somewhere that inspires you whether it's mountainous, ocean side or urban. If you're inspired by food, go where the best restaurants are. If you like to visit art museums then include them in your itinerary. A creative retreat is a chance for you to receive creative inspiration and to create without pressure. The artist date. Another idea is to purposely schedule two hours each week for an artist date. This idea comes from Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, and I highly recommend reading her book if you want to learn more about this practice. Basically, she advocates for your inner artist. To do that, you have to purposely schedule two hours throughout the week that helps you fuel and nurture that inner artist. No matter what, you don't let anything get in the way of it, unless of course it's a true emergency. Once it's scheduled, you stick to it. The only other requirement is that you do the artist date alone, because it's just a date between you and your inner artist. Some of my artist date have been a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden, doing my nails, shopping for houseplants, reading and taking a nap outside. Your artist date may look very different from mine and that's okay. The key is to do something that inspires you and that you intentionally make time to do it. Lastly, simply be observant and alert. Practice the breathing exercises during the middle of traffic, or while you're standing in line at the grocery store, or as you're walking around in your neighborhood, you'll be surprised to see how much more you become observant. You might notice colors or details you didn't see before. You may see a pattern that sparks your interest. Maybe you'll hear a sound that you interpret later as a color or shape. This idea is really about the fact that you can find inspiration and calm anywhere, even in the everyday activities. Think about these things and try something out for this week. I'll see you on day 4 as we begin painting and confronting some of the negativity in our lives, and how that prevents us from being mindful. 8. Day 4: Lines of Negativity: Welcome to Day 4. Let's begin with our breathing exercises. Find a comfortable sitting position. Sit up, relax, palms up, and let's breathe. Hi again. Today might be a hard day for some of you because we're going to confront some of the negativity that we face, particularly as artists and creatives. But as we do that, we're also going to acknowledge the positives and grow from this experience. First, let's set up our workspace. Grab a sheet of watercolor paper, a five-by-seven sheet or larger will do. Your brush, paints, water, paper towel, and a pen. Remember in Day 2 and how we use breathing to connect our body and our tools? Keep that in mind as we paint today. This is what I painted as an example. But I'm going to use a smaller piece of paper for today's practice. Basically, we're first going to paint lines using various values and colors. Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a color. Now you can choose whatever colors you want to do. You can do one color or multiple colors. In general though, try to use slightly lighter colors that we can write on top of it. Now on the left side here, I put down the negative thoughts. Perhaps it's impostor syndrome. Maybe someone told me when I was younger that I could never be an artist. Now a lot of the negativity that we face are rooted in fear. One way to face that negativity is by developing positive alternatives. That's why I have two columns of horizontal lines. In the left column is a negative and then the positive alternatives are on the right side. Basically doing this exercise is going to help you start shifting your mindset from letting the negative fear hold you back and using the positive alternatives to move forward. Let me share a few of mine. You don't have a distinct art style, and my positive alternative is that I've evolved since my early days at painting and now I can describe my work as loose and elegant. The negative, you didn't go to art school and you don't know what real art is. The positive alternative is that always express from within and technique is something that can be learned outside of the four walls of a school. Those are just some of my examples. Think about that as we paint now. As we paint, remember to breathe calmly and observe your brush and feel your hand connected to it, and as if it's an extension of your fingers. I'm going to use a reddish color on the left and a greenish color on the right. Again, just make sure that you're in a comfortable sitting position. Anytime your brush hits the water and you're just being mindful and thinking about that and just move slowly. Don't rush this process. I'm picking up my red paint. To play around with value, you want to make sure that there isn't a lot of water mixed in with your paint. I'm picking up paint directly from the palette and if I do that, then the paint's going to be pretty dark. Now, these lines don't have to be perfect at all, they don't have to be straight, they don't have to be a certain width, they can be however you like. This is a pretty dark value. If you want to get a lighter value, simply take your brush, wash it out just a little bit, blot just for half the second, and then come up right against that again. Then now you have a lighter line. Keep doing this until you fill out that entire column. Again, you can have these lines touching each other, they don't have to touch. They can be skinny, they can be long. You can let the paint bleed a little bit. Now again, as you're doing this process, just move slowly and be thinking. I'm using my size six round brush. Remember to breathe. Let's go ahead and do the second column. Again, as I'm doing this, I'm really trying to connect to my brush. Notice how the paint is entering the brush, leaving the brush, etc. Now before we start writing, we need to wait for the paint to completely dry. You can speed up this process with a hairdryer if you'd like, or go to a different activity to a breathing exercise, whatever you want to do while you're waiting. Either way, go ahead and pause here and go do that and come back when your paint is dry. Welcome back. Let's finish today's exercise by writing out the negative beliefs on the left and the positive alternatives on the right. As you do this, remember that the negative beliefs don't define you. They're rooted in fear and they can be overcome. Moving forward, try to commit the positive alternatives to memory, so you can remind yourself from time to time. Let's go ahead and do that now. Grab your permanent pen and take your time with this exercise. For this first one I wrote, artists can't make a decent living. We've all heard that phrase, starving artists. For the positive alternative, I'm going to write, I'm more than an artist. I'm an educator and entrepreneur. Go ahead and write out a few more. You don't have to fill out the whole page. Just write down as many negative beliefs as you can that really seem to hit you at your core. Good job. What can you do with this? You can post it onto your inspirational board like I have in the back here, you can take a picture of it and make it a desktop wallpaper. The important thing is that you remind yourself of the positive alternatives. I'll see you in Day 5 as we continue with positivity and create circles of affirmations. 9. Day 5: Circles of Affirmation: Welcome to Day 5. Let's begin with our breathing exercise. Get in a comfortable sitting position, palms up, let's begin. Today we're going to focus on affirmations. It's an extension of what we did in Day 4 by turning our negative into positive alternatives. Let's set up our workspace. I'm going to use a round size six brush, a five by seven sheet of watercolor paper, my paints, and you'll need your pen. Now, this is the example that I created for today. I'm just going to create a smaller version. But as you can see, I wrote some short affirmations to remind me that I am an artist. I am good enough and that what I do is valuable and important, even if it's just for me. Just like Day 4 feel free to use different colors and values, however you want to. Don't feel rushed. Keep your breathing calm, and enjoy the process as you paint. As the circles are drying, think about the affirmations that you need to hear. One of the affirmations that I tell myself is that I love to learn new things and to grow. Here are some of the affirmations that I wrote on this one. I am an artist. I am creative. My art is inspired and inspiring. My life has purpose for myself and for others. My art has purpose. I love to learn new things and to grow. I am allowed to nurture my inner artist and did grow as a creator. It's okay if you don't fill every single circle with these affirmations, the purpose of painting was to really help you achieve a state of calm and then writing the affirmations is really just another facet of being mindful. Once your circles are dry, go ahead and write those affirmations. Well, how are you feeling so far? Do you feel more connected with the act of painting? Do you feel one with your brush? Well, we're only halfway through our 10-day journey so let's keep going with Day 6 as we paint sparks of joy. 10. Day 6: Sparks of Joy: Welcome to Day 6. Let's start with our breathing exercise. I'm so excited for today's practice. It might remind you of your childhood if you ever played around with art supplies. Let's prepare our workspace. Grab all of the regular supplies that we've been working with so far. But you're also going to need a straw and some extra paper towels that you can place your watercolor paper on top. This is what we're going to create. I love today's exercise because it's really going to help you let go of perfectionism and have fun with the process. These are my sparks of joy. We're going to play some water droplets with paint on our paper. Then use the straw to blow and then create these sparks. After everything is dry, we'll use our pen to write down things that spark joy within us. Feel free to use any colors that also spark joy in your life. Even though I used yellow and maroon and orange colors in this one, I'm going to use the color green because that's my favorite color. Just like the previous days, remember to not rush, try to connect with your tools, especially the straws since we're going to be using it just for today. I'm using my round size six brush. I'm going to first just play some water droplets on the paper just by dipping into the jar and placing some droplets there. You can make this water blob as large or as small as you want. It's really up to you. Then blot your brush completely so that it's as dry as you can get it to be. Then pick up your paint. I'm going to use this sage green and I'm just going to poke that water droplet and see how the paint goes right in there. Now if you wanted to mix in a different color, that's cool. Maybe you want to put in some of this bright green in there. We'll see how that turns out. Now, this is where the magic happens. You're going to use your straw. That's why this paper towel is really important because you don't want to spread it so far that it goes flying off onto your table, especially if it's a very important and delicate workspace. I'm going to turn my paper around. Because I want to blow into the paper and not out of it. Now try to get your straw as close to the blob as possible and then do quick breath, quick short breaths. Here we go. Now I let the pigment subtle a little bit too long. You're free to turn your paper around so just you can get the sparks going in different directions. Now you can have the spark going further if you want or you can stop it right there. Then if your spark is still wet, why don't you put in some more pigment in there? I see how that looks. Then create some more water droplets. Then do it all over again. Again, just have fun with this. Don't feel like you have to rush. I'm going to add some yellow to mine. See how that's going to turn out. Maybe add just a little bit of green and just see what happens. I hope you're having fun so far. You can do one droplet at a time. You can put multiple droplets down if you'd like. The whole point is just to let go and have fun. This definitely takes me back. Now take some time to let this dry. An activity that you can do while you're waiting for it to dry is to go do something that sparks joy in your life. Maybe that's shopping for something. Maybe that's going out and buying fresh flowers. Maybe it's tidying up your room or spending time with your pet, whatever it may be. Go ahead and do that. Let this dry. Pause the class here, and I'll see you in a little bit. Now that your paint is dry, let's write down a couple of things that spark joy. As for me, some of those things are fresh flowers, lighting a candle, buying a house plant, catching up with a friend over coffee, doing my nails, watching my favorite TV show, etc. Now I'll give you some time to write down some of those things. Well, I hope you had fun with this one. Reconnecting with a childhood art activity definitely brings back good memories for me. Let's keep going and I'll see you on Day 7 as we reflect on waves of gratitude. 11. Day 7: Waves of Gratitude: Welcome to Day 7. Let's start with our breathing exercise. Day 7 is all about waves of gratitude. If you don't already practice a habit of gratitude, today is your sign to start. Just like the previous days, we're going to paint something with watercolors and then write on top of it. Being thankful and reflecting on it is so important because it helps you see the good, admits the bad. You can be grateful for a little things like hitting all the green lights or your favorite snack went on sale. Maybe you remember to take a shower, don't overlook the small things. Developing this habit will help you be mindful in the everyday ordinary tasks. Let's go ahead and prepare our workspace. I'm going to stick with my watercolor brush round size six, my paper is a five by seven, I have my paints, and my water and my paper towel, let's get started. Now, this is the example that I created and this is obviously a much larger than a five by seven piece of paper, but I'll use my brush to create these waves. Now, your waves might look a little bit different. You can use a flat brush and then use waves like that, but I wanted to create it on a larger sheet because then each line would be an individual day. If you want to use a larger sheet of paper, you can for that purpose, but if you'll use a smaller one, like a five by seven, you can have seven lines and that could be enough for one week. In any case, don't worry about what the final piece is going to look like. This whole class is about being mindful and just being present in the moment. Use whatever colors you'd like, and let's create some waves of gratitude. Remember to take your time, breath, and especially with these waves, really watch for how your wrist and how your brush is bending. Remember to breathe. It's looking great and there's our waves of gratitude. Now, all we need to do is just write the things that we're thankful for. Again, you don't have to fill out this entire page right now. You can do one today, one tomorrow, etc, until you fill out this whole thing. Then what you can do with this afterward is if you have a journal, maybe stick it in there, you can use this on your inspiration board. This is also a great abstract pattern, if you like creating greeting cards, you can use a hole punch and create tags or other confetti. This could be more than just writing things that you're thankful for, but for the purposes of today's exercise, let's go ahead and write down at least one thing that we're thankful for, right up here at the top. I hope the practice of gratitude is something that you all start to do every day. Next, I'll see you in Day 8, as we paint arches of dreams. 12. Day 8: Arches of Dreams: Welcome to Day 8. Let's start with our breathing exercise. Arches of dreams sounds like such a lofty idea and it is. An arch represents a gateway entrance into something different. As we paint the arch shape today, I want you to think about some big dreams you have for yourself. It can be related to you as an artist or maybe it's a personal goal. Here are some of my big dreams as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Write and publish a book. Develop signature products like paints and brushes. Teach 100,000 students, that's including online and in-person. Go abroad on vacation. Let's set up our workspace. I'm going to use a five by seven piece of paper again. This time I'm going to use a flat brush, and this is a quarter-inch flat brush. Here's the example that I painted. Now I painted a bunch of little arches and you don't have to do that. You can do one large arch or if you have five goals, you could do five arches only. It's really up to you. I just wanted to practice the shape of the arch that's why I painted a whole bunch of them. Using the flat brush makes it really easy because you'll be able to get that flat bottom and then clean lines on the curves but you can still paint this just as easily with a round brush. As you paint this, feel free to play around with color, value, bleed. Just have fun with it. Then once you're done, we'll write some of our goals on the sheet. In case you forget, don't rush, take it slow and breathe. Now if you need to wait for your paints to dry, go ahead and let them dry. Go do an activity, come back, or you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Go ahead and pause the class here, and I'll see you in a little bit. Welcome back. Again, arches are all about this gateway into something new, something different, and for me, I'm interpreting them as achieving your goals, or you're achieving your dreams. Let's reflect on that. What are some of the dreams you have for yourself? They can be a personal dreams, creative dreams, dreams that relate to you as an artist. Just start with the top three that come to your mind. They can be as lofty as you want them to be, but still attainable. Earlier I mentioned that I wanted to travel abroad for vacation. That's pretty general, I could really go anywhere, but I also didn't write, I want to visit all 190 some countries around the world. That's unrealistic, probably not going to happen in my lifetime. I also want to limit you to just three because I don't want you to overload yourself with too many. If you're able to focus on just a few, you'll actually have a better chance at achieving them. Take a minute to think about them and then write it on your sheet. Again, you don't have to write a dream per arch, you can write it however you'd like. Now, this is something you can definitely hang on your inspiration board or take a picture of it and make it your phone screen so that you can remind yourself of your dreams. Wow, we're already approaching Day 9, I'll see you there as we continue to practice mindfulness as we paint leaves. 13. Day 9: Leaves: Welcome to Day 9. Let's start with our breathing exercises. Today's practice is a little bit different from previous days because we won't be writing down anything afterward. Instead, we'll focus primarily on brushstrokes and being present during each stroke. I have several classes on how to paint loose florals. Check them out if you want to learn how to paint them. But in this video, I'm going to focus on just leaves and the brush movement that's associated with it. We're going to practice just one type of brush movement to create our leaves. As you practice this brushstroke, remember your breathing and mindfulness exercises so that you can let go of any worry or perfectionism. Let's set up our workspace. I'm using a five by seven watercolor paper, my watercolor paints, and a size six round brush. Now it's important that your brush has enough bristles so that when we do the movement, your bristles will be able to fan out really nicely. The brushstroke is a fluid motion of press, drag, lift. Why don't we try this motion without the paint first? Take your brush in your dominant hand. Pretend that this is the paper. Press down, drag, lift. Press down, drag, press down, drag, lift. Try that again. Press down, drag, lift. Your brush in hand should be in the same position at the end and at the beginning. Which is having your brush almost straight up and down. Now let me demonstrate with the paint. Start with your brush at an almost upright position. Place the tip of your brush right on the paper. Then create a short line and then press downward so that the bristles fan out like that. Then drag and then start lifting as you're dragging to create another point at the other end. Make sure your brush is sufficiently wet so that you have enough paint to drag. Let's try that again. Again, press, drag, lift. Press, drag, lift. As you're doing this, notice how your wrist is bending. Observe how the pressure changes slightly from finger to finger as you press, drag, and lift. You don't have to create as large of these leaves as I have. You can create smaller ones, just don't drag it for as far of a distance. Those are some short ones. Again, as you're doing this, make sure to breathe. Be mindful of your movements. Now after you do several of these, try putting two of those strokes together to create a slightly wider leaf. You have one and then start the other one right about here, about the point where you started to press. Then leave just the sliver of white space right in between so that it looks like the vein of the leaf. It's okay if it's not a perfect sliver of white space. If you only got that little beginning part, that's okay. As long as there is some white space because if without it, it looks like a blob and we don't want blobs. Leaves are probably one of my favorite things to paint, especially when I don't know what to paint. It's a really simple movement and I can get lost in that movement as I do it over and over again. If you wanted to paint some leaves in profile, your first stroke might look more like this. That's the part of the leaf, the half of the leaf that's facing you. Then the other half that's behind it, you're just going to create just a thin line and still maintain that sliver of white space to give the illusion of a vein. Feel free to continue practicing leaves on more paper. You don't have to stop here just because I'm running out of space. I'm going to grab one more sheet of paper because I want to practice putting multiple leaves on a single stem. But let's go ahead and finish out this page with some more practice. Now let's try putting multiple leaves on a single stem. It's the same process really. But we want to be mindful of the direction of our leaves so that we can try to make it look as organic as possible. Paint one single stem using just the tip of your brush. Then paint a leaf at the end. Now as you come down this stem, have a couple that are fanning out the side, but then maybe there are a few that are straighter, a few that are wavy. Try to play around with that. You can turn your paper if you need to. Maybe you have another itty bitty leaf right there. Let's try it again. One long stem. Let's do two more just to fill out this page. Great job in painting leaves. Again, feel free to keep doing this so that you can get that brush movement down. Then be able to do it almost effortlessly. I hope you found some calm in painting these leaves. I'll see you in the next video on our last day of our 10-day journey as we paint motivational cards and combine some of the elements that we've painted together. 14. Day 10: Motivational Cards: Welcome to day 10. Let's start with our breathing exercises. For today's practice, we're going to combine some of the watercolor exercises that we did and create a motivational card. I'm going to continue using five by seven cards, but feel free to use whatever you want. For these cards, what I essentially did was combine one of the abstract shapes and the leaves. For this one, I combine the circles of affirmation and leaves. This were the lines and leaves. This is just one giant circle and a wreath of leaves. This is probably my favorite, I've got two arches and then some leaves as well. If you want to, you can write a message at the bottom, and it can be inspired by the things that you wrote. You can take one of the positive alternatives that you did. Write something that you're thankful for, write down one of your dreams, maybe something that sparks joy in your life, or an affirmation. As you create these motivational cards, keep practicing mindfulness and the breathing. As you pick up the paint, wash out your brush, paint a leaf, etc. Breath and let yourself actually get lost in the process of creating. After you're all done, feel free to display these cards for yourself, give them away as greeting cards for friends. Share it with someone who really needs to hear a positive message. Now, you can create one or multiple like I did, and you can continue to create these in the future as you need them. I'm going to create two during this session. I really like this arches one and this circle with a leaf wreath. Because you know how much I love wreaths. Feel free to paint along with me, or you can paint whatever your heart desires. I'm going to let this circle dry and then go on to the arches. For these larger arches, I'm going to use the half-inch flat brush. I'm going to let those arches dry as well. I love the bleed that's happening. I know sometimes people don't like that when that happens. But that's part of the reason why painting with watercolors really allows you to let go of perfectionism. Let this dry, I'm going to go back to the circle. Now, since I'm overlaying some of the leaves on top of the circle, I really want to make sure this is completely dry. Again, you can speed up the drying process with a hairdryer or just be patient. I'm going to use a smaller round size three brush. Just so I can get small leaves all around my wreath. Going to apply some color theory here, the reason why I love this teal and orange combination is because they're opposites on the color wheel. With this orange circle, I'm just going to do the exact opposite, but then add just a little bit of darker blue in there. I'm going to do small leaves to start. I'm only painting maybe two or three leaves per stem. But it's really up to you how you want to paint this. What's really cool is that because of the transparent nature of watercolors, where the blue is on top of the orange, you're seeing the overlay color and that's just so cool. Then I'm just going to go in here and fill in some of these empty or spots with some more leaves. Now, I'm just going to finish up the arches one. Similar to my first example, I'm just going to do one giant stem of leaves. For that, I'm going to go back to my size six round brush. Because the value of these arches are fairly dark, I'm going to make sure that my green of the leaves is going to be darker in value too, otherwise, they won't stand out. Then I do one long stem. I just had another idea, something else that you could do to help your maybe leaves stand out, is to add some metallics. There you have it. Again, you can write a message along the bottom if you'd like. You don't have to, you can just put it up. Perhaps it's already a reminder to you, like these arches of dreams and this circle of affirmation. Well, I'll see you in the next video as we talk about your project. 15. Your Project: Let's talk about your project. The great news is, if you've made it through all 10 days, you've already completed your project. Here are some other ideas for your projects submission. Share any photo of your work from days 4-10. Share a photo of your work on display in your home, office, kitchen, wherever. Share a photo of a place that inspires you and explain why. Once you're done creating your work, you will need to upload a photo of it onto Skillshare. Make sure that you're on a desktop computer, not a mobile device, or through the app, then from this class's page, click on the button, create a project, type in a title for your project, add some photos and share about your experience. Finally, hit Publish and you're done. I'd love to also see you share your work on social media. You can post on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, and tag me @audreyradesign and use, #paintwithaudrey. It's going to be amazing seeing all of your inspirational work. I'll see you in the final video as I share some parting thoughts. 16. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on completing this class. I'm so proud of the progress you've made and I hope you are too. I hope you notice an increase in calm, decrease in anxiety, and progress towards letting go of perfectionism. Here are some final thoughts before you go. First, mindfulness is a journey and a discipline. There may be periods in your life when you feel overwhelmed and don't want to practice it at all, and you'll forget to do it every day. But I caution you not to cut it out of your life completely. Let it be a part of your overall creative journey. My second and final thought is, create art for yourself. It's easy to look at others, see their success, and want the same thing for yourself. But they are on their own journey and so are you. If we continue to compare and set ourselves up for disappointment, our art is actually going to reflect that. When you do sit down to paint, do it for yourself first. Do it because it's self-care, do it because it delights you. Then you'll be surprised at how others are attracted to it. Thank you again so much for taking my class. I'm honored to be a part of your mindfulness, watercolor journey. I hope you have learned more about yourself and feel more in tune with your body, tools, mind, and soul. So that we can all become better artists. Please connect with me on social media and I'll see you next time. Bye.