I Love Watercolors

I Love Watercolors - student project

If I had to pick one art medium to work with for the rest of my life, it would be watercolors. Hands down, no competition.

Working through the exercises in this class and building my project was the first time in a long time that I just sat down to play with watercolors. No pressure, just see what color combinations I could blending. What sort of effects I might make. I can't tell you how much fun that was.

The tricky thing for me was finding a way to incorporate the watercolor textures I made into a deliverable, something that I might actually want to produce when I finished.

Part I — Inspiration

Since I've been working with watercolors for a while, I've developed a custom palette of colors from Cotman and Van Gogh (with one splurge, the world's most perfect shade of Alizarin Crimson from Daniel Smith). I like using bright, high saturation colors, and I built my watercolor noodling on that palette.

I Love Watercolors - image 1 - student project

(Yes, I have four blues and three yellows. Sometimes you feel like cerulean blue, sometimes you feel like ultramarine. I know, I need to stop.)

Part II — Perspiration

These are my original swatches. I used a larger sized watercolor pad, cold press, so I got some nice paper grain texture in there as well.

I Love Watercolors - image 2 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 3 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 4 - student project

I culled the batch down to some swatches I really liked and processed those through Photoshop.

I Love Watercolors - image 5 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 6 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 7 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 8 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 9 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 10 - student project

Part III — Application

I tried several different ideas just to see what I could do with the swatches I created.

I Love Watercolors - image 11 - student project

I started making postcard/greeting card designs for Valentine's Day. I brought in some of the other techniques we'd learned during the workshop. I drew a series of heart shapes with a big, thick brush pen, and pulled those into Photoshop. I used some of the paper textures I'd made in the Gritty Textures class to as clipping mask to beef up the paper texture on the watercolor swatches.  Finally, I used a PSD mock-up file just to see how they would work in card form.

I Love Watercolors - image 12 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 13 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 14 - student project

I Love Watercolors - image 15 - student project

I enjoyed working these card designs up so that I might finish up some of the others I couldn't sew up by project deadline. :)

Rebecca Vadnie
Art and More
Teacher