When I was in Junior High, my teachers told me that watercolor painting was hard. “We will not use watercolors in this class. We'll start with something forgiving, like oil paints,” said my art teacher in junior high. I knew that pastels produced the beautiful pictures of ballet dancers in the hands of Degas and mesmerizing landscapes of Wolf Kahn. Pastels were not on my radar as an artistic medium until much later.
I've always had birds around me, but I didn't realize that this was something unique about me until my Mother and her Mother, both life-long fans of literature, began to say "I hear the birds. Sula's home" whenever I visited.
Today, I’m celebrating completing the February 30 in 30 painting challenge! The image is a collage of paintings I finished. I didn’t include the four blue lotus flowers I painted. I also left out one other lotus flower painting so everything fit into a square.
Today’s the last watercolor lotus flower study for the 30 in 30 painting challenge. Like many others, I've tried to do the 30 in 30 challenge for years, but I never completed more than a handful of paintings. In the past, I was happy about completing the paintings that I did, but I knew I could do more.
I painted a lotus flower bud for today's lotus flower watercolor painting. I used a picture where the flower bud was looking almost straight at me. I used my typical pigments and painted it without using pencil lines as a guideline.
Today's watercolor painting was another "white" lotus painted on a white background. I used Winsor Newton Cobalt Violet paint mixed with some Winsor Newton Permanent Rose. I did not lay down any pencil lines first, painting only with the brush and water.
Today was a very typical painting day. The blessing, the curse, and the challenge of creating art is that, regardless of the medium, it will cause you to face who you are. I started out painting two fabulously horrible paintings before painting the lotus flower watercolor painting that I posted today.
I continued with the theme from yesterday of painting my lotus flowers without using a pencil guide first. This produced a rich, vibrant, bold floral watercolor painting yesterday, and I was able to repeat it today. Similar to yesterday, the flower was painted at the end of a busy day instead of the morning.
I made two critical changes to my watercolor painting process for today's lotus flower study. I painted at the end of the day instead of the morning because I had a busy schedule. I decided to not draw a pencil outline of the lotus petals before adding the watercolor. I used one of my previous watercolor studies as a "model' instead of a photo. I still painted it one petal at a time with the stem last.
Only 6 more days left after today and I will have painted 30 lotus flower studies. Wow. I have tried several times to complete the challenge. I can't recall even making it past 10 paintings and certainly didn't make it even halfway through. I know I'm not alone as the first day I posted, the number I was assigned on Leslie Saeta's website was in the hundreds. When I posted at the same time yesterday (Friday), the number I was given was in the upper thirties. So why did I succeed now? What worked that hadn't in the past? Here are some thoughts: