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Showing posts from 2017

Modern Floral Watercolor 5

I got a new handmade watercolor pallet from Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy and I couldn't wait to try it. I'm pretty excited about how this one turned out-- especially the yellow rose shape. That one didn't turn out so great the last time I tried it. I think using a smaller brush helped.

Modern Floral Watercolor 4

I tried a different flower shape on this one I like it much better, but I'm still struggling with what to put in the middle. This doesn't quite look right to me. This composition isn't quite right either, but I feel like I'm getting closer...

Modern Floral Watercolor 3

In this one, I used another color pallet that I planned out before I started. I tried a different flower shape too. I wish I'd added a little variation in the leaves and some smaller flowers, but I'm pretty happy about this one overall.

Modern Floral Watercolor 2

This is my second attempt at a modern floral watercolor with one of the pallets from my last post. I think the colors and composition are better, but I don't love the shapes of the flowers. Also, I wasn't sure what to do in the middle of the red flowers, so I just left them empty...

Color Pallets

I found that one of the issues I had with my first modern watercolor floral painting is that I didn't think very much about the color pallet. I just used colors that I liked and, unfortunately, I didn't like them together. So, I sat down and just planned out a couple of color pallets that I wanted to try. These are combinations of Windsor Newton paints and some handmade colors from Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy.

Modern Floral Watercolor

One thing that I see so much of lately is the modern floral watercolors. And they are BEAUTIFUL. Just the simple, gestural flowers and leaves, you know? I love them so much and it makes me sad because I just don't understand. Haha! I mean, they look so simple, but I just cannot make my brain tell my hand to do that and I don't know why. I've decided the only way to figure it out is to just do it-- even if it looks bad-- until I get it. So, don't laugh, but this is my first attempt at a modern floral watercolor. It's bad, I know. But there are a few elements I like.

A few things I learned: think about the color pallet beforehand. I knew I wanted to paint the main flowers in this awesome rose gold (from Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy), but I didn't think any farther than that. And now I regret it. Also, I think it would have been better if I had thought about the composition a little more. I feel like this one is a little awkward. Lastly, I learned that you just …

Layered Pines Watercolor

Another painting that I see quite frequently on Instagram is layered pine trees that fade into the background. I wanted to give it a try and I knew my handmade Succulent Garden watercolor pallet that I just got from Designs By Rachel Beth on Etsy would be perfect.

I started with a wet background and lightly painted in some pine trees. I let that dry and then layered some more pine trees over the first ones, but just a touch darker. After those dried, I added one more layer of pine trees, but much more saturated in color. I painted hints of trunks on the last layer, too. Then, because it was snowing in the mountains here in Utah, I put some white gouache on a brush and tapped it over the top for a hint of snow. Fun! Can't wait to do this again!

Watercolor Cactus

One thing I've been seeing on Instagram a lot lately that I think is super cute is cacti. I love them because they are simple green shapes with pops of color. I decided to try my own using a little trick I learned at the watercolor and calligraphy retreat I went to a couple weekends ago. With the class, we received two packs of watercolor pencils (from Close to My Heart). My first though was "oh great, watercolor pencils" (with eye roll). I've never been into colored pencils and I've never really had a desire to try watercolor pencils until the instructor pointed something out-- you can use watercolor pencils to sketch your drawing and it will just blend in when you paint your picture. What?! That's one of the best tricks I've ever heard! So, I sketched out what I wanted to paint and just started filling it in:

I added a simple ground color and shadows so they weren't just floating in space:

And then I did something bad... I thought I had a very fine …

Modern Calligraphy

As I mentioned a couple posts back, I attended a watercolor and calligraphy retreat. I was expecting brush calligraphy, but I got modern calligraphy (taught by Melissa Esplin @melissapher on Instagram) with an actual calligraphy nib-- SCARY! But it wasn't really. It's going to take a lot of work and practice... and nibs! I'm so excited to work with it though!

I've only done a very little bit of practice so far. I got almost all the way through the alphabet in lower case before I decided I just wanted to write some words. It happened to be the first day of autumn when I was practicing, so what better words to practice than "welcome autumn" in all lower case letters (because I don't know any upper case letters yet).

I will say... it's intimidating to start but so mesmerizing once you get into it.

I feel like there is a little improvement between the first and second "welcome autumn", but I do need to work on my hairlines (that l... yuck!)

Purple Tree Watercolor

My fiancé asked me to paint him a purple tree, so how could I not. I think it was a pretty good idea...

Watercolor and Calligraphy Retreat

For my birthday, my mom bought me a ticket to a watercolor and calligraphy retreat last weekend. I was so excited and I was not let down. Not only was the instruction amazing, but we received so many calligraphy and watercolor supplies. I'm in love with all of them.

We started with calligraphy and I was expecting brush calligraphy, but we used calligraphy nibs! It was scary, but so fun and exciting. I've already practiced some of the things I learned and I can't wait to really dive in. More on that later.

The watercolor class was in the afternoon and we painted pink flowers referencing a painting that the instructor had already painted. As usual, I focused way too much on the details. I really want to focus on painting more loosely. I learned a lot about gouache (including how to pronounce it) and we got an amazing pallet of colors.

The instructors were Natalie Malan and Melissa Esplin. I'll definitely be watching for more of their classes. I can't wait to do this…

Geometric Pastel Minimal Watercolor

I sat down and painted a few backgrounds to layer some pastels on. I really want to explore colors, textures and layers and I feel like pastel is a really good way to add those things to watercolor. This is my first try. I expected to do a lot more with the pastels, but I was happy with this and I think I need to try it on a larger piece of paper because of the thickness of the pastels. I'd also like to work on keeping more of the negative white space to utilize that layer, too.

Splitting Rims

I've been trying something new with my pottery lately that I'm pretty excited about. I've been splitting the rim on pretty every piece that I can. The idea came to me when my boss asked me to make a candy dish for her. I wanted to make something a little more special than just a plain bowl.

A few years ago, I split the rim on a few pots and I didn't have the best results-- mostly because the rims were too thin, I think. This time I've left the rims as thick as I can and I'm hoping for better results. Here are some photos of some bowls that I haven't finished yet, but I'm hoping to glaze soon!

Minimal Abstract Watercolor

I cannot overstate how much I love watching watercolors run together and what they look like when they dry-- satisfies every time. This is one that I originally did to experiment with some pastels over the top. These are probably my favorite colors to paint together and I just couldn't bring myself to do anything over the top of it when it was done.


Recently, I was cleaning out all of my art supplies at my parent's house and I came across a bunch of oil pastels. I thought it would be a lot of fun to play with layering colors and composition with watercolors. So, here's my first one! I can't wait to keep playing around with these!

The background was done with my Let's Go Camping handmade watercolor pallet from a few posts back. I just love those colors!

I will need to find a good fixative to keep the pastel in place...

Simple Leaf Watercolor

I'm having so much fun with my new handmade watercolor pallet that I mentioned a few posts back! I started with a simple painting of leaves and such. It was harder than I thought to come up with six different types of leaves/foliage so I had to turn to Pinterest for a little help... I love the simplicity of this one.

Fall Trees

One of my all time favorite things to paint is trees. They are simple but effective and you can combine pretty much any colors and they look great. Two posts back, I wrote about a handmade watercolor pallet I purchased on Etsy and I used that to paint these trees (with a little brown from my own pallet). I see many more of these in my future-- especially with fall coming up!

Blending Colors

In my last post, I talked about an amazing new handmade watercolor pallet I bought on Etsy. One of my favorite things to do with watercolors is just simply watch them blend and bleed together. I like to find two or three colors that look interesting together, paint them really close together-- touching in one or two places, watch them blend together and then let it dry. This is one of the first things I did with my new pallet and here are the results:

Handmade Watercolors

I've seen a lot of Instagram accounts for people who make watercolor paints recently. Honestly, I didn't even know that was possible and I am obsessed. I HAD to order some. So, I ordered a small pallet of handmade watercolors from an Etsy shop called Designs by Rachel Beth. Her watercolors are so beautiful and perfectly matched. She releases new watercolors every Friday-- how cool is that?!

I bought a small pallet called Let's Go Camping and let me tell you, the colors are perfect! I don't camp and the colors still remind me of camping! I'm so excited about that Toasted Marshmallow!

She also included a sample of her Neon Pink that is amazing! So bright and vibrant. I was truly surprised how vivid the color is.

So the first thing I did was make a chart of sorts to see how the colors look on paper in a little bit bigger swatches and how they blend.
Check out that pink!
I love how that Toasted Marshmallow mixes with other colors
Needless to say, I will be purchasing …