It’s time to review my fourth week of learning to draw and paint. Last week I left off feeling disappointed with how my abstract watercolor compositions were going. So, this week I focused on composition and watercolor techniques. Also, I continued doing line and circle warmups, but I found myself doing more involved drawings like simple landscapes or abstract forms when I’d sit down to warm up.
For my watercolors I played around with different brushes and techniques. I hadn’t really be wetting the paper before and I started doing this. I also experimented with letting the colors bleed together and applying colors at varying degrees of dampness. Finally, I played with splattering the paint using canned air. Overall I think these experiments were pretty helpful.
What was more helpful, though, was learning about composition. I did a bunch of small thumbnail composition studies. First, I tried just doing some compositions on my own and attempted to make them look good. Then, when that didn’t quite work out, I went through some work by several other artists and tried capturing the essence of their compositions. I learned a lot from this.
For example, I was keeping objects well within the frame where other artists use the whole frame and have objects touch the edges (much like a photograph). Also, they use a variety of techniques to frame items within the frame. Finally I started doing my own again, using what I learned. I do think they became stronger.
Beyond these two things, I just started working through Botany for the Artist and I signed up for Artists Network TV to get some more help with abstract composition and watercolors. I also watched some videos on Stefan Baumann’s channel and The Art of Photography.
Overall my confidence is up quite a bit this week. I’m feeling a lot better about the direction things are going now. I also noticed a shift in my attitude towards drawing. Before I found it fun and relaxing but I was still planning it into my day. Now, I feel like it’s more habitualized and I generally look forward to it. I also am trying to find more time for drawing.
Next week I want to do more compositional work and do more life drawing.