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  1. #1
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    Default Taken the plunge into watercolor

    There is something to be said about learning through osmosis.

    For the longest time, I loved the idea of pairing my fountain pen sketches with watercolor.
    I LOVE watercolor paintings, more than any other types of paints such as acrylic or oil, watercolor always have that ethereal quality that just resonates with me -- although I've seen some realistic watercolor paintings that is bordering scary.

    But I never feel confident to pull the trigger. I tried it sometime ago and the result is not satisfactory at all. I didn't know what I was doing and basically just created a rainbow of splotches. Not good.

    So in my spare times (which I don't have the luxury of having many) I looked at many videos, sometimes until I fell asleep. Looked at hundreds of watercolor paintings on Instagram, read every books about watercolor in my local library. Little by little, things seem to clicked into place in my mind.

    Today, after almost two years of absorbing a lot of materials and watercolor paintings, I finally feel that I can take a shot.

    For this sketch, I decided to use a Merlin Merlina, a dainty little writer with excellent fine nib. And the R&K document black ink to make sure the watercolor won't smear the lines. The paper is Canson for watercolor (got it last year at an estate sale, otherwise it's quite expensive for a non-artist like myself). The watercolor paint is just a generic student-grade ones. Sure, I'd love to paint with Daniel Smith tubes or Schmincke Horadam pans, but I'm quite a way off from there.

    Resisting the urge to apply hatching patterns, I took a deep breath and started to mix my watercolor.


    Of course, it's still nothing compared to real watercolor paintings by real artists, but at least for me, this sketch proved the point that you do learn things by exposure and immersion. And it also gets me a bit closer to my dream to do real-time urban sketching with those cool kids (the urban sketchers).

    The biggest difference this time is that I began to apply some of the concepts like pulling, shifting, even dabbing some of the colors off the paper to convey different values. And this time I use only 4 watercolor paints to get a palette that doesn't hurt my eyes like disco strobes.

    And best of all, I still get to sketch with my favorite old FPs that I restored with my own hands from junkers to treasures.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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