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30 December 2015

January Watercolor Challenge

The LDS Mother's Educational Course is getting re-organized again (yay!!). This course has been so good for me - it's how I finally learned to study and understand self-education - and we're going to do some more of it, and I get to put together a monthly watercolor challenge each month this year. I'm excited. I had gotten busy, and my study sort of took me in another direction for a while, but I can't wait to do some shared study with the girls again. I gathered up a number of tutorials a while back, but I haven't done much with them, so putting together some stuff for the group ought to be just what I need to get my stuff put together so that I actually do the painting. So, here's what I've got this month:

First, a quick discussion of basic supplies. Then, here's this comparison of nice paint vs. cheap paint. It was pretty interesting -- the Crayola paint actually stood up better than I expected it to, but not layering very well is a problem. At our house, Hero(9) and I both have our own paint pallets with tube paints; pallets are cheap, and our tube paints are not too expensive, and, much as I love him, it was annoying to share with him: we organize our colors very differently, particularly when mixing. Dragon(5) will be ready for his own pallet soon, probably.

Also, before getting out the paints, read chapters 1 and 2 of The Artist's Watercolor Guide: Understanding the Palette, Pigments, and Properties. There are no exercises in these chapters, exactly, though there are a number of ways of fiddling with the paints that could be suggested by the text, particularly experimenting with blending colors. You could also play around with the kinds of exercises from the paint comparison, and use them to get to know your colors better.

I'm suggesting two projects this month:

1. Using this tutorial, experiment with wet-lifting techniques. Don't worry about what it looks like; this activity is about learning, so that later projects will be better because you've messed around with the tools and techniques before you start a more formal project. Relax and have fun with it.

2. Choose a master watercolor artist (there's a list here and here and here, and I'm sure there's others) to imitate for the next several months, and copy a painting or a detail from a painting.

When you have some projects to show off, join us on Facebook so we can oooh and aaah over your work!

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