If you are new to watercolor or venturing into the world of artistic expression for the first time in a while, “fun” may not be the word you use to describe the experience.
Here are a few things I've heard from other adults trying watercolor for the first time.
“I'm afraid to mess up the page..”
“Ugh, it looks awful...”
“I don't know what I'm doing...”
“This is stressing me out...”
While studies have shown how art therapy can calm anxiety, improve communication, help process trauma and many other wonderful things, doing something new can be scary.
In a supportive environment you can learn to overcome those nagging fears or thoughts of potential embarrassment, failure and rejection.
What if I am teaching myself?
When trying a new thing, are you creating a supportive environment for yourself? Our minds can be busy little things that bring all of the worst outcomes to mind. Our thoughts can stop us before we ever begin!
Let's use watercolor as our example of the new thing we want to try today. What initially brought you to watercolor? Maybe you saw a video with beautiful colors splashing all over the place and it made your heart sing. Perhaps a friend invited you to a watercolor class. Maybe you wanted a hobby to wind down after a long week at work and watercolor seemed like as good an option as any other. Whatever the reason, here you are. Take a deep breath and let it out.
Give yourself permission to try. There are all kinds of watercolor teachers online that offer free and paid lessons (YouTube is a great resource among many). You can search for "watercolor beginner" or type in a topic that you need more help with such as "How to paint wet on wet watercolor."
For me personally, I enjoyed starting with learning watercolor techniques from free videos online. From exploring how wet to make my brush, creating washes and other textures...I found myself really enjoying color charting the most.
If you are taking a class-be sure to ask the instructor questions and learn what you can while you are there. Doing a self-guided study? Start small, i.e. perhaps a realistic portrait makes a bad first project but a single leaf might be fun.
Below are videos exploring different artists and styles that may help spark your creativity.
Regina is watercolor enthusiast who started making palettes and paints in pursuit of a better painting experience. This blog is dedicated to sharing helpful tips, recipes and some behind the scenes creativity as we expand and grow our little handmade business.