I had a creative day with a friend. We both struggle to make the time to do these things that we love, and struggle with wanting the end result to be perfect. Potato printing was a good antithesis to this – imperfection is part of the look! At the end her 2 year old and 4 year old joined us, and reminded me of the joy of covering your fingers, hands and face in paint, using the tools in whatever way you fancy and getting stuck in without any hesitation! If it looks like a huge lake of paint smooched together – who cares?
In order to form a creative habit I have followed several Skillshare classes. This one was by Ana Victoria Calderon. This project was great for me because it combined ‘play’ as well as a final project.
The first step was to create watercolour pattern swatches:
Making the swatches was playful and experimental, allowing freedom to make mistakes and just have a go with a new idea, and taking the pressure off the making process. I made loads and they are something I will come back to – I am only showing you a selection!
The final project involved drawing a scene, and using the swatches to make an intensely patterned scene.
This drawing felt like a natural continuation of the preparatory work, making it easier to bypass the critical voice. The preparatory work helped to limit the choices, and narrowed the focus. I am naturally indecisive and can easily stall on a project because I can’t decide what to do next, so this really helped me.
This was my favourite part – painting these tesselating, colour blending shapes was unexpectedly satisfying and soothing. It was a good way to experiment with watercolour hue and saturation as well, I love how you can gradually adjust the blend, just by dipping in a slightly different puddle.
Next time I want to think more carefully about the colours, perhaps make colour swatches using a selected colour scheme to try it out. I would also consider how to help the eye move move across the picture more easily, and how to keep the turtle foregrounded.