View Full Version : Mountains by a novice

11-04-2000, 09:27 PM
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/mountain-grace.JPG" border=0>

This is my first watercolor. I'm not sure watercolor is for me - It was difficult to undo mistakes, messing with it often made it worse. The clouds in the sky were the result of dragging my shirt sleeve through the sky immediately after I dragged it through the palette! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif This is my only work as I have just started painting - so it will be a while before I have something else to post. Meanwhile I will be checking out the wonderful art here on the boards...All of you are so talented!

11-05-2000, 04:54 AM
Your very first watercolor??? Wonderful..and can't wait to see what you do next! I think your sleeve gave you one of those "happy accidents"..we all look forward to... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
The colors work well..and I, for one, am very impressed. BTW...Welcome to the forums!

PS: Dennis... I understand there may be a space image problem with posting these mini projects in this forum. Heard anything about that? I did see where they (mountains and the leaves project) were added to the regular cafe projects for that reason. Just wondered.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Carol

11-05-2000, 07:45 AM
Grace....your words echo what so many beginning artists say, and for seasoned artists it adds up to a great hearty laugh!

Don't take that wrong...its just, well... one day you too will laugh.

Listen...here's my schpiel...you do not see yourself as having what it takes to paint watercolors, but I've got news for you- neither are your qualifications there to say what your capabilities are or are not!

You have to do about 120 bad paintings to learn how to paint!

Oh...they're not bad on purpose, but...each one simply will lack the full understanding yet to come. Each one however will have a bit more of that understanding then the last one.

When someone tries one or two paintings and proclaims painting to not be for them, I laugh out loud and make sport of them! After all...they need to learn to laugh at themselves as well and give themselves permission to embark on this venture. Painting is not a one shot miss or hit deal, its an adventure that is lifelong.

Don't be impressed with our talents...that comes with the default of age! Give us credit though for choosing to be stubborn and not giving up!

btw....for what it is worth, if this is your first watercolor...you are already a good number of paintings ahead of other beginners having yet to learn what obviously you already know. I'm curious then...what other media you have spent time with? Kudos...! I like your sense of grasping the tree's anatomy!

I'd say your use of color is a bit bold, however...since getting others to use color more courageously is a problem, I'd much prefer having your tendency! hahaha...very good! Hang in there...you'll be doing lessons before you know it!

Larry http://lseiler.artistnation.com

11-05-2000, 10:27 AM

First question; do you ENJOY using watercolors? If no, then stop. If yes, then keep going and have a great time.

I quote Larry, "If this is your first watercolor, then what other media have you been using"? This looks very, very good. Your "accidental" sky is stunning! Whereas we tried to copy the pinkish glow of sunset/rise, you have a very impressive storminess occuring. Your mist is just fine (get it, a fine mist http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ) and the other items, mountains, trees, etc. are rendered well.
One of the things I enjoy most about watercolors more than any other medium is the fact that many times the painting becomes something other than what we had originally intended. And many times, with watercolor, it's better!

If you want to copy nature, take a picture. If you want to learn and be inspired from nature, paint!

I Like It!



11-05-2000, 10:59 AM
Grace, can I rent your sleeve? Very nice painting. Please email it to Rod for inclusion in the Leaves & Mountain project. Dennis

11-05-2000, 11:03 AM
Carol, I was never very clear on the reason to shift the mimi-projects to the Cafe projects. I believe it was because some of the individual threads had so many pics in them that they took to long to load. It would seem to me that as long as we keep the pics in each thread limited to say two or three and keep them under 60K in size, we should have no trouble.

11-05-2000, 01:05 PM

I think that this is a very good first watercolour.

I echo all the comments of the others, I myself have only been painting in watercolours for a few months, but learn something with each new painting.

I also feel 'safe' displaying my work here in the watercolour forum, and the help, advice and encouragement that you will receive from everyone is amazing.

But as Nick said, if you enjoy doing watercolours then continue, wether the painting is good or not so good.
If this first one is anything to go by, you have real talents.

Best wishes

Karen http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

11-06-2000, 07:59 AM
Dennis... I agree http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Carol

11-06-2000, 10:11 AM
Larry's right....there are many bad paintings on this road...so don't get discouraged!!! I think this...for your first watercolor is EXCELLENT!! Loved your sky, treatment of the trees...the foggy lake. Keep it up!!!!


11-06-2000, 10:24 AM
Carol - Thanks for the warm welcome and encouragement – having checked out yours and Larry’s work - now I am in total awe. Too bad you are in Virginia, I could use some lessons, learning curves are not as steep if you have guidance from someone who knows what they are doing.

Larry! You make me laugh! Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post I have a lot of respect for your words after viewing your work! Yep those colors are bold (they are slightly more subdued in reality BUT I do know what you mean). That’s kinda what I mean when I said I didn’t think watercolors were for me. I had to really work hard to get it that gaudy - that paint is so transparent! And to think I only have to suffer though another 119 bad paintings. but in all fairness I should get credit for two of them with my first effort! If I had taken some progress shots you would have seen some pretty horrific stages. I resisted the impulse to put it in the round file and kept on with it. It turned out better than I expected in the end.

Nick – I have little experience with any medium. 25 years ago I painted for a few months with acrylics. I did maybe a dozen pieces of a single subject (simple sea gulls & tropical fish etc.) on driftwood pulled from the sea, not really a painting its more like a craft object. My mother is an artist and that is the type of thing she did and still does (sells well for her). She put my work in with hers and I was pleased with my self when some of it sold – the rest I gave away – hey they have to take it if it’s a gift. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif Anyway, I lost interest and haven’t done anything since.

I bought some watercolor in anticipation of taking a “fun” class (my favorite thing to do as a stress buster), but never registered. The engineer in me made me search out some tips on the web about watercolor before I wet that brush though! That’s how I found WetCanvas and that mountain project. The only other medium I have attempted is Painter (a computer program). That probably doesn’t count… Pixels?….. LOL

I am sure I will try a few more watercolors. There is a lot of paper in the block. I feel lost when I stare at all that white paper, it is so hard to begin when you do not know how to approach it. I did find that putting getting some paint down - got me started. I immediately had something to “fix”.


Phyllis Rennie
11-06-2000, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by Grace:

If I had taken some progress shots you would have seen some pretty horrific stages. I resisted the impulse to put it in the round file and kept on with it. It turned out better than I expected in the end.


I have those "horrific stages" in every single painting. It takes determination to keep going but I've learned a lot solving the problems that I've created.

11-07-2000, 12:26 AM
Grace, you might want to check out some of the online watercolor lessons here at wet canvas. I found Rod Webb's especially helpful (I don't have my 200 done yet either) click here to check out http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Watercolors/index.html

Also there is the leaf part of project 12 that you might want to try.
Regards Dennis

11-07-2000, 01:29 AM
Wonderful watercolour Grace , wish my first one was that great, your painting is also now displayed on the project pages.

Rodzart from New Zealand (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/rodzart/)

11-07-2000, 06:04 AM
Dennis, Carol,
Have attempted to explain in cafe thread. Hope this will make things clearer,

Rodzart from New Zealand (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/rodzart/)

11-08-2000, 10:11 PM
My thanks to all of you. It is so refreshing to find yourself among so many positive and happy people. I have posted a sketch (I have already put far too much time into it to call it that)over on the compostion and design board that I could use some help with. I don't know if I'm going anywhere with this one. How about taking a look and commenting.

11-09-2000, 01:33 PM
Grace, you have much talent...I hope you will stay with us in the watercolor forum...post more of your attempts! Not that I'd call them that! You obviously have a feel for the medium. I'm actually very new to watercolor also...and have found this group to be very encouraging!

I know what you mean about that white piece of paper!! I do this...sketch roughly my composition onto the sheet using a watercolor pencil (I like a violet color). Then if I want to save some white highlights, I use frisket over those spots. After that I just mix a lot of my lightest color...like a pale yellow and splash it on!

Sometimes I wet the paper all over first and then splash on some of my lightest colors...great for toning the paper! and I love to watch the colors intermingle and dissolve together.

I checked out your lighthouse too...and offered a suggestion...hope you don't mind.

11-09-2000, 10:57 PM
Thanks Carly!

I do very much appreciate you commenting on the lighthouse and for taking the time to show me. I liked the way you cropped it. And your alterations of the other elements really helped. This scene would have had a dock and long shack at the end of the island. I left it out as I (erronously) thought it would be easier if I simplified the level of detail and by that time I was frustrated and ready to give it a rest. I just finished the red barn lesson that George Simmons had along with the yellow flower. My husband took it to his office as he was afraid I was going to tear it up and he liked it. He always loves anything I do - which is great for the marriage(- but maybe not so good for personal growth?) I wouldn't have really torn it up, you need to keep those things to smile about later on. If I get it back I will post it. Thanks for letting me know how you start off on a painting - The first thing I need to do is START.


11-10-2000, 11:01 PM
WoW! Your first watercolour http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif This is so good. I have only done watercolour once but I haven`t done it since, but i am experimenting with all sorts of diferent media right now http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

12-30-2000, 02:10 AM
great job on your first watercolor!