View Full Version : Learning Curve

08-14-2004, 10:38 AM
I just wanted to mention something about my experience of taking up watercolors. When I first dug out an old box of them last summer and decided to learn 'em, right around that time I had started a postcard swap on the cartoonist board I used to frequent. So I found myself having to draw 40 postcards. I couldn't get motivated to draw 40 cartoons, nor did I have any idea what to start painting.

So I started cutting up the watercolor paper, postcard size, and just doing whatever I felt like, not worrying about how anything turned out. After 40 of these little things in a couple weeks, I learned more than I ever could have, I think, by "trying to learn how to paint." I think I would have been much more frustrated otherwise and might not have stuck with it. I think it's the equivelant of sitting in a coffee shop quickly sketching people as opposed to drawing a live model in a studio. I had to get the feel of it before I started worrying about technique, etc.

For the heck of it, I'm attaching a couple of those early efforts that I scanned before mailing.

08-14-2004, 01:13 PM
one of my mentors is a watercolor teacher i had in college that made us do homework every week (a bit demanding in comparison to other FA classes). he's the kinda guy i just couldn't 'let down', and i'm so glad that i plugged away each week..whilst others either didn't try, didn't finish or grumbled extensively. i loved the punishment so much that i took another semester of it. if i hadn't had such a demanding teacher...i don't think i would've fallen in love w/ the medium; one that requires more than dabbling introductions.
anyways...it truly is in 'the doing' that the magic happens. lots & lots of doing. 40 cards is quite a commitment but a well worth--life changing one for sure. do you think you'd ever be so serious about doing children's bk. ills. w/out spending so much time w/ watercolor?

Kathryn Wilson
08-16-2004, 12:00 PM
Hi Ted, that certainly was a huge commitment - 40 postcards! It certainly looks like you've got a handle on watercolor now - one of the most difficult mediums to conquer IMHO. I especially like the last one - cool!

08-17-2004, 03:47 PM
Ted - these are great! I particularly like the second one. The colors of the explosion are wonderful!

That's an excellent way to get to know a subject or a medium. After 40 you gotta be more comfortable with them.

I tried watercolors for a while but never really got comfortable with them and went back to acrylics. Perhaps if I had really wanted to get comfortable with watercolors I should have done the same. Now, though, I enjoy the Fluid Acrylics too much to even try again.

Mr. Nauss
08-21-2004, 05:28 PM
Nice work Ted, very exciting work. I like the feel as the second one in from the left as well, you've created a apocalyptic sence in the clouds, like they know what the hero is faced with. Watercolor is the medium I use the least and I don't know why considering I do like the effect it creates on the paper.

The attachment is a watercolor of a dead angel I saw on the side of the road one day. I couldn't resist painting her.