I was lucky enough to get most of the afternoon to myself today, so after a quick caffeine fuel-up, a trip to the store to exchange a shirt that I accidentally bought in two sizes (who does that?), and a stop at Hobby Lobby where I scored a great deal on a two pack of canvases, I went home and dove right into a watercolor project that wanted to start since….well, FOREVER ago!
Why watercolors? I haven’t used watercolors since High School and for good reason…I don’t like them. At least, that’s what I remembered from the last time I used them. I feel like they don’t give me enough control over tiny details, they take forever to dry (or I just use way too much water) and they just make me frustrated and impatient. So why would I want to use a medium that annoys me so much? To break out of my comfort zone and try something new.
I’ve done so many tight, super-detailed geometric drawings that I have the process memorized, and I almost feel like I’m on auto-pilot when I work. Using watercolors forced me to slow down, think, and make completely different decisions than when I work with micron pens and markers. Working with watercolors was looser, messier….and FUN! I honestly had a blast this afternoon, and the hours completely flew by. I experimented with splatter techniques, layered colors on top of one another, and painted without worrying about all the “rules” I have in my head when I do my geometric drawings. I didn’t have time to finish my painting before it was time to pick up the kids, but I got enough done that I have a definite vision of how I want it to end up. I’m really, really looking forward to my next chance to work on it some more.
The point of all this? Don’t be afraid to try something new! You might not do your “best” work, but experimenting with a different medium can really loosen you up and force yourself to not take it so seriously. Who knows…you might even like it!