Art Journal Every Day: Watercolor Rocks
July 15, 2011
If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, all the posts can be found here. Please read this post first. There is a flickr group for sharing right here. Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day! No need to finish anything or even like it. Just play! You can join the linky list for July right here.
Watercolor paints are one of my absolute favorite things to use in my art journal. They are wonderfully versatile, inexpensive, and just plain fun! I have several sets of watercolors for several different occassions. But the ones I use at home are the Koi Tube Watercolors by Sakura.
What's the difference between tube and pan watercolors? There's a great article here, but personally I find the tubes a little more strongly pigmented and it's easier for me to cover a large space and mix my own colors. But it's a totally personal choice. If you go with tube watercolors, you do need to use a palette of some kind. I love my travel palette with a lid! It's similar to this one.
Here's a quick video I recently made for Sakura about using the tube watercolors:
I've loved watercolors since forever. Most of my early art journal pages were simply (waterproof) pen + watercolor paint. Here is one of the first art journal pages I ever made, way back in 2007:
This was an 8x8 square of watercolor paper and I took each page and put it into an 8x8 scrapbook album! So my first art journal is actually kind of a scrapbook! And when I travel I always take a black pen and a set of watercolor paints. That's all a girl really needs.
I did the page above in the airport while I waited for my airplane to begin boarding.
I'm sure you've noticed that I use watercolor for faces all the time! I used watercolor for many of the faces from June:
This is the absolute first face I ever painted (done with watercolor).
I was at a crop and I remember being so proud of myself. I turned to my Mom and said, "This is the best painting I've ever done." She looks kind of like a monkey to me now, but at the time I was delighted!
Here are a few more faces:
I've heard that the white paint in the watercolor set isn't really watercolor, but I still love the way it looks!
I also use watercolor for lots of backgrounds and overall patterns. This is the cover of my current art journal:
I painted the colorful lines with watercolor paint on fabric! The face is stitched (a lesson from my "It's Sew Easy" class).
And here is a recent art journal page using only watercolor paints (no other supplies, well besides a brush and water):
You can see how beautifully the colors blend together in the stripes!
Watercolor paints and stamps are also a great combination!
Just remember to stamp with something that doesn't react with water. On the first page I used a waterproof ink (Ranger Archival) and on the second page I used clear embossing powder (which doesn't react with water).
A couple quick tips before I go:
- Use lots of water. Don't be afraid of it. Use it liberally and let the paint wander.
- Paper really matters. And cheap watercolor paper stinks. Cardstock is frustrating. Go for the good stuff, it's so worth it!
- Work in layers. The color will deepen with each added layer.
- Experiment! Watercolor is quite forgiving.
I hope you feel inspired to get your paint on. I know I do. Writing this post has made me think of trying a new experiment in August involving using only watercolor in my art journal and seeing what happens. But I'm not sure. I'm a little afraid of letting go of all my other fun toys! I don't know. What do you think? Could you limit yourself to just a box of watercolors and a waterproof black pen for a whole month? I do it when I'm on the road -- but even then I usually bring a stamp set or a few other toys. Hmmmmm...good idea or bad idea? Let me know what you think!
Thanks for stopping by!