Learning to Paint

I recently realized that I’m going on almost 9 months since I decided that I wanted to try watercolor painting, and I haven’t really posted much about it on my blog!

Nothing specific prompted me to pick up a new hobby – I’ve always liked the idea of painting, but I’m not especially talented in any respects other than getting myself into awkward pickles (which isn’t the best talent to have, let’s be real).

I’m not very good at drawing or at any other artsy type things I’ve attempted in the past, but I saw a pack of Crayola watercolors in an aisle at Target and the idea crept into my head and wouldn’t let go through all the laps I made around the store. Eventually I caved and purchased them as well as a small children’s pack of watercolor paper, determined to at least get the creativity bug out of my system.

And it sort of worked? Only it didn’t really go away so much as get fed by how much fun I was having! The first few things I painted were truly atrocious, but I was learning how to do everything from hold a paintbrush comfortably to figure out the paint-to-water ratio that produced the best results. The paints and paper were both cheap, but that didn’t dissuade me:

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I started with food, thinking I’d fill the small notepad with different things as I learned. The doughnut was my very first painting attempt — you can see the differences in color distribution indicating spots where I was testing different brush strokes and applied pressure. The pizzas are one of my favorites of the first few things I tried painting! I just really love pizza, okay?

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I was a little nervous to share the things I made with people, but everyone I know was supportive of it (even of those avocados!). The more I tried, the better I got at it — something that everyone knows but seems to forget when they’re wanting to learn something new and are instead met with misshapen baked goods. I persisted and eventually branched out into small scenic type pictures, or spacey scenes that were created by testing how certain colors could bleed and run together.

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I scoured the internet for ideas of places or things to paint – Pinterest, Tumblr, Google, Flickr, blogs. I drew inspiration from movies I liked or from the things I saw around me, wanting to try painting everything so I could know what I liked and what I didn’t, what I was good at and what I wasn’t. I’m not going to lie and say everything came out sort of okay — there have been lots of things I wasn’t pleased with and didn’t like! I have one portrait of Wonder Woman I tried that I have only shown 3 people in life and won’t even take a photo of because it’s so horrific. Honestly, it’d give you nightmares. The only reason I don’t burn it is because I eventually hope to be able to try it again and see improvement (but really, it should be set on fire, I’ve done our Amazonian princess absolutely no justice).

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Despite the Diana Prince catastrophe, overall it’s been an amazing experience. I’m pleased to say that I have graduated from my first set of children’s watercolors to actual artist quality paint tubes (and I’ve even made my own palette, which I’ll eventually post a how-to on!). I have a favorite art supply store and a small rainbow rolling cart with drawers to hold all my painting things – it’s like I’m almost some kind of real painter or something! 😛

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The TL;DR of this is that I started painting on a whim and ended up really enjoying it and having fun, despite not even remotely being a fantastic painting wizard genius. I didn’t let the fear of trying something new (or my many bad paintings) dissuade me from continuing, because the fun of spending time doing things you love to do can sometimes outweigh the end results. Forget about the possibility of failure and just do you! 🙂

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